© 2013 Clive Eaton
Author Bio: Lesley Fletcher is a Montreal artist and a writer, dividing her time between the two crafts while juggling the complexities involved with marketing and promotion for both her books and multiple art pieces.
As the owner of her own independent publishing company, Inspiration Import, she is working to develop a strategy to embrace outside titles in the future. Lesley currently has four books published under Inspiration Import. Her latest release, 5 Pillars of the Gypsy, has been very well received and continues to be a source of inspiration to both herself and her audience.
Lesley welcomes meeting new people and exchanges of ideas and passions. She encourages everyone to join and take delight in the dance of life.
5 Pillars of the Gypsy
The book follows a Gypsy as she struggles to find her place in the Universe. The path to the journey is provided by ‘pillars’ of accessible poetry and quotations. Dramatic abstract art accompanies thought provoking text, stirring strong emotions designed to awaken one’s own spirituality and heighten the senses.
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
I am a visual artist and so when I am finished with the computer I simply turn my chair and reach for my other hat. Other than that I benefit greatly from meditation and nature walks and sitting by the lake.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
My first book (Prom Girls a North American Rite of Passage) sprung from a series of water colours. In all I had completed about 60+ when suddenly they started to tell me the stories. The result ended up being an interwoven narrative of the tradition of prom night (high school graduation) from September until the big night in June. I recently came across correspondence of my own from when I was very young to discover I spoke about being an author one day. It was quite a pleasant surprise that I had followed through on a dream or ambition that I had been unaware of for many years!
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
I have yet to write a novel, although I do have a few ideas in mind. Currently I am working on a stage play that ties in with ‘5 Pillars …’ as there are many themes and aspects to draw and expand on.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) Much of it is based on my own discoveries/experiences/hopes in life.
2) Readers connect and relate very strongly to the spirituality and philosophy. I cite Angels, Fairies, Unicorns, God, and the Universe giving a feeling of life’s magical powers.
3) The pillars themselves are Beginnings, Discoveries, Realities, Imagination and finally the Gypsy’s Musings leading to her final destination.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I had to research a few points but overall the book is based very much on first-hand knowledge with much of it written by the influence of travelling to Tajikistan, Turkey and Jordan.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known? Absolutely.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
Turning the gypsy into a speaking, living being rather than a hypothetical voice for many who feel unsettled or confused with their existence is turning out to be a bigger challenge than what I had anticipated. As a character in a stage play she has to have many levels of depth, drama and interest. I am working now on her external conflicts with other she encounters whereas in the book most conflicts are internal feelings.
I do have another book on the go but it is very premature as I have only the outline and a bit of writing in place without a satisfying ending as yet. It is about eternal love.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
I still do much of my writing on paper so need a proper amount of quiet time and peaceful surroundings (or white noise) to produce. Rather than waiting for the mood to hit, I create a mode to write.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
My art work and huge chunks of time along with coffee, fresh air and a few car rides in the country. Great paper, preferably acid-free and a pencil that won’t dull. I also need to keep in touch with humanity even if from a distance.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
Having started quite late in life and made some amazing self-discoveries I quite honestly would not have had the patience to search for an up-standing publisher. There were many vanity publishers knocking but I felt that when it came to the final analysis it didn’t make sense to go that route. I set up my own publishing company (not really knowing what it entailed) and dove right in. It is, as many writers know a very tough road to travel but I have found it very exhilarating at the same time.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) I knew my audience would be limited, due to genre, so the extremely gruelling process of completion to publish for a relatively small audience required much discipline and self-talk.
2) I formatted my art pieces 4 times and had to learn how to use a new software only to decide later to scrape the pieces.
3) The allocation of the poems/artwork so that the book would flow if read cover to cover in order (which is often not the case with this sort of book but I still wanted it to have the story type of effect).
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
Writer’s block is only a result of laziness or lack of time on my part. Once I discovered what my secret out of the block was there is no reason for it. Again it goes to mode rather than mood.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Above all be true to yourself and write in the voice you feel most comfortable with.
I was given advice recently that had I taken it would have gone against the grain of my own beliefs. Although the advice came from experience and great intention, and I won’t forget it, I likely won’t use it because it would cause me to appear to be someone I am not.
What genre does your book fall into?
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
It was an unexpected gift from life.
You as a reader
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
Honestly? It was 5 Pillars of the Gypsy. J
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
I don’t own a kindle and until I do I prefer paperbacks as opposed to reading from a computer screen. I do love the feel of paper but will likely give it up one day.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
I see the book in a stage production rather than a movie but would love Pink to play the gypsy even if she is not an actor as she is naturally gritty, beautiful and edgy and brave.
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Pink, Hedley, Eric Clapton, Tarkan, Gypsy Kings, Eddie Veddor, Tracey Chapman and me writing the songs with them!
Drink – Wine
Meal – Pasta, salad, garlic bread
Holiday destination – Turkey
TV programme – The Big Bang Theory
Film – Midnight Express
Method of travel – Boat
Sport – Soccer
How can people connect with you?
Where else can readers find your book?
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