Magic in Morecambe Bay – Jenn Ashworth

jenn-ashworth-portrait-7

 

Jenn Ashworth is publishing her fourth novel, a Magic Realism inspired piece called Fell and I couldn’t be happier because that meant I had the chance to interview her! I have loved Jenn’s writing since always. She ventures to places people normally prefer to ignore, and she talks about characters that society condemns. And she’s dark, and funny, and engaging. And her female characters are always exquisite and realist – and I take my hat to that, because it’s not the norm, either.

What can I tell you so you go and buy Fell? Well, it’s not an easy reading. The story is dark, and full of desolation. But in life, there is not always happiness and daffodils, and we need that other dark half, too

Illness, death, resurrection, magic and sycamores…. Fell has all that and a beautiful cover. And it’s set in Morecambe bay, which means that if you want to visit the original place of the novel you can always come, say hi and I’ll show you around!

Finally,  Jenn Ashworth is not only a writer who will pull you into any of her stories but also a very inspiring artist. Since I know her – and also got the privilege of doing my PhD with her – I have been marvelled at how passionate she’s about the craft but how seriously she takes it too. In a world where many people think writing is just a side hobby or a privilege job for a few chosen ones, Jenn proves that is possible to live on it – while being an extraordinarily prolific writer, a enthusiastic professor and having always the time to be launching exciting writing projects such as Curious Tales!

 

 

What can you find in this interview?

– Writing habits.

-Writing genre and realistic fiction.

-Publishing and promoting your work.

-Writing about Lancashire and the North.

 

 

Texts Read:

Fell (Novel).

 

Do you want to know more about Jenn Ashworth?

-Check out her website.

-Check out her twitter.

-Check out her own publishing house that she launched along with other writers, Curious Tales! (They publish the most beautiful and unsettling ghost stories, perfect to give as a Christmas gift for very special people.)

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Jenn Ashworth. She was our Creative Writing tutor when we – Teresa and me – were doing the MA at Lancaster University and she inspired us a lot. We are always waiting for your new books and hope you bring us many more!

 

 

Writer and Performer: Elizabeth Hare

Gardening_with_my_Father

‘I always had this gift of being able to read well aloud, and one of the things I really enjoy is the oportunity to do open mic… it’s usually worth it.’

Elizabeth Hare was born in the South of England but has been living in Lancashire since 1980. She has done drama, teaching Creative Writing for the Open University, performing poetry… and even Sci-Fi books for children, the project she’s currently working on.

Elizabeth is a passionate person who encourages any aspiring writer to get out and share their work. She’s part of the Brewery Poets in Kendal and the writers’ group from Lancaster. ‘Even if you don’t write too much, you have preassure on you to do something for the group… you preassure yourself.’  Her webpage is always full of useful tips and interesting information about literature.

What can you find in this interview?

-Studying and teaching drama.

-Teaching CW for the Open University.

-Publishing poetry.

-Performing poetry and doing literary readings.

 

Poems read in this interview:

1962

Visiting The British Museum

You Can Do Shakespeare with These Kids

 

Do you want to know more about Elizabeth Hare?

-Check out her webpage.

-Check out her publications.

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Elizabeth Hare, who has share with us all her expertise and valuable tips! We are looking to read your sci-fi novel soon!

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!

The Horrors of Morecambe – Andrew Michael Hurley

AndrewMHurley

‘I think any place like Morcambe, so full of contraditions,  is interesting for a writer…’

Did you hever heard about this town facing a myterious bay in which the sea appears and disappears as quick as lightning? People love or hate Morecambe Bay, but since Lancastrian author Andrew M Hurley chose it as a scenery for his disturbing Gothic novel the place – and its unique imaginery – will be immortal forever.

Andrew has one of this inspiring stories aspiring writers like to hear. One day he was working as a librarian while writing a novel, next day he published it with a small publishing press, and the day after that the novel was bought by a John Murray imprint and won the Costa First Novel Award (in 2015).

But what people forget is that behind all this success there are years and years of endurance, writing, two books of short stories, an MA in Creative Writing and much effort… Listen to the interview for the full story!

And don’t forget Andrew’s final advice…

‘Don’t give up and always trust your own voice’.

What can you find in this interview?

-Doing a Creative Writing MA.

-Publishing with a small press. (Tartarus Press).

-Gothic.

-Teaching CW.

-Finding an agent.

Do you want to know more about Andrew M Hurley?

-Check out his fantastic novel The Loney. It has a brilliant ending, I promise! And, apparently, it’s the first part of a trilogy of Gothic novels set in the Lancashire area…

-Check out his Wikipedia page.

-Check out his collections of short stories Cages and Other Stories, 2006, ISBN 9781411699021, and The Unusual Death of Julie Christie and Other Stories, 2008, ISBN 9780955981401

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. Also, to Jenn Ashworth, who helped us get this wonderful interview. And, of course, to Andrew Michael Hurley, who was very kind an accesible. A true inspiration for writers and – specially – fans of Gothic literature!  We wish you the very best with your next novels.

 

 

 

Travelling through words and form: Maggie How

Maggie How

‘Creative Writing can certainly be learnt… we learn by doing it.’

Maggie How is a Lake District born author. She studied Interior Design and, by the end of her degree, her professor was already advising her to focus in writing about Design rather than designing itself. She started with poetry when she was a child and had been also experimenting with short stories and even a novel since.

Maggie’s first Creative Writing tutor was Gary Boswell.  She has done several Creative Writing courses and an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. She’s currently doing another MA in Writing for Therapeutical Purposes.

As Sarah Jasmon, Maggie is a very active author who believes that writing is far from isolating. She attends to writing retreats quite regularly and belongs to several writing groups including the Brewery Poets in Kendal.

If you love experimenting with your words and learning all sort of forms in writing, you’re going to love Maggie’s story and advice!

 

What can you find in this interview?

-Doing a Creative Writing MA at Lancaster University.

-Experience in self-publishing.

-Experimenting with different forms of writing.

-Writing for therapeutical purposes.

-Experience in the publishing world

 

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel and to the founder and sponsor of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Maggie How. We had the pleasure to be her classmates during the Creative Writing MA at Lancaster Uni and learnt a lot from her. We wish you the best with your poetry – and we’re also looking forward to read your novel finished one day!

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!

Poetry and laughs – Gary Boswell

Gary Boswell

 

‘I borrowed a book from the library called The Apeman Cometh thinking it was a joke book, and it was fun, I laughed all way through it, but then I looked at the back and it said it was a poetry book… and I thought, crack it!’

Gary Boswell left his job in bank to study art at Lancaster University. As a poet, he has been featured by the BBC and collaborated with artists from several disciplines. Want to hear his Scottish accent when reading one of his most recent poems to the TWL?

What can you find in this interview?

-Leaving your day-job to pursue your dreams.

-Collaborating with other artists.

-Being a writer-in-residence.

-How to read your work in front of an audience.

-Finding an editor.

 

Texts Read:

The Battle of the Trousers (poem).

 

Do you want to know more about Gary Boswell?

-Check out his more recent work, a collaboration with the painter Hideyuki Sobue to celebrate the 200th aniversary of Wordsworth’s daffodile poem.

-Check out this original recording of another of his poems, Ducks don’t shop in Sansbury’s.

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Gary Boswell, who shared his poems and enthusiasm with us.

 

 

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 7th of February in 87.7 Bailrigg FM at 6pm with the writer on a boat Sarah Jasmon!

Writing the Weird – Tim J Jarvis

Tim Jarvis

 

‘Getting used to London and becoming a Londoner went hand in hand with my writing,’ Tim Jarvis confesses. He likes to observe the city from Parliament Hill, one of the places he finds more inspiring in the metropolis.

Tim‘s first novel, The Wanderer, belongs to Werid Fiction, a genre that some might have never heard about before. ‘Weird fiction is a secular, post First World War ghost story telling,’ Tim explains, and then he adds ‘it is a paralel pulp form of Modernism.’ He recommends some authors, from H P Lovecraft to Mark Z Danielewski and Caitlín R Kiernan, and finally states, ‘Writing Weird Fiction allows me to articulate what I really want to express.’

Tim didn’t start writing until he was in his final year of undergraduate, and back then he was trying ‘to emulate the strange tales of Borges.’ Now he has completed a PhD, published several short stories and a novel, and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire. He firmly believes that the craft of writingf can be taught: ‘You can inculcate an exploratory way of thinking through teaching Creative Writing.’

What can you find in this interview?

-Weird Fiction, what to read and how to publish it.

-Inspiration from London.

-Teaching Creative Writing.

Texts Read:

The Wanderer (novel).

Literary recommendations:

Melmoth The Wanderer, by Charles Maturin.

The Red Tree, by Caitlín Kiernan.

House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pymp, by Edgar Alan Poe.

The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, by Angela Carter.

Do you want to know more about Timothy J Jarvis?

-Check out his website.

-Check out his twitter.

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to Tim J Jarvis, who has been so kind and friendly with us. We loved to interview you and we hope you write many more Weird Fiction novels!

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 24th of January in 87.7 Bailrigg FM at 6pm with best-selling author J A White!

Writer and sailor – Paul Atherton

Paul Atherton

Paul Atherton is a writer and a sailor. Do these two things have something in common? ‘On the water, there’s always something different happening,’ he admits. Also, his experiences on sailing helped him shape his first novel, Viking Voices, where he describes ‘a lot of movements of the vikings around the Irish Sea.’

Some authors find the promotion of their work especially challenging, but Paul has very good experiences. ‘I quite enjoy the commercial aspect of writing, I’ve built a good relationship with castles and Northwest libraries.’ He had book launches in bookshops such as Waterstones, and has also attended the York Viking Festival, where he was particularly succesful.

Paul feels a strong connection with History as a genre – Vikings and also the Second World War. Although he has travelled all over the world, he confesses that ‘I do my research by reading and speaking to people.’ His main tip to write Historical novels? ‘Reality can be stranger than fiction… if you’re writing something that is real but not believable you have to change it.’

What can you find in this interview?

-Experiences from doing a Creative Writing MA.

-Historical Fiction.

-Experiences with promoting books.

-Self-publishing.

-Sailing and writing.

Texts Read:

Billy’s War (novel).

Many thanks to our meticulous editor, Terry Garanhel, and the founder of the programme, Yvonne Battle-Felton. And, of course, to our friend Paul Atherton, who was so kind that he even took us on a trip on his boat. You’re a wonderful writer and sailor.

Don’t forget to check our next interview on Sunday 22nd of November in 87.7 Bailrigg FM at 6pm with the Portuguese writer Leonor Macedo!