Meet the Writers : The Riviera Reporter editorial team
A glance at the faces and profiles of the people behind the bylines in the Riviera Reporter Magazine and on this site.
Mike Meade Publishing Director
Canadian by birth, British by naturalisation and professional photographer by trade, Mike has lived in Europe and the Riviera for most of his life. Specialised in marine photography he was affected by the slump in the yachting sector that followed the arrival of the Mitterrand political era in France, and went on to found the first regular English language publication in the South of France since the Victorian period (when there were several daily and weekly papers on the Promenade des Anglais!). With Patrick Middleton’s editorial help from the first issue, the Riviera Reporter
became a success and has been published six times a year ever since. Originally a text-heavy information magazine, it’s only in recent years that photography has been used in the magazine. A fan of F1 racing and aero-modelling, Mike now divides his time between Mougins and rural Buckinghamshire.
Nancy (Wilson) Heslin Editor-in-Chief
Nancy started as Editor at the Riviera Reporter
in 2001 when she left the cold of Canada for the Côte d'Azur. She has taken the TGV with Tom Cruise to Marseille, lunched with Prince Albert in Monaco and covered the Cannes Film Festival as part of her contributions to leading celeb glossies. She travel writes for Random House’s Fodor’s France
and Fodor’s Provence and the French Riviera
) and teaches "Interview & Debate" at the École du Journalisme (www.edjgroupe.com
) in Nice. She became a French citizen in 2010; her passion is the triathlon and she did the Nice Ironman in 2013 (no, she didn't win).
Nick Kent Editor
Nick lives in Cannes. A journalist, he worked for the Daily Mirror
in London before spending the latter half of his career in book publishing. His passions include walking and golf. Nick is a volunteer for the Association des Paralysés de France (http://dd06.blogs.apf.asso.fr
for the Alpes-Maritimes, http://dd83.blogs.apf.asso.fr
for the Var), which is always on the lookout for more folk to lend a hand with this rewarding work. Another warm welcome awaits any English-speaker who would like to experience the glory of our mountains and valleys with the Club Alpin Français (www.clubalpin.com
), the best way to walk on the Riviera. Contact Nick for further details of either organisation.
CONTRIBUTORS AND DEPUTY EDITORS
In alphabetical order by first name:
Antonia Owen Women's Editor
Antonia, 59, was commissioning editor, feature-writer and chief sub-editor for Macmillan Magazines and other weekly and monthly publications in London. Her career has featured stints as commissioning editor, project editor and copy-editor for British and US book and journal publishers, both full-time and freelance, in the fields of fiction and non-fiction. Currently she is Publishing Director at Peter Owen Publishers, a leading UK independent publisher with seven Nobel prizewinners on its list. She is the proud owner of two parrots, Groucho and Doris.
Caren Trafford Antiquing
Caren began her writing career with the much acclaimed environmental books for children www.planetkids.biz
. Now she writes for pleasure, weaving articles about her adopted home, La Ciotat on the coast in Provence. Her articles encompass the beauty and subtlety of life in France, seen through the eyes of someone who has lived in Europe, Australia and Asia. Her favourite subjects are the variety and characters of the seasonal village markets and the antique treasure troves she uncovers while guiding clients looking for that something special. Born in London, Caren, pictured with Kody and Max, lived in Australia for 25 years.
Huw Williams Technology and IT
With over 15 years experience working in IT with a focus on IP networking and Video over IP, Huw now runs an IT services company (www.wirelessandweb.co.uk
) on the Cote d'Azur specialising in IP Networking, WiFi deployments and business IT services. An avid hiker, Huw also set up Riviera Rambling (www.rivierarambling.fr
), a site dedicated to walkers, hikers and ramblers who would like to discover or get to know better the beautiful landscape of the French Riviera.
James Basson Gardening
James graduated with a first class honours degree in Garden Design 15 years ago and has been following his passion here in the South of France ever since. Specialising in dry sustainable gardens, he gets his inspiration from the wonderful natural landscapes of the Riviera. He has won awards at the Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Flower Show, the Gardening World Cup in Japan and the Philadelphia Flower Show. Although born in the UK, he is an elected conseiller municipal
in his home town of Le Bar sur Loup. When he’s not on botanical forays in the hillsides, he is an avid sailor - not many plants in the middle of the sea! He has his own Garden Design Practice at www.scapedesign.com
and regularly does conferences on “lessons from the landscape”, interpreting elements of the natural landscape into a garden.
Jamie Ivey Provence Diary
Jamie lives in the Luberon with his wife and three daughters. Formerly a lawyer in London, he gave up the rat race and moved to the south of France 7 years ago. He has written four books about life in Provence - “Extremely Pale Rosé”, “La Vie en Rosé”, “Rosé en Marche”, and most recently “Ten Trees and a Truffle Dog”. He is currently developing a website www.provenceguru.com
, an online magazine and guide to Provence.
Katie Bills Food
Katie trained and worked as a sous chef at the top Toulouse restaurant, "J'go", where she developed a love of French cuisine. Having lived beside the Mediterranean, she came to appreciate the abundant and healthy fresh produce of the area, both from land and sea, which is readily available. Don’t be fooled though. She’s a devotee of good food right around the world, from the café where she worked in Sydney, Australia to cooking typical dishes in Cape Town, South Africa. Katie recently started a gourmet dinner service, both in the South of France and also in London, where she has studied interior and spacial design at Chelsea College of Art. She hopes to specialise in restaurant design once fully qualified.
Lisa Pepin Luberon Diary
Lisa worked in public relations before moving to Provence from Chicago with her French husband ten years ago, trading her collection of high heels for a now well-worn pair of Hunter boots. Today they run the Pepin family's organic farm, Les Pastras (www.lespastras.com
), which produces grapes, peaches, plums, pears, apricots, cherries, olives, almonds, figs, and even honey. They offer truffle-hunting tours of the property followed by a generous selection of truffle hors d'oeuvres and Champagne. They also sell Les Pastras brand organic olive and truffle oil, with 50% of the profits going to the One Family Orphanage in Haiti. When not digging in the dirt, Lisa enjoys painting, hiking and traveling to her favourite place in the world: anyplace she hasn't yet seen.
Margo Lestz Culture
Margo is originally from the United States and moved to England in 2003. When she took an early retirement, she and her husband bought a second home in Nice where she now spends as much time as possible. She enjoys exploring the area and digging into its history and culture. She describes herself as a perpetual student and is always taking some kind of course. Her degree is in liberal studies because she had too many interests to settle on just one subject. She loves to write about history and culture, especially that of the French Riviera. Margo blogs at http://curiousrambler.com/
Michael Healy Nautical
Following a career in the Royal Navy, Michael retired from the Senior Service with the rank of Commander and lived for a while in Monaco before moving to Beaulieu sur Mer with his German wife Regina. A sailboat owner and lover of all things nautical he founded the local "Admiralty Charts" business which he sold and which continues to this day in Antibes. Very active in the Royal British Legion, Michael organises the local Poppy Drive and participates in various ceremonial events with British, American and French comrades-in-arms. He has received an MBE for his services.
Molly Brown Monaco Murmurs
Born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, a lover of books, music and rambling across the Derbyshire moors, with a grandmother, aunt and uncle in education, Molly inevitably became a teacher, but only because ‘nice girls did not go on the stage or be dancers’ … or even journalists. Married with two young children, she accompanied her husband to a British Army posting to an independent, peaceful Tripoli Libya in the 1960s, and whilst teaching at the new oil company school she began writing for a weekly English newspaper, then became its assistant editor and stringer for PIW, UPI, Time
and New York Time
. Moving to the U.S. after Ghaddafi’s takeover, she worked as a freelance journalist and edited an expat newsletter for some years before returning to Europe. Lured to Monaco by its international flavour, cultural life and sunny climate, she writes about life in the Principality.
PJ Heslin American Notes
PJ was a stand up comic in New York and LA before moving to France where he swapped a mic for a chalkboard to teach at the ISP Tennis Academy (www.isptennisacademy.com
) and Skema (www.skema.edu
) in Sophia Antipolis. Wanting to fully integrate (and keep up with his French wife), PJ studied immersion at Alliance Française Nice, joined the AVF in Nice and watched endless episodes of Agence Tous Risques. These days he practices his French at the local boxing and jiu jitsu gyms. When not training for an endurance race—he recently completed Ironman Nice and the Millau 100km run — he enjoys his dog, eating and the slow pace of Mediterranean living.
Peter Johnson Business
Peter has been living in the South of France for over 25 years and is a fully registered and regulated independent financial advisor. Peter is THE person you want to go to for business & financial services if you need advice on French taxation, business set-up and more. He knows new French laws before Hollande.
Our writers also consult experts in various fields : medicine, travel, law, finance, health, wine, cooking, sport, sociology, the French language and many other subjects relevant to expats in France and on the Riviera.