Inside An Author's Mind
I thought this week I might try something a little different for my blog - an author interview. These seem to be all the rage these days, along with guest bloggers (which I hope to try in the not too distant future), so I thought why not? Jump on the bandwagon, give it a go and see what comes up. 

I gave much consideration as to who I could interview for this exciting task and after being turned down by such literary giants as; Stephen King, Lee Child and James Patterson, I decided I'd better set my sights lower (much lower) and interview the only Author I know really well - me! I figured I would have some editorial control over the answers if I did that. So, for your enlightenment and edification I humbly present Grant Leishman's enthralling interview with Grant Leishman Author. 

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Question: Well, good morning Mr Leishman, thank you for agreeing to this interview at such short notice, I'd like to start by asking you when you first realised you wanted to be a writer? 

Answer: Why thank you Grant, it's an absolute pleasure to be here and I'd just like to say Hi to all the many readers of your blog out there and urge them to visit Amazon right now and purchase my wonderful book; The Second Coming.
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497 

Ah, now, there's an excellent question indeed. When did I realise I wanted to write? Well, in truth it happened when I was eight year's old. I had an awful case of the flu and was confined to bed for a number of days. Now my mother was incredibly strict when it came to sickness. If you were too sick to go to school, you were way too sick to even be allowed out of bed to watch television. Of course we didn't have cellphones, laptops, tablets or pc's way back then and there was absolutely no way Mum would ever let me go outside and play with the dinosaurs, or anything like that, so it was four days in bed with nothing to do except stare at the four walls or read a book. 

I chose a very large book that was sitting on the bookshelf calling to me to read it - The Swiss Family Robinson it was. Over the course of the next four days I read the book from cover to cover and by the time I finished it I knew with an absolute certainty that I would write novels when I grew up. When I conveyed this to my mother, she smiled sweetly, as mother's do, patted me patronisingly on the head and said; "Of course you will dear....of course you will." 

Well Mummy, it may have taken me another 46 years to grow up and make my dream a reality - but; "Hey! I did it!" Sadly Mum's not with us anymore, but I do hope she's looking down at her little eight year old with big dreams and saying; "you did son, you did...well done that boy!"   

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Question: I notice you set your first novel; The Second Coming, in The Philippines. Why was that? It seems just a bit of an obscure place for Jesus to return to? 

Answer: Ah Grant, I was hoping you would ask me that. Don't forget though you can buy The Second Coming right now at Amazon, Google Play or iBookshttp://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497 

Ah yes, The Philippines. What a beautiful country it is. Well Grant, I guess first of all I set the story here because it's my home now and I wanted people to realise that this country is a wonderfully beautiful place populated by an incredibly warm and giving people. I certainly hope I was able to convey some of that in my book. 

I actually answered the question to some extent in the book. It was a question that JC asked the Archangel Michael at one point: Why The Philippines? Michael's answer was essentially my answer: 
1/ The Filipino people are inherently a deeply religious people and God felt that if any society, anywhere in the world would be receptive to JC's message of peace, love and community, it would be the Filipino's. 
2/ I was reminded of a line, sung by Judas from Jesus Christ Superstar - "If you'd come today you could have saved a whole nation - Jerusalem in 10BC had no mass communication." I felt that with technology today there was absolutely no need for Jesus to return anywhere in particular. The Philippines was as good a place as any, I felt. and; 
3/ There was a task to be undertaken in The Philippines. JC had to unmask a usurper to the title of "Son of God", which he and his disciples duly did in the story.    

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Question: Is The Second Coming a stand-alone novel? 

Answer: Well it can certainly be read as a stand-alone story. It is a wonderful tale of fun, adventure, humanity and hope all on its own and it can be purchased right now on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497 

In answer to your question; The Second Coming is actually the first of a trilogy that deals with this topic of Jesus' return to save the earth. The second book is titled "Rise of the AntiChrist"and is complete and with the publishers as we speak. I don't have a release date for it yet, but I am picking late October or early November, just in time for Christmas presents (yay!) The third book in the series is called "Holy War" and I have only just started writing that - about 7,000 words thus far. My plan is to have it finished by December and edited by the end of January next year.     

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Question: What authors have influenced you the most and who are your favourite authors? 

Answer: If you had asked me that question a few years ago, I would probably have trotted out the pat answers; Ludlum, Clancy, Child, Cussler and perhaps Patterson, but today I would have to say that what I read now and my favourite authors are very definitely the independent published authors. Since I began writing I have rediscovered my love for reading, which was sadly sapped away over the years by the evils of television and the internet. I can proudly say that since March this year I have read (and reviewed) no less than thirty-two books. Every spare minute that I have is spent reading. This has a two-fold purpose for me. It gives me style ideas and even plot ideas sometimes, but more importantly it allows me to read some of the very best fiction and non-fiction that is on the market today. Some of these new independent published authors are as good as, if not better than the much trumpeted, much feted and dare I say it, overhyped legacy published authors. 

Just to try and answer your question Grant, Authors today that impress me greatly include; but certainly are not limited to; Jana Petken, Keely French, Angela Gascoigne, Hayden Bradford, Colin Griffiths, Paulette Mahurin, Christopher Scott Downing, T.E. Hodden, Rachel McGrath and many, many more. I can honestly say, of the thirty two books I've read in the past six months, not one has disappointed me and they have almost all been written by independently published authors. This industry is thriving, with talent like this coming through. I would urge your readers to check out the authors I named above. They are a truly awesome bunch and just a few of the many marvelous new authors out there. Be brave and read an "indie" book. You won't be sorry. Mine of course is available here:http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497     

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Question: I was going to ask you what you thought of the avalanche of independently published authors, but I guess you've said it all already. Instead I'll ask you what excites you most about writing? 

Answer: Hmmm, that's a toughie Grant, so many things excite me about my life as an author now. But, first let me just say this on the record regarding your first comment. "I absolutely believe there is no such thing as a 'bad book'. There are poorly written books, badly edited books and even weird books, but none of them are inherently bad. Books are a collection of a person's dreams, fantasies, ideas and creations. Every author spends months, even years sometimes pouring their hearts and souls into their babies and for that alone they deserve respect and kudos. I would never demean another author's work, knowing exactly how hard it is to do what they do." Sermon over! 

What excites me more than anything about my life now is that I can take a small germ of an idea; a "what if", if you like and with love, passion and a load of hard work I can turn that into something that makes people laugh, cry, think, maybe even act. The power of the written word can never be underestimated and the ability to be part of that process - to be able to leave a legacy of my written words; yeah, that what excites me the most about being an author. By the way, my current legacy is called The Second Coming and is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497        

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Question: What advice, if any, would you have for our readers. 

Answer:
 That's simple Grant - please, buy my book, available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497 

Seriously though, I would love to urge readers to move outside their comfort zone and try an "indie author". Any of the ones I mentioned earlier would provide you with a truly wonderful read. There are four things all "indie authors", me included really want and need: 

1/ We need sales: (we need to eat too) so please consider buying an "indie" book next time you want to read something. 

2/ We need reviews: These don't have to be long-winded essays on the book. A couple of lines and a rating is all that's needed. Something like; "Wow! This book was fantastic if you're into dragons or fantasy worlds." Reviews and especially star ratings are essential for "indie authors", more so on Amazon, where ratings play an enormous part in an "indie authors" visibility amongst the millions of books on offer. Please, please, if you read a book, like or loath it - we would really appreciate your review. 

3/ We need exposure: We seriously need the world to know we exist. It's a crowded marketplace out there, so if you like something we've written, please tell your friends about us, tweet about us, facebook us (like our Author page on FB), follow us on Goodreads, and trumpet our books to the world. All publicity is good publicity as far as we are concerned. I'd rather be reviled by many, loved by some and ignored by nobody. 

4/ We need love: We're just ordinary people too and occasionally we need some love. If you like a book, just drop us a quick line and let us know. It means so much to us, you wouldn't believe. We love to connect with our readers and nothing makes us happier than knowing someone enjoyed what we wrote. It's why we write, so do't be shy.  

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Question: Well Grant, this has been a lot of fun and I could ask you a lot more questions, but we'd better save that for another time. I'll end the by asking you what is the best book you've read in 2015 so far? 

Answer: Finished so soon...oh, I was just getting into my stride. Ah well, I've loved doing this also and you are always welcome to come back and interview me another time. You're certainly the nicest, most considerate interviewer I've ever met. 

Woooo, that really is difficult, I've read so many fantastic books this year and there's still three months left. OK, I am going to split it into two categories. 

1/ Non-Fiction: Absolutely no question here. The best non-fiction book I have read this year is a wonderful memoir by Rachel McGrath relating the pain and trials of suffering through multiple early miscarriages. It is a compelling and moving story of something I'd never even given a second thought to before. Titled "Finding The Rainbow" it is available here on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Rainbow-Rachel-McGrath/dp/1784650447/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442021806&sr=8-1&keywords=Finding+the+Rainbow As a first time author Rachel has done a truly  magnificent job and produced a wonderful book full of compelling emotion. I am excited that Rachel has decided to continue on with her writing career. She has real talent and I look forward to more from her. 

2/ Fiction: This is really, really hard. I am torn between two books, so I'll cheat and award a first equal to Travesty by Hayden Bradford and Angel of the Willows by Angela Gascoigne. Both are very different books, but both have that something special that tweaks my psyche. I loved them both equally. Travesty is available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Travesty-Hayden-Bradford-ebook/dp/B00M3F7HTW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1442021744&sr=8-2&keywords=Travesty   and Angel of the Willows is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Willows-Angela-Gascoigne-ebook/dp/B00IEHQ316/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442021839&sr=8-1&keywords=Angel+of+the+Willows

Also, my reviews of these books and other books written by "indie authors" can be found on my website here: http://www.grantleishman.com/book-reviews1.html Please check them out and have a read of a few. 

Finally, one last plug for The Second Coming. Trust me you'll love it! It's a wonderful story and you can buy it here: 
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Coming-Grant-Leishman-ebook/dp/B00ZR4IP0G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434933497

Thank you for this opportunity to talk to you all today about what makes Grant Leishman Author tick. 

Till next week: 

CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!

EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! 

Have a great life and spread the love! 

 Changing the world – one reader at a time!  

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