Friday, 6 July 2018

Authors' Creative Pursuits - Louise Mangos

Authors are a very creative bunch - and for many of them, this isn’t only with words on the page. From drawing to painting, pottery to needlework, composing to singing, here’s a look at some authors’ creative pursuits.

I am delighted to welcome 




Have you always been creative – and not just with words? 
Before I could write, my creativity involved sketching ponies at the kitchen table from morning until night. I loved to draw with coloured pencils. Since I could spell my name I’ve always wanted to write. My first successfully published endeavour was a poem about my mum for mother’s day when I was eleven years old. It won a school competition and was published in our local paper. 

Have you always enjoyed painting or is this a more recent hobby of yours? If it's a more recent hobby, did you start it for any particular reason?
I was introduced to acrylic paints in my mid-twenties. Then there was no looking back. I tried oil paints for a while, but was put off by the lengthy drying time between the stages of ‘layering’ my work and the smell of turpentine around the house. Since my free time is taken up with fewer sporting activities now that I’m getting older, I spend more time writing and painting.

How often do you paint and how easy is it to find the time?
I have a fixed time that I paint with a mentor once a week for a three-hour session. Otherwise I fit my painting at home around my writing. If I didn’t have the obligation of painting with my mentor I probably wouldn’t have the motivation to do it regularly. I can, on the other hand, always find time to write ;o)

Do you do any other arts and crafts?
I’ve always been crafty. I loved to make gifts for my family from Blue Peter ideas when I was a child. I also enjoyed sewing for a few years, and made some money designing fun fleece hats for kids. I make my own Christmas and birthday cards, have done some decoupage and love photography. I often walk with a camera to capture images for my next painting project. I worked in our local Swiss school in a volunteer capacity for a few years, mainly to teach the kids extra English, and ended up using crafting projects to make the learning more exciting.

Do you think painting (or the time you spend painting) helps with your writing and overall wellbeing?  
Painting and writing fiction go hand in hand. They both involve creating images, the first with colour and the second with words. Voltaire said ‘Writing is the painting of the voice.’

Do you enjoy painting anything in particular?
My favourite subjects are landscapes, particularly those with mountains, clouds and water. I feel so blessed living in Switzerland where these three elements are in daily abundance.

What have you been painting recently?
I’ve recently finished a painting of autumn leaves on one of the cobbled-stone streets in our village. You can see the progress of the work through the three images. 





Louise writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, which have won prizes, placed on shortlists, and been read out on BBC radio. Her debut psychological thriller Strangers on a Bridgeis published today, July 6thby HQDigital (Harper Collins). Louise lives on an Alp with her Kiwi husband and two sons.

Find Louise Mangos on her website here and on Twitter - @LouiseMangos

I'm hoping to feature more Authors' Creative Pursuits
on Off-the-Shelf Books in the future. 

So if you're a published author and have a talent for arts and crafts, music, photography, baking or other creative activities, and would like to feature on my blog, please do get in touch!

1 comment:

  1. What bold, beautiful painting Louise does. I love the vivid colours of acrylics. I think it's true that writers are often artistic in other areas as it's all part of the same impulse - to create. As a published writer myself I relax by painting and crafting but my main hobby (which I sometimes sell) are bright free-hand tapestries and embroideries.