Today I’d like to welcome Lee Flewitt to the hot seat.
Lee lives in Alderney, which is situated around 20 miles to the north east of Guernsey and about 10 miles from Cap de la Hague (peninsula in northern France). As an island it is surprising just how many ‘Guerns’ have never visited this little gem of the English Channel. They all know about Herm and its delightful beaches and even more delightful Mermaid lunches, just as they know all about Sark, famous for its Dairy Maid ice-cream and the horse and cart rides – but Alderney for many is a foreign land.
I’ve visited many times and I always make sure I make time to walk up its high street (in the singular) just as I always make time for a stroll along one of its fantastic beaches.
Alderney seems to have a knack for producing popular writers. Who can forget Uncle Bulgaria and all the other Wombles penned by Elizabeth Beresford and now we have both Rachel Abbott and Lee Flewitt – Apologies if I’ve missed any other lurking scribblers from the list!
Over to you Lee….
Thank you very much for your kind invitation to contribute to your blog. I accept happily.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book, Lee?
“oDd” is available now from Amazon. It’s the tale of Oliver Dodd, a strangely gifted, autistic teenager who attends High School in California. Oliver – oDd – can halt the passage of time simply by holding his breath. For that duration of time he can manipulate his environment and the people in it, which brings him to the attention of The Facility, a secretive arm of the security services which looks for people with psychic abilities. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as hunters become hunted and Oliver starts to learn what it is like to be “normal”.
What an amazing premise for a book, and I love the cover – So how did you get into writing?
I have always loved words and the power they have to change minds and shape opinion. They are a kind of magic, in that they can transform the physical world simply by being uttered and heard. I started with poetry as a teenager, leaning on Keats and Donne and Dylan Thomas. Then I wrote a play called “Is There Anybody There”, which was almost immediately published by Samuel French with hardly any changes. I have written songs and pantomimes for my local theatre group and a couple of years ago decided it was time to take the plunge, and embark on a novel which had been prodding my subconscious for some time. oDd was born.
I’m quite fond of Donne and Keats myself, although I’m more of an Emily Dickenson sort of girl – all the doom and gloom is more up my street than Ode to a Grecian urn! What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer someone that says they want to write a book?
Set a part of every day aside for writing. The greatest impediment to writing is writing itself. It’s hard work inventing an entire world populated with believable characters with real sounding lives, loves and ambitions. Then you have to make your imaginings read well. Too many good books are left unwritten because there was something good on the telly. There are no excuses, only reasons.
Where do you write?
I have a spare bedroom in my house where I can sit and quietly tap away without being bothered by the telly, the dogs, or – bless her – the wife. When we go away I take a small laptop with me and save to Dropbox, so I can pick up where I left off without worrying about losing my work.
Are you writing your next book?
Absolutely. I have 40,000 words of an adult novel which has the working title of “Patchwork”. It will be a thriller, with elements of the supernatural. Much of it will be set on the haunted Channel Island of Alderney, my home, and one of the most historically fascinating places you could ever hope to visit.
What’s your favourite book of all time?
The dreaded question! My favourite writer is easy – John Le Carre – but if I had to choose my favourite book out of Harry Potter, One Hundred Years of Solitude or To Kill a Mockingbird, it would probably be….The Shining, by Stephen King.
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
I run a small building firm on Alderney with my business partner. We are called Tickled Pink. I do a lot of work in my office, but am most happy on the tools, painting or tiling or knocking things down. It’s great to be an improver.
Thanks Lee for taking the hot seat today and all the very best with your writing endeavours.
Dear reader you can find ODD here