Today I’m delighted to feature artist and fiction writer Leonora Ross. She released her first novel, Tess Has a Broken Heart, and Other Comedies Full of Errors, last year. Her second novel is currently with her editor.
Leonora is an artist and fiction writer and lives in Western Canada but was born and raised in Africa. Her academic training was in law, but art has always been her burning passion. She’s obsessed with nature and you’re likely to spot her huffing and puffing her way up a mountain and through a forest.
Over to Leonora:
Which piece of music/song would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
I love a wide range of music, but ultimately, my soul’s ancient, so I tend to gravitate toward older songs. It’s nearly impossible to choose only five songs, but I tried my best (and Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and Puccini will have to step aside for a while), so here they are:
Stevie Nicks’ Sarah – my girlfriends and my sisters are my precious treasures, and few songs speak to me of the strong soul sister bond, as this one. Plus, Stevie rules!
U2’s I still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – it conjures up memories of my student days filled with endless discussions about how dumb everyone else—especially older people—were, while filling our lungs with cigarette smoke. Where did we find the time?
Mary Black’s Columbus – I have a restless heart, and her magical voice and lyrics take me on far, far journeys.
Lee Marvin’s Wandering Star – from the 1969 movie, Paint Your Wagon. I hear my father’s beautiful, deep voice in my mind and imagine him wandering out in the wilderness, as I also like to do.
Hothouse Flower’s This Is It (Your Soul) – not only ultra-cool, but a reminder to pay attention to yourself.
What (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
Coffee in the morning—a cliché, but undeniable
Chocolate when I crave it (which is often)
My kitchen gadgets when I’m cooking (my end-of-day stress reliever)
and most of all, seeing trees and mountains.
Can you offer a piece of advice for your younger self?
People don’t really look at you, so stop stressing about it—dress weird and act silly.
Laugh out loud more—it’s great for your abs and laugh lines are prettier than stress lines.
Some people are jerks by genetic disposition, ignore them.
The truth can cause more damage than good in some circumstances (no matter what you’d been taught in Sunday school)—so shut up.
Never stop being kind, but don’t be a walk-over.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I love talking to people and come across as confident, but I’m really very shy.
I hate conflict—even though I hate injustice more—it makes me tremble inside to argue with someone.
I talk to trees, flowers, and little critters when I’m out hiking.
I’m a serial tree hugger.
My alter ego is like the character, Pax, in Tess Has a Broken Heart, and Other Comedies Full of Errors—in my mind, I’m gutsy (but nice), but in reality, I’m more like Tess.
Tell us something you’d still like to do or achieve.
I know how I wish to express myself in my art, and in my writing—I don’t want to conform to someone else’s ideas (and popular ideas have never been my thing) but want to speak to those whose hearts will hear and understand me.
The people in my life should always know I love them—I want to be like a living and breathing emoticon.
I’m striving to cut the BS and distractions that hinder my growth and creativity.
I want to do my part every day in helping our planet but feel that my work can also be an avenue for stirring awareness.
Many thanks for joining me today Leonora, it was good to ‘meet’ you. Thanks for some great music choices – I love Mary Black. You are also now an honorary Five on Friday member of the chocolate club, there are a lot of us! Kindness is certainly something the world could do with right now, but a bit of grit to deal with the injustice is also something we’d do well to remember. Here’s wishing you the peace and contentment that hopefully comes from striving to achieve your goals.
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Tess Has a Broken Heart and Other Comedies Full of Errors
Friendship and tea ease worries, wine makes merry the heart, and love creates fools out of us all.
Tess has been living in Los Angeles for the past decade with her best friend Zara and Zara’s daughter, Zénnie. Zara-a neurosurgeon who’s divorced-decides to move back to Canada out of concern that Zénnie might conform to L.A. culture as she grows older. She accepts a position in Calgary, Alberta, and Tess decides to move with them.
So, begins a brand-new life for the three women, but little do they know they are in for much more than outdoor adventures in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Tess, on a whim, entices Zara to rent an enormous house with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and big open space around. The snag: they will need subtenants to afford the rent. Zara is apprehensive about living with strangers, but the idea grows on her, and they decide to do it!
When five gorgeous men-originally from Namibia-and a kooky English woman move into the house and into their lives, unexpectedly deep friendships form and the big house bustles with opinionated conversations and hilarious antidotes to inner struggles and sometimes, surprising personal revelations.
Tess is a loveable, yet slightly neurotic artist, who analyzes and dissects everything. Her biggest fear is taking a chance on love again after a devastating heartbreak many years ago.
Despite this, and against good common sense, Tess falls in love with a younger man, but is faced with the reality that he has no intention of getting serious, yet she inexplicably hangs on to the hope he might change his mind.
When love enters through another door, she is initially too caught up in her struggle with herself, to notice. But her world full of doubt and preconceived ideas, is about to topple and she has no clue how to handle it.
Her girlfriends fear she will miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. They try-not always patiently-to talk some sense into her. And they hope, for her sake, her heart will accept him.
Tess Has a Broken Heart, and Other Comedies Full of Errors, is a story about people who enter our lives as strangers and become like family; the constant struggles-inward and expressed-women face in a world obsessed with youth and beauty, and how women’s friendships help them navigate through these changing ocean tides. It is also about good, beautiful inside-out men who see the true qualities in the women who share their lives and stand ready to defend and support them.