Thursday, 27 October 2011

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Louise Hodgson

AUTHOR Louise Hodgson, 64, has recently been busy launching her latest book - Secret Places of West Dorset. Born in Sussex and brought up in Cheshire, Louise went on to live in some of the world’s most interesting cities, spending time in London, Amsterdam and California. Despite travelling the globe, Louise has spent most of her life in the westcountry and she currently resides in Corscombe, near Beaminster. Having graduated from the Manchester College of Art in her younger years, Louise still enjoys painting and is also a big animal lover and, as her latest book suggests, is a fan of the Dorset countryside. Louise spoke to the View From this week about her own favourite reads, her top tips for new writers and why she would like to have Ian Hislop round for dinner.

WHAT do you like most about West Dorset?
The huge variety of landscape features – sea, coastline, hills, streams, meadows and woods. I also find intriguing the ancient hollow-ways and myriad footpaths that criss-cross the countryside. I love exploring and my recently published book 'Secret Places of West Dorset' covers many of these special places.

WHAT would you like to change?
The uninspiring housing developments that blight our lovely countryside and the fact that many villages have lost their original Dorset inhabitants and are now filled with second homes that are empty for most of the time. I would like to see some law brought in that allows Dorset families to retain the family homes that Death Duties render untenable. Due to demand from outsiders, simple cottages are valued at hugely high prices and cannot be handed down to descendants but have to be sold. When the local families go, so does the soul of a place.

WHAT inspired you to start writing?
My love for this part of Dorset and a desire to share my enthusiasm and to inspire people to explore this beautiful area.

DO YOU believe everyone has a book in them?
Yes, everyone’s life has elements that can be shared with others. However, writing a book requires skill, dedication and hard work.

WHAT top three tips would you give to an amateur writer?
Enthusiasm, research and dedication.

WHO is your favourite author and why?
Ithell Colquoun, because of her varied talents in both writing and art, her vision and her ability to go ‘looking round corners’.

WHAT is your all time favourite book and why?
Daimonic Reality by Patrick Harpur. It brilliantly conveys the fact that there are other dimensions other than just the physical world.

WHERE do you see yourself in five years time?
Writing and presenting television documentaries on countrylife and the beauties of the landscape.

WHO would be your three dream guests at a dinner party?
King Charles II, Lord Byron and Ian Hislop. The latter to prick pomposity, Byron for poetic intensity and glamour and King Charles because I’ve a love for majesty.

WHAT was the last book you read, film you watched and CD you listened to?
The last book was 'Shamanism and Sacred Landscapes' by Chris Trwoga, the last film was The Search for Tony Blair and the last CD was Entroducing by DJ Shadow.

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