Friday, May 3, 2013

A Sealed Fate by Lisa Gordon: Interview and Excerpt


How did you start your writing career?

Actually my best friend at school wanted to be an author and at that point I had no idea I could write and no intention of becoming an author.

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.. 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. 

At the age of thirty and with the advent of email; I became a prolific email writer to my friends all over the world. Many of them said that they enjoyed my emails so much; that I should consider writing professionally. I didn't take them seriously. I happened to go for a psychic reading at that time and the psychic said, "You are going to be a writer!" - I was amazed that she had picked up on my ability and I took it as a sign that writing was indeed for me. I started my novel A Sealed Fate the next week.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I really enjoy travel and it's a vital part of inspiring my writing.  However like most people I have to do most of my travelling in my head as it's cheaper and as an obsessive packer; it's also a lot easier.  As a child I quickly learned every country and capital and my favourite toy was a globe - so the travel bug was within me from the get go.  If I could do any trip, I would love to go on the Trans Siberian Railway.  Russia has always fascinated me; being a Cold War kid, I suppose I was initially mystified by the James Bond-esque image of Russia and the KGB.  Russia is such a vast country with an incredibly rich and often tragic history; I would love to visit it's famous and more obscure cities and towns and get to know what always seemed to me a mysterious and dark country much better.

Tell us about your current release.

A Sealed Fate was inspired by my first career as an Astrologer. My clients wanted definitive answers most of the time; I think they thought I was an emotional and spiritual satnav - "To meet Mr. Right take the next left; straight up this street for the perfect job" etc. But should fate be taking all the credit, or blame for everything in people's lives or is it free will, our own choice, however influenced by our surroundings, which govern our actions? My clients and their questions about their lives really got me thinking – astrology is all about freewill, encouraging clients to use the impetus the planets are giving them at any one time to make positive changes in their lives. However it seemed that most people almost wanted to believe that they had NO choice and that it was all written out for them and what they wanted me to do was just tell them how it would all work out, rather than what they needed to do to get the result they wanted. Astrology gives you the ingredients; you still have to ‘make the cake yourself’. 

I hope that the storyline in A Sealed Fate will get people debating in their heads whether Lara’s prediction became a self-fulfilling prophesy, whether Valda’s choices alone determined her fate or if it all would have happened regardless of ‘the reading.’ A Sealed Fate will make readers think about how much we all put down to fate and how much we could change our lives by taking more control.

Who is your favorite author?

Sidney Sheldon, Robery Ludlum, David Icke, Paul H Landes and Michael Crichton.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

My Mom has always been extremely supportive and encouraging.  I started writing just before my grandfather died and he was really thrilled that I had decided to follow the path of being an author.  My family have always believed in me and I think this is vital for any child.  When you pursue a career in the arts, you get so many knock backs and so much rejection, you need a strong family support base to keep you going. 

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

My one rule is NO formulas, no gimmicks and no recipes.  I get a basic plan in my head, develop the characters (my books are always very character rich) and start writing.  I am always amazed at how the actual writing process releases creativity and the ideas begin to flow.  I look for inspiration in the news, in nature and often in songs on the radio.

How do you describe your writing style?

Contemporary, tongue in cheek at times, witty and quirky.  I have a vibrant, perky voice and a easy flowing style which makes reading my books plain sailing.




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. 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.

Can they beat Fate? Can freewill triumph?

This pacey, gritty 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.


Everyone has their price! A cliché is a cliché for a reason and Valda was not sure what her “price” was, but 200,000 dirhams pretty much topped it. She did not even have the money yet and it was already burning a hole in her pocket – another apt cliché!

Valda did, for one moment, attempt to convince herself that the parcel may well be innocent: why bother with a courier, when someone you know would be visiting Cape Town anyway and could bring it back for you. It happens all the time. The level of naivety required to maintain that line of thought was monumental though. Valda knew that the parcel was dodgy – the 200,000 dirham reward” the Sheikh had offered was a measure of just how dodgy.

She spent the whole night agonising over the decision. Valda knew there really was nothing to agonise over, any sensible person would just walk right away. Every line of thought reached the same logical conclusion: no way! It was not even a case of weighing up the pros and cons; the cons were so enormous, they practically knocked the proverbial scale over. Just when she was enjoying an uncomplicated life, things had to get messy again. Her mind had already formulated a clever excuse for the Sheikh and a way of discouraging him in future; however, her heart knew that no excuses would be needed! Valda had always loved risk and a challenge both motivated and excited her. She was a smooth customer and she always backed herself – she was 99 per cent confident that she could pull this off. It was like betting on a certainty and the reward was 200,000 dirhams; the equivalent of £40,000.

Valda woke as she had gone to sleep, with the Sheikh and his mysterious parcel on her mind. She had a shrewd idea of what it was and she had a day and a bit to make up her mind. The question was whether in that time her sensible head would win over her impulsive, daring heart. The Chinese have a saying that a decision made in haste is always a bad one – yet a hasty decision was exactly what was required.  The money was only one aspect of the decision matrix; Valda had a strange need to impress the Sheikh – her ego had been boosted by his apparent trust and confidence in her ability to bring his parcel back safely. In a strange and twisted sense she would feel like a bit of a drip to walk away from his proposal. And although the emotional momentum towards a “Yes” was building, she was tormented by the fears, the morality and the potential consequences of failure. What was she letting herself in for? Was the money worth the risk? One thing which haunted her was what would her dad, Ted, think of her? He would be very disappointed in her if she took the bait of money to do something dubious. Needless to say, Monday was a very long and arduous day.

Although I studied Law at Uni, my secret ambition was always to act or work in the arts; but of course you have to keep the family happy by making some sensible decisions you know. I ended up with a degree in Economics, however the economics and financial world never beckoned and so at 23 I took a pretty sharp left turn and decided to study astrology. I have always loved helping people and I am fascinated by the meaning of life, destiny and karma and so I often think it was fate that prompted me to take this direction which in many ways has been a difficult route, but very revealing in terms of self-discovery. I was the resident astrologer on many local UK radio stations for many years.  Although my foray into astrology may have left my spiritual life richer, my bank balance was a basket case, so it was back to the drawing board career wise and I began studying to be a Chartered Accountant. Bored to tears with studying audit, I decided to start writing a book one night.

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.

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