Fate is a concept that causes fear for many people. I suppose in the back of our minds this fear is born from a feeling of helplessness over the path where our lives will take us.
Author Lisa N. Edwards has examined fate in her celebrated trilogy Can’t Fight Fate, Chasing Butterflies and Seed of the Sunflower. What Edwards does in these books is to approach that question of Fate from a position of understanding rather than fear, it is a position we may ignore: Fate means there are some aspects of our lives that we are unable to control, yet failure is as much of the growth process as is success. Through the thorns along our path where we stumble, we open ourselves to new possibilities.
For this actress, presenter and talent agency owner, Edwards’ Fate is rooted into her role as an accomplished storyteller. Edwards is also an award-winning screenwriter. Her screenplay Blink (co-written with Sonita Singh) has achieved numerous professional accolades:
Hollywood Screenplay Contest 2017 (Grand Prize Winner- Thriller), European Independent Film Award 2017 (Winner Best Screenplay), New York Screenplay Contest 2017 (Top 10 Finalist- Thriller), Filmmatic Screenplay Awards 2017 (Top 10 Finalist- Drama), New Zealand International Film Festival 2017 (Official Finalist), Los Angeles Cinefest Film Festival (Semi Finalist final judging Jan 2018).
I recently interviewed Lisa N. Edwards about her books, Blink and her other writing projects. Read what she had to say below.
You are also an actress and you owned a talent agency. How have you used these experiences in your books?
“The scenarios that Siobhan and Nikki get themselves into in offices I’ve seen firsthand or I’ve heard stories from casting directors. That’s been added to my books and weaved into the stories of the characters. I think that truth is stranger than fiction and to look at what bits are real and what bits are not (laughs).”
You had recently posted on social media a chapter from your book Seed of the Sunflower that talks about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. Do you feel that people reading your books as well as following the news would get a better grasp of sexual harassment as it pertains to the entertainment industry?
“Yes. I think that there’s a huge wave of change coming at the moment in the entertainment industry which is about time. A few years ago I went to the American Film market and we met with some producers there and experiences like these are documented in the book. I wanted to write relateable characters and give them that little bit of power and that ability to work out their problems so that people reading who have had similar issues can feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel and things will get better. I try to put a positive spin on things. Nikki is the eternal optimistic even when she has her doubts and that’s what makes her real to a lot of readers.”
What life lessons would you hope readers would gain from reading your books?
“To never give up. I think that the main lesson is that there is always a new day tomorrow for things to be worked out. And that you can’t fight fate (laughs). Even when we try and fail, there is still some sort of message. You just have to look deeper. Everything happens for a reason. It may not go the way you want it, but things will eventually work out. It may not be the way you wanted, but it may be better.”
Your chief protagonist in your Can’t Fight Fate trilogy, Nikki Kirkpatrick, is female. In what ways do you feel your books have a universal appeal rather than being gender specific?
“I’ve had some males read my books and they have told me that it gives them an insight into how women think. I had some really good feedback from a guy a couple of months ago and he told me that his wife read my books and that she really loved them and because his wife kept talking about the books, he decided to read them. He told me that he knows how his wife feels now, how his wife thinks and that it was a real eye opener for him. That was a massive compliment to me, that he understood and that he got it all. I think that because society has men not wanting to read books where there is romance and that they go for action instead or with things getting blown up, it is hard for men sometimes to get in touch with their feelings. I think that if more men read the books that they would understand more about women. I also think that I showcase some strong males in my books so that any man reading can find guys in which he can relate.”
Your Can’t Fight Fate trilogy does a marvelous job balancing the role that destiny plays in our lives as well as showing us how to grow through life’s challenges. Can readers look forward to any more books exploring characters from Can’t Fight Fate or its sequels?
“Readers can look forward to another book at some stage next year. I’ve had to pause writing that for the moment because I’m in discussions with some networks about a Can’t Fight Fate pilot script that I have written so you may see Can’t Fight Fate on television.”
Congrats on the numerous screenwriting awards that your script Blink has received. Without giving away spoilers, can you tell our readers briefly what Blink is about?
“Blink is about four women who are taken simultaneously from different corners of the world where they end up in a room. A man who is basically their captor tells them that three of them will die but they have to choose which one of them will live. That choice has to be unanimous. Only one woman will be allowed to go back. Throughout the script the women need to work out who is more worthy and why. So Blink asks the question: Is your life worth more than someone else’s? ”
Did you conceive of the concept for Blink before you started writing the Can’t Fight Fate trilogy?
“Blink (which was originally Limbo) was Sonita’s idea (Sonita Singh co-wrote Blink). She told me the premise and asked me to help her write it. We mapped out the story. It has been about seven years now since we first started this project. The first draft that we put out has really evolved. When we first put it out, it was in a novel format because neither one of us had any idea how to write a screenplay. A friend of mine told me to get this program to make it a screenplay, that the program will format the script for you. I had never heard anything like that. It was really good that he did that because I think that everyone would have laughed at us if we hadn’t figured out how to turn it into a screenplay (laughs).We are very proud of Blink and are excited for the day when our script becomes a film for the world to see.”