Today I’m joined by M Jonathan Lee who has kindly agreed to share his inspiration with us – on writing and being creative. Even better he is offering you some great chances to win merchandise from his new book, The Page. Make sure you read the whole post to get to a contest and a separate giveaway at the end. Right, Jonathan, over to you!
Hello, thanks for having me as a guest today. I am very appreciative, especially as I am literally thousands of miles away across the Atlantic Ocean. I wanted to talk a little about writing and why I do it.
Writing to me is escape. It’s another world that I can control and create and ultimately share. I have always loved writing, right back before High School when I wrote stories and self-published magazines for my friends to enjoy. I have always been captivated by the story teller who sits around the campfire and has the audience in his (or her) hands as he tells the story he wishes to share.
Storytelling brings every emotion out. It just depends what you read. You can read stories of action and adventure and enjoy something that doesn’t go on in your every day life. You can read about the tragic childhoods of others and feel inspired that somebody has endured something so difficult, yet is willing to share. You can read anything. And be anyone.
I write because I love it. I love stories, I love storytelling. I love to find myself in seemingly tedious situations and weave them into the ‘what if’ scenario. I live my life in this way. ‘What if’ X had happened instead of Y? What if I had arrived a moment later? What if I hadn’t brushed my teeth that morning. I love it, every second of every day inspires me.
I make no bones of the fact that life is hard. It is complicated and difficult. Writing allows me to create other scenarios, other characters, other plots and actually be in those places. I write about life, about human interaction, about the often puzzling way that one human reacts toward another. I write in real life. My stories aren’t sci-fi, they could happen to me or you at any time.
My latest novel, The Page begins and ends with a tragic car crash. The main character, Michael then goes on holiday alone after the death of his wife. Whilst sunbathing a page from a book is blown across the pool and sticks to his chest. The page describes the exact events leading up to the car crash and Michael is now in a race against time to find the rest of the book before his family find out his dark secret.
This happened. Well, kind of.
I was on holiday and a gust of wind stripped a book. A page stuck to me. I read (and still have) the page. It was some romantic comedy. But that was how the idea evolved. What if the page had described my life? What if?
Lovely to be here, thanks again, Jonathan
Jonathan Lee was born in a small mining town somewhere in the north of England. His first novel, The Radio was nationally shortlisted in The Novel Prize 2012 for new authors, coming second from over 4,000 entries. The Radio was published in April 2013 and has received critical acclaim and sold more than 5,000 copies. His second novel, The Page is published in Spring 2015.
M. Jonathan Lee is author of The Page
My website is here:
“Following a tragic car accident, Michael Sewell is alone for the first time. The loss of his wife, Margaret after thirty years of marriage has left a hole far greater than Michael could have imagined.
Persuaded to go on holiday, by his daughter Jane, a page blown from a book crosses the pool and sticks to his chest. The words from the page resonate with Michael, describing in detail the exact events leading up to the accident.
Now, Michael must delve into his past and face his future, taking him and his family on a horrifying and tragic journey toward the truth.”
A SPECIAL UPCOMING CONTEST FROM THE AUTHOR
The Page has 15 clues which to a lesser or greater extent give away the twist in the final chapter. The clues are inserted into the text and hopefully are well-hidden. To celebrate the release of The Page in February 2015, a competition will be run. We will invite people to identifythe clues and enter (when they have ten or more – as some may be so well hidden they are never found) through my website http://www.jonathanleeauthor.com. The competition will close 163 days after the release of The Page, and the winner (i.e. the one who identified the most clues – in the event of a tie – at random) will win:
1) One month’s royalties earned from The Page;
2) The original manuscript (of which there is only one);
3) A numbered and signed copy of The Page – review copy – there are only 20 of these worldwide;
4) A signed copy of my back catalogue in paperback or kindle version;
5) The Page promotional mug;
6) A free signed copy of all future novels released by me for life.
The overall winner will win 1-6 above. 2nd/3rd will received 4-6 only.
The rain wasn’t falling. It was forcing itself out of the shadow of the moonlit clouds and smashing down to the earth below.
The tall, lean figure of a man exited through the door, leaving the relative warmth of the building behind him. He strode forwards intently towards the scattering of cars part-hidden in the darkness of the car park. From inside the pocket of his trousers he pressed the button on his keys. The car awoke, momentarily lighting the dim scene with a flash and emitting its chirpy beep. The man pulled open the door and sat in the driver’s seat. He removed his gold, half-rimmed glasses and wiped the rain from his forehead.
A few moments later he was followed by a short and very slightly overweight woman. The woman, no more than sixty years of age, looked flustered. From the warmth inside she had swept her belongings into her bag and quickly headed outside after the man. She pushed open the door and stood for a moment, half inside the pub and half outside. Until now she hadn’t noticed it was raining. She stood for a while under the porch, taking in the scene. The car park was fairly quiet with maybe five or six cars dotted around its vastness. Large trees surrounded the area. The heavy rain on the leaves weighed down the boughs, pointing accusatory fingers at her. Across to her right, the brightly lit sign of the pub swayed backwards and forwards, making a repetitive creaking sound. Usually, in this kind of weather she would wait under the canopy, protected from the rain, whilst the man brought the car to her. She knew tonight wasn’t usual. Tonight, if she was going to get in the car at all, she would have to make her own way there. Tonight, it wasn’t going to come to her.
The engine of the long black car began to spew grey smoke which glowed red as it wound itself through the rear lights. To save time she folded the top of her handbag over instead of zipping it and, grasping it tightly in both hands, headed towards the lights. The rain continued to fall, soaking her with each step. Her journey toward the lights was not as fast as that of the man; her high heeled shoes wouldn’t allow that.
The passenger side mirror allowed the man to watch her get ever closer. It was too dark to make out her expression, but it was obvious to him she was struggling to make her journey through the rain toward him. He smiled.
When she was about ten feet away, the man shifted the gear stick into reverse and accelerated at speed. The wet gravel crunched as it was displaced by the wheels. Startled, the woman paused and the man swung forwards, brushing her arm with the wing mirror. Abruptly, the car came to a stop. The woman’s soaking face, lit by the car’s interior lights, was now in his view.
She took a step back and pulled the door handle. The door clicked open and the woman threw her handbag into the passenger foot-well and climbed into the passenger seat. She let out a loud sigh and reached into her bag. From it she pulled a small packet of pocket-sized tissues and pulled down the sun-visor to use the mirror.
The man retrieved his glasses from the dashboard in front of him and looked at her. His face was expressionless.
She was aware he was watching but ignored him and began to remove the make-up that the rain had helped to distribute around her face. She licked the tissue and carefully wiped away the track marks which led from her eyes like black tears. She would not return his stare. This time, for once, she would be strong.
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