Introducing Leonie Ewing, a retired biologist and farmer who enjoys reading popular physics and science fiction. Leonie also writes poetry and has had her work published in a number of literary magazines including Southlight and Markings. Her short story Infinite Maze was awarded third prize in the Fantastic Books Publishing fantasy /sci-fi short story competition and was then published in the Fusion anthology. It’s a beautifully crafted tale and Leonie’s interest in physics shines through.
Fantastic Books Publishing announced the winners in a short YouTube video as well as via more conventional means. Leonie was one of ones who first heard of her success through the video. She says, ‘I heard that my story would be published when I listened to the countdown for the winners at the end of August 2012. The countdown was good fun, increased the tension and made the announcement into something special. Although I thought my story was quite well-crafted I was surprised to be included among the prize winners. I had no idea what the editors were looking for.’
As it turned out, the team was looking for well-crafted, well-told tales with depth and variety. Leonie’s stood out as something different. She says she was pleased to find out that the competition and winners anthology would both generate charitable donations and added, ‘I see it as very positive and confidence boosting to be included in an anthology containing the work of established authors.’
Of the subsequent work with Fantastic Books Publishing’s editorial team, Leonie says, ‘The comments were very helpful and a reminder that no matter how carefully you self-edit, the eye of an experienced editor is always useful.’
It’s always good to know what writers like to read. Leonie says, ‘My book of the moment is Tishani Doshi’s The Pleasure Seekers, a totally absorbing book of delights that keeps you turning the pages and looking for more when it is done.’
Because these interviews are being carried out as part of a spotlight on a fantasy / sci-fi anthology, all the authors were asked to put themselves in the shoes of an alien scout who has discovered Earth and learnt its history. Here is the scout’s message as scripted by Leonie:
‘As a member of an alien race that has succeeded in travelling to Earth you will understand that I belong to a civilization much more advanced than yours. We have overcome the dangers of misusing nuclear power and have learnt to live as one people in social and ecological harmony on our planet. We have no interest in Earth’s resources only in passing on some survival tips. I have learnt on this visit that your literary, musical and artistic culture is quite different from our own and we are interested in cultural exchange. I will be reporting back that Earth would be worth a longer visit.’
Leonie’s current writing project is to put together a second poetry collection based around ideas of symmetry, self-organisation and chaos. She says, ‘Some structure is emerging.’
If Leonie’s poetry has the originality and flair of Infinite Maze, I’m happy to recommend it right now.
Leonie’s first poetry collection, Bairns & Beasts, co-authored with Barbara Mearns is available directly from Leonie for £5 including p&p. Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.