Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and fifty-eighth, is of writer, artist and photographer Andrew Reid Wildman. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Andrew Reid Wildman was born in Beverley, East Yorkshire. Influencing the way he expresses himself and also the way he perceives himself, the East Riding of Yorkshire has left a profound mark on this Englishman’s life. But, he did not grow up there.
His childhood rapidly became a kind of exile and this too, has coloured his creativity. His earliest memories of Yorkshire are sweet memories, but he also remembers the pain of being taken abroad and missing his roots. Currently living and working in Essex, he is a lecturer in English at a busy London college.
Andrew loves writing short acerbic stories, picking on the foibles of ordinary people and exploring the complexities, of social interaction; his home county often featuring in his work. Andrew Reid Wildman also enjoys painting in his free time and has been a best-selling artist, with www.artgallery.co.uk for several years. He has a Masters degree in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck University and as an interpreter and observer of human nature, is always funny, describing life in this beautiful area of Yorkshire through the decades, the people and characters.
In his collection of short stories from Hull and East Riding, Andrew introduces the readers to the tranquil atmosphere of Bridlington with its historic harbour, the lovely sandy beaches at Withernsea and the charming town of Beverly, with its cobbled streets, historical buildings and antique arcades surrounded by the unspoilt country side and beautiful towns. In his book Spicy Green Ginger, Hull represents the main setting and trough the book, the readers will find familiar themes and characters.
Spicy Green Ginger is sour and sweet, deliciously and wickedly misanthropic, and at times sad and tender. The characters are of course entirely fictional, but who has not felt like them at one time or another? For example poor Betty Bridgenorth, a hard-working, proud baker who is savaged by a nameless internet Troll and sets out to seek revenge? Or perhaps Edna Isenthorpe, who just wants to enjoy her train journey in peace. Some of the historical stories are based loosely on murderous events or legends from this East Riding county and the Kardomah Cafe.
And now from the author himself:
Writing – I was born in a small market town in Yorkshire called Beverley. At the age of six, I was uprooted from this Eden and taken to Luxembourg, setting in motion a life of questioned identity and movement, and above all of longing for paradise lost. I lived in Israel from 92-97 and wrote the book ‘Toto, I Don’t Think We Are in Golders Green Anymore’ about this experience. I am the author of a book of short stories, Spicy Green Ginger, a collection of 26 tales of acerbic, misanthropic human observations.
Painting – My works are based on a fusion of photography and painting, using acrylic paintwork and collage, I paint urban scenes – usually of decaying buildings – which fascinate me. They symbolize loneliness, tenacity and nostalgia but despite this, my works are often joyful, frequently featuring vivid blue skies. My work is unusual, demonstrating an expressive, childlike yet urban style, where I seek to merge the borders of photography – which represents reality – into my own painting and my world of imagination, so that the two become one. I add fragments of old advertising – usually from the 1950s, 60s and 70s – as these symbolize a link to my own past or to the world of my own family before I was born. In this way a building in a state of decay, is contrasted to a time past when it was vibrant and alive. I am repeatedly drawn to brickwork, which for me indicates solidity and a sense of belonging; of Englishness and permanence. This is a reaction to my own troubled childhood when my family moved from Yorkshire to Luxembourg in 1974, leaving me feeling rootless. My art steams from this trauma and it is for this reason that my work has a uniquely youthful and naïve quality.
Photography – I love photography, and I never go anywhere without my camera. I see photo opportunities wherever I go and think, I need to snap that! I love buildings, their curves and corners and their history. I imagine the stories that have unfolded there. I also love decay, finding it both evocative and nostalgic. It is sad, but it is life, it is human and it reflects my feelings about life and love. I identify with the abandoned and the aging, the empty and the unloved. I record my special places, because place is so powerful. London, Oxford, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Hull and East Yorkshire….
You can find more about Andrew and his works via…
In November 2013 Hull was named The UK City Of Culture 2017, after facing tough competition from 11 great cities. Andrew’s Book is a tribute to this beautiful town and he is happy to hear your opinions about it.
If you want to find out more about the spirit and culture of Yorkshire, here is the link:
And my thanks go to Madi Preda for arranging this multi-talented spotlight.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.
As I post a spotlight or interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique directly (see Editing & Critique) or for posting on the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.