I talked to Rick Cross, senior NASA media writer and winner of the Silver Snoopy award for his interviews with astronauts and his coverage of early spaceflight missions. Rick is also the author of short stories and the novel Times Squared, a licensed Doctor Who spinoff. I wanted to find out how Rick’s unique access to the premier location for space exploration might help and inspire his work as a sci-fi author.
This is a man’s, man’s, man’s, man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman – James Brown.
I was nine when the bullying began. l remember walking home from school followed by a gang of small boys. They hunted in a pack, laughing and shouting out names from a distance. Every afternoon I shut out their calls and kept going in the hope they’d get tired and try someone else. As I walked I told myself I wasn’t really there. Part of me felt that they had the upper hand – so if I fought and lost that would be shameful but if I beat them up then I’d be the bully. I was afraid that if I turned around they’d see my tears and call out even more and if I tried to catch them they’d dodge like flies, jeering at my clumsiness. And like those flies, they were dirty and demanding, and there was nothing I could do to shake them off.
I find that the best songs always come really quickly, in that white heat of creativity when all the stars are aligned properly. These are wonderful gifts, that only come along every so often. – Alex Tinlin
I interviewed prolific musical duo Tinlin, who have appeared in the Glastonbury Festival as well as numerous concert halls in the UK, Europe and Australia.
I started helping Michael to write down his Chocolate Land stories… We progressed to making figures and creatures out of sweets and fondant. I took his ideas and fleshed them out… into cookbooks with a story for children. Robbie Cheadle
It was only because of her son’s serious illness that Robbie Cheadle discovered her gift for combining children’s stories with cake making.
Robbie says about herself: “My father died when I was three months old and my mother immigrated to South Africa from the UK. Since then I’ve attended fourteen different schools – this gave me lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills!” Robbie has written textbooks as a chartered accountant, but her real love is the Sir Chocolate series of books that she co-authored with her eleven year-old son, Michael.
My mother’s in the kitchen as we knock and enter.
We’re expected. Except for the kisses and silk-grey hairdo,
she’s unchanged. Her dewlap cheeks are warm.
After passing through health checks, teabag squeezings
and the week in headlines, we occupy the lounge.
Inviting us to sit, she hunts out coasters.
Our talk begins again. Inside its structure
– tape loop or formula – I’m invisible,
standing at the window, observing the small boy
with shadow self and hideouts, surrounded by branches
on the wrong side of the shed. Continue reading VISIT→
I asked Hannah Marks, who works as a children’s book illustrator, what has inspired her own, very distinctive style. Hannah is a graphic designer currently living in the Hertfordshire countryside just north of London.