Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview: Xavier Lerent

 Hi Everyone,
Today for my Blogoversary, we have an author that was not afraid to take on tough issues and whose book had me feeling every emotion out there.

Please Welcome XAVIER LERET to Blood Rose Books.

You started your creative business life in film; do you find writing novel is a better fit for your creative mind?
I actually started by making theatre, writing and directing work, then moved into film. I think it suits me better writing novels. I like being in a characters head. It took me a while to change my focus because when writing scripts, and then directing them, you are on the outside of a character observing their actions, whereas in a novel you are inside the characters head, for me that is what is exciting about the novel.

You have stated you that you were a bit of rebel when you were younger, were you writing back then? If so how has your writing changed to where it is now? My writing has changed a lot. The obvious changes are the developments from plays, into film and finally into prose and novels. The real change for me has been delving into the internal life of my characters and letting that take control of my storytelling. I have always been politically and philosophically motivated to write. It is important for me to discover things about life and ask questions about the human condition. This has not changed.

I placed Heaven Sent as a modern Contemporary novel, where do believe that Heaven Sent fits within the fiction genre world?
I would describe it as contemporary fiction and alternative reality. Some might describe it as a coming of age story too.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think comedy is hardest thing to write. I used to enjoy directing comedy for the theatre but writing it is another ball game. And quality comedy does so much more than make you laugh. It can make us look again on a subject, see it with fresh eyes.

How did the story process start for Heaven Sent? Did you created the characters or storyline first?
I started with the characters, though they are fairly unrecognizable now from their original incarnations. Not much of their original experiences remain as much of those early character sketches were thrown out when I began to develop the story. In some ways I worked very much like an actor preparing a part. On one level there is the character experiences. But there is also another element that needs to be considered and that is the voice of the author – that is very much like another character in the work and that too has been transformed over the process.

Heaven Sent, touches on quite a few controversial issues, especially child prostitution, was this an issue you wanted to bring forward or did the story just evolve that way?
It was the character Daizee, she kept shouting at me to get up in the morning, she was the one who most wanted her story told. Though, to be honest I floundered a lot. Often I was writing stuff that was unnecessarily dark. It's interesting because now that the book has been picked up by a publisher they have asked me to calm it down a bit and cut out some big and overly dark elements. Less is more.

Daisy has quite a mouth on her, being from Canada I’m not as familiar with English “street” speech, is Daisy’s speech accurate?
I'm from Bristol and it is a thick accent with its own phrases that are particular to the region. There is a Bristolian dictionary, which I referred to quite a lot which I then mixed with more recognizably urban slang. My favorite entry in the That Be Bristle dictionary is under the H section - “This page has been left intentionally blank as no Bristolian ever pronounces the letter 'H' at the start of a word.”

Do you think that you would ever continue the story of Carlo and how Heaven Sent has changed him?
I don't think so. I am currently in the middle of re-writing the book for a publisher, which I am enjoying a lot. It is good re-connect with the characters and redevelop the book. However, I think that when this process is done I will need to move on. I have a couple of other novels in various stages of development and a bit of me is eager to go back to them – but then that might be because I got a bit stuck today.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I have a story coming out in a collection at the end of September. But other than that I am working hell for leather on getting HS ready for my publisher.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
I am currently reading Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky which is just amazing. 

I want to thank Xavier for taking part in an interview for my blogoversary and i am waiting for the next installment of his work. You can find more about Xavier's books by checking out my review of Heaven Sent and Xavier Website.

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