Life happens. Such a simple concept but the absolute truth, and this is the message that first-time author Leslie Handler wants to share with her readers in her new book Rats, Mice and Other Things You Can’t Take to the Bank: Inspirational Essays from the Humorous to the Simply Human (HOPress-Shorehouse Books, 2018)
Written with warmth and resiliency, this book guides the reader through life’s ups and downs.as seen through the eyes and experiences of Handler.
“I have had more than my fair share of challenges in my life,” Handler noted. “I have always tried to show my kids that we all face challenges, but to truly have a good life, we must learn how to react and deal with those challenges. No matter how bad a hand we think we were dealt, there’s always someone out there worse off than we are.”
Now an international and award-winning syndicated columnist who also maintains a blog LeslieGoesBoom.com, Handler, who was raised in Texas, took a detoured path to becoming a professional writer. She studied journalism in college but embarked instead on a career in hotel management–a path that led her to meet her husband of more than 30 years. With two grown daughters out on their own, Handler changed course four years ago to use writing as way to confront, accept and battle situations and issues that gave her reasons to both laugh and cry.
“I hope that people will pick up this book and not read it in one sitting,” she explained. “Maybe they can read it when they have a few minutes waiting in a doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store or curled up on the sofa for a few quiet minutes. It is my wish that they give each story a chance to sink in and be felt. If readers can find themselves in some of the pages of my book, they might say ‘Aha, I’m not the only one.’”
While Handler is hoping to expand her reading audience with this book, she is also hoping to help bring attention to one challenge many people face but are often afraid to admit. A portion of her royalties will be going to National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“I have family members and close friends who have suffered from mental illness,” she said. “I myself have suffered through depression. I truly believe that mental illness is no different than any other illness. It’s an equal opportunity afflicter, and we are still in the dark ages in how we view it and how we treat it.”
Now that Rats, Mice and Other Things You Can’t Take to the Bank is a reality, Handler looks forward to writing more about the subjects that inspire her.
“I am best when I write what I am passionate about. When I am in that zone, the words just spill out.” She acknowledged. “I like to incorporate humor in my work. I don’t try to make people laugh out loud at my words. But I do believe many of my stories hold onto that sense of humor that will allow people to find reasons to smile or even chuckle.”