One of the great joys of working as an editor is that I get to know writers well, especially if I have the honor of editing several of their books. I have that deep honor with Patty Lesser, and as I’ve said time and time again, Patty has one of the best storytelling minds I’ve ever seen. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview with her as much as I enjoy her.
A Discerning Heart is part romance, part fantasy, part cautionary tale. A rollicking story of an Old World fisherman who looked for love and acceptance but settled for power and wealth. Throw in a mysterious island and even more mysterious mermaid and an enchanting story emerges. Sex, lies and a long missing pirate’s identity are all major plot points in this fantastical adventure.
One day, I was chatting with a friend named Jim. He said I should marry a rich fisherman. I said only a poor one would be interested in me. Then Dim Jim was born.
I hope people want to escape and so enjoy reading a fantastical tale about human nature.
2. What stories, themes, motivations do you find yourself drawn to in your work and in the works you read?
I’m drawn to write about utopia or the perfect situation for the characters. I enjoy reading about people who change in their lives because of dramatic experiences. I like to show how life could be.
3. What made you believe you could write a book? How did you dispel doubt as you wrote?
I always knew I could write a book. For many years, I wasn’t ready for this experience. I had to mature and develop my creations. I never doubted that I could do this. What I doubt is becoming known and having my books read by others.
4. Describe the first 2-3 steps of your process in writing your book.
Suddenly an idea for a book will come to me. I’ll think about it and see if I could build a story around my idea. I will research the idea to see if it’s been done. When I’m sure its a unique idea, I try to develop it in my mind by considering who the characters would be and what they will do.
5. Which is more difficult – drafting or revising? Why?
I think they are both hard. You spend hours crafting your book. Sometimes you can write, and sometimes you can’t. So writing your first draft takes a while. You must edit your book a number of times, and no matter how much editing you do, another reader will find some problem.
6. What is your favorite part about being a writer?
I love that feeling when everything is flowing, when each word you write comes automatically out of my brain. It’s inspiring, and you feel wonderfully creative.
7. What is your least favorite part about being a writer?
I don’t like having to do the marketing but don’t have the money to hire anyone to do it for me.
8. What are a few of your favorite books of all time?
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, Alexander Dumas’ The Count of Monte Crisco.
9. How did you learn to write?
I took many creative writing courses in high school and I studied Englist literature in university.
10. What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Get as many editors as you can.
11. What’s your philosophy and practice about reading reviews of your work?
I love reviews. I love learning what people thought of my novel.
After Patty Lesser returned to Canada after traveling the world, she began writing novels. She has published six novels, thus far. Learn more about Patty and her work at www.pattylesser.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.