Leslie Tate

Leslie describes himself best. Interviewed by Robin Gregory

About Leslie
Leslie wrote his Lavender Blues trilogy while attending a University of East Anglia Creative Writing Course. He is a novelist, poet and teacher, with an MA in Creative Writing, whose stories are driven by language and character. Leslie admires Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Carol Shields, Marilynne Robinson and Michael Ondaatje. He runs mixed-arts shows, a poetry reading group and a comedy club, and has led writing workshops at universities, libraries and festivals. He uses music and art as part of his performances which offer surprising insights into prose and how authors ‘reread the world’. He often performs with his wife, author Sue Hampton. Calling themselves ‘Authors in Love’, they live together in Hertfordshire. www.leslietate.com

Heaven’s Rage is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage – William Blake.

For a taste of Heaven’s Rage, see Leslie’s blog posting My Outing Part 1
Hear Leslie and others on the theme of cross-dressing

See too Theatre on Wax and From Book to Film
Leslie reads from Heaven’s Rage

What people are saying about Heaven’s Rage

It is wonderful and truly inspiring to read, in Heaven’s Rage, such an honest account of the development both of a novel and, in parallel, a writer, and to be able to watch the creative process unfold on the page. Leslie Tate courageously reveals a process which is too often hidden from the world. New writers often feel that there must be a secret magic formula which, if only the established authors would share it, would give them the key that unlocks the mystery of writing. I think Leslie Tate’s account comes as close I’ve ever read to revealing that strange alchemical process.
There are some lines in his story which have sent my own imagination reeling ‘… the book created an alternative version of my own experience, a kind of theatre of possibilities …’ and ‘A sentence is bridge and there is a limit to how much weight it can bear.’ Like the Russian nesting dolls those lines have whole stories and poems buried inside them. And if an author’s words can set another writer or artist afire with new ideas, as these do for me, then that is creativity at its blazing best.’ – Karen Maitland author of Company of Liars, The Owl Killers, The Gallows Curse, Falcons of Fire and Ice, The Vanishing Witch and The Raven’s Head. Karen also writes joint medieval crime novels as a member of The Medieval Murderers. – Karen Maitland

Susan Hampson 5* review. Susan sums up what I thought as publisher, but so much more articulately.