A little more about Len…
For as long as I can recall, I’ve enjoyed a good story. It didn’t matter if I was reading it, watching it, or listening to someone tell it; I loved storytelling. From my early childhood in Kingston, Jamaica, one of my favorite memories was listening to my Aunt Mildred tell stories at family gatherings. I was only a preschooler, but I remember thinking how she brought characters and scenes to life so vividly that my cousins and I were completely transported to the world where her story was taking place. She would deftly build suspense and interest, while holding back just enough so that we were always surprised and satisfied by the ending. I remember having to sleep with a light on several times because of how realistic her ghost stories were! I never could retell them like she did, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
It’s that love of storytelling that drew me into fiction writing. As a schoolkid in Brooklyn, I developed an interest for writing short stories. All the time. Even my school essays and writing assignments contained dialogue and a plot with
a beginning, middle and end. And years later, when I held jobs in accounting and finance, I was still an artist at heart. I attended writers workshops, took fiction writing courses in the evenings, and joined a writer’s club. I even completed a screenplay, Shades, during this period. Still, I never submitted anything for publishing. Writing was therapeutic to me because it was a productive way to escape the world of budgets, revenue goals, and the like.
In the late 90’s, a great job opportunity led me and my family to the West Coast. And with the demands at work and responsibilities at home over the years, I found less time to sit and write. But even though I wasn’t writing fiction, I still had the writer within. I penned many poetic and engaging work memos and I told captivating stories to family, friends, colleagues… everyone. Artistically and creatively, I made it work for a long time.
And then came the pandemic. The new rules prevented us from gathering together and many of our pastimes were no longer available. With more time on my hands than I ever remember having, I was able to resurrect that writer’s spirit that was buried deep down. I took an idea that I first had almost 30 years ago and decided I was going to finally write it. Initially, the task seemed daunting, but I began by writing the first word on the first page and just took it from there. As it turns out, I was reintroduced to an old passion of mine.
I am excited to bring the Back to Dixie series to the world. My hope is that readers are truly entertained and are taken on an epic journey involving all of the human emotions. I would love for people to talk about the books and the concepts they introduce months and years after reading them. If one day the series is considered a unique and important look into the intersection of politics and race, I would be happy and content.
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