Please welcome author Patricia Leslie to Into Another World. Her book, The Ouroboros Key, came out earlier this year.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
This is where I stand up straight and tall, and declare that “I am and always will be a book-aholic!” I do not go anywhere without a book. I usually have a notebook and pen stashed away somewhere as well. I have managed to raise three intelligent children who also carry books around with them (and quite often have notebooks and pens too). I am very proud.
My background is purely non-academic though always creative – from writing, drawing, and photography to desktop publishing and graphic design. And (in the privacy of my living room with the blinds drawn sharply closed and all doors locked) I love to dance! I also love art galleries, exploring old buildings, listening to music that makes me feel, and walking on thick grass with no shoes on.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was quite young, I filled a page with squirly scribbles and believed that I had written a story. And then I started school, which helped people understand the stories I was writing. In all seriousness, I knew I was a writer when (many years after I started school) I started writing fiction. Lots of it. I entered a few short story competitions, did okay, and realized that years of jotting down notes, writing articles and book reviews, overwhelming distant friends with long letters, and penning bad poetry had a purpose after all.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
Like my reading list, my project list is juggled with daily living. I am reading two books at the moment (having just finished the third one) and working on two research projects that are slowly turning into novels. One is set in Ancient Gaul and the other (and newest project) is set in Sydney, Australia. I’m a history buff at heart and these two are more historical fiction than fantasy. The Ouroborous Key also has a lot of history in it, but much more magic (so far) than my new works. I do have a hidden desire to create magic though so I’m sure the supernatural arts will creep in to anything I write eventually.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No I don’t. By day I am an event coordinator. This is my busiest time of year as we have big celebrations (which means a lot of events) on 26 January for Australia Day. My average work day includes spending time monitoring and uploading content for social media for our events as well as local community events, collecting images to use for general event marketing, planning/organizing/implementing a variety of events (this year, I’ve worked on a debutante ball, several Openings and a number of receptions – plus one Coffee Festival).
I write at night, in the morning or on the weekends. More often lately on the weekends as writing at night keeps me awake and I’m far too lazy now-a-days to get out of bed any earlier than I have to.
What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
The best thing is that I see scenes for stories everywhere and describe things (in my head, not out loud) to test out the best words to use. The sunlight catches the glittering of the bitumen as if stars have been captured and laid on the road for me to walk on…. Okay, so it sounds much better in my head…
The worst thing is that I see scenes for stories everywhere and watch/experience things and people with a view to fitting them into a story. I have a very active imagination sometimes and it can be hard to turn off.
Please tell us about your current release.
The Ouroboros Key touches on alternative history especially in regard to Christianity and the varying stories dealing with Adam and Eve, and early humanity. Where did we come from? The Christian version of life or the version where humans were created by other Gods? Rather than discuss or argue between the two, this novel melds them together, and has life as we know, well, not quite as we know, it.
The story also deals heavily with the theme of friendship and commitment, one to one and as a group with the main characters supporting each other throughout the adventure. And adventure it is, there are bad guys, bullets, magical creatures, weird happenings, treks into the Rocky Mountains, a spot of caving and, finally, a discovery that has the potential to change everything.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had been doing lots of reading on Celtic and Native American culture, and moved into Women’s History and Christianity (they are so intertwined after all). I wanted to write a story that combined as many of interests as I could. Then one day I was reading this article on the hidden tunnels under many of our cities and, at the same time, was reading Sir Laurence Gardeners book, Realm of the Ring Lords, and thought, “What if…”
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I read copious numbers of books on early Christian history including the Cathars and their beliefs, Laurence Gardeners books on the Ring Lords, and some books on the Annunaki and Ancient Sumer. For the characters, I did some “family history” research to build a life and, therefore, a personality that could react realistically to the situations I was putting them through. I had originally wanted to set the story in Australia but I needed bigger mountains and wanted a link to a real geographic feature – Snake River. I discovered there was a Little Snake River in the Rockies and went from there.
Before I finished the next to next to last draft of the manuscript I decided I needed to experience some of the locations first hand and went on a road trip through New Mexico, Utah, the edge of Wyoming following Little Snake River, and Colorado. There was also a side-trip to Florida to visit friends (it’s a long flight from Australia to the USA, I wanted to squeeze as much in as possible).
Do you have an all time favorite book?
Several actually… John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and the Crystal Cave series by Mary Stewart. (I’m also mad keen on King Arthur stories.)
What book are you reading right now?
Almost Invincible: a biographic novel of Mary Shelley by Suzanne Burdon and Van Gogh The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. The one I’ve just finished is The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesley Walton, and next on my list is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
Now imagine a world that we all know about, one we read about in books, see on film, hear about on dark nights around campfires. A world where magic is commonplace and the gods involve themselves in mortal lives. Our world, in fact. Out in the open yet disguised as myths, legends and fairytales.
Daniel is a budding photographer about to launch his art to the world when he mysteriously disappears.
His friend, Nick, is investigating another missing person. A professor specialising in myths and legends has vanished from her Denver home.
Sisters, Eliana and Serena, understand the meaning of service and sacrifice better than most. They live between two worlds, the known and hidden, and await only the arrival of The Ouroborus Key to unlock their shared destiny.
Deep in the Rocky Mountains, destiny is about to hit everybody ready or not.
About the Author
A Sydney writer who grew up by the beach, Patricia Leslie spent six months as an exchange student in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and has been fascinated by mountains, and what they might be hiding, ever since. The idea for The Ouroboros Key came from her interest in myths and the connections they have with history and religion as we know it. Every country has their own worldview; every culture their own truths. If you go back far enough, you just might find that many of these views and truths are the same.
Patricia also writes short stories with an historical edge and usually with a dash of the supernatural. She lives with her family south of Sydney where she plots and plans her next novel and the inevitable research trip that will be required. Coincidentally, it will be set in France, a country she’s always wanted to wander through.