Author: LISA GORDON
Page count: 226
Genre: Fiction Thriller
My name is Lisa Jacqueline Gordon and I was born in Johannesburg. Growing up in Johannesburg was truly an amazing experience which I will always treasure. It is a city of bright colors, vibrant people, stark contrasts and extremes: extreme wealth, extreme poverty, extreme emotions, extreme thunderstorms, often extreme violence and yet every minute I lived there I felt alive. As I sit here in safe and picturesque England I long to leave this sterility and head for the chaos of Africa where somehow every minute means so much more. Perhaps my image of my homeland is very much my metaphor for life: that at the extremes of existence one is truly living and experiencing this thing we call life to the full. I am incurably inquisitive and if there is something going on on this planet, I want to know about it. At school I was a rebel – no not the sort of rebel who smokes in the loo and makes out behind the bike shed -. I was more of an ideas rebel, I wanted to think for myself and never just accept what I was told.
Although I studied Law at Uni, my secret ambition was always to act or work in the arts; but of course you have to keep the family happy by making some sensible decisions you know. I ended up with a degree in Economics, however the economics and financial world never beckoned and so at 23 I took a pretty sharp left turn and decided to study astrology. I have always loved helping people and I am fascinated by the meaning of life, destiny and karma and so I often think it was fate that prompted me to take this direction which in many ways has been a difficult route, but very revealing in terms of self-discovery. I was the resident astrologer on many local UK radio stations for many years. Although my foray into astrology may have left my spiritual life richer, my bank balance was a basket case, so it was back to the drawing board career wise and I began studying to be a Chartered Accountant. Bored to tears with studying audit, I decided to start writing a book one night.
The strange twists and turns of my own life and my own constant querying over whether I had a destiny or a fate inspired the theme of my novel.
Tell us about your book:
To escape the pain of failed relationships and careers, both Valda and Larissa take themselves to Dubai seeking not only success, but a reason and purpose in life. Valda does indeed find success and to her astonishment love, but all is threatened when she is introduced to a billionaire Sheikh. Her clandestine relationship with the Sheikh, propels her into a murky web of deceit, and she turns to Larissa for help. As an astrologer, Larissa predicts that Valda and the Sheikh s destinies were sealed from the moment of their first meeting; however, she keeps the dire fate that she reads in the charts a secret. Valda knows she is in deep, the Sheikh is an omniscient character and not an inch of Dubai seems shielded from his glare. Someone has her back however as she receives cryptic warning messages posted to her. Life as the Sheik’s personal courier is filled with perils – will it be he or the law who ends this relationship.
Together, Valda and Larissa take a gamble in a game of cosmic Russian Roulette where the stakes are their lives and their adversary, Fate itself. This pacey, gritty thriller has a spiritual theme which bravely merges genres and embraces with sensitivity personal relationships underlying the theme of choice versus chance. Upbeat and contemporary in style, A Sealed Fate features an eclectic mix of characters awash with local color.
How long did it take to write the book?
Nine months, but I took a five month break after my Granddad, who was like my dad passed away.
What inspired you to write the book?
“One often meets his destiny in the path he takes to avoid it.”
I have always been intrigued about the balance of fate and freewill in our lives…how much choice do we really have, what if anything is ‘fated’?
How often do we put the events in our life down to fate; we were destined to meet, I was meant to get that job? How often do we read our horoscopes hoping for the details of our future; today you will meet the man of your dreams; tomorrow you will finally make your fortune? But should fate be taking all the credit, or blame for everything in our lives or is it free will, our own choice, however influenced by our surroundings, which govern our actions?
I am a very spiritual person and yet I am not into spiritual quick fix books where positive thinking is made out to be some sort of metaphysical microwave where you get riches and success in ten seconds. I strongly believe that pain and suffering is part of the great mystery we call life, it makes us more beautiful and more loving and brings us closer to who we really are. I tried to blend these themes and questions into my thriller.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I liked to write in bed with my laptop very late at night. I did extensive research via the Internet, true crime documentaries and I had been to Dubai. I used guesstimates to fill in some details.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I would hope my readers will be asking for more and feeling that I had not quite answered all the questions yet. I hope they will all finish the story in their heads – although that does not mean there won’t be a sequel at some stage. I think the book has made many look at the attitudes and assumptions we make and to question those assumptions. I want my book to entertain, to take the reader on a vivid imaginative journey through exotic places, to introduce them to characters they may never meet, to question the judgments they make about those characters and finally, to ponder that great conundrum of life – is it fate or freewill who has the final say?
Where can we go to buy your book?
Barnes and Noble
Available on Kindle from November
Excerpt from book:
There it was, exactly where she had found it three days ago, shining magnificently. For days now it had beckoned her, as if it was as eager as she was to go for a drive. In Valda’s mind, cars assumed personalities and emotions and this particular one appeared to be her perfect match. Wasting no time, she opened the door carefully and eased herself into the low, sleek, lightweight roadster. She sensually ran her hands over the steering wheel, gently toyed with the gear lever, savouring every moment of foreplay with her 605-horsepower friend.
After a few more indulgent minutes, she eased the keys into the ignition, turned it over and – wow – the insanely powerful engine sprang to life. Still not sure what to do next, she sat quietly while the monocoque chassis gently vibrated.
Racing clutches can be testy and this particular one was one of the testiest – Valda stalled three times before successfully pulling off. Her new car was akin to an Olympic sprinter itching to get out of the blocks. With so much grit coming out of the engine, the residential streets of Jumeirah were hardly the right arena for this calibre of vehicle’s virgin journey, but Valda was undeterred. Even on the main roads, her GT stayed well within itself, with only the rare opportunity of reaching 30 per cent of its top speed. No matter what, it was an orgasmic experience and she relished each moment.
Tuesday night and the keys and envelope were once again in her jacket pocket. She was certain the Sheikh would be there, although it had dawned on her that he may avoid her, just in case she did return the car keys and refuse his new offer. The date on the plane tickets was fast approaching.