Monday, 22 August 2011


Please welcome a very close friend of mine, and a wonderful writer - YA fantasy author JA Lesley.  Thanks for joining us here today JA!


I’m a history nut. I’m also a mythology nut. The wonderful thing about being a writer is to be able to reconfigure past reality however you like. Or take a past event and bring it into our own time.

What reality would you bring forward? What era calls to that romantic ‘inner you’?

My favorite time is ancient Egypt. Why Egypt? I guess the romantic concept of a man who is also a god, is hard to go past – especially if that god can succumb to love.

In their art, the Egyptians embodied the alpha hero. Almost every depiction of Pharaoh is one of the physically perfect, potent male, valiantly striding forward to take command. And pharaohs did command. Like most alphas, the world was theirs to control. Wholly and completely. It is difficult to imagine such power.

Yet from our modern perspective, the idea delights our imaginations.

And the women were also portrayed as ideal. So we can’t really berate our obsession with perfect magazine images. Airbrushed and idealistic depictions have been around since the dawn of time. Which says a lot about our ‘human’ psyche, I think.

Perhaps this is why fiction, and especially romance, holds such appeal for us as both writers and readers. We can indulge our imagination and be whatever we want to be; love whoever we want to love; be desired by the most dangerous of men or step across those invisible barriers into places of taboo. And enjoy them all without guilt or consequences.

Egypt, like most times of the distant past is a time fertile with promise for a writer. Because we know relatively little about the world in which the everyday person lived, we can overlay it with all our desires, all our fears, fill it with our demands and prejudices. And all with a happy ending!

Next time you read a book set in a different era, ask yourself what attracts you about this time. What magic draws you?

J A Lesley


Paige loves stories about myths and monsters but she never thought she’d become part of one. When Paige’s crazy Welsh aunt sends her the last in a series of ancient talismans for her fifteenth birthday gift, her whole world turns upside-down. Cam, the new boy in school has mystical secrets too and when he sees Paige’s birthday gifts he realizes his grandfather’s warnings weren’t nonsense, after all. Danger looms in the form of Balor and his band of sea monsters. Along with friends Tegan and Jacko, Paige and Cam must learn how to wield their mysterious powers if they are to protect their treasures, their families and maybe even the world

CLICK on the COVER to buy the book!

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Parker Publishing (March 25, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1460995988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460995983


Anonymous said...

How do you come up with a plot around history? There are already hard facts, so how do you create compelling fiction around hard facts? Is it very difficult to create a story around those restraints?

J A Lesley said...

That's an easy one! History books might be full of known facts, but they are very sketchy and leave a lot of room for the weaving of tales.

I find it is easier to write with a framework of reality. It gives readers a road map that I can use to paint my mental pictures into.

It also allows me the luxury of passing on some of the ideas and stories I so loved.

chirth7 said...

Hi, I wanted to stop by and say Hi and welcome too. :)

I'm thinking of ordering your book for my nieces. I think they'll love it!

Norma said...

This sounds like something our YA patrons would like i'm going to suggest it to our collection development department. I'd read it.

Any chance that you'll do a sequel in this world?

Jacki C. said...

I LOVE history - esp. ancient history (Egypt). i am going to have to order your book for ME - maybe when I finish it I'll pass it on to nieces.

J A Lesley said...

Thanks for dropping in!

Am halfway through a sequel Norma, again based on a mythological creature and Aboriginal stories.

I split my time between Egyptian historicals and the YA book, so it isn't moving quite as fast as I'd like. But I'm getting there!