BookView Interview with Author George C. Lesley

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.

Recently, we interviewed George C. Lesley, about his writing and his debut novel, Asia, a supernatural fantasy featuring nuanced characters in a unique setting. (Read the review here.)

I’m George, I’m 55years old and I live in Warrington with my fiancee. Asia is my debut novel but I had some short stories published several years ago in magazines both here and in the USA. Asia was inspired by the idea of having a supernatural lead character who is fatally flawed, rather than being a superhero. The general theme of the book is about having faults and making mistakes, no matter how powerful you are. I hope you enjoy reading it! If you’ve already read it, then thanks; I’m currently working on the sequel. My early writing influences were Clive Barker and Stephen King, but I’ve also enjoyed studying Amazon for new authors who’s books I’ve never tried before.

Away from writing, I support Sale Sharks rugby union team and Liverpool FC.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I did quite a lot of research for Asia because of the historical theme around the story that I wanted; anything historical needs to be accurate to create that realism that I think you need when writing a story like this. There’s no point just making up facts about the past; for me, reality creates a big impact, especially in fantasy fiction and when fantasy and reality overlap, the result can be really effective. I hope that this comes out in Asia    

Do you find writing therapeutic?

Definitely. It’s escapism for me and only reading another book comes close. Nothing beats the feeling of creating your own story.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing a novel?

For me, it’s making sure that your story is consistent right the way through. Asia, for example, focuses on the lives of the three main human characters as well as Asia herself and for most of the time, I had to keep checking back to make sure that their individual experiences were continuing to connect so it all made sense at the end.

How often you read?

I read as often has I can. I think it helps with your writing as your mind gets in a similar rhythm. I will finish one book and then, more often than not, I’ll order another straight away. I used to love reading novels by Stephen King and Clive Barker – and still do – but nowadays, I try to order a book by someone I’ve never read before, just to broaden my experiences.

Tell us some more about your book.

Thousands of years ago, something strange happens to a man and his son on the shores of the South China Sea. Years later, a beautiful child is born. She is a special child with special powers. Now, in the present day, she is nearly two thousand years old and though her beauty remains, those powers are failing. And now something is stalking her, something that knows her all too well. She must stay on the move or she will be captured.  She tries to blend in with humans and befriends three in particular. Their lives will never be the same again.

What inspired the premise of your book?

Back in the late 90’s, I was in a trendy wine bar and began to wonder how cool it would be if one of these glamorous, well dressed women was nearly two thousand years old and not human, but was mixing with humans, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. I thought back then that one day I could write a story about such a character and so, from there, I created Asia. I also loved the way Mary Poppins appeared out of nowhere and went back to nowhere, and how nobody knew what she was or where she came from. The reader just had to use their own imagination.

What’s next for you?

Well at the moment I’m channelling all my efforts into promoting Asia; but I am currently working on ideas for the sequel, which, even though it will involve the same characters, will be a completely different story.

Are you a feeler or a thinker?

A great question! I think with myself it depends on whether I’m reading or writing. With my writing, I always try to show rather then tell, which is not always that simple to do. Early feedback on Asia, suggests that the reader has really felt as if they were there, in the scene, as they have read it. This is great because that’s what I’m always trying to achieve. Likewise, when I’m reading, I want the author to make me experience the scenes as I’m reading.

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