All posts by Leslie Tate

THE ART OF IZZY IN STITCHES

Isobel Moore in her studio

I interviewed artist Isobel Moore, who says about herself: “I am a visual artist from East Sussex, originally from London. A domestic sewing machine is my tool of choice! I am inspired by colour and pattern, and I enjoy nothing better than finding an unwanted piece of fabric and breathing new life into it by adding it to my work. As well as colourful recycled fabrics, I love using old lace, beads, buttons, and recycled papers like maps and music. I have recently started to experiment with paint.” Continue reading THE ART OF IZZY IN STITCHES

BEING AN AUTHOR: “TRUST IN GOD BUT TIE UP YOUR CAMEL”

Lesley Hayes

I interviewed author, philosopher and psychotherapist Lesley Hayes about the differences between the three stages in her creative life. Lesley abandoned a career as a best-selling writer to practise as a therapist, returning much later to writing books and, as a result, embracing a deeper sense of life.

Leslie: Can you describe the difference, please, between the books you wrote from 17 – 37 and those you’ve written after retirement. Why did you return to writing and how have you changed as an author?

Lesley: At 17 I began working on Honey Magazine, and showed the editor some of my short stories. She was so taken with one that she published it in the magazine. That was the start of a whirlwind rise to relative fame. Continue reading BEING AN AUTHOR: “TRUST IN GOD BUT TIE UP YOUR CAMEL”

AERIAL FEATS & LITERATURE

I interviewed author and aerial performer Sarah Jane Dobbs , who has written two novels Killing Daniel, nominated for the Not the Booker Award, and The Sea Inside Me.  As a senior lecturer at Sunderland University, Sarah leads the new English: Creative and Professional Writing degree, and has written books about Creative Writing, Her short stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies. Sarah also performs with and jointly directs the Sunderland-based aerial company Uncaged, which she co-founded. Continue reading AERIAL FEATS & LITERATURE

IS EVERYTHING WE WRITE A COMING-OF-AGE STORY?

Leslie reading at a Milton Keynes Foodbank Event, photo by Ashra Burnham

Books come out of mindsets. In the case of my new novel, Love’s Register, I grew up as an author while writing it.

When I started, I believed I was producing something spectacular that would make my name and stand the test of time. Now, after 14 years of revision and republishing, I realise that achieving either is beside the point. A book follows its own logic; the writer’s task is to see it through.

I was fortunate to be published by small presses. It allowed me to find my feet as a writer, and at first the book grew as three separate novels. It also meant I escaped the standard big-five ‘heavy edit’. But by the final version, I’d recast everything while adding new characters and storylines. Continue reading IS EVERYTHING WE WRITE A COMING-OF-AGE STORY?

A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY IN MY FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS

Mary J. Oliver

I interviewed Mary J. Oliver about her debut novel Jim Neat , which uses  an original mix of prose, poetry, found documents and photographs to uncover the secret history of her father as a vagrant in Canada. Jim Neat ranges across 20th century history,  adopting a legal structure to ‘make the case’ for the worth of Jim’s life.

Our archives are a dream-like portal to our unwritten histories – Mary J. Oliver.

Leslie: Your debut novel Jim Neat is a collection of documents putting a legal case about your father. Can you explain why you adopted this structure and what you set out to prove, please? Continue reading A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY IN MY FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS

THE MAKING OF A NOVEL

Leslie Tate

Leslie Vs Leslie: a self-interview, discussing Leslie’s latest novel, Love’s Register:

What’s special about Love’s Register?

For starters, it’s longer than three novels put together. And it’s full-on, exploring the love lives of four UK generations. It also covers the climate emergency and how it affects young people today. It’s ambitious, but very much about the characters.

Does that mean it’s a character-led book? Continue reading THE MAKING OF A NOVEL

A WORKING CLASS WORD-SMITH IS SOMETHING TO BE

Julie Noble

I interviewed Yorkshire author and broadcaster Julie Noble about her successes in three writing competitions – the Northern Writers Award 2019, Arvon Gold Dust Award and Moniack Mhor Two Roads – and her Radio 4 show ‘My Name is Julie’, in which she interviewed people closely involved with disadvantaged families experiencing Summer Learning Loss because of lockdown.

Leslie: How did you put together ‘My Name is Julie’? What did you learn about the issue and presenting this kind of radio material & working with worried people? Continue reading A WORKING CLASS WORD-SMITH IS SOMETHING TO BE

JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS TITLE

Leslie Tate writes about searching for a title to his latest novel Love’s Register.

What’s in a Name?

Giving  my novel a title for publication was something I only thought about late on, close to the finishing line.  I’d put it off, mainly because the only way to get to the end was to carry on writing every day – and do nothing else.  Like cycling it was a case of keeping going, head down, or the mental muscles would go flabby.  Practice makes perfect. Continue reading JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS TITLE