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Interview with an English Woman Living in Vienna

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

For our readers, Franziska Fisken ( and I met through Dieter Langenecker’s Evening VirtualGatherings where we discuss philosophical topics inspired but not limited by Viktor E. Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning.

As an artist, teacher and writer, what would people be surprised to know about your creativity?

They would be surprised that I am a creative person, not because of my creative output, but in my general approach to life and activities, such as teaching or cooking or writing or travel. I often pursue non-standard solutions in preference to conventional solutions.

Talk about the time when you were interviewed for a book review you wrote and how that led to other learning opportunities you hadn’t expected?

I was delighted to be invited by BBC World Radio to ask questions of Bill Bryson on a radio interview about his book "Notes of a Small Island", due to them liking my book review in the Goodreads website, I had really looked forward to being able to ask Bill Bryson the questions myself, but due to COVID restrictions was informed that the Series Editor would ask them on my behalf. When I contacted Karen, the programme manager, I was allowed to pre-record one of the two questions they had selected of several I had wanted to ask him.

When I was in Vienna you showed me your figurative art drawings. How did that experience of your drawing affect your other creative work?

In my mid-twenties I attended evening art classes in West London. My favourite model was Quentin Crisp, author of "The Naked Civil Servant", his memoir about life as a child and then flamboyant homosexual young man, in the early 20th Century, when being homosexual was generally not socially acceptable. His book had recently been converted into a successful and popular TV drama starring John Hurt. I was delighted that though famous, Quentin Crisp enjoyed continuing to work as a naked civil servant. And he was an excellent art model.

Many years later, when my mother was co-organiser of a UN Women's Art Show in Vienna in the 1980's, I offered some of my Quentin Crisp drawings for sale, and one was sold!

—Written by Amanda L. Mottorn, © 2022, author of Finding Moksha: One Woman’s Path in Uncertain Times and Artist at Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing.

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