The Quiet Writer by Patricia Leslie – guest post

Patricia Leslie is the author of The Ouroboros Key and A Single Light. Her latest novel, Keeper of the Way, was published by Odyssey Books on 12 March 2018.

Trish has written about being the quiet writer.

The stereotype of the writer is someone who prefers solitude to write and sometimes has better relationships with their characters than with people living in the real world.

I can see how this stereotype comes about, being a writer who craves quiet time to write (any time to write). But its not just quiet or sound that can be the issue. Distractions like housework, earning money, family that require and deserve interaction – all the things that interrupt any creative’s flow. I find though, the biggest interruption to story-writing is the need to also build brands, find an audience, be my own publicity agent. It’s not even the doing that’s the problem. I enjoy using social media and sharingphotos and news. I enjoy writing guest posts, like this one, for bloggers. It is after all, writing and telling stories. The issue for me is the pressure of converting sharing and likes to sales, and the time it takes to do this. I don’t have a publicity team working on strategies and plans, producing content. The number of other authors, just like me, trying to be heard is phenomenal. All any of us can do is plod along and put faith in the long tail strategy of taking it one post at a time, building up a portfolio of published books, and gradually burying the insecurities that make selling oneself so difficult. I keep in front of me the surety that the characters I create deserve to be shared with the world; their adventures and struggles and the voices they represent.

In Crossing the Line, I have taken some of my own, very real ancestors and given them renewed life. The young mother, living in the goldfields with her Irish husband and daughter in the 1870s birthed her second child and died not long after. The woman who emigrated with her husband and son to Port Jackson, moved to an isolated property and was widowed within two years. Then there are the people from history that we so rarely hear from: in the 1800s Irish orphan girls were shipped from orphanages to Australia to be domestic servants, women caring for families after husbands left to find work or their fortune on the goldfields, or simply deserted or passed away, people from all walks of life looking to better themselves through education, people who dreamed of easier lives, people who lived with what they were dealt. Lastly, people made invisible through indifference, through lack of storytelling and vision, through the belief that their presence was a faded and dying reminder of communities that no longer existed on these shores. All of this is inside me, waiting patiently to come alive in a story. Crossing the Line is that story. From the Isle of Skye, where my ancestors hail to Sydney where my family thrive, with the thread of magic and mystery I will pull disparate voices together, and with stubborn determination plod through the distractions and interruptions, ride the wave of the short and long tail of marketing, and the frustrations of trying to be heard in the cacophony of voices all vying for the same.

I am a quiet writer with stories to share and its not in me to give up without a fight.

About the book

After news of grave robbing and murder in Dun Ringall, the ancient
stronghold of Clan MacKinnon on the Isle of Skye, Rosalie realises it is time to
share her family’s secrets. Descendants of the mystical Ethne M’Kynnon,
Rosalie tells of a violent rift that occurred centuries earlier, splitting Ethne from
her sisters forever and causing relentless anguish and enmity between ancient
families.

Meanwhile, Algernon and Clement Benedict have arrived in Sydney searching
for the lost relics of their family. They are driven by revenge and a thirst for
power, and will take what they can to reinstate their family heritage. Their
meddling with ancient magic will have far-reaching effects, as they fail to
realise their role in a far greater quest.

In the grounds of Sydney’s magnificent Garden Palace, danger grows as an
ages-old feud of queens and goddesses heats up. The discovery of arcane
symbols bring the distant past in a foreign land to Australia and will cause a
profound struggle with tragic results, a surprising new recruit from an
unknown world, and the complete destruction of the palace.

Set around stories and characters in 1882 Sydney, Keeper of the Way includes
current affairs, people and buildings long gone, and gives a voice to people
history doesn’t always listen to.

About the author

For reviews, interviews, articles and updates on her novels and adventures, visit her website: patricialeslie.net and facebook page: Patricia Leslie – author

For photos of her adventures, books, and chickens, follow her on insta:@patricialeslee (if you don’t have an Instagram account just drop in to my website)

Patricia Leslie is a Sydney author with a passion for combining history, fantasy,and action into stories that nudge at the boundaries of reality.

Urban fantasy is the ideal genre for exploring alternative history and Patricia does just this in her debut novel, The Ouroboros Key; a contemporary quest story set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Her second novel, A Single Light, leaves known history behind, and joins fantasy with beach and bush south of Sydney where the mild seeming landscape becomes the setting for a potential world-altering event. Walks through the bush will never be the same again!

Patricia’s new release, Keeper of the Way, Crossing the Line book 1 delves into the history of the city of Sydney and “solves” a mystery over 100 years old: the destruction of the magnificent Garden Palace. “Magic is good like that,” Patricia says, “and an ages old fall back when dealing with the unexplainable.”

Crossing the Line explores the past and the people who lived it. Many  of the characters are based on Patricia’s own family history and one women inparticular who emigrated from the Isle of Skye bringing her traditions, magic, and supernatural links on the long journey from England to the New World. Crossing the Line is a closely interwoven tapestry of history and myth set in the wood-blocked streets and Botanical Gardens of colonial Sydney.

Patricia dedicates time to exploring as many of her locations as possible with acamera in hand and a notebook in her backpack. Getting out in the landscape allows her time to work out geographical points as well as imagining her characters in-situ. She is also a dedicated, some say compulsive, reader and collector of books. “Being an author gives me the excuse I need to spend my spare time exploring, daydreaming, and reading!”

Patricia manages writing, family and full time work with aplomb as long as there is a cup of tea or a nicely chilled glass of white wine somewhere close by.

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