LeAnn Weiss is a gifted encourager. She has employed this natural gift for lifting up and promoting others in a variety of settings --- as a bestselling inspirational author, inspirational speaker, and political consultant. Weiss’s path to literary success was a circuitous one. Though her passion for writing surfaced early in life --- she was the editor of her elementary, middle, and high school papers --- she felt God calling her in a different direction as a college student, double-majoring in political science and economics at Stetson University.
After graduation, she embarked on a remarkably successful career in campaign management, but all the while the embers of a writing ministry were beginning to glow. While maintaining her political career, she founded the Encouragement Company™ in 1994, a means through which she could create and distribute products with the personalized paraphrases of scripture that she had been writing in her own journal since her youth. These personalized scripture books found their way into the hands of many grateful recipients from all walks of life --- most notably Women of Faith speaker Barbara Johnson, who became a close friend, mentor, and client of Weiss’s ministry. Weiss continues to serve as the president of the Encouragement Company™. Her other clients have included popular Women of Faith speaker Marilyn Meberg, Orlando’s WTLN Christian radio station, and churches and ministries around the country.
In August 1996, Weiss was surprised to receive a call from John Howard, president of a small outfit called Howard Publishing (now a highly successful division of Simon & Schuster), requesting that she write personalized scriptures for the Hugs series, a collection of books that would sell over seven million copies and become the recipient of the 2002 Retailers’ Choice Award for Best Series. Inclusion in this notable series served as the springboard for her prolific writing career. Since she began writing in 1996, Weiss has authored or coauthored over 54 books.
Her first major gift book, HUGS FOR FRIENDS, hit #1 on the CBA gift book bestseller list and was listed among the top ten overall gift books in the Christian market from 1999 to 2002. Weiss also authored the popular Heartlifters™ series with coauthor Susan Duke. Teaming up with best friends Susan Duke, Judy Carden, and Caron Loveless, she coauthored the God Things Come in Small Packages series. Embraced by readers in both the Christian and secular markets, her books have been translated into Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Indonesian, Chinese, and Norwegian. Weiss has also been published in Charisma magazine and writes book reviews for Christian Retailing.
Weiss is the daughter of a preacher, and she has continued the family tradition of devotion to daily ministry. Characterized by her humor, story-telling, and sense of adventure, she enjoys traveling around the country interviewing people, discovering new stories, and thinking of great new ways to encourage and inspire. “To effectively encourage individual people, you really have to get to know them,” Weiss reflects. “I have always been fascinated by people and their stories. Much of my writing career has been fueled by the idea that so many of those encouraging stories have yet to be told.” Not surprisingly, Weiss’s inclination towards the personal touch has won her many friends; even after several years of success on the speakers’ circuit, she still prefers the companionship of a family home to the privacy of a hotel room when she’s on the road.
Weiss finds great pleasure in discovering and encouraging new authors. “John Howard saw the potential in me and encouraged me to write for him even though I really lacked experience,” Weiss recalls. “I will always be thankful for the chance he took on me. I meet a lot of talented potential authors, and it is my joy to offer them advice and support.”
In her latest book, CHRISTMAS PROMISES: Heavenly Gifts for the Holiday Seasonn, Weiss shares the encouragement story that is closest to her heart --- the story of how she met her husband, Rick Rupard, on e-Harmony as she was researching for a story on internet dating. They were married in her hometown of Orlando, Florida, on July 4, 2008. Weiss now resides in Aztec, New Mexico, with her husband and stepsons, Travis, Austin, and Logan. For fun, she enjoys politics, reading, photography, traveling, riding roller coasters, and playing with her eight young nieces and nephews.
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