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 hard 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?→
I interviewed Debbie Jenkinson whose graphic novels explore the triumphs and frustrations of everyday life. Debbie‘s work includes Remorse, a long-form comic about a girl trapped in a call centre job for ten years and Ghosting; a graphic thriller about a missing Italian chambermaid and a Bus Eireann driver who fears he’s been ghosted.
Debbie speaks about the “magical triangulation” that occurs in comics, between the image, the text, and the reader. “I think our brains take in pictorial information in a different way…a more natural way. There’s something really immersive about reading a comic, that’s different from reading prose…It’s like looking at the world through someone else’s eyes.”
I interviewed historical novelist, archaeologist, teacher and performance poet Kate Innes about her writing and her life experiences in Zimbabwe, Connecticut, and now Shropshire, UK. She is the author of two #Arrowsmith medieval novels, a children’s WW2 fantasy, Greencoats and a poetry collection, Flocks of Words.
Kate, who has a deep interest in nature, fairy tales and Greek Mythology, says about her life now, “We live in Shropshire, amongst its tangled forests, ancient hills and lively history; a truly inspiring landscape.”
I interviewed Art Specialist Teacher Dilys Finlay whose exceptional work with the children of Beecroft Garden Primary School, involving drawing, painting, sculpture, textiles, photography, mosaics and installation, has featured in exhibitions and on London Live TV news. Dilys passionately believes that events like these as well as collaborations with visiting artists have given the children creative confidence.
Dilys studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London, working in adult education before becoming a primary teacher.
I interviewed Kelsey Josund about working in Silicon Valley, California and her book Platformed, a futuristic fantasy related to her work experiences. Kelsey says about herself: “I care deeply about the ecosystems that humans impact and that impact us. My writing explores these issues while also following classic coming-of-age arcs in science fiction and fantasy. I’m also very interested in stories and characters that complicate the traditional and familiar, leading me to fairytale retellings from unexpected angles.”
I interviewed artist Bridget Bailey about her extraordinary nature-based hats, originally sold by Liberty of London, and her textile flora and fauna, exhibited at Fortnum and Mason, Jagggedart, London, and the Royal Academy. Bridget talks about how she learned millinery, her artistic techniques and methods, and her more recent insect-and-plant inspired creations.
In part two of her interview author, disability activist and feminist Gaele Sobott talks about her campaigning and creative work. Gaele, who has a PhD in literature from Hull University, recently published short stories and poems in Hecate, Verity La, Meanjin, New Contrast,Prometheus Dreaming, Disability Arts Online, Cordite, the anthology Botswana Women Write (University of Kwazulu-Natal Press) and the Speaking Volumes UK anthology Not Quite Right for Us(flipped eye publishing).
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