Four months of enforced inactivity after a motor cycle accident afforded Lesley the time to pursue her lifelong ambition of writing. That's how three books were born _ a trilogy of medieval adventure for young adults. Her motor cycling days may be over, but she continues to enjoy adventures via her computer keyboard. Currently she is engaged in the enthralling twists and turns of a thriller romance for adults.
A Peek into the Life of an Indie Author
"Who was on the phone?" my husband asks, popping his head around the office door.
Am I going to admit that I am conversing, out loud, with characters from my latest book? No, not likely, he might think I am losing my marbles. I cross my fingers behind my back and say, "Just a girlfriend, dear."
He gives me an old-fashioned look. "You sounded a bit het-up, is everything all right?"
I shrug and reassure him.
Upon retirement, I worried how I would fill the spare hours and days that lay ahead. Scribbling since the age of eight, I had accumulated quite a few stories, but never had the time or the wherewithal to do anything with them. Perhaps now was the time. The U3A (University of the third Age) beckoned, and I joined a creative writing group. After the first class I was hooked. That was almost twenty years ago. Since then I have worked longer hours each day than I ever did in my 'paid' occupation.
Underpaid, overworked? You bet - but I don't care. Never in my life have I had so much fun. Writing takes me anywhere I want to go. Characters are at my fingertips (on the keyboard) and I can nurture them or kill them off at will. Such heady power. Good or evil, they become so engaging no wonder I talk to them out loud. And all this happens in the comfort of my office overlooking the garden, which thanks to my wonderful obsession, is not nearly as tidy as it used to be. Added to all this joy, other indie authors are always available on social media to encourage and advise.
My current book, a medieval trilogy in the 'Oric' series, is almost ready to publish. I rather dread launching it as I will feel bereft for a while - a bit like watching one's child leave home. But that feeling soon passes, especially when the first delivery of books arrives on the doorstep with beautiful shiny covers, and smelling of paper and printers' ink. Who needs drugs to get high?
Happily, my next book is written but awaits editing. Bliss, oh joy, I can look forward to many happy hours adding more colour, more suspense, because it is a thriller romance set in the 1960s, and engage in more avid conversations with my characters. The power surge I experience when they escape my control and do just what they want to do is like an adrenalin rush.
My husband, the darling man, does the shopping, a good deal of the cooking and general household chores. I guess next time he asks who I am talking to, maybe I should 'fess up'.
As I suffer the starving artist in a garret syndrome, folk might say indie authors are crazy, but I wouldn't swap my current vocation for all the tea in China . . .Come to think of it, wouldn't that make a great title for a book? See I can't help myself!
At every turn, ideas are in abundance for the observant: overhead snatches of conversations on a bus, watching body language, unusual happenings. Outings are a hotbed of inspiration.
Being somewhat old-fashioned, I store ideas in shoe boxes, each with a title printed on the front. In my gloriously tactile cardboard containers are stored newspapers, nick-knacks and memorabilia, photographs, maps, and old letters. Each one contains a feast of memories and information. If I don't turn all that 'stuff' into books, there lies a wealth of entertainment to rifle through for years to come.
Am I ever bored? Not on your life.
On Sundays do I laze in bed with a newspaper and breakfast on a tray? Absolutely not. Some ungodly hour often sees me on the road to attend a market somewhere in the district. I set up my stall under a large umbrella, (lucky I live in North Queensland where the weather is beautiful one day, perfect the next) and engage with people. What a joy it is. Many shoppers buy my books, and I am honoured and thrilled when they ask me to sign a copy.
On a final note, I would like to relate one of my most heady moments. When I was standing in a supermarket queue, a lady dashed up to me. "You are the Oric author aren't you?"
Fame at last. It doesn't get much better than that.
Amazon webpage: www.amazon.com/author/lesleywilson
From 8th June until 15th June 2018
ORIC AND THE ALCHEMIST'S KEY (Book 1)