INSPIRATION – WHERE REALITY AND DREAMS COLLIDE
Writers are often asked about their inspiration for their books. I’m not sure the fascination with this, but I expect it’s because it is such a mystery and so different for each writer. Sometimes it might be some big epiphany moment perhaps or from a magnificent dream or they were looking at something one day when, ‘bang’ a thought for a story idea/character came into their mind and they just had to write it. I’ve certainly heard stories from many writers like this – we all know the famous Stephanie Meyers story of having a dream about two teenagers in a field of flowers and she woke up and had to discover their story and that’s how Twilight was born.
For me, most of my novels are born out of dreams I have mixed with things from reality.
I can dream quite vividly and when a particularly dream occurs, it will often occur again and again, sometimes the same scene or sometimes the scene continues on from the previous night, unfolding more than a scene or a snippet of dialogue or character or place, giving me a sense of story so strong, I have no choice but to write it. Sometimes these dreams have strange inspirations in real life.
The dream that started me out on the journey to write my Pack Bound Series for instance, came from an event that happened at the snow many years ago, where a snowboarder ran into me and hurt my leg. There was nothing romantic or happy-ever-after about it – the snowboarder, embarrassed and on a run he shouldn’t have been on, barely checked if I was okay before jumping up and taking off down the slope, leaving me to deal with a hurt knee, being winded and equipment that had scattered everywhere when he smacked into me. However, my mind must have played over that scene in some way, until one night, years later, I had a dream about it happening to someone who wasn’t me and the person who smacked into her was her fated mate. I woke up so excited to write their story and explore them and their world that the words flew from me and before I knew it, I had a book filled with magic and witches and Weres and Shifters, good and evil and overcoming it all in the search of personal fulfillment and love.
My new novel, Climbing Fear: Book 1 in the CoalCliff Stud Series, also came from a mixed inspiration of reality and dreams. From the age of 13 to 21, I used to attend a horse riding camp once or twice a year. Up until the age of 18, I was an attendee on this horse riding camp – one of the 40 kids who turned up and had the week of our lives riding through State forests near Anglesea. When I turned 18, I became one of the staff on my University holidays – a tough job wrangling 40 boys and girls ranging in age from 8-17, but one that was worth it if for nothing other than I got to be on the farm and among the horses, riding every day. That of course, was many years ago and I had no idea then that I would write a novel set on a similar horse stud one day. I had no intention of doing so. Until I had a dream about a woman returning to the stud she grew up on and bumping into the boy – now a man – she’d had a passionate fling with before she ran away to get married to someone else. And in the dream neither was happy about the reunion. The dream continued the next night and the next, their pain and passion so real it swept me away with the visceral need of it, mixed with a suspense element that heightened the tension that demanded to be written and made my fingers fly over the keys to get their story out and onto the page.
I have no idea where that particular idea of conflict came from, but the fact it was on a horse stud seemed right. Although, when I started writing it, I realised I wasn’t writing about somewhere like the place I’d been to, but somewhere in the Victorian Alps near a town called Walhalla – a place I’d visited years ago when I was tour manager for a theatre restaurant show and we were in Moe and I took the cast on a drive up into the mountains crowding the edge of the LaTrobe Valley and we found beautiful little ex-goldmining town, Walhalla, a magical place that had stuck in my mind and was now finding its way out onto the page in this new, suspenseful emotion-filled story.
So, Climbing Fear is part reality, part dream and part muse inspired – that magical mix that so often makes the writing experience so visceral for me and makes me push myself hard to do the best I can by this magical culmination of the real and unreal. I hope everyone enjoys the experience of reading the novels I write as much as I enjoy writing them.
A Coalcliff Stud novel—His beloved home is under threat, and with it the beautiful, haunted woman he's never been able to forget …
X-Treme TV sports star Reid Stratton has everything—until his best friend falls to his death on a climb while shooting their show. In the fierce media fallout, Reid begins to question everything about himself. Crippled by a new fear of climbing, Reid returns to CoalCliff Stud, his family’s horse farm, to recover.
Single mother Natalia Robinson is determined to start afresh, away from the shadow of her past. A job at CoalCliff Stud where she lived as a child is the perfect opportunity to live the quiet life she always wanted. But she is unprepared to see Reid, and is even more unprepared for the passion that still burns between them.
But after a series of menacing events threaten the new home she is trying to build, Nat realises that Reid is the only person she can rely on to keep her and her daughter safe. Together, Reid and Nat must face the pasts that haunt them if they are to survive the present and forge a future of hope.
Buy Links for Climbing Fear:
Leisl Leighton Author Bio:
Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).
After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl's stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.
Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017.
If you’d like to know more about me, my books, or to connect with me online, you can visit my webpage www.leislleighton.com, follow me on twitter @LeislLeighton https://twitter.com/LeislLeighton, or like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Leisl-Leighton-Author-367381126695193
My other books are: Dangerous Echoes: Book 1 of the Echo Springs Series. Or if you like your suspense mixed with the paranormal, then you should try my four book Pack Bound series: Pack Bound, Moon Bound, Shifter Bound and Wolf Bound—available now.
Buy Links for Dangerous Echoes:
iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Amazon AU
Or you can buy the four book series, Echo Springs in paperback at Big W, Kmart and online at Angus&Robertson, Booktopia, The Nile, Boomerang Books, Dymocks
Buy Links for the Pack Bound Series:
Amazon Here, iBooks Here, Google Play Here, Kobo Here
Groot the puppy, my faithful companion, sits by my side while I write my stories.