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Author Interviews - D.A. Lee - on why she wrote her first novel 'Written'

Tell us about yourself and your books: I am an author of a heart-wrenching novel called 'Written'. It's about a little girl who has been told her whole life has been planned by her parents and that she has no choice but to honour their plans for her.



Do you have any unusual writing habits? My book started from a journal that I wrote to express the trauma and challenges I was going through in my own life. The book idea came when I pieced together my own life by reflecting on fragments of my journal. It took 16 years to write the book because I was on a road to discovering myself. The book has been like a loyal friend to me and over the years has taught me how to be true myself. I wrote most of my book on the train to work and back, it was the only true time I had. In those precious 30 minutes I brain dumped everything I had in me and then pieced together my story.


What authors have influenced you? Khaled Hosseini's, Kite Runner. I love this book so much that I have read it three or four times. Arundhati Roy: The God of All Small Things. She writes so beautifully, it was one of my first literary books that I had read and had inspired me to write more. Rabrindranath Tagore – My father used to recite his poems and it had an influence on my creative angle. Maya Angelou: 'I know why the caged bird sings.' I could relate to this book, I have found that Maya's words of courage always helped me overcome my fears of pushing through to the end goals.


Do you have any advice for new authors? Tell as many people about your idea and commit to writing it. It may take years but don't give up, keep chipping away at it, little by little and eventually you will be happy and proud of yourself. It takes a lot of courage and commitment to write, don't be put off by when life gets in the way sometimes, you will succeed.


What is the best advice you have ever heard? A Maya Angelou Quote. ''Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.''

Rabindranath Tagore "Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it."


What are you reading now? Maya Angelou 'And Still I Rise' Jasvinder Sanghera 'Shame' Audrey Niffenegger – 'The Time Travelers Wife'


What’s your biggest weakness? Self Doubt, I put a question mark over everything and I over process, but I let it have it's moment and then I get over it.


What is your favorite book of all time? Khaled Hosseini – The Kite Runner.


What has inspired you and your writing style? The book started as a journal to help me through my own experiences with domestic violence and cultural pressures such as arranged marriage. Although it is told through the eyes of Eleanor, this book is something very real and close to me. It helped me work through some difficult and emotional times. When my life was shattered into pieces, it was the fragments of this book that helped me back together. My writing eventually evolved into a book, one that took 14 years to complete, and where a total of 195,000 words of heart-felt emotions were poured into its chapters. The book was also like a loyal friend to me; it guided me to a better place, where I could make choices about my future and create a reality that allowed me to live a loving, creative and inspirational life.


What are you working on now? I am brain storming a number of ideas for another book. I am excited thinking about them. One came as a vivid dream and keen to research the topic on dementia more. In between a full time job working in Tech. I am talking about Cyber, encouraging women in Tech, I am also launching my book, 'Written' yes you will be the first to read it here!


What is your method for promoting your work? Talking about it, sharing my ideas, bringing people together.


What’s next for you as a writer? Write more, I would like to get my poems published. I have a huge collection of them and feel as though they need to fly out in the world like butterfly's.


How well do you work under pressure? I work really well under pressure, I can move mountains of work but I do find it stressful and prefer to be avoid it.


How do you decide what tone to use with a particular piece of writing? The emotions really set the tone of my book, most of it was drawn from my own experiences. You can feel all the tensions, the subtle nature of the characters fears and struggles.



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