Gail Gilbride interviews Lesley Pearse.

Se7en Meets Up with Renowned Author, Lesley Pearse…

I confess, we had a holiday and we had no internet… and I have been reading up a storm. Instead of piles of books waiting to be read, we have piles of books waiting to be reviewed… it’s nice place to be in! I thought I would begin with an author interview…

An Evening with Lesley Pearse…

Lesley Pearse was in Cape Town recently and I was lucky enough to attend an interview with her at Exclusive Books Cavendish Square, thanks to Penguin Random House South Africa. What can I say, there is nothing like meeting an author in real life and there is so much more to an author than their website… and I have to say Lesley Pearse has a great website… full of background regarding her childhood and she had a rather extraordinary one. If you are a fan of her books then rush over to her website and read her story. Local author, Gail Gilbride Bohle interviewed her for us, and I have a selection of her questions and answers for you. Each question was answered with a quirky anecdote, you can see why Lesley Pearse is an author, she is a natural storyteller.

    1. How do you create your characters? I have twisted thing inside of me that I have to put my heroine through. In Dead to Me, Archie is terrifyingly real… out of my imagination. I know no one like him. My library is full of mass murderers. I didn’t intend for him to be that bad.
    2. Is there a message in your books? Friendship is my family and I really believe that love makes the world go round.
    3. Tell us about your recurring themes: Love, friendship and betrayal. I could never forgive my best friend who had a relationship with my husband. I stopped by to visit one day and punched her in the nose, the satisfaction of the blood and her shattered nose…
    4. How much research do you do? For the Crimea and Alaska themed books I did a lot of long winded research. I don’t have the energy for a new country, and the moral threads that make up South Africa are just too complicated. So I don’t think there will be a South African book.
    5. You love the British landscape? I love the English country side it is very cosy and comfy. I am English through and through and could never live anywhere else. England has such spectacular flowers and I love gardening.


6  Is it therapeutic to write? Yes, initially I wrote very close to my heart. It’s a good idea to write about things. It does you good.

7  What inspired your writing? The Thorn Birds made me want to write a bestseller. I sat up all night reading without even noticing my own discomfort. And then she wrote and wrote. She told her children, “You will go to bed at 6:30 because mummy must write.” Otherwise, Charles Dickens inspired her, she was born in Rochester and we went to visit his house and all the Dickensian stuff. Her step-mother was an absolute dragon but we saw the same things in the books. She made me read and read… and that laid a foundation that was tucked away. Enid Blyton was the best… I read her under the covers.

8  Any top tips?: Persistence. Don’t let anyone stop you. I call myself Persistent Pearse, it took 7 years to publish my first. I wanted to write, I didn’t write for the money. Don’t give it to friends, send it to agents and persist to the end!

9  When did you start writing? When I was about 35 and now I am 72

10  Is your writing from real life, have you done it all? I have a good imagination, I have never done quite a few things that I have written about. But I have a done a lot of them. For instance, I was once at a party and while I was in the bathroom the police raided the venue, and I ended up escaping along a garden wall with a friend. It was mid-February, it was Kensington and it was freezing… Shaking with laughter remembering it! Of course, my sister believes every thing I write about is part of my life.

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse


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