Heaven’s Rage

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National Poetry Day – did you miss it?

28 September is designated National Poetry Day – at least in the UK. At TSL, we don’t see one day as a special day – all days are special, so below are the our authors who also write poetry. TSL doesn’t specalise in poetry but we do have some poetry either as part of a collection or to support a charity.

Playwright and author Barbara Towell has a book of poetry Patchworks.
Kat Francois and Robbie Cheadle also publish poetry, albeit not through TSL.

To purchase a book, click on the image below:

first published 5 October 2017, updated 2024


Leslie Tate appreciation

Leslie Tate

Leslie is a word-smith – he crafts with words, books and poetry. He’s one of those writers who, when it comes to proofreading his work, I have to keep a dictionary close at hand to look up meanings of unusual words. If I recall correctly there were at least five in Love’s Register, an epic historical novel covering issues of climate change, personal relationships and identity, change and continutity, acceptance and rejection. These themes, at least for me, are the essence of Leslie. He’s not shy to experiment with style – four different fonts, each depicting a different person’s views, added some extra flavour to Love’s Register, a book which brought three separate books into one.
Leslie’s writing evolves – like a snowball gathers snow as it rolls down a hill. At the core is the essence of Leslie, whom I first got to know when we published Heaven’s Rage, an autobiography of his early life as a cross-dresser. However, it’s more than a book about being a cross-dresser. As I’ve said on many an occasion, it’s a human account of survival and responses to the challenges life throws at us. Together with Mark Crane, Heaven’s Rage became visual in 2017, winning numerous awards.
Another joint venture was with partner Sue Hampton and friend Cy Henty to produce The Dream Speaks Back – self-insights into the creative process of three artists, in three distinct styles creating a coherent whole.
But it’s not all about Leslie, he’s an incredibly supportive person when it comes to promoting others – his weekly blog contains interviews with creative people of diverse backgrounds, all supporting a cause with the end goal of making the world we live in a little better. And he’s taken this further with a weekly slot on Radio Dacorum. In days gone by he used to have a slot at a Berkhamstead pub where musicians, artists and writers could showcase their work – providing a platform for bringing people together. As with everything, this was part of the journey.
I’ve learnt much from Leslie, as a person, writer and supporter of others: in short – be yourself and don’t be afraid to make a stand for what you believe in. And look forward to reading his new autobiography (published 2024 by Blackspring Press): Ways to be Equally Human.


Growing pains

Good Books which deal with growing pains are actually quite rare, I think. But here are a few which have had an impact on me:

Leslie Tate – Heaven’s Rage
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

There are a few more lighter reads such as:
And I would even go so far as to add Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven to this list.
Beatrice Holloway‘s tales about Rhys and life on a canal boat would also fit this bill.

Both Percy’s Quest by Barbara Follows
and the George and Flora series by Rachel Haywood deal with growing up issues through the lives of animals.

Growing up of a different kind is tackled in Illumination by Mavis Patcher. This is a story of two androids learning how to be human.
Gideon Master’s characters in his Lucifer’s Child trilogy (not recommended for anyone under 18 years old) have to learn to deal with new worlds and states of being.

first published 8 May 2017, updated 2024


The author’s journey

If you’re wondering about the writing process and how it works, here are a few posts by different authors.

David Vann on becoming a writer and how he does it.

Adam Rabinowitz explains his writing process.

In Heaven’s Rage, Leslie Tate explores the aspects of writing and the creative process. He shares more along with Sue Hampton and Cy Henty in The Dream Speaks Back.

George Saunders on what writers really do when they write.

Finally, while not on writing, I found reading 13 Ways of looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley very helpful in understanding the book and its relationship with the author, reader and publisher. Here, another reader on a writer’s journey shares her thoughts on the same book.

first published 7 August 2017, updated 2024

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The Ashes – Cricket

I couldn’t resist. When this post was first written (June 2015) England and Australia faced each other to battle it out for the urn containing the ashes of English cricket. It has since been updated.

Cricket’s a game you either love or hate, although it seems that even within the sport there are strong opinions: you either love the 5-day test and detest 20/20 or vice versa. The one-day or limited over 50-ball game seems to be firmly in the middle, having moved up in the rankings of Test specialists. Coming to the game late, I understand those who have little time or interest in it. But there are some wonderful benefits to a day at the cricket. Think sun shine and a patch of grass to sit on (and a good book in the bag in case…).

TSL has been lucky to sign the BBC Test Match Special Cricket Statistician, Andrew Samson. With Andrew as one of our authors, we just had to feature a post on Cricket.

The most famous books concerning cricket are no doubt the Wisden‘s Cricketers Almanack. Our main interest though is novels or works of fiction, although if you’re interested in what the life of a Cricket Statistician entails, why not read Andrew Samson‘s The Moon is Toast?

Books mentioning Cricket

Prominent on the novel front is Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers (1836) and Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes (1857).

The game features on the cover of PG Wodehouse’s Mike (1909) and in Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe (1982) the Ashes trophy gets stolen.

A game of cricket features in Shaka are Dead and Powerless by John Samson and a cricket cap in Ray Wooster‘s A Boy’s War Journal. Mention is made of the game in Anna Ryland‘s A Second Chance and David FerrisThe Secret Life of Creatures

Heaven’s RageLeslie Tate
Rhys’ adventures (Training a Greyhound and Urgent Pocket Money Required) – Beatrice Holloway