A couple of days ago the author of The Midas Tree stopped by and talked about creating the ideal fairy tale. Today, I’m interview her about her new book The Midas Tree, as well as other interesting aspects of her life.
Hi, Dr. Philips, and welcome to my blog! Are you ready for some really tough questions? Just kidding. I’ll go easy on you.
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I used to have lots of secrets, but these days I’m like an open book. I used to be a clairvoyant by night and a biotech business executive by day. I kept the two worlds separate – just like a superhero does.
I remember a team building exercise once at work, where we each had to share something that nobody else knew. Everyone mentioned a sport they played or confessed they were a star trek fan. I was thinking “I’m a secret psychic!” but my fear of ridicule from a room of scientists overcame me and I said “I’m an artist and I do colorful, whimsical art. Even then I was the most unusual person in the room.
What made you want to become a writer?
Finding out my path is to be a spiritual messenger. I am here to teach spiritual information; writing is a great way to do that. Plus I have been craving a more flexible lifestyle, where I can live where I want; or even travel and work. In my past career, as a scientist and business woman, the jobs were always located in big cities.
Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?
I do. I am clairvoyant, which means I am able to see as spirit. I see the energy field around people’s bodies and am can read and interpret it. I use this ability to provide people with useful information for their spiritual development
Where do you find inspiration to write?
The inspiration is from spiritual calling which is teaching people how to meditate. More than this, it comes from the very depths of who I am; it is a primal urge that comes from my soul. I write from my intuition and not from my intellectual mind. This means that I am not limited by the cultural norms of writing a book and I am able to draw from experiences beyond my current life.
I notice that what emerges in my art and writing is multi-layered and expansive, yet at the same time simple, straight forward and easy to understand. My creative flow draws on many belief systems. In my book I can pick out Shamanic, Pagan, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist motifs and more. Also in my art I see resonances of many cultures, countries and belief systems. I feel that they come from a deeper place than my waking consciousness and current experiences.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They came from my imagination, or to be more specific from a higher wiser part of myself. They are not based on real people although one of the characters is named after someone who is special to me. The others have names, personalities and physical appearances that reflect what they do and what they teach.
Here is an example:-
- Devadne is the deva who teaches a meditation technique called grounding. Her job in the Midas Tree is to tend to the roots; she also teaches how roots anchor the tree in the ground. She has bronze colored skin and dresses in clothes made from the fine root hairs. Her name is derived from Evadne, the daughter of Poseidon, the Greek God of the underworld.
- Other examples can be found here http://themidastree.com/characters/
Could you tell us a bit about The Midas Tree and why it is a must-read?
The hero, Joshua finds a golden acorn floating in a stream that propels him into a magical journey inside a tree. This magical new world, offers him a lifetime of adventures. Desperate to return home, he must first turn himself and the tree to golden light. He must uncover spiritual secrets and let go of inner demons to achieve this task and fulfill his destiny.
It is an allegory for spiritual enlightenment and it teaches practical tools and techniques to assist you as you follow your own magical life journey.
It can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
But if you do have children it would be fun to read “The Midas Tree” together.
What do you love most about the writing process?
That it validates my intuition. I love how I can use my clairvoyance to create a story. It’s so much fun. Also that it is a way to positively engage both the intellect and the intuition. I use my intuition when I write, so as not to disturb the creative flow. Then I polish and edit using my intellect.
You are a clairvoyant. How old were you and what events led to discovering this talent?
Everyone has this gift at birth, but as most of us grow up among people who do not validate their spiritual gifts, we turn them off. I remember seeing colors and lights as a child in the air around people, but the adults just said it was my vivid imagination.
My Dad valued academic excellence, and he was a big influence on my as a child, so I went to University, obtained a PhD in drug discovery and had a successful career as a scientist and businesswoman in the biotech industry.
My conscious connection with spirit never completely extinguished though. I kept a dream diary in my teens and twenties and that was my window into my intuition. I became fascinated with the experiences I was having in my sleep, and so I started taking classes in meditation, healing and clairvoyance.
This focus allowed me to reawaken my spiritual abilities. I spent many years doing inner work to heal myself and open my gifts. Now my focus is on helping others reclaim their spiritual birthright.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
I don’t have a favorite. They are like children and I love them all equally. Each one is unique and has something different to teach. When people ask me about the characters, I usually use Devadne as an example, because grounding, the meditation technique she teaches gives people a strong foundation; not just in learning to meditate, but for opening creativity, developing intuitive abilities and managing life in general.
Many of your character names in The Midas Tree begin with the letter “D”. Why is that?
They all begin with Dev. It is derived from the word deva, which is a Sanskrit word for a benevolent supernatural being or deity. The devas of The Midas Tree are fairy-like creatures, who are also guides and teachers. They are the custodians of spiritual information, and they teach tools and techniques that help the hero Joshua through his journey and trials in The Midas Tree.
Not all characters in the book are devas, and so their names do not begin with Dev. Joshua is the hero and Morfar is his guardian. There are many animal characters, who Joshua meets on his journey – these encounters also offer learning experiences.
What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
Probably that writing is the easiest part; promoting and marketing the book is an even bigger and more time-consuming task. A nicer surprise is that everyone who has read my book has enjoyed it and been very positive and complimentary about it.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
I wear many hats. I teach meditation in the evenings and give clairvoyant readings and healings at a spa in Vancouver and on Skype. My past career was as a business development executive in the biotech industry and so I still take on consulting projects in that area. Plus I manage a scientific network at the local university.
Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years? Do you have any other books in the works?
My ideal life is to be a full-time writer, spiritual teacher and practitioner. If The Midas Tree is successful, then I have a series of seven sequels planned, based on the ideas that are laid out in Chapter 19 of the current book.
I am also in the process of creating a teacher’s guide to accompany The Midas Tree. This can be used by teachers who wish to use “The Midas Tree” to teach their pupils to meditate; and by parents who want to read and learn alongside their children.
And now, just some little random questions!
Favorite TV show?
Most dangerous thing you did as a child?
To conclude, is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I am honored that you are reading my book. I hope you have fun accompanying Joshua on his adventures. It is my deepest wish that you will benefit beyond measure from the spiritual information that it provides.
Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree” will be published on November 11th 2012. She can be reached at:- Lesley@themidastree.com
Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/themidastree
Twitter Link: @DrLesleyP
I do not have the following links yet – they will be in place by the launch date
Goodreads Link: coming soon
Amazon Link: coming soon
Barnes & Noble Link: coming soon