Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and twenty-fourth, is of poet and fantasy author Theresa Dawn Sinclair.
Theresa Dawn Sinclair has been a poet for more than 40 years, a lyricist for the last 15 of those and has written two novels so far which have been published in Amazon Kindle format. Born in post-war England in the 50s, she found reading and writing poetry were wonderful ways to satisfy her most active imagination and when she was introduced to the internet, she wasted no time in learning how to get her poetry to a wider audience through all the varied poetry sites and later, as a lyricist, to many music sites where world-wide composers and musicians lined up for one of “Dawn Sinclair”’s lyrics. She has, to date, more than 200 finished songs on the internet. But it is in her fantasy novels that she truly escapes reality as she creates new worlds and peoples them with colourful and often complex characters. She is a people-watcher in life and she lets no experience go to waste so if you’ve ever met her or been observed by her, you should expect to find yourself in the pages of one of her books.
And now from the author herself:
I had been a poet for many years when I was asked the question that floored me: “Was the whole world in black and white when you were young?” and at first I thought my young son had cracked a joke but studying his upturned face, so earnest and without guile, I realised pretty smartly I had better treat this with the seriousness it deserved.
Upon probing gently, I discovered that what had prompted the question was the fact that all the pictures in the family photograph album taken before my daughter (10 years my son’s senior) was born were monochrome including our wedding photos. Plus, it seemed we had referred to films we’d watched back in our youth which were also made in black and white. Not so surprising then, that our youngest would consider the possibility that colour itself had not been invented prior to 1973, perhaps in tribute to our daughter’s emergence in the world.
How we laughed our socks off once the child was out of sight, but at the time, I said, “No, son. The grass was green, the sky was blue and while we certainly had a less colourful wardrobe of clothes here in drab old England, I do remember a few flashes of red and yellow among my well-worn dresses which had been handed down so many times most of the colour had been washed out before even I had set eyes on them.
That conversation prompted a poem of course. As all poets will attest, almost everything in their lives become poems eventually, but that poem, Black and White World also came to mean more to me because it was the first one I’d written that made me realise I had potential as a writer. Moreover, it showed me how we all look at the world from different viewpoints.
Black and White World
Let us go back to the black and white world
And pretend it was better than now,
To our youth and beyond, to the poverty bond
We can visit if memories allow.
See the shoes on our feet stuffed with yesterday’s news
And our one suit of clothes, drab and drear.
With no jewels to bedeck, save the scum round the neck,
We had nothing — and that includes fear.
See the obstinate chins and the diamond bright eyes
Face the black and white world with a dare.
We knew none could uncover, nor slyly discover,
Those secrets of our great despair.
See the place where we live — (Was it ever in colour,
The paint ever glossy and new?) –
Where we hung by the feet in full view of the street
From a rail, with defiance as glue.
See the gutters which yielded a treasure-trove rare
Of ball-bearings and other such gems.
How we stooped, unaware of the seams we might tear,
In our dresses without any hems.
See the rosy-cheek children who looked down their noses,
Yet longed with green envy to play
With the black and white urchins so craftily searching
For some way to make the rich pay.
And we did — you remember? — we tapped every resource;
We understood nothing of shame.
We would blackmail or flatter; it didn’t much matter
So long as they couldn’t prove blame.
We were quick, we were slick and we didn’t mind danger
– In fact, it enhanced all the thrills –
We took chances so lightly and squeezed through so tightly
You would think we expected some spills.
But we didn’t — remember? — we thought nothing of it,
Invincible down to the last.
Don’t you think it’s a pity that children so gritty
Should grow up and hide from the past?
And finally, more about Theresa Dawn Sinclair and her writing …
I have since gone on to create my own very colourful new worlds in two (so far) fantasy novels: The Eternal Question and Children of Hamelin, both published by Amazon Kindle (The Eternal Question and Children of Hamelin).
Please note that, due to references of sexual awareness in COH and two scenes of graphic violence in TEQ, neither book is suitable for young readers.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with multi-genre author Danny Fisher – the five hundred and tenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.