FROM BOOK TO FILM

Leslie Tate in Heaven’s Rage

The newly-released film Heaven’s Rage is a story of self-discovery: of soul lost and found, and the truth behind everyday appearances.  Based on my memoir of the same name, the film explores ‘Burning questions, hidden feelings and pressures to conform’.

It was made by:

NORWAY’S CULTURAL SCHOOLBAG

Norway’s Cultural Schoolbag aims to provide professional quality art and music, performed by first class artists, to help the children recognize quality and appreciate it.

Writing from Norway, Bente Reimers Moe describes the diverse and exciting ways Norwegian children (and adults) are encouraged to enjoy the arts. Bente, who is a librarian and arts activist, gives this picture of central support for local cultural activity:

The Cultural Schoolbag, TCS, is a government-funded educational programme designed to give all Norwegian school students access to a wide range of quality art and culture.

To give a few examples: Continue reading NORWAY’S CULTURAL SCHOOLBAG

EXTRACT TWO FROM ‘VIOLET’ – THE GAMES BEGIN

The red-violet Susan B. Anthony stamp,1936. The colour violet stood for Women’s Suffrage.

A dialogue from Part One of my new novel, Violet, with a piece at the end discussing how it was written.

After exchanging letters and talking on the phone, Beth and James meet in a West End restaurant. James has just drunk from a shared glass smeared with Beth’s lipstick.

Continue reading EXTRACT TWO FROM ‘VIOLET’ – THE GAMES BEGIN

COMING OUT: FULL STORY

Into Temptation by Sophia Blackwell

I interviewed poet and author Sophia Blackwell about LGBTQI visibility in British writing today. Sophia, who hosts regularly for Apples and Snakes, has performed at the Glastonbury and Edinburgh Festivals. Her writing has appeared in Trespass, Rising, Fuselit anthologies and Pen Pusher, the Oxford Muse book, ‘Guide to an Unknown City,’ and in Paul Burston’s anthology of gay short fiction, ‘Boys and Girls’ and its follow-up ‘Men and Women.’ Sophia has three published books: two poetry collections, Into Temptation and The Fire Eater’s Lover; and a novel, After My Own Heart.

Leslie: Can you take us through what made it possible for you to become a self-identified lesbian performance poet, please? Continue reading COMING OUT: FULL STORY

THE FINE ART OF FACE AND BODY PAINTING

Zoe Thornbury-Phillips at home with her portfolio, Sept 2010

Zoe Thornbury-Phillips is a face-and-body painting artist who has won major national awards from Illusion Magazine, the UK Face and Body Art Convention, the FACE Painting Association and several festivals dedicated to the art. Zoe has worked for TV, fashion shows and photo shoots, transforming her subjects using full or partial body painting ‘makeovers’, pregnancy tummy designs, glitter temporary tattoos, UV paint and henna art. She also uses fun ideas, particularly when working with children. I asked Zoe who and what inspires her work.

Leslie: Can you describe how you started and how your art has developed? Continue reading THE FINE ART OF FACE AND BODY PAINTING

CHRISTMAS IN THE FIFTIES – MY STORY

As a child, I spent Christmas with my parents and grandparents in N.E. England. These extracts from my memoir Heaven’s Rage describe the drive from London, my excitement once there, and the behaviour of the extended family. The two poems are additional.                                                                                           Leslie Tate

‘The first big trip was the annual Christmas drive from London to the North East. It took twelve hours through hail and snow with my dad white-knuckling the car around corners like Ahab in a storm. Continue reading CHRISTMAS IN THE FIFTIES – MY STORY

EXTRACT ONE FROM ‘VIOLET’ – DIVING IN

Violet-coloured Irises by Vincent van Gogh, 1889.

My next novel, Violet, begins with Beth’s early childhood piece about storytelling. It’s the first story of many, developing her voice and linking to the end of Violet, where her step-daughter, Hannah, writes a related picture book.

The section that follows, describing Beth at fifty waiting in a restaurant, was the original start to the book. I inserted ‘The Girl Who Began Again’ much later with the help of my wife, Sue Hampton. Both sections are about the power of the imagination. Continue reading EXTRACT ONE FROM ‘VIOLET’ – DIVING IN

WELSH-ENGLISH POET WITH ONE FOOT IN NEW ORLEANS

clare potter – who chooses lower case for her writer name – pictured at the Hay Festival by Paul Musso.

I interviewed multi-talented Welsh writer clare e. potter, who has won the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry and danced in Gary Clarke’s production of Coal – an on-stage experience clare spoke of as, ‘life-changing’.

clare has been active in the Literature Wales Dylan Cross-Art Form projects, which she described as: “Run by two paired artists who went into schools and pupil referral units to make work based on Dylan Thomas. The ensuing creations could be expressed through film, dance, a scene from a play, poems or sculpture.” She is also one of the Arts Council of Wales’ practitioners for the Lead Creative School initiative where, she says, “I worked with a sculptor and an actor/gamer with a group of ‘disengaged’ primary school children.” Continue reading WELSH-ENGLISH POET WITH ONE FOOT IN NEW ORLEANS

HIRAETH, SACRED STORIES AND THE HISTORICAL NOVEL

Elizabeth Jane Corbett outside the Welsh-speaking centre Canolfan, named after Hywel Dda (Howell the good), the Welsh king credited with codifying Welsh law. Elizabeth says: ‘My current work in progress is being written from the first person point of view of Owain Glyndwr’s wife. I wanted to understand the laws of Hywel better.”

I interviewed Elizabeth Jane Corbett, who won the Bristol Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award. Elizabeth lives in Australia, where she teaches Welsh, is an author and librarian, and writes articles for the Historical Novel Review and blogs at elizabethjanecorbett.com. Elizabeth says about herself: “I live with my husband, Andrew, in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s inner-north and I like red shoes, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far away.” Elizabeth’s debut novel The Tides Between , shortlisted for the HarperCollins Varuna Manuscript Development Award, is published by Odyssey Books.

 Leslie: Can you tell us in a nutshell about your young adult historical novel The Tides Between, please? Continue reading HIRAETH, SACRED STORIES AND THE HISTORICAL NOVEL

Author and Poet