The women have a lot in common. Besides entering the literary field, both attend The Upper Room church and have become good friends. Higham, a Liberty High school graduate had moved to Austintown and resided there for years. She had always wanted to write a book of poetry and finally got the chance.
“My dad wanted me to go into nursing,” she said. “He told me I needed a career that would pay the bills.”
She did go into nursing and was able to have a successful career. A few years ago she was ready to spend the time on her true passion. She started with a book called “So Close to God,” which was a collection of spiritual poetry. She finished the manuscript then turned to self publishing to get her book into the mainstream.
“It was very expensive to publish a book,” she said.
White experienced the same thing when she self-published her first book, “Heaven on Earth.”
White said she always loved English, but had not always wanted to write a book. As a 1988 Fitch graduate, she was more devoted to teaching her Bible classes. She started getting requests by members of her class asking to have her lessons put down on paper, or in book form. That encouraged her to enter the world of publishing. She went on to pursue her dream and ran up against the same financial and publishing problems that Higham did.
White teaches an adult class on Wednesday and Sunday at The Upper Room Church, 4301 New Road, which is run by her parents Rev. Steve and Diane Zawilinsky.
White and Higham often spoke of the writing business and could share the experiences they had with the big publishing companies.
“Kathleen and I have been writing for several years and we love to share our work with others,” White said. “We have worked with other publishers and we decided to get into publishing ourselves because of the problems we encountered.”
It was at that point the two women decided to take matters in their own hands and form Heaven on Earth Publishing Company. While they were getting things up and running, Higham released her second book of spiritual poetry titled “The Window of God,” and White released her second inspirational book titled, “Faith is Worth Fighting For.”
With their new publishing company off the ground, both women went on to a third work. Higham wrote and published her first novel, “Two Faces.” The story involves young men going off to fight in Europe and having a relationship that involves the birth of a child. The soldier returns home and 40 years later, his American children find out they have a brother or sister in a foreign land.
“It is 90 percent a true story about my life,” Higham said. “I know I have a sister in France, and if we never meet on Earth, I’ll see her someday in heaven.”
For White, her third book, “The Two of Me,” is a life lesson in the good and evil side that everyone has.
“It’s those voices that one says go ahead and do it and the other says no, don’t,” White said. “Its the classic good versus evil in all of us.”
With the new projects completed, both women can now focus a little on helping other inspiring authors get their start in life without a lot of the hassle.
"Publishing can become very expensive and we want to offer other Christian authors an affordable way to publish their works,” White said.
For more information, visit www.heavenonearthforme.com. White and Higham’s books are also available at Family Christian Book Store, and JMJ Spiritual Connection.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Local authors Kathleen Higham and Stephanie White are authors, friends and now business partners who are helping other inspiring authors get their creations in print.