WHAT’S THE TRUTH BEHIND HISTORICAL FICTION?

Ali Bacon

I interviewed novelist Ali Bacon about writing ‘creative history’ and her use of a male protagonist when writing for a women’s press. Ali’s third book, In the Blink of an Eye, is a ‘fictionalised biography’, aka ‘faction’, or ‘docudrama’, written about the Scottish Victorian photographer David Octavius Hill. Ali tells his story mostly through the eyes and voices of a number of women who have been largely overlooked by history. Continue reading WHAT’S THE TRUTH BEHIND HISTORICAL FICTION?

SACHA COWARD – MUSEUMS, ESCAPE ROOMS, MERMAIDS & CULTURAL COMMUNITIES

Sacha Coward

Sacha Coward talks about his work in museums, including building ‘escape rooms’ and running family festivals as well as staging interactive exhibitions, films and events. Through innovative programming, Sacha aims to showcase ‘hidden histories’ and reach out to underrepresented audiences.

He says: “I believe museums and heritage create powerful places for social change. As part of this I am one of the chairs for the Museum Pride LDN group of heritage professionals who march for London Pride each year. I also co-chair the QueeringMuseums network and am a yearly Fun Palace builder, working with heritage sites to provide space and opportunities for communities every October.” Continue reading SACHA COWARD – MUSEUMS, ESCAPE ROOMS, MERMAIDS & CULTURAL COMMUNITIES

TRANSFORMING SCIENCE INTO ARTBOOKS

Jackie Thomas

I interviewed Jackie Thomas about her  handmade books that tell complex stories about science in pictures.

Jackie says: “Some books are about specific scientists, for example the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. Others are concerned with a particular aspect of science, for example the ‘Discovery of Electricity’. Some aim to take the simplest overview of a complex subject, for instance ‘Arabic Science East to West’, which is a visual narrative of Arabic science in the 8th Century.” Continue reading TRANSFORMING SCIENCE INTO ARTBOOKS

WRITING: THE WHOLE TRUTH

Debby Gies

I interviewed Debby Gies about her memoirs written under the pen name D G Kaye, her book and travel blogs, and her work with online groups.

Debby, who is a prolific author and blogger, says about herself: ‘I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.’ Continue reading WRITING: THE WHOLE TRUTH

AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY, Part 2

Penny Jones – Road sign changed from men to women by adding a triangle of masking tape

In Part Two of her interview, innovative Welsh artist Penny Jones talks about collaborating with visually-impaired people for her ‘feeling voice’ exhibition, as well as working with the ‘Boatshed Artists’ and the group ‘Rhôd’.

In this section, the illustrations include some examples of Penny’s more recent work.

Leslie: Can you describe, please, the idea of your ‘feeling voice’ exhibition. Continue reading AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY, Part 2

AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY, Part 1

I interviewed prolific Welsh artist Penny Jones about her struggles to become a professional artist, her journey from landscape painting to abstraction and her courageous performance art.

In Part One, Penny talks about working and bringing up children while studying to be a full-time artist. She also describes her artistic influences and her ‘Washing’ and ‘Nappies’ performance art.
Continue reading AN ARTIST’S JOURNEY, Part 1

BEAUTY, BRAINS AND BOOKS

January Gray’s Book Lamp Reading Room

I interviewed book and lifestyle blogger January Gray about her distinctive online reviews, her historical research and her use of meditation and chakras to deal with Graves’ Disease.

Leslie: Can you describe, please, your own approach to your book reviews and to your ‘Lipstick Zombie Beauty and Brains’ blog?

January: I think what makes my blog different from others is I review a large variety of genres. Continue reading BEAUTY, BRAINS AND BOOKS

IT’S OK TO BE DIFFERENT

Zaberjad Iftikhar

Librarian Zaberjad Iftikhar talks to Leslie Tate about her views on UK multi-culturalism. Zaberjad is a young, British-born woman, coming from a Pakistani family living in Burnley, Lancashire. As a librarian, she is widely read with a keen interest in culture, diversity and education. Zaberjad describes her younger self as, ‘split into multiple pieces so that I could fit in’ – but goes on to say how she’s come to feel, with age, ‘it’s OK to be different’.

Leslie: As a British woman with Pakistani parents (and possibly bi-cultural?), can you tell the story of the cultural stereotypes you’ve been subject to? Continue reading IT’S OK TO BE DIFFERENT

Author and Poet