About lexa dudley:
I first went to Sardinia in 1972 and fell helplessly in love with the island and its people. Over the years I have met some wonderful people and have some very strong friendships. I started the book back in the 1980’s but with four sons and helping my husband with his business, time was in short supply. Writing came late to me because when I retired my husband suggested I look out the book and see about getting it published. I reread it and knew why I could have papered the walls with the rejection slips. A total rewrite and more attention to detail was the answer. Never let anyone tell you that writing is easy. It is hard work, but the satisfaction is unmeasurable.
What inspires you to write?
I was inspired to write The Whispering Wind after many visits to the island of Sardinia. The scenery, the people and the magic of the island was my total inspiration. I am also interested in the relationship of people and their culture. The story of Beppe and Elise, he a bachelor and her a married women, would have more than raised eyebrows in 1969. I was interested in the conflict that they would have and other peoples reaction to their relationship and so the book was born.
Tell us about your writing process.
An idea is in my head for a while and I let it develop slowly. Then the time comes to put it down on paper; a rough sketch as if you were telling someone about it. I always carry a note book with me in my bag so that I can jot down odd scenes, snipits of conversation, description of a place. Then I write a history of the characters, give them a family a story and a background It all goes in the note book for reference. Then I plan the chapters, this is never set in stone as the order can change as the book progresses. Next comes the first draft, always in longhand in a large exercise book and only on the righthand side. I usually go and look at the characters again and come back to the story after a week or so and make corrections or add things on the lefthand side of the page. Only after this does it go up onto the computer. Being dyslexic it is time to run the spellcheck and look at the grammer. Next it is loaded up on TextAloud so that it can be read to me. I listen to it with a note book so that I can jot down things I want to change. Another spell check and then off to a girl friend who kindly goes through it. when I am finally happy with it the MS goes to a professional editor. This then worked on and a final run through the TextAloud so see if it all sounds right and final spell check and then to the publisher.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I talk to my characters all the time. In fact my husband says he always knows how the book is going by my moods.
As I said I like to write a complete history of my characters and as you do this you find out a lot about them. You also realise that there are things you want them to do in the story and you find that they would not do it or the other way around. They are funny things characters they do have a mind of their own, which at times can be infuriating, but most times wonderful.
What advice would you give other writers?
Being dyslexic and absolutely useless at school, I am now retired, so all I can say is there is no such word as can’t and that the impossible just takes a little longer. But try and try because one day it will come right.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had an offer from a publishing house, but they wanted to change the ending of the book. I rewrote it as they wanted, but it never sat right. The ending had been planned right from the beginning of the book. I told my husband about it and he said ‘we have always done everything oursleves (we are self employed) so lets publish it. I found a very good publisher and I haven’t looked back. I have won two finalist prizes in the US for Romance and one for Literary Fiction.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of publishing is in the balance at the moment. People don’t have a lot of time to read. The ebook has taken off, but there is nothing quite like the feel of a book in your hands. I feel there will always be a market for the hard back and paperback too, but the ebook is ideal for the traveller and the young.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Romance, literary fiction, general fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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