#Interview By Lou with Matson Taylor – author of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth and All About Evie @matson_taylor_ @ScribnerUK @simonschusterUK #EvieEpworth #TheMiseducationOfEvieEpworth #AllAboutEvie #1960s #1970s

Interview with Author – Matson Taylor
Conducted By Louise Cannon (Lou)

Thanks very much to author of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth and All About Evie – Matson Taylor for agreeing to being interviewed. Within the interview , discover who inspires him to write and why he chose a particular timeline, his other job and what he is writing next and more…

 

 

 


The Miseducation of Evie Epworth was bestselling in both the Radio 2 Book Club and  Richard And Judy Book Club. 

Set in Yorkshire and London between the 1960’s and 1970’s. There is humour and poignancy to be had in both books. 

Matson Taylor and his creation of Evie Epworth hit the bookshelves and caused quite a stir with witty and charming writing in both books

So, without further ado, here is the interview:

1. What or who inspired you to write?

Many things! I’ve always been a reader and just about every book I’ve ever read has fed into me wanting to be a writer. I think reading Kate Atkinson’s books, in particular, drew me to writing – I love the way she writes – there’s a real sense of fun but at the same time every sentence is beautiful – tuned and balanced to perfection. I wanted to see if I could write a book that combines humour with moments of restrained lyricism just like Kate Atkinson’s. Other authors who inspire me and push me to write better include Virginia Woolf, Sue Townsend, Alan Bennett, and Sarah Winman.


2. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is set in the 1960s and All About Evie, in the 1970s, what inspired this to be your timeline?

I’m a design historian and -like all historians- talk a lot about decades. I realised that quite a few of my students see decades as monolithic blocks of 10 years with everything staying the same until, on the 1st of January at the start of the next decade, everything changed. It’s not like this of course! Decades take a few years to ‘grow up’ – they need time to shake off the previous decade and develop a character of their own. So I thought I’d write a novel about the ‘coming of age’ of a decade and combine it with the coming of age of a young woman (Evie). I chose the 1960s because everyone feels like they know the 60s – we’re all children of the 60s and very aware of the all the music, fashion, films etc of the decade. And then in the second book I wanted to look at the the end of the 60s and the start of what comes next – and 1972 is really when the sixties ended! It’s the death of the idealism of the 1960s – quite a sad messy time… The new decade wasn’t quite sure where it wanted to go and it’s only really when the new generation came of age that the seventies arrived in all its glam, colourful, glittery glory.

3. The series could have gone either way – humorous as it is now or focusing on the more serious with Mrs Pym, was the humour and balance between the two intentional?

I wanted to write a funny book about serious things and combining the humour with emotional heft was always my intention for both books. I think books need both in order to make them balanced and enjoyable. I’ve had lots of wonderful compliments about how funny the books are but there’s also some pretty dark themes in there too: grief, death, guilt, the importance of liberalism and tolerance… People often tell me they laughed out loud AND cried when reading the books – and that’s just what I want!

4. All About Evie is still as humorous as the first, but shows a bit more fashion of the 1970s. How much did your job as a design historian at the V&A influence you in your writing of this?

It’s a huge influence. My job as a design historian has given me the tools to research material culture – when I started writing the first novel I was very confident writing about ’things’  (the fashion, food, interiors etc) because it’s my day job – I was much less confident about making up a story! The museum’s a great resource too – in fact, in the final chapter of the 1st book, Evie is wearing a Mary Quant dress – initially it was a generic 60s dress but, while I was writing, the V&A had a Mary Quant exhibition so Evie ended up wearing one of the 1962 dresses from the exhibition.

5. You’ve written about the 60s and 70s, so can readers expect more of Evie Epworth to be written, perhaps in the 80s and beyond?

Absolutely! I always planned the Evie story as a trilogy so there’s a final Evie book set in 1982. But before I get to that, I’m writing a stand-alone book (ie non Evie) – it’s set in the mid-to-late 70s in Rome and is the story of two broken people brought together by the universe to fix each other…
 
Advertisement

#Writeup of an #authortalk with Chris Brookmyre and Jenny Colgan, #Books, #Music #Festivals #Writing and more @jennycolgan @cbrookmyre

A Write-up of a talk between Chris Brookmyre and Jenny Colgan
Event took place on 27th July 2022

The event was held by Stirling Waterstones upstairs in a pub in Stirling, Scotland called The Curly Coo (or The Curly Cow for those abroad wondering what a coo is).
Chris Brookmyre’s book is – The Cliff House and Jenny Colgan’s book is – An Island Wedding.
Both are available to purchase now!
Review Link for The Cliff House – link is also after my write-up here as are links to The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, Bloody Scotland and website and social media links.

Jenny and Chris books

Although both authors do not have the commonality of crime fiction/mystery within their new books, they do share the theme of a party.

The talk covered their books, writing, music and more…

I have included a link to my book review of The Cliff House By Chris Brookmyre within this for those who haven’t seen the separate post of it. I am yet to read The Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan.

Me and Jenny

Me and Chris

Me and Jenny Colgan

Me and Chris Brookmyre

The atmosphere was jovial and warm. The talk was mostly humorous and they treated those who attended to a reading of extracts from their books. They talked about the last time they met to do a talk together was in 2006 in Shetland. Chris Brookmyre recalled that William McIllvanney was on the audience guestlist and how that felt.

They talked about if and when they re-read their books. 2008 was the last time Chris Brookmyre last read one of his old books as he was writing a sequel.
A rather scary aspect of the talk was when Jenny Colgan talked about a book she had written and how the USA branded the 1990s as historical fiction.
They talked about each others books and how Chris Brookmyre writes books from different characters points of view, which you will see in The Cliff House.

Weddings and Parties

What is interesting and was brought up as they talked, was the fact that in lockdown, weddings were cancelled and people postponed them (a family member of mine, included) and how everyone knew what that was like, and how now there are many books set around parties.
I, myself have seen and got some books to review that are and seems to be quite a big theme this year as Chris Brookmyre talks about how people are writing vicariously about parties after being in lockdown and mentions authors such as Lin Anderson and Claire MacIntosh.
Jenny Colgan talked excitedly about how she writes about all different weddings; she also loved doing the research for them, especially for the most extravagant weddings and just to enjoy wedding again. It was interesting hearing how her attitude has changed to wanting to go to them all and with a gift, from pre-pandemic and wondering whether she wanted to or not and the cost of a gift etc.
Chris Brookmyre interestingly talked about how he was inspired by people going to private islands. His island is fictionalised and he seems to like that he could make up his own rules. He talked about this for the many genres he writes.
Jenny Colgan also creates a bit of fiction in her places and advised people not to write about where you live, unless perhaps it is a city and alluded to how that would be different as there isn’t so much of a very tight-knit close community, whereas people may recognise themselves or think they do in somewhere small.
Chris Brookmyre talked a bit about his book and its concepts of his character Jen getting married again and can’t accept the concept of happiness as seems all too good to be true, but has a hen party anyway. He talked about friendships and how there are different levels of this, some you see a lot, but don’t actually truly know and people who you may not trust, which are concepts within the book.
The island itself, he describes is as like an upmarket Airbnb. It is a book of 7 points of view. When asked about why the characters were all women, he stated he wanted to write about women and not men and alluded that it would be a very different story if the characters were men.
He talked a bit about “And Then There We’re None by Agatha Christie” and how books, such as his are often compared to this, but talked about how they differ and one of the ways is that was a story of retribution but his book is essentially about forgiveness of themselves.
He later talked about liking mismatched crime books.

Writing and Marketing

The talk moved onwards to the interesting topic of covers, but without getting into it all too deeply and heavy. They mainly focussed on the pink covers, since both of them have pink on them and there are a few around in many genres just now. They pointed out that the “pink” etc doesn’t necessarily show much about what is lurking inside the content of a book.
They talked about marketing a little bit in-terms of genres, marketing spaces. Jenny Colgan declared she didn’t really believe in genre. For Chris Brookmyre, he said the term “Tartan Noir” was good for marketing but his book – The Cliff House is more uplifting and about friendships, so less “noir”.
They talked about timers within books. The writer has got to solve the murder at a certain stage, in a rom-com the writer has got to get their characters together before Xmas. When writing different genres, Jenny Colgan reckons she doesn’t find that too difficult, but does however find it hard to kill off characters.
She also alluded that it is a bit different for Doctor Who as this is an already created person. It was fascinating hearing about the pecking order and the way Doctor Who works for writers.
Like Jenny Colgan, and perhaps even more so, Chris Brookmyre writes in many genres and how he is Ambrose Parry when he writes historical fiction, with Marissa, his wife, who sounds like she likes rules, plotting and planning, so he revealed he does a bit more of that now, but still likes the element of surprise in the direction his characters take him in. He also talked about something exciting happening with Netflix.
Jenny Colgan on the other-hand isn’t a fan of overly researching, but does do some.
Jenny Colgan added to how she writes and had a bit of advise for new writers and says you can start at 200 words and write to that target and then get on with the rest of the day (she writes thousands and then gets on with her day, but says hundreds is also fine). They both talked about getting the first draft down, in brief, they say that this needs to be finished and then it can be fixed after that and also write about what you know.

Music 

Chris Brookmyre is a member of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and they will be playing at The Edinburgh Fringe 2022.

Jenny Colgan can play the piano and recently learnt how to play the harp.

Thanks

I thank both authors for the photos and for signing my books, which I now treasure.

 Links

An #Interview By Lou with Singer Nigel Craft @CraftyNigel covering #Music and #Books #Theatre #Musicals #Ballads #Songs #StephenKing #DeanKoontz #SingersWhoReadBooks #SingerReadingBooks

Music notes clip art free clipart images 5Firstly, thank you to Nigel Craft for allowing me to interview you about the music you create, who you like to listen to, the books you read and your social media platforms.  Discover upbeat and interesting answers, as well as links to where you can find Nigel’s music.
Delve into a bit of insight into whatCartoon stack of books clipart 2 png he produces within the interview.                      So, let’s proceed onto the first question, of which there are 7.

Free music note clipart

1. Where does your interest in music come from and what made you decide to sing and put yourself out there on You Tube and Tik-Tok, which now has many followers?

INigel pic 2’m not really sure where I got my music interest from, none of my family are musicians, but ever since I was a kid I loved music. I especially loved music from the movies and computer games and would always look at the credits to see which composer had produced the music and would always watch a movie or play a game if they had composed the music, even if it was rubbish and I guess that’s really what got me into music. The singing part didn’t really surface until I was in my 20’s really. I used to play piano and organ, but could never read music so I used to play by ear and create my own music.

 Free music notes clip art free vector for free download about

2. You sing a number of ballads and songs from musicals, which is your favourite genre of music to sing?

I love singing ballads and although I love songs from the musicals they are very hard songs to sing. I think ballads are definitely my favourites, but I do love big band as well – the Michael buble style of songs really ,but I will try anything really.
I’m currently finishing off a rock version of my original song which is called “A Love So Strong” which is very different to the ballad version I have already released. I like to challenge myself and do things people that would not expect to hear from me. 

Music notes clipart free clipart images

3. You did some lockdown concerts on YouTube, what was that like knowing that it was at a time when the world was changing and people truly needed entertaining to keep going? As an artist, did it affect your work?

For me lockdown changed my life! I had been posting cover song videos for a while but I felt people needed cheering up and I ended up writing my first ever song called “ I really want a llama. “ I decided to include some funny clips to play alongside me singing and it was really popular and was entered into an online competition and that made me think that maybe I could write my own songs, after that I write a few more comedy songs. I then branched out into more serious songs reflecting what was happening in and around my life. I had always been told that I would get on better in competitions if I was able to write my own songs and since then I’ve been writing lots of songs. One of my most recent original songs called “This Is Not Goodbye”  has reached the semi finals of a major worldwide online songwriting competition, which I still can’t believe.
Going back to my childhood I use a lot of film score sounds in my songs too as I love a song with an orchestral backing.

Music notes clip art free clipart images

4. Who is your favourite singer/band of all time and why?

I have a lot of artists I like equally but one artist stands out and that is Celine Dion. She has an amazing voice and some if earlier work is incredible! She is someone I would love to see in concert but I’ve not made it any yet sadly. I also love The Carpenters , Josh Groban, Michael Buble and Tom Odell is another favourite of mine.

                                           Music notes symbols clip art free clipart images 5  Music notes symbols clip art free clipart images 5

5. What was the most recent gig you’ve attended?

Nigel pic 1I’ve been to a lot of musicals this year which I love going to and have seen shows this year including Mary Poppins, Back to the Future and The Phantom of the Opera; but the most memorable recent concert was a live concert of Jeff Wayne’s musical of War of the Worlds at the O2 in London, that is my all time favourite album and the concert was incredible. I will never forget it! On a smaller scale the last show I saw was a tribute to Karen Carpenter in Bury St Edmonds, it was such an emotional evening as it was like I was seeing a live Carpenters show. The lady singing sounded just like her it was amazing!

Green book clipart web png

6. You like to read. What is your favourite book and what are you reading just now?

The books I read would probably not be what other people would enjoy reading. I’m a big horror story fan and I’ve read a lot of books by an author called Dean Koontz who is my favourite writer. It’s one of his books which is my all time favourite, it’s called Watchers and is such an amazing story. I never thought a book could capture your emotions quite the way this book did. I was captivated from the first page to the last, and yes it is a horror story but it’s also very character driven and you really feel and care for the characters. There is only one book which comes close to matching this amazing novel and that’s Phantoms, again written by Dean Koontz. It was the first book I read of his and it absolute terrified me. Who knew a book could be so scary? 

Pet Sematary


I don’t currently have a book I’m reading at this time as I haven’t really had time recently with my songwriting etc, but I have also enjoyed Stephen Kings Pet Sematary and Bram Stokers Dracula, is another favourite of mine.

Pix for music notes border a good thread sewing cliparts

7. Where can people find your music and is it all online or do you sing in venues too?

Apart from the odd karaoke I haven’t sung live for a very long time; the area I live don’t hire solo artists like myself. That’s really why I started showcasing my singing online as I thought it was the only way I could reach audiences around the world. 

I have a You Tube channel where I upload all my videos first. I currently only have 257 subscribers but that to me is amazing but you can find my channel here:-

https://youtube.com/user/nigel20

My main place for my videos these days is tik tok ,it started slowly but is slowly growing each week ,I have nearly 5000 followers and one of my most recent cover songs has over 105,000 views which is insane. I get comments from all around the world and it really has given me the motivation to carry on. My channel is here:-

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMNfMKypC/

I’m also on instagram but that is quite a quiet channel for me but it’s another way of finding me ,And you can find me on there here:-

http://www.instagram.com/nigel_craft_uk

Music notes on staff clipart free images

#Interview By Lou with the Secretary of The Oscar Wilde Society about the society, Oscar Wilde and a new book @VanessaHeron @GylesB1 @OscarWildeUK @stephenfry #OscarWilde #OscarWildeSociety #Playwright #Theatre #Films #Books

Interview with the Secretary of The Oscar Wilde Society
– Vanessa Heron
Conducted By Louise (Lou)

Oscar Wilde, a playwright so many have heard of, created and watched his plays and films inspired by his works. I myself have enjoyed The Importance of Being Ernest in play and film. I have also learnt a lot and very much liked De Profundis, a one-man play by Simon Callow about the later part of Oscar Wilde’s life, who is said to have a passion for Oscar Wilde’s works, to name but a few.
A great opportunity presented itself after coming across the society that gave me the idea to ask Vanessa Heron, the Secretary of the Oscar Wilde Society, to interview her. Thankfully she agreed to answer my 5 questions.

There is a book about Constance Wilde’s autograph book, available soon. The interview leads to this after a bit about the Oscar Wilde Society, how it began and how Vanessa Heron became involved. You will also discover how to join the society and what the secretary’s favourite Oscar Wilde play is. I am delighted to reveal many photos, some with some very well-known people, who the society have had the good fortune and pleasure to rub shoulders with, and also the website. This isn’t a group that always sits or stands still. They go places and they do things.
Thanks first to Vanessa Heron for agreeing to the interview and for providing such fascinating answers. Without further ado, meet the society and discover that there’s more to them that meets the eye in the fascinating, insightful and sometimes humorous answers.

Vanessa Heron and the Madame Tussaud’s Oscar Wilde model at a Birthday Dinner at the Cadogan Hotel soon after Vanessa Heron - Secretary, joined the Society
Vanessa Heron – Society Secretary and the Madame Tussaud’s Oscar Wilde model
at a Birthday Dinner at the Cadogan Hotel soon after she joined.

1. How and when did the Oscar Wilde Society come into existence?

The Oscar Wilde Society was founded in September 1990, by a small group of enthusiasts for Wilde and his works, gathered in the Queensberry Room at the Cafe Royal. This was a very appropriate venue. Here Oscar often entertained his guests, including his lover ‘Bosie’ – Lord Alfred Douglas -and here Bosie’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, objected violently to his son’s association with Wilde.

The original plan was to hold an Oscar Wilde Costume Ball, which never happened. 

The Society evolved and today we have members in the U.K., Europe, America and Canada, and as far afield as Australia and South Africa. Our members range from general readers and enthusiasts those who’ve just discovered Wilde to actors, book collectors, students, writers and academics. Anyone interested in Oscar Wilde is welcome to join. We are chatty and friendly at events if you’re lucky enough to be able to come to them, and everyone has a different interest in Oscar and his world, whether it’s his poetry, the Society plays, the picture of Dorian Gray, the fairy stories or the fashion, books and literature of the 1890s more generally.

Oscar Wilde Return to the Cadogan Hotel earlier this year. Society members and a special guest.

Oscar Wilde Return to the Cadogan Hotel earlier this year. Society members and a special guest (2)

Some members of the society.
To the right, honorary patron – Stephen Fry
The Cadogan Hotel, London.

It’s a hotel with a past and many stories to tell. It is also rather apt for a meeting place on occassion. It was quite the playground for socialites and bohemians like Oscar Wilde.

2. What sparked your interest in Oscar Wilde and how did you become involved as the Secretary?

Looking back I had read the fairy stories in a paperback from a jumble sale when I was a small child. I also envied the other English set at School who read the Importance of Being Earnest. We were reading something rather dull, and this sounded much more fun. But it was at University when I fell in love with a tall dark handsome Rupert Everett look alike who was a fan of Freddie Mercury and used to quote Oscar Wilde in the pub when he was drunk. To try to impress him, I borrowed books from the library to read and to find out more about this Oscar Wilde chap. Of course the chap, Phill turned out to be gay, but I got to read Oscar Wilde’s letters and just fell in love with that voice on the page. The letters are the nearest we will get to hearing Oscar’s voice. Whether he’s being chatty, business-like, self indulgent or charming and kind to his friends, he was a Lord of language eloquent and to the point with flowery interludes and I was hooked. I can’t recommend his letters enough. 

I found a mention of the Oscar Wilde Society in the Evening Standard in about 1994 (or it might have been 1996.) I joined straight away and my first event was an AGM at Chelsea Arts Club a couple of months later. I was welcomed by Don Mead, a perfect gentleman who’s still the Chairman and I helped him to put out chairs in the garden for the meeting. I loved the people, the chat and the atmosphere at events. I’d found my friends, indeed my people and have been involved ever since. 

Don Mead conned me into joining the committee very quickly and I ended up at various times being Secretary and Treasurer. It was joked early in the history of the Society that we had ‘an illiterate Secretary and an innumerate Treasurer. I’m saying nothing about which I was or who was meant. 

About 10 years later I was handed the job of Secretary for a second stint and Don Mead conned me yet again (in the nicest possible way) into editing Intentions, our more trivial journal. Don had decided, in his eighties, that editing both journals was a bit much and it was time for a rest so I got the job. Intentions comes out four times a year and features Society events, reviews, articles, notices of new books and a fair smattering of trivia. Basically anything Wilde which might be of interest to our members. I enjoy following up articles, blogs and people I read on Twitter and persuading them to write articles for Intentions. Choosing the pictures for the cover is one of my not so secret guilty pleasures and I’m very proud of it. It’s an excellent read if I say so myself. 

We also have an academic peer reviewed journal edited by theatre historian Robert Whelan which is published and sent out to members twice a year, and an e-newsletter with no limit on space, edited by Aaron Eames. Previous editions of The Wildean are available on Jstor, (the digital academic library) for academics, researchers and students to access. 

3. Do you have a favourite play by Oscar Wilde and why?

Intentions cover
‘Intentions’ the magazine of the  Oscar Wilde society with Paul Doust as Lady Bracknell  on the cover.

Out of the plays ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ never stales. How can you beat gossip, secret lives, bitching girls, silliness and cucumber sandwiches? I’ve seen rather a lot of productions and the script is so well written they all have something worth seeing.

 I confess, though that I have a particular liking for and   interest  in one man and one woman shows based on Wilde   characters, both real and fictional. Society Patron and friend   Neil Titley performed as Oscar in his play ‘Work is the Curse   of the Drinking Classes’ for 40 years, which was a class act   performed to the Society in a London pub years ago, and   more recently Gerard Logan performed a wonderful take on   Oscar in ’Wilde Without the Boy.’ 

Lexie Wolfe does a dramatic and sad show as Constance Wilde in ‘Mrs Oscar Wilde.’ There are also shows about the whole Wilde story including ‘Vengeance’ a recent musical about Oscar’s downfall, by John and Danielle Merrigan which will hopefully be touring again soon. There’s even a play where Lady Bracknell tells her story, written and played by Paul Doust called ‘Lady Bracknell’s Confinement, which was so entertaining I tracked down and interviewed Paul Doust, the writer and actor and made his Lady Bracknell my cover girl.

4. There is a very special book – Constance Wilde’s autograph book that you will be publishing this autumn. How did you discover this? What stand-out names and information can people expect from it? Where can people buy the book?

There are still some people who are surprised that Oscar Wilde was married, and who have only heard about his scandalous affair with Lord Alfred Douglas and his trials and imprisonment for gross indecency. But Oscar was many things apart from a lover of men, including a critic, a poet, a women’s magazine editor, and a socialist and Irish Nationalist. He was also a husband and father of two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan. 

Constance Wilde, his wife was a fascinating woman. Irish, beautiful, interested in Liberal politics, dress reform and the occult and they lived in Chelsea in the ‘House Beautiful’ in Tite Street. Constance Wilde kept a visitors book which was signed by celebrities of the day who she admired, including writers, actors such as Henry Irving, Sarah Bernhardt, artists such as Ricketts and Shannon, who drew pictures and a poem to Constance from her husband. Other signatories include Walter Pater, Robert Browning, George Meredith, James McNeill, George Grossmith, G. F. Watts, Mark Twain, Marie Corelli, John Ruskin and Vernon Lee. The book is in the British Library and we hope it will be of interest to everyone interested in the late Victorians. 

Our Society Patron, author Eleanor Fitzsimons who wrote a book called ‘Wilde’s Women’ has written about it in her usual eloquent style and I’m not a writer, I’m an art teacher, so I shall simply quote her:

‘What an absolute joy it is to have Constance Wilde’s fascinating autograph book available to us all in such a lovely, wonderfully curated edition. In his introductory essay, Dr Devon Cox does a magnificent job of illuminating and contextualizing Constance’s intriguing life, lifting her free of her husband’s orbit. She is revealed as a progressive woman with a keen interest in literature and music, and a curiosity about the occult. Anyone who is fascinated by Oscar Wilde will welcome this extensively annotated reproduction, which gives us a fascinating portal into the lives of this extraordinary couple and their vibrant circle. Comprehensive profiles of each signatory, and details of the circumstances in which they added their contributions, make it accessible to scholars and interested readers alike. A beautiful book, a wonderful gift, it breathes new life into Constance Wilde’s friendships, interests and accomplishments. An enthralling and valuable resource, it will be treasured for generations to come. ‘ 

The book will be available for pre-order on the Oscar Wilde Society website soon, and we look forward to launching it in the autumn with a special event for members. 

5. How do people join the Oscar Wilde Society and what stand-out features can people expect when they do join up?

You can join the Society on our website at https://oscarwildesociety.co.uk/membership/ Many members particularly those outside the U.K. simply read the journals and interact with us on Facebook and Twitter and you can expect a warm welcome from our membership Secretary Veronika Binoeder. Other members, including some from France, Switzerland, Belgium and even Australia come to events including our annual Birthday Dinner in London and the Summer Magdalen College Lunch, which is sold out for this year. We also have smaller scale more intimate events such authors lunches, lectures and talks and a recent visit to Bedford to look for the aesthetic ‘Patience’ teapot and to hear about aesthetic art and design from an Art historian member, Dr Anne Anderson. Members were thrilled recently to visit the ground floor flat in Tite Street which was part of Oscar and Constance Wilde’s house and to read prose and poetry in what was Oscar’s study where he wrote many of his works. We go to lovely places and do lovely things. 

Oscar Wilde The committee and our President meet a very special guest who knows her Wilde

We have delightful Society Patrons, and our President – Gyles Brandreth is both supportive and involved. If I have wetted your appetite to learn more I recommend you read ‘Oscar’ by Matthew Sturgis which is a beautifully researched biography which reads like a novel. Or of course you could join the Society. 

The committee and our President meet
a very special guest who knows her Wilde.

You can expect lots of friendly chat at events from all sorts of members and the ‘congenial appreciation of Oscar Wilde’ mentioned on the website generally extends to a pub or bar after an event for a more informal chat and a drink. We like to think Oscar Wilde would approve and we look forward to welcoming new members. 

You can contact me or any of the other committee members via our Website and I’d be delighted to answer questions from any prospective members. 

#BookReview By Lou of The Shadow Child By Rachel Hancox #TheShadowChild #RachelHancox @centurybooksuk @PenguinUKBooks @RandomTTours #ContemporaryFiction #LiteraryFiction #readingcommunity #Readers #Bloggers #BookTwitter

The Shadow Child
By Rachel Hancox

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Shadow Graphic 1

The Shadow Child is a compelling, thought-provoking contemporary fiction/literary fictiondebut novel full of secrets and the ‘human condition’. Find out more in the blurb and my review and then a bit about the author. First, thanks to Random T. Tours for the invite onto the blog tour.

Blurb

Shadow Graphic 3Eighteen-year-old Emma has loving parents and a promising future ahead of her. So why, one morning, does she leave home without a trace?

Her parents, Cath and Jim, are devastated. They have no idea why Emma left, where she is –
or even whether she is still alive. A year later, Cath and Jim are still tormented by the
unanswered questions Emma left behind and clinging desperately to the hope of finding
her.

Meanwhile, tantalisingly close to home, Emma is also struggling with her new existence –
and with the trauma that shattered her life.

For all of them, reconciliation seems an impossible dream. Does the way forward lie in
facing up to the secrets of the past – secrets that have been hidden for years? Secrets that
have the power to heal them, or to destroy their family forever …

The Shadow Child is a book of hope and reconciliation, of coming to terms with trauma and
learning to love again. Most of all, it’s about how you can never quite escape from the
shadows of your past – especially when one of those shadows is a child …

Review

The prologue sweeps by fast, with its talk about shadows, that is written in a way that you would expect from a child, but knowing the blurb, it takes on a bit of an eerie slant, thereafter it is a bit of a slow-burn of curiosity that seeks to grasp you and succeeds. The family is fairly normal, Cath is a teacher and Jim is a newspaper photographer and was practically love at first sight. They then had 2 children, but one died and the other is now mysteriously missing, seemingly without a trace. The family, of what’s left, use many coping strategies to get through these dark days and you can feel the emotion and see the strength of character that they keep going, even though they feel guilt and bewilderment that their daughter went missing and despair and helplessness that they have no answers. They also cling hard onto hope so they keep going in life.

It’s interesting and, perhaps more powerful for it, the way that Emma (the missing child) has her own narrative to tell readers why she disappeared. It’s a good way to get into her psyche and infact all of the main characters have their own present story and backstory to tell about their lives.

Jim and Cath also have a cottage that they inherited, so take on tenants – Lara and Nick. Then all the characters become even more intrinisically linked and it becomes apparent that there are so many secrets being harboured in the pages, that keeps the book engaging, as well as the fact that there’s a need to discover how it could possibly all end and whether certain things will work out well or not.

There’s quite a philisophical bent at times, that creates for some rather elegant thought-provoking moments, through its sometimes nuanced approach and natural human thoughts. The book is essentially about relationships, how they interconnect to other people’s lives, the impacts secrets can have, the upbringing that occurs at childhood and how that feeds into adulthood. How to attempt to reshape life and cope with incredibly traumatic situations.
Overall it is quite a compelling, complex book about the twisting paths of life, loss and hope.

About the Author

RACHEL HANCOX read Medicine and Social and Political Science at Cambridge, qualified as a doctor three months after getting married, and has juggled her family, her career and a passion for writing ever since.
She worked in Paediatrics and Public Health for twenty years, writing short stories alongside NHS policy reports, and drafting novels during successive bouts of maternity leave. Rachel has five children, three dogs and a cat. She lives in Oxford with her husband and youngest children.

Shadow Child BT Poster

#Interview By Lou with #Actor #Author Ronald Rand about his play #LetItBeArt and #Book #SoloTransformationOnStage #Stage #Theatre #Bookblog #BookTwitter #Theatreblog #TheArts #Arts #RonaldRand

Interview with Stage Actor/Author/Goodwill Ambassador – Ronald Rand

Today it gives me great pleasure to share an interview with you all, that I conducted with actor Ronald Rand. He is an actor, author and goodwill ambassador. Ronald Rand has appeared in many theatre plays, his latest is Let It Be Art about the life of Harold Clurman, which he tours worldwide. He is also the founder of newspaper – The Soul of The American Actor. His book is Solo Transformation On Stage is available now to purchase and includes a forward by Stephen Lang, most recently famous for playing/voicing the part of Miles Quaritch in the Avatar movies by James Cameron. The cover quote comes from the actor Christopher Plummer.
Thank you very much Ronald for allowing me to interview and for your fascinating answers about your author and stage life, as well as telling a bit about being a Goodwill Ambassador. Ronald Rand also interviews some acting greats. Discover a bit about this too, as well as some photographs Ronald Rand has kindly sent over and granted me permission to use.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Ronald Rand onto my blog. So, let’s begin…

cover SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE by Ronald Rand (1)

You wrote a book that enlightens audiences to the art of solo performance. I’ve seen some actors do this in the UK, such as Simon Callow and Julie Hesmondalgh. I always come away wondering “How do you learn all those lines and how does the way you feel going out on stage differ to that of having a full cast around you?”

Ronald Rand: First, I would like to thank you for this special gift and privilege for this interview and to answer your questions. Congratulations on having such a very fine blog, Bookmarks and Stages.

Well, when I first began acting, I had to have been around six years old, and of course, I was worried like many actors are, about forgetting my lines. Thinking it was all about memorization. But as the years progressed and I’ve worked more and more as an actor, over time I’ve learned that the lines in a play are a natural extension of a person’s thoughts. And if they’re well written by an excellent playwright, they should roll, as The Bard said, “trippingly from the tongue,” because they’re connected to the action of what the person is doing. When I have had to learn lines to perform in a different play other than my solo play, I learn them through their connection to what the person is doing each moment to get what they need.

RONALD RAND as HAROLD CLURMAN in LET IT BE ART!
Ronald Rand as Harold Clurman

 In my solo play, LET IT BE ART! Harold Clurman   certainly has a   lot to say but the words he says   come as expressions of what   he needs to say at   the  moment as a natural action in his   storytelling.   Because I bring Harold Clurman to life after a   two-   hour transformation process in what I refer to as the ‘creation room,’ not a dressing room, when   Clurman  arrives, he’s not coming on a stage, he’s arriving at his apartment in New York City and very soon he encounters three of his students (who are actually the audience). And the things he says are a natural extension of him living his life, just the same as you do when you’re talking to others in your daily life. What you’re saying is certainly not lines in a play.

You see, in his reality he’s returning from having seen a play in Brooklyn and he’s merely going on with his life; he’s not coming on a stage. As the actor inside I’m aware that, of course, it’s a stage but Harold Clurman couldn’t care less, he’s in his apartment living his life. I still have to make sure that he’s where he’s supposed to be, and hopefully he will say the words that are in the play when they need to be said. Do I have any idea that he will? I never know for sure, since he’s living his life completely.

When you ask about having a full cast around me. Well, actually Harold Clurman is talking to  three acting students in his apartment (a part of the audience), and at another time in the play, he ‘breaks the fourth wall’ and talks to a group of actors who have come to the first get-together when the Group Theater was born in 1930, (which is also the audience.)

And throughout the play, through Clurman, you meet Lee Strasberg, Cheryl Crawford, Alfred Stieglitz, Stella Adler, Clifford Odets, Constantin Stanislavski, Aaron Copland, even Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. That’s a pretty amazing cast!  So there’s all these vibrant folks coming to life on his journey through his life. So, in a sense, you might say, there is a ‘full cast’ but they’re not around “me,” they’re with Clurman, and when he heads off to the theater at the end of the play, that’s when I return for the curtain call.

What prompted you to write a book about the transformation of an actor into the person who they are going to play? I must say it is absolutely fascinating as there is so much to explore and I’ve only ever seen this a little in the film and play – The Dresser.

Ronald Rand as Harold Clurman in LET IT BE ART! in Nakuru, Kenya
             Ronald Rand as Harold Clurman

Ronald Rand: Thank you so much for your kind words. SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE: A Journey into the Organic Process of the Art of Transformation came about because of the pandemic. I was in the middle of my 20th year touring in my solo play, and I had completed a performance of LET IT BE ART! at The Ritz Theatre in Sheffield, Alabama to a sold-out audience. They actually stayed almost as long as the performance for the question-and-answer period which I always have at the end of the show. This was in late February 2020, and after that my tour was shut down and I was sequestered like everyone else.

Well, one day I was sitting at my desk, and I thought there has to be some way that I can reach out to people since I can’t do it on stage, and it occurred to me that perhaps I could contribute by sharing the organic process I go through using the Art of Transformation, and share how Stanislavski’s acting chart, ‘The Method of Physical Actions’ makes it possible.

Now I know there’s certainly several books written by actors, some who talk about their process and their life acting on the stage. However, there’s only a few about the art of solo performance, which is a world unto its own. But I think my book is the first to go through an organic process and the transformation necessary to create your own solo show. But more than that, it’s about how to make your dreams come true drawing upon the richness of who you are.

I believe it’s important for the actor today to realize that transformation is necessary. I see so many actors play elements of themselves acting like they’re somebody else, but transformation takes many years through learning about one’s craft and gaining a mastery to bring to life another human being on the stage.

It’s really a never-ending discovery process to sustain a performance for an hour or longer requiring great discipline, focus and a continual stream of storytelling. That’s why I wanted to go into this kind of process more deeply through SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE, and reveal how I use Stanislavski’s ‘Method of Physical Actions’ chart. The same chart he gave to my teacher, Stella Adler when she studied with him in Paris in 1934. She was only American to study for over five weeks with him, and she brought his chart back to the Group Theatre in America.

When I was fortunate to study with Stella Adler for over five years, I gleaned great insights from her teaching which helped me understand the chart in a deep way, and I have tried to bring forward many of the insights through my master acting workshops.

Still, there is always something mysterious about what takes place inside what I refer to as the creation room because for me that’s where creation begins to allow another person to come so that they can live their life through the playwright’s creation. Did I have any idea that this process would evolve this way when I began working on the role of Harold Clurman? Certainly not. At the very beginning, I looked at Clurman as a role or as a character. But I’ve come to believe there is no such thing as a character. There is only the person, a human being who must come and live their life. And I have to allow creation to occur by being an open and willing vessel.

You say that Harold Clurman chose you and you became passionate about his ideas. What were the ideas that then gave you the impulse and drive to bring his life to the stage?

Ronald Rand: I think I first became fascinated by the Group Theatre back in high school when I was studying acting with an excellent drama teacher, David Feldman, at Coral Gables High School in Florida where I was born and grew up. Feldman was a dedicated and unusual high school drama teacher, giving us exercises by Boleslavsky and Michael Chekhov, talking about the Moscow Art Theatre and Vakhtangov, showing us films by Elia Kazan and Sidney Lumet, talking about the impact of the Group Theatre and what they did that changed the course of the American Theater.

The productions we would act in had to have been on the same level as those Off-Broadway. All of this had a great impact on my life at the time. When I completed high school and travelled to New York City and studied with Stella Adler, of course, her great impact was to show us the size an actor must rise to inhabit the great roles. I had to throw out pretty much everything I had been doing before since so much of had to with imitation and indicating, now it had to be based on creation and truth. Through her great art of script interpretation, we’d learn how to dissect a play and be an instrument and be in service to the playwright’s work. This is what the actor is responsible for.

And at the same time, I was fortunate to study with Harold Clurman. Every moment transformed my very being through his overpowering passion, his pulsating vibrating thoughts, revealing all the possibilities of how to see life, and acting and what the theater is capable of.

Did I have any idea at the time that I would write a play and bring to life Harold Clurman? Of course not. But later when I read in the introduction to Clurman’s book, The Fervent Years, Stella Adler wrote that she feared that the legacy of Harold Clurman might be lost, and I thought that would be a great tragedy.

That’s what led me to consider writing a play about Clurman. But I actually began a play about the Group Theatre instead and ended up playing Clurman in many staged readings across New York City for several years trying to get it produced. It was finally produced at Northern Illinois University. After that, maybe it was a voice inside that directed me to now write a play about Clurman. But even after reading and re-reading everything he wrote, looking at my notes from my classes with him, watching videos of him, I had to sit down, put everything aside and ask him: “What do you want to say?”

All of a sudden, the floodgates opened and the words that needed to be said came.

So, this is one of the secrets of writing your own show, tapping into the subconscious, and listening. I have to believe that’s why I was chosen to bring his passion and humanity alive, not only for audiences in America but across many different countries. Because what he has to say to us is universal and necessary to hear, especially today.

You talk about the person you are portraying being almost like an extension of yourself and you transform into the character you become, do you ever feel that this influences or affects parts of your own life and how do you separate the two as the psychology, Affective Memory, and molecules that you talk about in your book come into play?

Ronald Rand: Certainly, there’s no question bringing Harold Clurman to life through my play, LET IT BE ART! for over twenty years has had a great influence on my being. It’s also an enormous responsibility to allow his vibrancy and dynamic passion, his great humour, and humanity to come alive in every single moment.

When I decided to dedicate my life to sharing Clurman’s great being, it was after I had worked in numerous films and television shows, but now I made a deeper commitment that I couldn’t work on any production that reflected any kind of negativity, evil or destruction. I have to allow myself to be in a state of affirming the best in our humanity in order to embody Clurman.

Every decision we make in our life, our choices every day is a reflection of our moral values, and we should strive to bring forth love, beauty, and art in all its richness.

And at the same time, we’re always surrounded by invisible molecules moving around us. When I wave my hand through the air, or communicate Clurman’s great passion on stage, everything’s traveling across a sea of molecules. Everything we see, all inanimate objects are made up of invisible molecules, even though they look solid. So, we have to understand and appreciate how it’s all a flow we’re a part of and allow for the greatest energy to come forth, a willingness to affirm our deepest humanity to help others on this planet through the talents we’ve been given. That’s our responsibility, and why transformation becomes all the more necessary to be a vessel in service so that another human being can live and breathe and come and tell their story.

You have advice to always take time and stop between performances, how does this aid your next performance? How do you keep performances feeling fresh for you and the audiences?

Ronald Rand: Sometimes as a performer we’re called upon to do eight performances a week. At other times it so happens that there may be a larger break between one performance to the next. When that occurs, one has to find ways to constantly refresh and refuel one’s persona and keep one prepared, ready for the next performance; it’s always like being ready to run a marathon. Being in a state of readiness is the way I exist because this is my life’s calling which I will be doing to the end of my time. Especially today when as Clurman put it, “We live in an age of amnesia and for the most part, nobody remembers anything that happened the day before yesterday, so you naturally have to say it all over again.”

When audiences all over the world no matter what country I perform in, no matter what language they speak or their background or culture, once they come in contact with Harold Clurman, it’s as if they’re transformed and become excited because what he’s telling them is about something eternal and necessary to be heard today.

When I’m called upon to bring Harold Clurman to life in a performance, it’s never been done before in this particular setting, at this particular moment so everything is completely fresh, and the theatres are always different. Whether I’m performing in the courtyard of a palace or outside on a grassy knoll at a university, or in a tribal hut or a cave theater or inside a thousand seat auditorium.

You mention so many actors, directors from theatre and film in the past and present, such as Charlie Chaplin, Simon Callow, Lin Manuel Miranda and many more… How does studying such a wide range of people and their creations influence you and how important do you think it is for actors, whether they are new or established to know the heritage of theatre and the stories they tell?

Ronald Rand: Well, when I began as an actor, I slowly became aware of my heritage, or as we’re called, being a part of a ‘tribe.’ In high school I read everything actor biography and autobiography I could get my hands on, from Edwin Booth, Ira Aldridge, Salvini, Eleanora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt, Edmund Kean, Michael Chekhov, Vakhtangov to Stanislavski but it’s not only the theater I familiarized myself with. During college, I read countless books on philosophy, psychology, anthropology, the great religions of the world. I read every great novel, poem, and play written by the greatest writers of all time from the Greeks to the present. One particular book, Actors on Acting brought me further in contact with actors from different cultures taking me all over the world

It’s a personal decision to decide to learn about one’s history but I consider it a responsibility. If you’re a baseball player, you certainly want to know about Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson. Why shouldn’t you if you’re an actor know about your heritage? That’s why I’ve included in my book a rich diversity of some of the greatest performers who have inhabited the stage from Ira Aldridge to Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. There is a great ‘well’ I talk about in my book, SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE, that each of us can draw from, and it will only greatly fuel the ‘leap across the footlights’ and touch the very souls and hearts of the audience.

Towards the end of the book, you had the great opportunity to interview other actors, such as Adrienne Barbeau, Christopher Plummer, Spalding Gray, to name but a few about their own transformations. What did you learn and come away with for your own thoughts or performances from them?

Ronald Rand: I’ve been very fortunate over the past nearly twenty-five years to do over fifteen hundred interviews through my newspaper, The Soul of the American Actor, and it’s brought me in touch with these particular performers that I’ve included in my book. Some of whom have become good friends. By sharing the more than twenty interviews in the book, and their journey as a solo performer, the choices they’ve made and how their particular shows came to life has been extremely inspiring for me, and I hope will also be for the reader.

Eve Ensler talks about how she created The Vagina Monologues, Ben Vereen shows how the world around him deeply affected his choices as a young performer, Christopher Plummer plumbs the depth of his rich being, Stephen Lang (who wrote the Foreword to my book) and Laurence Luckinbill, both highly seasoned performers offer great insights into the extraordinary courage it takes to come on a stage alone and become someone else.

Through the ages up to today, when you see someone like Ralph Fiennes or Simon Callow, Ruben Santiago Hudson, Anna Deavere Smith, or Ian McKellan, you’re experiencing a great thread of our humanity in the stories being revealed. Every time I experience a solo performance, it further awakens my own understanding about what it means to be alive and how much more there is to know about this world.

It’s interesting that you say that in your masterclasses people such as lawyers, therapists, teachers, taxicab drivers and those from other professions come and are a part of your workshops, as if there is a common thread to be realised. What would you say is the common thread and why are so many wide-ranging people attracted to your masterclasses?

Ronald Rand, Goodwill Culltural Ambassador, Fulbright Specialist Scholar teaching his Master Workshop in Mostar, Bosnia
Masterclass in Bosnia

Ronald Rand, Goodwill Cultural Ambassador teaching his Master Workshop at Festival of Fame in Johannesburg, South Africa
Masterclass in Johannesburg

Ronald Rand: It has been a special gift and privilege being able to teach my
‘Art of Transformation’ master acting workshops around the world for the past twenty-five years in over twenty-five countries, and across twenty states at over seventy-five theaters, universities, colleges, and acting schools. And yes, several times a diverse array of those who have attended my workshops come from many different backgrounds and professions. Why do they come? I think it’s because of transformation. We’re all constantly changing every single day, and every choice we make literally transforms us.

When I have individuals from many different backgrounds in my workshops, they’re excited to dip into some of the exercises and learn about Stanislavski’s ‘Method of Physical Actions,’ because for some, they may have thought “What would it take to become an actor?” and they find it fascinating and some realize that they have it within themselves to let their imagination loose, and in one of the exercises, I literally ‘take them off and they all fly like a bird.’ I want to give them a chance to feel this kind of freedom which is not something that always happens in their daily lives.

We have to allow ourselves to dream the biggest dreams we can dream. To achieve everything, we’re born to achieve and enjoy every moment we’re alive. And the more we understand about what moves us forward, perhaps we can be in even greater service to others, especially at a time like this.

Your book is more thought-provoking than I imagined, in a good way. You talk about the late Chadwick Boseman and basically about empowering others. How important do you think theatre is for telling the stories and making the most of what you have to say in this medium, since no one knows what is going to happen in our future?

Ronald Rand: Yes, we live in an age of great uncertainty and there are forces at work constantly trying to upset the balance and harmony of life. However, we know, deep in our beings, the most powerful forces on earth like love, truth, peace, and justice, to name a few, represent the highest ideals of who we are as human beings on this planet.

I mention Chadwick Boseman in my book because he understood the responsibility he was given as an actor and when he became a ‘star,’ he recognized it was part of his responsibility to help empower others. This is certainly what we can do as artists. To help others find their path, and that’s why for me, because the theater is ‘alive in the moment’, through our storytelling we can literally transform others to reach a place where a revelation may come, or the experience may propel them to take a good look at their lives.

Well, while we may not know the future, we actually have the power to shape its potential, and bring a deeper awareness to the others through art. and I’ve personally experienced how a solo performance can touch people in a very deep place.

You have a very accomplished CV, including being a US Goodwill Cultural Ambassador and US State Department Fulbright Specialist Scholar. How did you come to have these positions, how long have you done this for and what are some of the things do they entail?

Ronald Rand: On my first world tour with LET IT BE ART! I was invited to Tbilisi, Georgia to perform at The GIFT Festival. I was welcomed as a Goodwill Cultural Ambassador as a representative from my country to theirs bringing goodwill and as a ‘bridge of understanding.’ And over the years it has happened many times, which is especially meaningful to me.

This coming summer, I have been invited to Iceland’s Act Alone Festival to bring Clurman’s great passion and ideas as the “Elder Statesman of the American Theater.” So, it continues been an enormous responsibility bringing him alive to audiences in several many countries.

When I was first chosen as a US State Department Fulbright Specialist Scholar during my five first five years, I was able to spend six weeks at the University of Sarajevo’s Academy of Dramatic Arts teaching their wonderful students, and at the same time, I was invited to direct a production of Murray Schisgal’s hit comedy, LUV, at one of their most prestigious theatre’s, Chamber Theatre 55 in Sarajevo. The production was in Bosnian, which was an extraordinary learning experience, and I directed three of Bosnia’s finest young actors.

During my second tour as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, I taught and performed in my solo play for six weeks at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, and then the Malaysian Cultural Ministry invited me as the first American master to bring Stanislavski’s ‘Method of Physical Actions’ across Malaysia to hundreds of students at their State Theatre and schools. Truly a most amazing experience!

On my third tour as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, I travelled to Uruguay to teach actors and actors and students for five weeks at the Paysandu Theater Group and also ended up directing a workshop production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Our Town in Spanish with several of the actors of the company.

Being a Goodwill Cultural Ambassador and a Fulbright Specialist Scholar has allowed me to share what we have in common and to learn from one another. It’s up to us to feel empathy for others – this is what makes us human. We must care about others with the greatest of compassion and love, giving our best towards the betterment of all.

It’s always been my goal to inspire and empower people to learn and grow in the most truthful and compassionate way by sharing our creativity and transformation. And it’s about collaboration. I encourage those I’m teaching to feel the rhythm of life, to listen with their heart and soul, to become as expansive as possible, to give more of themselves to others through their craft which I believe adds to the healing which needs to take place between peoples.

When I taught students in Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina, I learned the young student actors are constantly faced with pressures on a daily basis in a very difficult environment divided along ethnic and religious lines. I told them: “Art teaches us we each carry the tools to transform, not only our own lives but to share truths about how to live with those around us. Storytelling can help you shape your frustrations into creative expressions through transformation, finding ways to teach each other a way towards peace, through love, through the power of art, you can inspire others to come together to live in harmony.”

If history has taught us anything, it takes a willingness to build trust, and by coming together in person a dialogue can take place, transforming into an entirely new dynamic of understanding, of empathy – sharing what is basic in all of humanity.

Through SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE, I talk about that through solo performance, we can go further than we ever thought possible. There are no barriers of language or cultural misunderstandings when our performing is done with an open heart, vision, a willingness to share knowledge, and to learn from one another honestly.

cover SOLO TRANSFORMATION ON STAGE by Ronald Rand (1)