Thursday, 4 December 2014

Book Launch for 'Lightning' by Lesley Cheetham

Lesley Cheetham is an author and librarian at the Elizabeth Garret Anderson School in London, who has self-published a trio of brilliant YA novels under her personal imprint, Lambchop Publishing. She joined up with Albury Books earlier this year in time for the publication her most recent novel, Lightning.

With all four of Lesley's titles now under the Albury Fiction imprint, we are delighted to be able to announce this evening's launch of Lightning, in London, at:

Oxfam Bookshop on Upper Street
Thursday 4th December


Lesley's second YA novel, Her Other Voice, is the follow up to, Her Sister's Voice, which won the prestigious Islington Read Teen Award, beating off competition from RJ Palacio's, Wonder, Jeff Kinney's, The Third Wheel, and David Walliams', Demon Dentist.

Each of Lesley's books place a focus on the issues that many teenage girls face as a result of the constant pressure and expectation they feel to perform in their lives.

Lesley Cheetham Her Other VoiceLesley Cheetham Her Sister's VoiceHer Sister's Voice, creates a poignant comment upon the deafening volume that the inner voice of 'I'm not good enough' can reach. This is extended by Lesley into an exploration of how behaviour patterns such as repetition and denial, which initially are often used to combat and find some control amongst feelings of inadequacy, become all encompassing and driven forwards by an increasingly irrational and demanding Voice that inhabits their psyche. The book charts Leila's battle to defeat the Voice inside of her, but despite her efforts, the challenges that are placed in her way by the circumstance of life serve only to make her battle more difficult.

Lesley Cheetham Someone Like MeThe character of the Voice in both books, develops into a menacing and uncontrollable force, picking its victims from among the insecure and self-questioning. Yet, all the teen characters in both, Her Sister's Voiceand its sequel, Her Other Voice, conform to this character trait in one way or another. The only difference between the characters is that the victims who suffer the most, are those who have stayed silent about their troubles, whereas those who share their problems are able to overcome them before they become an overwhelming burden.

In Lightning we see the same themes of compulsion rise again, with the main character fighting against anxiety and OCD, however unlike in HOV and HSV, this is something that Elsie manages to find a way to control before it consumes her. The book itself follows Lesley's change of sub-genre direction, begun with her mystery-driven third book, Someone Like Me, which was named Islington Council's Book of the Month. Lightning is driven forwards by remnants of the effects that Elsie feels after being struck by lightning. Now able to see things in a new light, her voyage of discovery is given direction by the mystery that reveals itself to her, whether it's wanted or not. The tandem voyage of self-discovery that Elsie goes on when distracted by the events around her, show how change can be good and how you can overcome your fears by facing them head-on.

Lesley Cheetham
The diversity of Lesley's four novels, and the ease with which she creates relatable and sympathetic characters in her stories, has proven her to be an exciting and talented YA author who shines a much-needed light into the darker portions of a typical teenage mind. Thoughts and feelings that many readers will be familiar with, are presented starkly on the pages of each of her books, creating for the reader a kind of cathartic acknowledgement that you are not alone. It's just that all too often, people are so worried about what others will think, that they hesitate to talk openly about them.

We would like to wish Lesley all the best of luck for her launch this evening, and very much look forwards to working with her on more of her fantastic books!

If you have any queries about Lesley Cheetham she can be contacted through her Facebook Page, or if you would like to buy any of her books, they are available from Lesley's Albury BookShelf

by Hannah 
Publishing Controller at Albury Books

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