You Might Be Interested To Know…..

– A letter from author Jeff High –

Typewriter2Dear Reader,

I guess in truth… I’m a pretty shy person.

I’ve written tens of thousands of words with the thoughts of my characters. But never my thoughts. That’s because, well….like I said. I’m actually a pretty shy person.

When given the choice, I eat alone; I smile at strangers but never know what to say to them, I really don’t like crowds, and I am probably happiest when lost between the covers of a book.

Don’t get me wrong. I like people. I really do. And I like looking for the good things in people. Although admittedly, sometimes you have to look pretty hard.

So all the short stories and gossip and news updates you have read on this Web site are about fictional things and not about me. But I’ve been told that I need to tell a little bit more about myself along the way. Okay, fine. Thus, this letter… but not to worry. It’ll be short.

I blame being a little shy on my older brothers. I love ‘em, but growing up… those jokers were mean. So I spent my childhood days on the far reaches of the farm, creating entire worlds, winning imaginary battles, and reading lots of books.

Those grade school years were filled with the Hardy Boys (including the handbook, of course), Laura Ingalls Wilder, Hans Christian Anderson, James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and all those dozens of biographies we had at Spring Hill Elementary about everybody from Kit Carson to Meriwether Lewis to Teddy Roosevelt. It’s where I developed a love of stories, and ultimately, a love of writing (along with taking delight in talking ugly about my older brothers.)

So, that’s a little about me and why I love to write. And candidly, that’s enough for now. Otherwise, you’ll get bored. I know I am.

I am presently working on the copyedited version of EACH SHINING HOUR. What that means is that this is my last shot at making any changes to the story. My editor at Penguin and my small handful of writing advisors have said they like it better than MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH. At first, I kind of took offense to this. MORE THINGS was my first baby, and sure…I’m proud of it.

But in some ways, I can see their point.

MORE THINGS began as a collection of short stories and scenes in my head. It was written (or written at) over a period of several years and went through a number of revisions. I ran across an early version of it the other day and parts of it made me wince. (Originally, it was actually written in third person.)

With EACH SHINING HOUR I could simply jump on an already moving train of established characters and established situations and relationships. I could focus more on plot and story. I think you will like it and it is receiving some fabulous endorsements from some wonderful, big time, New York Times bestselling authors. And let me tell you…that’s just wild! Hey, I’m a guy from a small Tennessee town who loves to tell stories. Getting them published and noticed on the national stage is still a brave new world.

Anyway, if you’ve made it this far in the letter… well, thanks!

We are going to be talking more and more about EACH SHINING HOUR in the coming weeks and months. Penguin seems pretty excited about it. I hope you will be too!