Talking Books with Alba Lewis, author of 'A Shaman in Kensington Square'

Alba Lewis was clear she wanted to be a writer at the age of 13 as she smoked cigarettes in the cubicles with her friends.  It took her 20 years to start writing and so far she has published seven books, two fiction and five annual factual books on life.  Committed to an interesting life, despite the paradoxes, Alba continues to write, work with not for profits, and support others to take their creative spirit and get it out into the world via her mentoring programmes.  'We live in a world where a creative resource is paramount to solving problems and having an expansive life".



About the Book:

Author: Alba Lewis
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 191
Genre: Women’s Fiction
This is a story about a mouse, an eagle, a shaman, Sarah who’s run away to London from her husband leaving her children, Janet who’s been loyally married to Roger for decades and wants to stand by her husband but has fallen for the charms of a much younger man, and Doug who frequents back room bars whilst holding down a important job. But all their lives change as the energy of the shaman comes to stir things up.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

A Shaman In Kensington Square came about after my sister had been on a shamanic course somewhere in South America and came back with the story of ‘jumping mouse’.  She told it at some gathering we went to and I was captured by it.  It was still swirling around in my head a decade later when I went to write my first novel and I wondered if I could tell the story of the mouse along side a real time story set in London.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

That’s a great question. I think the biggest would have to be that you cannot write and be your own critic as you write.  You need to get your story down and then leave it a while and then re read it. You have to separate the different roles you are going to play to get the book written, edited, marketed and sold.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I started my own publishing company, so I self-published.  The main reason for this is I did go and meet with an agent and though she said she liked the book she wanted me to change quite a bit to one of the main characters.  I left the meeting very happy to have had the chance to talk to a professional in the sales arena, but also I really wanted to use writing as my voice, so, rightly or wrongly I wanted to keep that voice mine all the way.  To do that needed me to self publish.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It’s quite something to see your book available to buy by strangers.  The journey is hard, and deep and emotional to write a book, but the day it goes out to the public, it is as complete as it’s every going to be. Off it goes.  It’s a great great feeling.  It almost has its own journey then.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on a woman who is a murderer.  I had a friend proof read the first few chapters and I think he must have been a bit shocked as he described it  as a female version of American Psycho.  Not sure if that is a compliment or not, but I want to explore strong dangerous female characters.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

The Shaman in the book is based on a shaman who stayed in my home for 3 months whilst he learned English!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?
The story about jumping mouse is about the journey we want to make up to the mountain to be free.  So the people in the story are at different stages in the journey, with two women in particular making a bid for freedom.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

No, thank you for the interview. It’s reminded me how much fun it’s also been to tell this story!

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