Thursday, 9 August 2018

Celebrating #Windsor Writers: Behind the Scenes with Author Sharon Ledwith…

My writing process is always the same for every book. First, I start with the characters and build the story around them. The characters, my characters, must carry the story to completion, give readers closure. It’s a must. In order to do this, I begin writing out character tracking sheets (stats on characters’ appearances, clothing, likes and dislikes, etc.) which have served me well throughout the writing process. Then the fun begins. Research, research, and more research. I love this part of the process too. In the case of Lost and Found, the first book in a planned five book teen psychic mystery series entitled Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, I had to do a lot of research on the psychic ability of animal communication, as well as read a lot of animal behavior books and blogs. Each book in this series is a stand-alone project with a different cast of characters, one of whom possesses a unique psychic, supernatural, or prophetic ability.

The soul of Lost and Found was born out of my firsthand knowledge and experience working as an animal care attendant at a northern animal shelter during 2007-08. I found myself wondering what the cats and dogs would say to us humans. How would they act and sound? What did they really think of humans? So, chasing down the animal voices frolicking in my head, I wrote their story. All the shelter animals in Lost and Found are based on an animal I cared for in some capacity at the shelter. Now, trying to come up with each animal’s unique voice wasn’t that hard for me, since I went by the personality of the cat or dog. I observed certain quirks, how each animal behaved, what were they afraid of, what they liked, and so on. What I found was that every animal (even kittens born in the same litter) was different. Just. Like. People. When I was ready to sit down and write their story, I compiled a list of shelter animals that readers would emotionally relate to and connect with. Many came to me as a surprise, others were firmly planted in my imagination from the very beginning.

Once I gathered enough facts, and felt that my characters were sufficiently fleshed out, I sat down and created the setting—Fairy Falls—which is the backdrop that glues this series together. I actually based this fictional tourist town on the area where I was living in at the time. Write what you know, right? You see, for over eleven years we lived on a medium-sized lake in the heart of cottage country. So I took in the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, emotions, and feelings of this beautiful place, and added the challenges and obstacles of what it would be like for an uprooted teenager possessing a psychic ability to adjust to the day-to-day living in Fairy Falls. Meagan Walsh, the protagonist from Lost and Found tells us what she thinks of Fairy Falls right off the bat: “This town sucks!”, and she goes on to describe it as ‘a small, boring northern tourist town’. If only Meagan knew what life had planned for her in this magical place!

Indeed, Fairy Falls could be any small tourist town that you may have visited during your youth (or adulthood) that invokes happy memories and simpler times. I wanted these feelings to emerge for the reader, and make my characters realize that there truly is no place like Fairy Falls. The town itself hosts a number of stores, services, and inhabitants that you’d be familiar with when visiting any small, tourist town. There’s a real estate office, a general store, a combined pizza shop and laundromat, a small theatre, a coffee shop where the locals hang out, a restaurant and bar (where tourists hang out), a marina, an arena, schools, the police and fire stations, town hall, a handful of churches, and of course the animal shelter where most of Lost and Found is set.

The psychic teenagers in each of my stand-alone books in this series will have their fair share of adversity and prejudice to deal with. They truly believe they’ve arrived in a place so foreign, so backward, that they try so hard to find a way to leave, only to realize in the end that Fairy Falls has been waiting for them to finally come home to themselves. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

About Lost and Found:

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking...

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:


  1. Love when authors share their process for creating--so helpful. Thanks for sharing yours! -Leigh

    1. You're very welcome, Leigh! It's a custom fit for all writers out there. Gotta figure out what works best for you. Cheers and thanks!

    2. Thanks, Chris! Appreciate you stopping by!