ART & GENDER – Leslie Tate

I’m lying on my side in a darkened studio with lights and a camera pointed at my bare back. Christoffer is taking the pictures, directed by Andreas and Dagmara. The studio is in Aarhus, Denmark, I’m naked, and the film, called ‘Landscapes’, puts together close-up images of seven LGBTQI people over 60.

It’s a four-hour shoot, first across my back then tight on my chest, moving to my hand and finally to my upper body and face. While the camera pans through smoke effects and I’m in the picture, the film crew are exclaiming how beautiful it looks. Dagmara calls the session ‘funky’. It’s as if they’re sightseers in a gallery being constantly surprised and astonished by the artwork they see there. Continue reading ART & GENDER – Leslie Tate

POLYNESIA: PARADISE LOST?

In this two-part feature, Lillian Howan, author of a powerful novel set in Tahiti,  offers a revealing interview and a lyrical essay describing her cultural heritage, her creativity and her experience of lupus. It also includes pictures of Polynesian Islands threatened by climate change, taken by Lillian’s sister-in-law, Françoise Holozet-Howan.

PICTURES OF POLYNESIA

Iles Maria by Francoise Howan-Holozet

This is a message from Françoise Holozet-Howan, about these photographs of Polynesia: Continue reading POLYNESIA: PARADISE LOST?

THE ART OF SHEILA DE ROSA – PRINTMAKING, EMPATHY AND PRECIOUS SCARS

Sheila De Rosa printing

I interviewed artist, printmaker and teacher Sheila de Rosa, who is based in Tring, Hertfordshire. Sheila says about herself, “My art combines themes from Sublime Art, through Feminist Theory and into Maternal Subjectivity, and my projects often include a form of printed impression. Materials and form determine my subject matter.”

Leslie: Can you tell us about your compositional methods, please.
Sheila: I don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ methodology. I usually depend on my aesthetic sensibilities to find potential in the world around me. In other words, an image has to appeal to me. Continue reading THE ART OF SHEILA DE ROSA – PRINTMAKING, EMPATHY AND PRECIOUS SCARS

THE ART OF CO-AUTHORSHIP

I asked Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney about how they wrote a joint book. They are the authors of ‘A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Brontë, Eliot and Woolf’. They also run  SomethingRhymed.com together, a website that celebrates female literary friendship. Emily is a winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, Emma is author of the award-winning novel Owl Song at Dawn.

The piece that follows was originally written for Women Writers, Women Books.

The Art of Co-Authorship
by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney
Continue reading THE ART OF CO-AUTHORSHIP

COFFEE & PEOPLE – THE KURDISH WAY

I interviewed coffee expert Ender Turan about his life journey from rural Kurdistan to managing ‘Epicure’, a popular café in Berkhamsted, UK.

Leslie: Where did the idea of a coffee shop first come from? How far back does your interest go?

Ender: The idea began when I was young, living in Kurdistan. Let me explain… I was brought up as an Alevi, a traditional way of life in Western Anatolia. It’s one of the two main Kurdish groups. So I was raised in a self-sufficient farming village where men and women shared things and worked together. I don’t recall money in our village – instead people would exchange animals for crops and vice versa. It was a close, caring community. If anyone wasn’t self-sufficient they would be given food and other necessaries to live on. Continue reading COFFEE & PEOPLE – THE KURDISH WAY

WHAT GOES INTO AN EDIT?

Kendra Olson with her rescued cat Othello

I interviewed Kendra Olson about how she works with writers as a ‘developmental editor’. Kendra has an MLitt in Creative Writing and is the author of the historical fiction novel, The Forest King’s Daughter. She enjoys writing short stories and creative non-fiction, including book reviews. When Kendra is not writing she spends time with her cats and reading as many books as possible. Continue reading WHAT GOES INTO AN EDIT?

TOM CRAVEN – WATFORD ROCKS

Tom Craven

I interviewed Watford-based singer/songwriter Tom Craven who has played funk, pop, folk and high-energy rock and now runs his own events company. Tom says of himself: “My style is melodic song-writing. Involving big hooks, with generally acoustic-inspired arrangements. Mostly American in location, my music has included a lot of pop-rock sentiment, with melancholy rootsy vibes and a big emphasis on lyrical content. My heroes include Damien Rice, Neil Young, Tonic, Goo Goo Dolls, Gary Moore and Wishbone Ash.” Continue reading TOM CRAVEN – WATFORD ROCKS

SALLY CRONIN, BLOGGER AND INDIE AUTHOR, Part Two

Header from Smorgasbord

In part two of my interview with Smorgasbord blogger and indie author Sally Cronin, I asked about her upbringing, her love of language, and the differences between blogging and writing books.

Leslie: Can you describe the kinds of imaginative language you loved when you were growing up, please? Where did you get your ideas and help from? Continue reading SALLY CRONIN, BLOGGER AND INDIE AUTHOR, Part Two

SALLY CRONIN, BLOGGER AND INDIE AUTHOR, Part One

Header from Smorgasbord

I interviewed Sally Cronin who runs Smorgasbord, a lifestyle blog with 32,000+ followers, and has twenty years of published writing behind her. Sally says about herself: “In 1996. My first book ‘Size Matters’ was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one.” Continue reading SALLY CRONIN, BLOGGER AND INDIE AUTHOR, Part One

Author and Poet