All posts by Leslie Tate


Debbie Jenkinson

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.”

Debbie is the co-founder of The Comics Lab (now a part of Dublin Comics Arts Festival) and board member of Illustrators Ireland. Continue reading A GRAPHIC NOVELIST SPEAKS


Kate Innes. Photo by Sarah Ibberson

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.”

Leslie: Can you tell a few stories about how your upbringing has shaped who you are + your enthusiasms & interests + what you write? Continue reading ADVENTURES IN WRITING WITH KATE INNES


Dilys Finlay

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.

Leslie: If I was a regular visitor to your school, what would strike me about the visible and less visible art going on? Continue reading DILYS FINLAY’S SCHOOL ART


Lulah Ellender

I interviewed author, editor and teacher Lulah Ellender whose first book, Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines was one of The Spectator’s Books of the Year and described by the Guardian as ‘hauntingly beautiful’. Having been Writer in Residence at Charleston’s Festival of the Garden, Lulah‘s second book, Grounding: Finding Home in a Garden, comes out in April 2022. Lulah lives in East Sussex with her husband, four children and various animals.

Leslie: Can you describe your book Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines, at its surface synoptic level but also at its deeper, more enduring & mysterious level, please. Continue reading EXPLORING LISTS, MEMORIES AND LIVING GARDENS


Kelsey Josund

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.”

Leslie: Tell us about the work you do for a forest carbon markets startup based in Silicon Valley. What’s the business about? Continue reading A SILICON VALLEY STORY


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


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


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)