Having had two decades of success as a published author from the age of 17, I made the choice twenty-five years ago to train and establish myself as a psychotherapist. The territory was in some ways not so dissimilar, although I learned to talk less and listen more. Several years ago I made the bold decision to retire from practice and focus again on writing. The shift back has been a very different experience. We never step in the same river twice. I notice as I write these days that I have grown wiser in my treatment of my characters. More than ever, I can’t discount the undeniable pain involved in being human. But now I put it in a larger container and hold it there with compassion. Whether as a therapist or writer, or anything else we choose to call ourselves, that’s the best we can do. Why have I returned to writing fiction? I am intrigued by the magical links between this and that, the synchronicities that arise when you are open to seeing them. I was always curious, and that part of me still insists on asking questions. Fiction is a playground for exploration, for wondering aloud on the page what happened when and why, seeking an explanation and a resolution.
I want to understand the darkness in us, and what motivates and makes us choose the people we do and the paths we follow. Are we each of us what we seem to be? And if we aren’t, then who are we really? It’s a theme I return to again and again in the fiction I write. The notion of truth in some form or another keeps appearing – not surprisingly since it has been such an issue for me throughout my life. And perhaps because I have witnessed so much suffering in my work, or simply because I’m that much older, however difficult their struggles to find happiness or resolution, I am always seeking redemption for my characters, and the possibility of hope.
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Lesley offers the following books as a means to get to know her writing. Just click on the book cover for more information.