Today, I am happy to feature Lisa Gordon, author of A Sealed Fate, on my blog.
Lisa Gordon: Was my writing career part of fate or freewill?
When I left school I didn’t have my career all marked out in the route planner, I didn’t have a life compass – all I had was an abiding belief that things would work out as they were meant to. I studied law, then economics, then I took a serious left turn and became an astrologer, but nothing really clicked for me. I bumbled along with this belief as my comfort blanket until one day crisis hit – I turned 30! Suddenly I realized that I was nowhere, my belief that all would work out magically without any major planning on my behalf had lead me a merry dance; and while all my friends seemed to have it all sussed career wise and family wise, my life was a basket case. It really made me question my beliefs and wonder if there really IS a plan or a destiny for us all, or whether it’s all down to free choice and our own strategic planning.
This question about whether fate or freewill govern our life became the guiding theme of my novel, A Sealed Fate.
At school writing was actually my weakest subject and it was not until I was seventeen that my English teacher, Mrs Worth, noticed that I had talent and gave me some really good advice; advice I still follow today. A great teacher really can make a difference and Mrs Worth was one of those gifted teachers who made a difference to so many of our lives. However, I never considered writing as a career choice until at 30, during my little crisis, I had a psychic reading where the psychic told me that I must write as it was what she saw for me. I have always been an avid emailer and pen-friend – as we used to call it in the 80’s, you never hear that word anymore do you – so I certainly fancied giving it a go. As an only child I spent most of my time by myself and so developing characters in my imagination and creating a fantasy world was second nature.
Growing up in Johannesburg was truly an amazing experience which I will always treasure. It is a city of bright colors, vibrant people, stark contrasts and extremes: extreme wealth, extreme poverty, extreme emotions, extreme thunderstorms, often extreme violence and yet every minute I lived there I felt alive. As I sit here in safe and picturesque England I long to leave this sterility and head for the chaos of Africa where somehow every minute means so much more. Perhaps my image of my homeland is very much my metaphor for life: that at the extremes of existence one is truly living and experiencing this thing we call life to the full. I have tried in my novel to capture the vibrancy of life in all it’s colour, the thrill of living, and the peak experience we have at life’s extremes.
I am incurably inquisitive and very observant and I use my attention to detail to create vivid images which will transport the reader to the very heart of my story – making the reader put down the book thinking, “I’ve been there! I know those people!”
The strange twists and turns of my own life and my own constant querying over whether I had a destiny or a fate inspired the theme of my novel. It’s important to realize that life is a great mystery and that is part of the fun; you never know when things are going to change and when the best part of your life is going to begin. Writing a book was something I never expected to try and yet it is now my greatest love and my greatest achievement. I have written two more books which I hope to publish in the near future and as all authors know writing is a huge adventure which never ends.
Excerpt from A Sealed Fate
There it was, exactly where she had found it three days ago, shining magnificently. For days now it had beckoned her, as if it was as eager as she was to go for a drive. In Valda’s mind, cars assumed personalities and emotions and this particular one appeared to be her perfect match. Wasting no time, she opened the door carefully and eased herself into the low, sleek, lightweight roadster. She sensually ran her hands over the steering wheel, gently toyed with the gear lever, savouring every moment of foreplay with her 605-horsepower friend.
After a few more indulgent minutes, she eased the keys into the ignition, turned it over and – wow – the insanely powerful engine sprang to life. Still not sure what to do next, she sat quietly while the monocoque chassis gently vibrated.
Racing clutches can be testy and this particular one was one of the testiest – Valda stalled three times before successfully pulling off. Her new car was akin to an Olympic sprinter itching to get out of the blocks. With so much grit coming out of the engine, the residential streets of Jumeirah were hardly the right arena for this calibre of vehicle’s virgin journey, but Valda was undeterred. Even on the main roads, her GT stayed well within itself, with only the rare opportunity of reaching 30 per cent of its top speed. No matter what, it was an orgasmic experience and she relished each moment.
Tuesday night and the keys and envelope were once again in her jacket pocket. She was certain the Sheikh would be there, although it had dawned on her that he may avoid her, just in case she did return the car keys and refuse his new offer. The date on the plane tickets was fast approaching.
“One often meets his destiny in the path he takes to avoid it.”
To escape the pain of failed relationships and careers, both Valda and Larissa take themselves to Dubai seeking not only success, but a reason and purpose in life. Valda does indeed find success and to her astonishment love, but all is threatened when she is introduced to a billionaire Sheikh. Her clandestine relationship with the Sheikh, propels her into a murky web of deceit, and she turns to Larissa for help. As an astrologer, Larissa predicts that Valda and the Sheikh s destinies were sealed from the moment of their first meeting; however, she keeps the dire fate that she reads in the charts a secret. Valda knows she is in deep, the Sheikh is an omniscient character and not an inch of Dubai seems shielded from his glare. Someone has her back however as she receives cryptic warning messages posted to her. Life as the Sheikh’s personal courier is filled with perils – will it be he or the law who end this relationship. Together, Valda and Larissa take a gamble in a game of cosmic Russian Roulette where the stakes are their lives and their adversary, Fate itself.
This pacey, thriller has a spiritual theme which bravely merges genres and embraces with sensitivity personal relationships underlying the theme of choice versus chance. Upbeat and contemporary in style, A Sealed Fate features an eclectic mix of characters awash with local colour.
An only child to a single Mum, Lisa was born and brought up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Despite a lifelong ambition to act, she enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand to do a BCom Law. She later moved to UK, where she achieved a BSc Industrial Economics Hons Degree from Warwick. Still wanting to be a star – her Mum encouraged her to study ‘The Stars’ and Lisa became an Astrologer. Lisa worked on hospital radio for many year, before becomming a regular Astrology guest on BBC local radio. As an Astrologer Lisa was always asked by her clients to make black and white definitive predictions about their futures: this made Lisa ponder the role of fate in our lives and how much freewill we really had. Hence the plot for her philosophical thriller, ‘A Sealed Fate’ was born. Choice versus chance – which prevails?
Lisa wrote her book while also writing the ACA Chartered Accountants exams. She hopes to become a successful writer, not an accountant! Lisa is grateful to the wonderful support of both strangers and friends and their inspiration. Lisa is also grateful for having a ‘power-house’ Mum; who is her biggest supporter and best buddie.
You can purchase A Sealed Fate on Amazon US and Amazon UK.