Leila Harris’s lifelong passion for wildlife conservation and her devout Christian beliefs were the driving factors for her desire to compose a Bible reference book that provides the Greek and Hebrew translation of every animal that is mentioned in scripture.
Harris’s book, “All of the Animals in the Bible” is billed by its publisher as the most complete of its kind, Advantage Books said. The publisher also stated that both students and teachers can easily cross-reference with other classic concordances of the Bible. Harris’s book also provides many scholars’ opinions for a complete analysis of each animal listed, a press release stated.
Born and raised in the Appalachian foothills, Harris has always held a passion for writing and composing short stories. Even as a little girl, Harris found enjoyment by spending her leisure time writing and developing stories. Despite a longstanding interest in literature and animals, Harris did not embark on an attempt to become a published author until just recently. A Laurel Springs resident, Harris lives in close proximity of the Blue Ridge Parkway and even owns property that connects to the scenic route. As a little girl, Harris and her family would frequent the area to count deer and enjoy many other fauna of wildlife that the mountains provide a home for. To this day, Harris said she still enjoys watching native wildlife in their natural environment and received much of the inspiration to write the book from her experiences with the natural world.
Prior to becoming a contracted author, Harris had worked as a mortgage broker and currently handles customer affairs for her husband’s contracting business. Harris has also attended online classes through Regent University where she earned a degree in religious studies. The budding wordsmith said she began working on her first published work in February 2008 as a way to help others in their Bible study and it also enabled her to strengthen her own relationship with the Lord.
Harris began her research for the book by finding all the biblical scripture that contained any mention of animals and wildlife. She then followed up on the scriptures by researching the Greek and Hebrew translations of the animals and what symbolic meanings the animals may have during those ancient times.
Following the completion of the book, Harris then tested the durability of her book online by submitting it to christianwriterssubmission.com. This particular site allows inspirational writers the opportunity to post excerpts and themes from books that will be accessible to prospective publishers. Within a short period of time after submitting her work, Harris had received three different offers from interested companies. Harris said that she had some help from the divine in finding a suitable publisher and explained how she prayed extensively on the matter.
“I just wanted the book to be in the Lord’s will,” Harris said. “I remember the day that I got the call from the publishing company.
“I was sitting outside, just watching all of the animals and praying about the book when I got the call. They (Advantage) told me that they had prayed about the book and that they wanted the opportunity to publish it.”
The fact that the company had actually sought the Lord’s guidance in publishing the book and had maintained a personal relationship with Harris were the deciding factors as to why she chose to go with Advantage, Harris said. The adult reference book was later released this past January and is now available online on over 250 online bookstore sites and has even sold in more than 30 different countries. She is also working with two local bookstores, The Shepherd’s Staff and Skyland Books, in an attempt to have it available for local readers. Harris’s capabilities as an established writer have been noted as she was recently selected as one of 30 authors to present their books at the National Religious Broadcasting Convention.
After witnessing the book’s success, Advantage contracted Harris to complete two additional publications. Harris has already submitted “All of the Trees in the Bible” and will be available later this spring. Additional installments of the series will be forthcoming. To purchase the book directly, interested buyers can visit www.leilaharris.com or call 1-888-383-3110.