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 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?

BRIDGET BAILEY – MILLINERY & TEXTILE FLORA AND FAUNA

Bridget Bailey:: Meadowscape, detail. Photo by Tas Kyprianou.

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.

Leslie: How did your upbringing develop your interest in ‘finds’ and the close-up study of nature? What were the messages you were receiving about art, in all its forms, and its relationship to the world? Continue reading BRIDGET BAILEY – MILLINERY & TEXTILE FLORA AND FAUNA

POET OF GRIEF & REBELLION

Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. His work has appeared in the 20.35: Contemporary African Poets Anthology, The Whale Road, Ice Floe Press, Lolwe, Feral Poetry, The Kissing Dynamite, Rigorous Magazine, and elsewhere. His chapbook (Miryam Magdalit) has been selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani (The African Poetry Book Fund), in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set. Continue reading POET OF GRIEF & REBELLION

GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (2)

Not Quite Right For Us

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 HecateVerity LaMeanjin, New Contrast, Prometheus DreamingDisability Arts OnlineCordite, the anthology Botswana Women Write (University of Kwazulu-Natal Press) and the Speaking Volumes UK anthology Not Quite Right for Us (flipped eye publishing).

In her answers, Gaele describes her organisational and personal experiences as a disabled person, her intersectional work with the local community and the importance of artistic control in realising the creative potential of marginalised groups. Continue reading GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (2)

GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (1)

Gaele Sobott

I interviewed Gaele Sobott, founder and creative director of Outlandish Arts, a disabled-led arts organisation, and author of Colour Me Blue, a collection of short stories set in Botswana, and My Longest Round, the life story  of Wiradjuri man and champion boxer Wally Carr.

In the first half of her interview Gaele introduces her upbringing and disability work, her creative methods as a cross-genre wordsmith and her reaction to the Australian bush fires and the current climate emergency. Continue reading GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (1)

TV SCRIPTWRITER TELLS ALL

Martin Day

I interviewed TV writer & author Martin Day who has scripted Doctors on BBC1, Family Affairs on Channel Five, Fair City (RTÉ), and was lead writer on CBBC’s Crisis Control. Martin is also the author (or co-author) of twelve novels and audiobooks, two audio plays and eight non-fiction books, mostly concerning television in general and Doctor Who in particular. Martin, who has taught creative writing at Bath Spa University, has also written comic strips, short stories and journalism. Continue reading TV SCRIPTWRITER TELLS ALL

GLAD TO BE GREEN, LGBTQ+ AND AN ILLNESS WARRIOR

I interviewed Hannah McNamara, LGBTQ+ campaigner and Green activist, about growing up as bisexual in Northern Ireland, coming out, winning a diversity award at work, and coping with major physical conditions during a pandemic. Continue reading GLAD TO BE GREEN, LGBTQ+ AND AN ILLNESS WARRIOR

DARK HORSE THEATRE ROCKS

I interviewed Amy Cunningham, artistic lead for Dark Horse Theatre, about how the company put on innovative and powerful shows by learning-disabled actors that reverse audience expectations. Amy also talked about her work as a trustee of  Theatre in Prisons and Probation (TIPP), making “People who are perceived to be less valuable become more valuable.” Continue reading DARK HORSE THEATRE ROCKS

MAGGIE BRALEY’S MUSIC – A LIFELONG SOUL JOURNEY

Maggie Braley on guitar and singing

I interviewed indie musician Maggie Braley who composes her own songs and leads community singing. Maggie, who is a rock climber from Belper, Derbyshire and a passionate environmentalist, says that learning to sing both folk and classical music, “has been a lifelong soul journey.”

Leslie: What were the early experiences that led you towards being a musician? Continue reading MAGGIE BRALEY’S MUSIC – A LIFELONG SOUL JOURNEY

Author and Poet