The Harpist Writer: Beth Cortese

beth book photo

‘With the creative writing I don’t have the fear of the blank page… I like to write…  I’d just get something done and then I go from there…’

Beth is English Literature PhD student, author of two children novels, poetry performer harpist player… and she’s not even 25! She started writing children’s fiction when she was still in highschool, and her prose is fresh and original (listen to her reading in this podcast and you’ll see what I mean!)

Her books Buttercup and her Many-Legged Friends and The Sharson Chronicles have been published by Rowanvale Books, funded by alumni from Lancaster Universty. Beth’s books can be enjoyed by kids and adults equally – and they are specially good if you, as I do, are deadly scared of hairy spiders and wasps…

What can you find in this interview?

-Doing undergraduate Creative Writing moudules

-Life of a English Literature PhD student.

-Performing poetry and doing literary readings.

-Working with an independant publiser like Rowanvale Books.

 

Do you want to know more about Beth Cortese?

-Check out her books in Amazon.

 

Text read:

And extract from The Sharson Chronicles.

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Beth Cortese, who is my PhD pal and also an extremely talented writer. We hope you keep publishing and succeeding in both your creative and academic career!

The Renasssaince Writer – Rachel McCarthy

Rachel_mccarthy

‘We need the specialisations, but we could do with more cross-fertilisation between humanities and the arts.’

Rachel McCarthy has succeed in two fields that some consider the complete opposite: Science and Art. She’s a climate scientist and also a poet whose first pamphlet – Element – was praised  by the Laureate poet Carol Duffy. So for those who claim for an education that divides arts and sciences from a very early stage… this is an example of what people can be when they don’t have to decide between one and the other!

‘Writing is a very solitary act…to bear your soul on a piece of paper… and then stand up present it to everyone is kind of one of those nightmares.’

Rachel knows a lot about showing her art and performing in front of an audience, too. She co-hosted a radio programme when she was a university student and has been director of the Exeter Poetry Festival on 2013.

What can you find in this interview?

-Mixing Art and Science.

-Publishing a poetry pamphlet.

-Literature and Climate Change.

-Balancing work and writing.

-Engaging with the literary community.

 

Do you want to know more about Rachel McCarthy?

-Check out her webpage.

-Check out her poetry pamphlet Element.

 

Text read:

Two poems from Element (poetry pamphlet).

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Rachel McCarthy who we had the pleasure to meet in the January Northwest Literary Salon at Lancaster. We loved your reading and became instantlly fascinated with your mixture of literature and science. We wish you the very best in your two careers!

Writer on a boat – Sarah Jasmon

Sarah Jasmon

 

‘I can see why people might consider writing a lonely activity, but I don’t find it that way. There’s twitter… I don’t think writers can be lonely again.’

Sarah Jasmon lives on a boat in the Liverpool canal and writes novels. She always wanted to be an author. By obtaining an MA in Creative Writing and opening her blog she got fully involved in the literary world and found an agent and a publisher… She’s a fresh, positive writer always approachable via Twitter. Do you want to listen to the inspiring story of her debut novel?

 

 

What can you find in this interview?

-Pursuing a career in writing – no matter your age!

-Blogging as a writer.

-Finding agents ad publishers.

-Being part of a writing community.

-Doing an MA in Creative Writing.

-Writing and parenting.

 

Texts Read:

– Extract from The summer of secrets (novel).

 

Do you want to know more about Sarah Jasmon?

-Check out her website.

-Check out her twitter.

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Sarah Jasmon, who shared with us her inspiring story about publishing her debut novel… we hope you publish many more!

The multifaced writer – Jerry White

Jerry White

‘I’m one of these sick people who likes to get up at 4.30 to write.’

Jerry White started watching his panda wallpaper and imagining stories when he was a child… Now he’s a successful writer who has just finished his first collection of dark fantasy YA novels – The Thickety – but he also teaches in school and has a filming company… There’s always time for your passions – specially if you wake up as 4.30 like Jerry!

What can you find in this interview?

-How to publish your first novel.

-How to contact an agent.

-Experiences doing book launches at bookshops and libraries.

-Balancing writing with your daily job and other hobbies.

-Waking up early to write.

 

Texts Read:

The Thickety: A Path Begins (YA novel).

 

Do you want to know more about Jerry White?

-Check out his website.

-Check out his twitter.

-Check out his FB page.

-And check the amazing trailer of his first book.

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Jerry White, who spent his break at the school making an interview with us. We love The Thickety and we hope you write more successful books!

 

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 31st of January in 87.7 Bailrigg FM at 6pm with the poet Gary Boswell!

East and West writer – Leonor Macedo

Leonor Macedo
Leonor Macedo is fluent in two languages – Portuguese and English – and even understood a bit of Cantonese when she was a child. The story of her infancy is fascinating. ‘I lived in Macao since I was 2, coming back to Portugal at 10 was more like going to a different country than coming home.’ English is the language she chose to write her stories: ‘I write in English to reach a larger audience, the Portuguese publishing industry is not very developed. I also love the language.’ She confesses to be inspired mainly by English authors such as Neil Gaiman, although, as she points out, ‘there are Portuguese writers that write in English as well, like Pessoa.’ (Check an interesting article about this unique poet here!)
Leonor finds inspiration in cultures from remote places, such as Japan. She’s also an enthusiast role player, and she admits that ‘role playing helped me develop characters for my writing.’ Is this perhaps something that more writers should consider?
She’s currently doing the second year of the Distance Learners MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. ‘The CW MA at Lancaster Uni has opened my understanding of what it is to write and how to write.’ As Gabriella Campbell – another TWL author – she also likes to keep a daily writing routine ‘I force myself to write at least 200 or 500 words every day.’ 

 

What can you find in this interview?

-Experiences from doing a Distance Learners Creative Writing MA.

-How role-playing can help you to create believable characters.

-How to use DeviantArt as a writer.

-Travelling and writing.

Texts Read:

–Extract from an untitled Fantasy novel.

Do you want to know more about Leonor Macedo?

-Check out her Deviantart, where you can also have ask her for a literary commission!

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Leonor Macedo, who is our fellow student in the Creative Writing MA here at Lancaster University. We hope you are enjoying it as much as we did!

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 29th of November in 87.7 Bailrigg FM at 6pm with the Scottish writer Kirsty Logan!

 

200 words a day – Gabriella Campbell

Gabriella Campbell
‘It took me two or three months to get to the point where I just had to write every day.’ Three years ago, Gabriella Campbell started what can be seen as a little challenge: writing 200 words daily. Now, this Spanish writer with Irish ancestry has her first Fantasy novel published, a collection of Fantasy and Sci-Fi short stories that she self-published in Amazon and one of the most famous literary blogs in Spain. She has been a publisher, a poet, a content writer… being so versatile seems to be the secret of her success, although she confesses that having a degree in Literature ‘also gave me perspective.’
Gabriella is very active on social media: ‘there’s this saying  that to market a product properly you’ve to give marketing 80% of the time and 20% to the creation.’ She is also an ebook enthusiast, and she believes they ‘are the easiest way to polish a book and to share my writing.’ She started writing poetry but her curiosity and love of reading made her consider short stories first and then novels. ‘It was kind of a natural progression to me,’ she admits.

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