Part Two of my interview with graphic novelists, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers covers the period when Metaphrog created subtly adapted versions of classic fairly tales. John and Sandra also talk in depth about the tradition of the graphic novel as an art form.
I interviewed writer, speaker, musician and software expert Jess Ingrassellino about her self-taught skills, her thirst for knowledge, and how creativity has helped her link up the various fields she works in. Jess says, about herself: “I am open to new conversations and new experiences, as I am still writing my story, and it is writing me.”
Leslie: Can you give a brief overview of your activities, please, highlighting the common themes?
Jess: I started my professional life as a private violin teacher when I was 19. It’s how I put myself through college. I grew up in poverty, and had no support of any kind, financial or otherwise, from my family after I left home at 17. So, I took any jobs I could find, including waitressing, teaching piano, even teaching English grammar. Continue reading FROM SPEAKER & VIOLINIST TO TESTING SOFTWARE→
I asked author Peter Street to speak about his extreme experiences as a gravedigger and talented, autistic poet. What follows is a shocking, surprising, expressive record of survival against the odds.
Peter says about himself: “I left school barely able to read and write. I have very little logic which has held me back lots of the time, but it’s also given me a kind of freedom. It has separated me from the rest of society – I don’t feel a sense of failure or fear. I keep saying I was born outside the box.” Continue reading BORN OUTSIDE THE BOX→
I talked to Karen Eisenbrey who, in her own words: “Writes fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as short fiction in a variety of genres and the occasional poem if it insists.” Karen also sings in a church choir, plays drums in a garage band, and wrote songs for her debut YA novel The Gospel According to St. Rage , a finalist for the 2016 Wishing Shelf Book Awards .
Vici, who has written, directed and toured numerous plays, says of her work: “Anyone working in socially engaged work, in work that is a call to arms for equality in the arts, and particularly anyone working in Disability Theatre feels both a sense of responsibility to ‘get it right’ and also to create a piece of work that stands on its own artistic merits. Anyone making theatre does so because they want an audience to have a fantastic experience, and to see an exemplary piece of work. Even 27 years into my career, it always feels like so much rests on the work. Broadly in wider arts, there is an unspoken fear that disability work brings extra risk with it – ‘will people want to see it, will it be any good, does it have a place in our building’.” Continue reading DISABLED-LED THEATRE NOW→
I interviewed musician Ben Comeau about his innovative combinations of classical, jazz, pop and world music. Ben, who graduated top of his year in music from Cambridge University, UK, won the 2011 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition. He has performed his compositions in the Royal Albert Hall, the Wigmore Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall as well as on BBC Radio 3. Ben has improvised live soundtracks to several silent films and is a committed environmentalist. In his own words, Ben is: “Always looking for ways to connect music to important social and political issues of our time.”