BOOKS AS SPORT, ARTWORKS, WORDSEARCH, CARD TRICKS?

A piece about how the writer’s imagination works, using examples from my recently published novel, Love’s Register.

My thoughts about writing Love’s Register begin with the image of the novel as a house of cards. What I see is an interlocking structure where each word has to be added carefully, judging how much weight it can bear. If the words hold together they support each other, if they don’t the whole caboodle comes tumbling down.

But to keep up that balancing act all the way is difficult. It’s a long journey and a well-judged finish – whether it’s a denouement or a reveal – can make all the difference. It’s what I look for when I read with a novelist’s eye, comparing the quality of the first and last chapters. Continue reading BOOKS AS SPORT, ARTWORKS, WORDSEARCH, CARD TRICKS?

LEWIS STOCKWELL AND THE WONDERS OF NATURAL AESTHETIC CANOEING

Lewis Stockwell canoeing

I interviewed Lewis Stockwell about his Natural Aesthetic Canoe Journeying, his deep involvement in nature and his CFS-M.E. condition. Lewis is  an artist, a curriculum innovator and a Programme Leader for @uhoutdoors at Herts University.

Leslie: Can you trace for us, please, the development from childhood onwards of your love of nature.

Lewis: I wish I could say that I’d always felt deeply and consciously connected to nature, to the more-than-human world, as I do now. I can’t honestly say that I have. I was never the kind of child who littered or who destroyed plants; nothing like that. Nature was something in the background. The place in which all events happened. In school, it was something left alone in the ‘conservation area’.

Continue reading LEWIS STOCKWELL AND THE WONDERS OF NATURAL AESTHETIC CANOEING

WRITING FOR LIFE ON EARTH

Nicola Davies

I interviewed environmentalist Nicola Davies, author of 80 children’s books and trained zoologist, who worked at the BBC Natural History Unit as a researcher and presenter. Nicola has lectured in creative writing at Bath Spa University and was the first recipient of the Special Libraries Association’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Non-fiction. In 2018 she had four picture books longlisted for the Greenaway Award. Continue reading WRITING FOR LIFE ON EARTH

THE JOYS OF PRINTING & XR

Nat Morley

I interviewed Stroud-based printmaker and artist Nat Morley about her unique processes, her protest art and her time spent with Barrel Well Aboriginal Community, Australia. Nat was a prize-winning geographer at Oxford University, sings with Tewkesbury Abbey choir, and her artwork is on permanent display at the Cotswold Craftsmen Gallery in Nailsworth.

Leslie: What are the main artistic medium/areas you work in? If I saw your work in a gallery, what would be the shared themes that I might notice? Continue reading THE JOYS OF PRINTING & XR

A SCREENWRITER’S STORY

Line Langebek

I interviewed Danish/English screenwriter Line Langebek about her work in films/TV, including lead-writing on Finnish Childrens’ series THE ROYALS NEXT DOOR  and developing a feature film  REPATRIATION with the British Film Institute.

Line is the co-founder of @RaisingFilms and @libraryofchange.

Leslie: Can you tell us about how you are using your skills as a screenwriter to create change, please, and the range of approaches you have used.

Continue reading A SCREENWRITER’S STORY

FRANK PARKER – CALLED TO ACCOUNT FOR IRISH HISTORY

Frank Parker

I asked TSL author Frank Parker about writing on the subject of Ireland and colonial history. Frank‘s latest book Called to Account is a historical novel based on the real life of Arthur Kennedy. Appointed Poor Law Inspector in Kilrush, County Clare, towards the end of 1847, Kennedy exposed the practice of mass evictions carried out by wealthy landlords.

Leslie: Tell us about the books you’ve written about Ireland. How did they begin, grow and develop? Did one book stand on the shoulders of the other ? Continue reading FRANK PARKER – CALLED TO ACCOUNT FOR IRISH HISTORY

CLIVE WHITBURN’S SOUNDSCAPES

Clive Whitburn

i  interviewed composer, baritone and conductor Clive Whitburn  who has often performed with major orchestras at venues such as the Royal Albert and Festival Halls and the O2 Arena. Clive plays the oboe, guitar and sitar; he is the founder and managing director of New Network Singers.

Leslie: Can you trace for us the development from childhood onwards of your fascination with different types of music and soundscapes?

Clive: I was born in the 50s in a Devon terrace house. My dad was a music teacher and some of my earliest, pre-school memories are hearing him play the piano downstairs and being taken to the theatre to see my mum and dad in a production of The Mikado. Continue reading CLIVE WHITBURN’S SOUNDSCAPES

ADEDAYO AGARAU – POET, EDITOR & ADVOCATE OF NEW AFRICAN WRITING

Adedayo Agarau

I interviewed prolific Nigerian poet and  editor Adedayo Agarau who was a finalist in the 2021 Sillerman Prize.

Adedayo has several published chapbooks, including For Boys Who WentThe Arrival of Rain and Origin of Names (selected for the New Generation African Poet – African Poetry Book Fund – 2020) and his individual poems are in demand with magazines such as World Literature Today, Anomaly, Frontier, Iowa Review and Boulevard.

As an advocate  for new African writing, Adedayo edits Agbowó: an African magazine of literature and art, and the New International Voices Series at Icefloe-Press. He also edited the groundbreaking Memento: An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry.

Leslie: Tell us about your own creativity – in particular how you came to be a human nutritionist, a documentary photographer, and a poet. What’s the common creative ground between these different disciplines and how do they differ? Continue reading ADEDAYO AGARAU – POET, EDITOR & ADVOCATE OF NEW AFRICAN WRITING

HESTER COX PRINTMAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Hester Cox

I interviewed printmaker Hester Cox whose colourful and richly textured collagraph prints are often inspired by things seen while out fellrunning. Hester says of her work: “By using multiple plates, painted textures and intricate cutting in my printmaking I can accentuate the patterns that I find in the natural world, celebrate the colours found in nature and draw attention to the everyday occurrences that happen around us but that often go unnoticed or are soon forgotten.”

Leslie: Given that you work in N. Yorkshire, is there a connection between your childhood and the art you make? Continue reading HESTER COX PRINTMAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Author and Poet