By Sheila A. Taylor
The New Citizens Press
E. Lynn Harris has earned acclaim as an author who speaks to the heart of his readers. Since he launched his writing career in 1991 with his first novel An Invisible Life, he has written one best seller after another and touched countless fans that anxiously await his next novel year after year. This interview with E. Lynn Harris took place with all of the easiness of a relaxing conversation between friends. He made himself open to an engaging, friendly, candid and down-to-earth discussion about his life and outstanding career as a writer.
Greater Lansing fans of E. Lynn Harris will have an opportunity to meet and hear this accomplished author at an upcoming forum hosted by The Capital Area District Library on Friday, April 13 at the Lansing Center.
E. Lynn Harris was born in Flint and as a child moved with his family to Little Rock, Arkansas. When asked how he began his career as a writer, he spoke of a low point in his life that resulted in crippling depression, and how writing became a therapeutic and cathartic release of the years of pain and internal turmoil. For 13 years, E. Lynn Harris worked in computer sales in the corporate world. He explained that he never pursued formal training as an author but that his gift for writing initially emerged from the loving letters that he presented to his mother that she cherished.
To the casual observer it appears that his foray into writing was a graceful segues from one career to another but he candidly stated that his passion for writing saved his life. From his early work to his most recent work, I Say a Little Prayer E. Lynn Harris has exhibited his gift of bringing to the written page believable characters who struggle with human issues — spirituality, sexuality, love, and acceptance of self. His works capture the essence of the struggles that many of his readers face.
Because writing is his passion, it flows freely and naturally from him. This free flow of expression distinguishes his work from a day-to-day job. He expressed that if writing ever became like a job for him, he would have to do something else. He radiates an ease and confidence of a person comfortable with his own skin and knows well what he was born to do–write authentically.