The accidental author: Gordon Lewis
Wednesday 28 October 2020
Born in Dublin, and lived in a secret community of over a hundred single mothers and children in the 1950s, my education was basic, with no books but lots of religion drummed into us. I was seen at that time to be slow as I could not read or spell, and I could not keep my attention in class. The word dyslexia had not arrived in Ireland at that time.
However, I adapted like most children do and try to work around my learning difficulty. I worked out my weaknesses and strengths and got on with life. I was not going to let dyslexia beat me or get in the way of my dreams. This attitude made me become a very optimistic, cheerful, positive young person. I wanted to leave school as soon as I can, knowing academia is just not my thing, and I can learn more from work and interacting with people.
At fifteen I did leave school and got stuck into work and got into television at 16. The world was my oyster at London Weekend Television; getting to learn all there is to learn about the industry and how things got done. I soon got into making productions, specialising in music.
I had good ears musically but could not sing nor play a musical instrument, but it did not stop me from working, and producing music films for so artists like, Queen, Bowie, Wham, Pretenders and so on! By the age of twenty, I started my own film production company and employed people around me who could make things happen and do things better than I could. It's what you call delegation.
I continued to be entrepreneurial and got into many other businesses, and dyslexia never got in my way.
Fast forward, I have always wanted to write a book, but the weaknesses of spelling and lack of English studies concerned me. However, I decided I had to find a way to confront my dyslexia and try to overcome this. It was hard to start, not able to write the conventional method of the pen to paper as there were just so challenging to string sentences together etc.
I tried recording my telling of the stories, but that didn't work either. In the end, I got a laptop and started very slowly, tapping slowly on the keyboard. It took a while, but soon I got going and had some help from a teacher and later spelling aides online. I completed the book and was picked up by HarperCollins and to my big surprise, my first book, 'Secret Child', became a top ten Sunday Times bestseller. To watch the award-winning short film based on the book, go to www.secretchild.com
My second and follow-up book, 'Secret to Sultan' has just been released.
Whilst writing, I felt I needed to do something positive for children and families living with dyslexia. I used my talents to produce a short film, Mical, based on a true story about a family living with dyslexia. I realised I must not allow my dyslexia to get in my way to success, but I also recognised there are many out there who need the extra help to make sure it does not affect their success. I hope that the film and my books will inspire others to achieve their dreams.