Hello and thank you for your interest. My name is Leslie Lyott and I am a writer of the genres sci-fi fantasy/horror and below, written with more concern for efficiency than artistry, is a brief insight to who I am and why, and what, I write, plus some personal background about my life.

 

How I came to be a writer and of this genre begins in the days of my childhood when I was first inspired by my own nightmares. When I say 'inspired by' I of course really mean 'terrified by'. As a very young child my experiences were exactly as I have described Pat Sall's childhood experiences in Breakdown and Pat's experiences of seeing things in the dark are my own personal and accurate anecdotes-but not the visions Pat sees in the oil lamp! It was seeing things in the dark, and hearing a terrifying voice, that first made me question reality and although I have always believed such visions to originate from the mind their potency to draw attention and entertain has always remained with me. What has also remained with me since those very early years is the desire for adventure and escapism. My first outlets for escapism came from many sources including comics, TV and cinema and of course books.

 

Although I was born in Romford, in Essex and spent my teenage years in Brentwood, my most impressionable period was my childhood years in Manor Park, East London. Manor Park was a catalyst for imagining other worlds because it was there that I found myself trapped in the dull confines of the city but dreaming of places I'd seen on the screen and in the pages of comics and books. I was very fortunate to live within walking distance of several open spaces- Wanstead Flats, The London Cemetery, The Ilford Golf Course, Valentines Park and by far the best of all-Wantsead Park and these place were my opportunity to escape and to imagine. My imagination took hold of me but at school I struggled with reading and writing, in consequence my first opportunity to be creative resulted in endless drawing and painting for which I got much praise (and I was, for a short while in my adult life, a practising artist) but at the age of twelve, when my family had moved back to Essex, I began writing. I still struggled at the bottom of the class with English and eventually failed my GCSE English exam but nonetheless one English teacher once read something I'd written out aloud to the whole class and another, who simply must have ignored my poor spelling and working class grammar, had me top of the class-but only for a single half term. This particular teacher and I must have shared similar tastes because every time he set essays it was always on something which I could write about with passion. His recognition encouraged me to write as a hobby.

 

Essentially I write to escape and my chosen genre generally allows me to escape further. My imagination constantly poses me with what Stephen King has referred to as, 'What if...' scenarios. I cannot help but become drawn into those 'What if..' places.

 

When it was time to leave school the idea of being either a writer, or an artist, seemed very much pie in the sky, more so with becoming a writer as I'd failed my GCSE English exam but many years later I successfully achieved a grade A. The consequence of my early thwarted ambitions lead me to first become an engineer, a topic of which I had genuine interest and still do, and from being an engineer I side stepped into Industrial Engineering, also known as Work Study. From there I became a Work Study Officer in Local Government. Previous to retiring from work to become a writer I worked as a Teaching Assistant, initially in Primary and later in Secondary. It was when I 'leant about learning' that I came to the conclusion that my failure at English was due to having minor language processing difficulties. I'm grateful that my difficulties have not been sufficient to hold me back.

 

Like most people, so it seems, I also have a passion for music and, as with painting and writing, music became a personal pursuit. The consequence of my musical passions has allowed me to have a lot of fun and today I play saxophone in a London based band. In order to explain the necessity for a person to be allowed to follow their creative path I'd like to use the lyrics of John Lee Hooker-

 

                                                                                             'Let that boy boogie woogie-it's in him and it's gotta come out!'

Wanstead Park Grotto
Manor Park Library
Archaeology Street- exhibited at The Bankside Gallery
The Deciminute stopwatch
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