La Chaire, beyond the garden gate

Based on actual events, La Chaire is the story of one of Europe’s most famous gardens. Its creation and ultimate demise is relayed through the lives of an international botanist, the last Hawaiian Princess, a Stage Door Johnny, his Gaiety Girl wife, and finally, a humble Breton Gardener during World War Two More

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Words: 103,790
Language: English
ISBN: 9781311939104
About Colin Lever

As I have aged, I have lost none of my desire to influence opinion. My non-fiction work is centred on the vulnerable child, particularly those with social and emotional issues that have few to fight their corner. Education is the battleground and I exert what influence I can via the written word. I have a blog, use Twitter and LinkedIn. I also write occasional articles for my local newspaper. I enjoy the challenge of research and then innovating, a methodology which defines all my writing.

To be a writer you have to serve an apprenticeship and then there are no guarantees. You dream of becoming an overnight success but then reality kicks and you find it a struggle to even get read. It is like a rite of passage. I have been rejected by so many agents and publishers I have lost count, ripped off by vanity publishing and then find that self-publishing means you have to do, literally, everything yourself. Persistence pays off.

My first attempt at fiction was a quasi, autobiographical text 'Failing Teachers, Failing Children'. The book had not been proof read and so, as a gimmick, I gave away a free red pen with every purchase! When the book got wet, words started to slither down the page. The text (now edited) is having a second wind. 'La Chaire, Beyond the Garden Gate' took more than 3 years to research and write. It was successful locally. The challenge now is to market it to a wider audience. Another skill I am learning to acquire.

I do not write to a particular genre, preferring to follow my instincts, seeking out ‘alternative’ stories and new angles. Writing is my drug of choice and being creative is my cure all. I find the whole process intoxicating. Personalities fascinate me. I enjoy developing characters, especially ones that provoke emotion.

I enjoy turning an idea into something tangible. All those times of mindlessness, stuck at the airport, vegetating in front of the TV, are cauldrons within which my juices flow. I am confident in my ability to recognise a good story and to create a narrative but can I really write fiction? I will let you be the judge.


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