Show cover of James and Ashley Stay at Home

James and Ashley Stay at Home

James and Ashley are staying at home. Partly because there’s a pandemic, partly because they’re writers, and partly because of their health. Through discussions and interviews, they explore the big questions: how do books get written? How do people live with chronic illness? And just what ARE you reading? Hosted by James McKenzie Watson, winner of the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize, and Ashley Kalagian Blunt, author of 'How to Be Australian.'

Tracks

64 | The most successful episode ever: a conversation about 'Denizen'
***Warning! Spoilers for Denizen by James McKenzie Watson in this episode*** Heads up, this episode of James and Ashley Stay at Their Respective Homes in Separate Cities is full of spoilers for Denizen. If you haven't read Denizen yet, you can still enjoy reading about our special double-guest episode, and then get even more excited to go and read Denizen so you can listen without spoiler concerns. Double guests? That's right, we finally get to speak with debut novelist Hayley Scrivenor, plus we welcome back our one and only repeat guest, author Jacinta Dietrich. We jump in immediately by talking about *that ending* and then discuss the ethics of writing violence, one-star reviews, and, of course, the great lasagna-with-a-side-of-peas debate.  Hayley Scrivenor is the author of the number one Australian bestseller Dirt Town, also out now in the US and UK. She is a former Director of Wollongong Writers Festival. An earlier version of Dirt Town was shortlisted for the Penguin Literary Prize and won the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award. Hayley lives on Dharawal country, on the east coast of Australia, and has a PhD in Creative Writing. Jacinta Dietrich is a writer and editor who holds a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her first book, This Is Us Now, was published in 2021 by Grattan Street Press. We first spoke to Jacinta back in episode 45. Get your copy of Denizen from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else good books are sold. Plus, check out the online courses from Writing NSW, including the six-week Online: Creative Non-fiction with Ashley, starting 31 October.  Books and authors (and one doco) discussed in this episode:  Robert Gott;  This Is Us Now by Jacinta Dietrich (from ep 45);  Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor;  Petronella McGovern (from ep 12);  Abducted in Plain Sight (Netflix), directed by Skye Borgman;  Halibut on the Moon by David Vann (from ep 23);  There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura;  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov;  Karl Ove Knausgård (of course);  My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach;  The Keepers by Al Campbell;  Dark Deeds Down Under, edited by Craig Sisterson;  Reacher Said Nothing: The Making of Make Me by Andy Martin;  Dancing Barefoot by Alice Boyle;  Earthlings by Sayaka Murata;  The Whispering by Veronica Lando  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com  Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt  Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt  James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com  James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson  James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
64:28 09/13/2022
63 | Rest, recovery and writing with Bronwyn Birdsall, author of 'Time and Tide in Sarajevo'
Author Bronwyn Birdsall joins us to discuss the writing of her first novel, 'Time and Tide in Sarajevo,' and her life after chronic fatigue syndrome. We discuss living with a mindset of rest and recovery, moving overseas and reinventing yourself, and the question at the heart of the book – how do we find hope in a world that feels beyond repair?   As always, nothing in this episode is intended as medical advice.  Bronwyn Birdsall grew up in Sydney. At the age of twenty-four, she moved to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and worked as an English teacher. The four years she spent there provided the inspiration for 'Time and Tide in Sarajevo.' Her writing centres around contemporary life and finding meaning in the everyday. She writes from her home on Bundjalung Country, in Northern New South Wales. Books and authors discussed in this episode: Sarah Sentilles;  Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski; Indelible City by Louisa Lim;  The Writer Laid Bare by Lee Kofman;   Songs of a Dead Dreamer by Thomas Ligotti;  A Kind of Magic by Anna Spargo-Ryan;  The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis;  The Whispering by Veronica Lando  Get your copy of 'Tide and Tide in Sarajevo' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else good books are sold.  James' novel 'Denizen' is out now! Learn more about it and buy your copy here.  Upcoming events: James: Author talk at Taree Library, Friday 26 August 2022, 11am-12pm, free, RSVP here.   James: Author talk at Port Macquarie Library, Saturday 27 August 2022, 10:30-11:30am, free, RSVP here.   James and Ashley: Writers Unleashed (Sutherland Shire Writers Festival), Saturday 3 September, 9.30-5pm. James: BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival 2022, 'Three Prizewinners Walk into a Bar...' Friday 9 September, 3-4pm. Ashley is teaching The Joy of Creative Writing, Tuesday 30 August, 7.45-9pm, online via Zoom. Ashley's new six-week course Online: Creative Non-Fiction takes place Monday 31 October to Friday 9 December 2022, through Writing NSW.  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
49:13 08/23/2022
62 | Ashley's big news
Ashley's got some exciting news she's been bursting to share, and you're just going to have to listen to this episode to find out what it is!  Read more here!  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
05:34 08/04/2022
61 | Bonus episode! Denizen - Online Launch
This special episode is a recording of Denizen’s online launch, which was live-streamed on Thursday July 21, two days after Denizen’s release. It was one of a series of launch events, alongside in-person events in Dubbo and Sydney, and ahead of tonight's Melbourne launch (6:30pm August 3 at Readings Emporium - there's still time to book!) The event was hosted by Dani Vee of the Words and Nerds podcast and live streamed via the Words and Nerds Facebook page. A video recording of the event is available there (which is worth watching for the facial expressions during the lasagne discussion alone). It also featured special guests Lyn Yeowart (author of The Silent Listener, interviewed in episode 39) and Petronella McGovern (author of Six Minutes and The Good Teacher, interviewed in episode 12). Get your copy of 'Denizen' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else good books are sold. Shout out to Australia's hardworking independent booksellers! Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
55:36 08/02/2022
60 | Behind the scenes of 'Denizen,' the debut novel from James McKenzie Watson
'Denizen,' the Penguin Literary Prize winning novel from James McKenzie Watson is finally out in the world! In this episode, Ashley asks James about the experience of taking 'Denizen' from idea to published novel. He shares insights into how to seriously improve your writing craft and how to understand your work as a reflection of your life. James also answers the big question – what does his mum think of 'Denizen?' James McKenzie Watson writes fiction with a focus on health and rural Australia. His novel 'Denizen' won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize. 'Denizen' also received a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship and a 2021 KSP Residential Fellowship. His writing has appeared in Meanjin and the Newtown Review of Books. He works as a nurse in regional New South Wales. Get your copy of 'Denizen' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else good books are sold. Shout out to Australia's hardworking independent booksellers! Books and authors discussed in this episode: David Vann (of course); Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor; The Liars by Petronella McGovern (from ep 12), out in September 2022; The Writer Laid Bare by Lee Kofman (from ep 4); RWR McDonald (from ep 32);   Lyn Yeowart (from ep 39)  Denizen launch events: Dubbo Launch – Macquarie Regional Library, 19 July at 6:30pm (hosted by Book Connection, with special guest Nic Healey). Free, book here! Online Launch – hosted by @daniveebooks_wordsandnerds, 21 July at 8pm (with special guests Petronella McGovern and Lyn Yeowart). Follow Dani Vee Books – Words and Nerds Podcast on Facebook to join on the night! Sydney Launch – Gleebooks, Glebe, 28 July at 6:30pm, with special guest Ashley Kalagian Blunt, $12/$9/free, book here! Melbourne Launch – Readings Emporium, Melbourne, 3 August at 6pm, with special guest Lee Kofman. Free, book here! Ashley's next online writing workshop, The Joy of Creative Writing, is on Monday 25 July, 7:45-9 pm AEST online via Zoom. Book in here! Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
48:32 07/18/2022
59 | Bonus episode! Queer Writes Sessions Podcast: R.W.R. McDonald interviews Professor Gregory Phillips
In this bonus episode, James and Ashley share an episode from a brand new podcast series called Queer Writes Sessions (QWS), a Words and Nerds Podcast spin-off series in partnership with Blarney Books & Art. The series is hosted by R.W.R. McDonald, who we interviewed in episode 32. Each month, QWS Podcast will interview a LGBTIQA+ writer and shout-out books and authors from our rainbow communities. We’re sharing this episode of QWS in celebration of NAIDOC Week, which celebrates and recognises the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is a chance to learn about First Nations cultures and histories. You can listen to each episode via Words and Nerds. In this episode, Rob speaks with Professor Gregory Phillips, a writer from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal Australian peoples. More information about this episode, including a transcript of the interview and list of books discussed, can be found here! (Stick around to the end for 10 minutes of James and Ashley rambling about what they're reading.) Books and authors discussed in this episode: Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country by Professor Gregory Phillips The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker by Lauren James Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O'Rourke The Ruins by Scott Smith Denizen is coming out July 19! Find out more and pre-order here. Details about all the events discussed in this episode, including launch events in Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo and online now available.  Book your tickets to Writers Unleashed, the 2022 Sutherland Shire Writers Festival, here! This is an all day event on Saturday, September 3 2022, at Tradies Gymea in Southern Sydney. Both James and Ashley will be appearing at events - it would be wonderful to see you there! Ashley's next online writing workshop, The Joy of Creative Writing, is on Monday 25 July, 7:45-9 pm AEST online via Zoom. Book in here! Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
44:30 07/05/2022
58 | Working doubly hard through illness with Rae Cairns, author of 'The Good Mother'
After a broken finger brought on a debilitating illness, author Rae Cairns lost two years as her doctors searched for the right treatment. A bad reaction to drugs caused her hair to fall out. When her health had stabilised enough for her to return to writing, she lost her literary agent. Undeterred, Rae self-published her novel. After being shortlisted for a major award, she had a new agent and a two-book publishing deal with HarperCollins within a few weeks. Rae talks to James and Ashley about living with chronic invisible illness, coping with brain fog, and cultivating the resilience to share a story that, in her words, she just had to tell.    Rae Cairns’s debut novel, 'The Good Mother,' was shortlisted for the 2021 Ned Kelly Awards for Best Debut Crime Fiction, and was published by HarperCollins in 2022. Her second novel will be out in 2023. Rae lives in Sydney. You can buy a copy of 'The Good Mother' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else good books are sold. Shout out to Australia's hardworking independent booksellers! Books and authors discussed in this episode: The Missing Among Us by Erin Stewart (ep 54); Daughters of Eve by Nina D Campbell; Black and Blue by Veronica Gorrie; Autumn by Ali Smith; The Children's Bible by Lydia Millet; Negative Space by BR Yeager; My Name Is Revenge by Ashley Kalagian Blunt; Goat Mountain by David Vann; It by Stephen King Denizen is coming out July 19! Find out more and pre-order here. Details about launch events in Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo and online now available.  Ashley is performing live and in-person at Generation Women, a storytelling night in Sydney. Wednesday 29 June, 6:30-8:30pm, The Beresford 354 Bourke St, Surry Hills. Get tickets here! Ashley's next online writing workshop, The Joy of Creative Writing, is on Monday 25 July, 7:45-9 pm AEST online via Zoom. Book in here! Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
46:10 06/21/2022
57 | Experiments in form with Yumna Kassab, author of 'Australiana'
In her exploration of life in rural Australia, author Yumna Kassab draws on horror, crime and gothic inspiration to craft a thematically linked experiment in form and style. She speaks to us about her own experiences of rural life and how her science background has influenced her experimental approach to writing. Plus, James pitches her writing on the Pilliga as Australia's answer to The Blair Witch Project.  Yumna Kassab is a writer from Western Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her first book, The House of Youssef, was listed for prizes including the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, Queensland Literary Award, NSW Premier's Literary Award and The Stella Prize. You can buy a copy of 'Australiana' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au; Karl Ove Knausgaard; Blindness by Jose Saramago; Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann; The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez Divorce Is in the Air by Gonzalo Torne; Raise the Titanic by Clive Cussler; Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke Find out more about Denizen here and check back for event details leading up to its release on July 19 2022! Join Ashley for Put Them on the Edge of Their Seat, a workshop on crafting narrative tension. Saturday 11 June, 1-4pm in person at KSP Writers’ Centre, Perth.  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
41:49 05/24/2022
56 | How to survive a stalker with Ellis Gunn, author of 'Rattled'
'If he wants to follow me, I can't stop him.' After a random encounter with poet and author Ellis Gunn at an auction, a stranger decides to stalk her. Years later, she sits down to write about the experience – and realises it's connected to a lifetime of gendered abuse, including surviving both sexual assault and domestic violence. In this wide-ranging and compelling interview, Ellis discusses what she learned through the experience of writing her debut memoir, Rattled, including the psychological impacts of stalking, the reactions of her family and friends, and the concepts of agency deletion and radical empathy.  Ellis Gunn is a Scottish writer and poet who now lives in Australia. Her poetry, essays and reviews have been published widely in the UK and she has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh Book Festival and the British Embassy in Berlin. She lives near the beach with her partner, two children, a cat and some ants. Learn more about Ellis on her website, and buy a copy of 'Rattled' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Ashley is teaching in-person at Writing NSW! Crafting Memoir: An Introduction. Saturday 7 May 2022, 10am-4pm, in-person at Writing NSW, Callan Park, Sydney. Visit Writing NSW to learn more about their online course program.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk; 'Tribes and Traitors', Hidden Brain podcast from Shankar Vedantam; Troll Hunting: Inside the World of Online Hate and Its Human Fallout by Ginger Gorman; The Writing Life by Annie Dillard;  The Luminous Solution by Charlotte Wood; How to Be Australian by Ashley Kalagian Blunt; Outline by Rachel Cusk; The Break by Katherena Vermette Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
50:40 05/03/2022
55 | A very overcomeable fear with Katherine Collette, author of 'The Competition'
If you've ever dreaded public speaking, this episode is for you! Author and podcaster Katherine Collette speaks about her charming new novel The Competition, which satirises the world of competitive speaking clubs. We explore why public speaking is so intimidating for most people. We also discuss Katherine's personal experience with public speaking clubs, and how they can build both confidence and empathy. As she says, 'You sign up to learn to speak. But the real power is in having to listen.' Finally, we answer the question – is some discomfort in life necessary? Katherine Collette is a novelist, podcaster and engineer living in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, The Helpline, was published in Australia, Germany, Italy and the US and UK. She co-hosts the writing podcast The First Time with author Kate Mildenhall. Books and authors discussed in this episode: After Story by Larissa Behrendt; David Sedaris; Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl; Sarah Krasnostein; Love Stories by Trent Dalton; Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton; Ben Hobson Ashley is teaching in-person at Writing NSW! Crafting Memoir: An Introduction. Saturday 7 May 2022, 10am-4pm, in-person at Writing NSW, Callan Park, Sydney. Visit Writing NSW to learn more about their online course program.  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
43:53 04/19/2022
54 | Living with ambiguous loss with Erin Stewart, author of 'The Missing Among Us'
38,000 people go missing every year in Australia, yet only a small number of these cases garner public interest. In 'The Missing Among Us,' author Erin Stewart explores the issue of missing persons from a variety of perspectives, including the lack of police resources that leave families leading their own searches, the Stolen Generations, and cults. And what drew Erin to the topic is just as fascinating.  Erin talks to Ashley and James about how the ambiguity of living with chronic illness drove her interest in missing persons. 'The Missing Among Us' is 'about finding a space for those conversations about ambiguous circumstances in order to understand the complex issue of missing persons.’ She also describes her experiences with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the research behind her book.  Erin Stewart is a Canberra-based freelance writer who has written for a range of Australian and international publications including Meanjin, Voiceworks, ABC Online, SBS Online, Daily Life, Overland, and many others. She has been an opinion columnist for The Age and made regular appearances on ABC Sydney Mornings to talk about books and the arts. An earlier version of this book was shortlisted for the Portobello Books Unpublished Manuscript Prize in the UK. She holds a PhD in non-fiction writing. You can buy a copy of 'The Missing Among Us' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: The Myth of Closure by Pauline Boss; Brave New Humans by Sarah Dingle;  'What if there's no such thing as closure' by Meg Bernhard, New York Times; All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy; Missing Richard Simmons podcast  Ashley is teaching in-person at Writing NSW! Crafting Memoir: An Introduction. Saturday 7 May 2022, 10am-4pm, in-person at Writing NSW, Callan Park, Sydney. Visit Writing NSW to learn more about their online course program.  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
54:34 03/29/2022
53 | A sprinkling of magic with Fiona Robertson, author of 'If You're Happy'
Fiona Robertson lived with migraines for years, writing short stories as a creative pursuit. Now she's free from migraines and the award-winning author of the debut short story collection, If You're Happy. Her work explores the lives of lonely people seeking happiness in a turbulent world.  She tells us about the common threads that bind her stories, why they're her chosen form, and how living with unpredictable chronic illness impacted her life and creative work.  Fiona is a writer and doctor. Her short fiction has been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Australia and the UK, and has been shortlisted for international competitions. Her collection of stories, If You’re Happy, won the Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer at the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Brisbane with her husband and children. Learn more about Fiona on her website, and buy a copy of 'If You're Happy' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: Louise Allan; The Keepers by Al Campbell, plus her Sydney Morning Herald article, 'The disappointing question I most often got after writing a book';  Long Road to Dry River by Jen Severn; All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy; Child of God by Cormac McCarthy; Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy; David Vann; Denizen by James McKenzie Watson, out 19 July 2022!  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
34:33 03/08/2022
52 | Channelling your obsessions with with Lech Blaine, author of 'Car Crash'
Lech Blaine is the author of the memoir 'Car Crash' and the Quarterly Essay ‘Top Blokes’. Here, he speaks to James and Ashley about the challenge of writing and releasing these two publications back to back during the pandemic, and the burnout that followed. He also discusses the epiphanies that writing a memoir can bring and the emotional toll of sharing so much vulnerability with readers.  His writing has appeared in The Monthly, Guardian Australia, The Best Australian Essays, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and Meanjin. He was an inaugural recipient of a Griffith Review Queensland Writing Fellowship.  Learn more about Lech on his website, and buy a copy of 'Car Crash' and 'Top Blokes' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: Cloudstreet by Tim Winton; Timeline by Michael Crichton; Sphere by Michael Crichton; Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton; State of Fear by Michael Crichton; Lee Child; John Grisham; Know My Name: A Memoir by Channel Miller Specky Magee by Felice Arena and Garry Lyon; Harry Potter by JK Rowling; Glory Gardens by Bob Cattell The Joy of Creative Writing – lunchtime workshop with Ashley: Tuesday 8 March, 12:15-1:15 pm AEDT, online via Zoom, tix $9-14 Whether you haven’t written creatively since high school or you’re the author of 12 books, this fun class will help you get your creativity flowing. Wherever you’re at, this is the class for you. Through a series of short, timed writing exercises, we’ll explore different ways to access the creative recesses of our minds and surprise ourselves! Get your ticket here. Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
50:40 02/22/2022
51 | The joy of the win with Dinuka McKenzie, author of 'The Torrent'
When Dinuka McKenzie first sat down to write a novel, she had no dreams of publication or experience in the craft of fiction. She was the working mother of two young kids, feeling like everyone wanted something from her all the time, and in search of something that was purely for herself. Now she's the award-winning author of The Torrent, a police procedural set in small-town Australia. We talk to Dinuka about why she chose a pregnant detective as her main character, how her own experience as a working mum influenced her story, and how she managed to find time to write with everything else going on in her life! Dinuka McKenzie is an Australian writer and book addict. Her debut crime-fiction manuscript The Torrent won the 2020 Banjo Prize. She works in the environmental sector and is part of the Writers’ Unleashed Festival team. She lives in Southern Sydney with her husband, two kids and their pet chicken. You can buy a copy of The Torrent from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold. Books and authors discussed in this episode: The Housemate by Sarah Bailey; The Others by Mark Brandi; The Shadow House by Anna Downes (from ep 5); The Good Mother by Rae Cairns; Wake by Shelly Burr; Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor; Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding; How to End a Story: Diaries 1995-1998 by Helen Garner; Theft by Finding by David Sedaris; A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris Catch Dinuka at her upcoming events! Thurs 17 Feb 6.30 pm AEST via Avid Reader online Thurs 24 Feb 6pm AEDT via Bad Sydney Crime online Tips and Tricks to Writing Your Memoir: Tuesday 22 February, 6:15-7:30 pm AEDT, Online via ZoomSo you’re thinking of writing a memoir and you’re not sure how to start. Or you’ve already started and you’re not sure how to keep going. Learn tips and tricks to make the process easier and rewarding. This is a workshop for novice writers in the beginning stages of writing a memoir or thinking about starting one. Get your ticket here. Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
44:37 02/08/2022
50 | How to remake the world with Sarah Sentilles, author of 'Stranger Care'
It's our 50th episode! Author Sarah Sentilles joins us to talk about her new memoir, Stanger Care. She discusses coping with unexpected loss, who counts as family, and how at heart, all of us are baby monkeys. She also shares how each of us can use our creativity to remake the world around us.  Stranger Care is a memoir of Sarah and her husband’s experience with the foster system in Idaho and the ten months they parented an infant named Coco, only to return her to her loving but vulnerable mother.   Sarah Sentilles is the author of Draw Your Weapons, Breaking Up with God, A Church of Her Own and Taught by America. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Divinity School, she lives in Idaho’s Wood River Valley. Her latest book is Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours. You can buy a copy of Stranger Care from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold, and find Sarah's workshops and retreats at sarahsentilles.com. Books and authors discussed in this episode: Draw Your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles; This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World by Elaine Scarry; The Rabbits by Sophie Overett; Bewilderment by Richard Powers; 'The abortion I didn't have' by Merrit Tierce; A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet Ashley's Joy of Creative Writing workshop: Monday 31 January 2022, 7:45-9pm AEDT, Online via Zoom Whether you haven’t written creatively since high school or you’re the author of 12 books, this fun class will help you get your creativity flowing. Get your ticket here. Library through the Lens: Ashley in conversation with Anna Downes: Thursday 3 February 2022, 11am AEDT, Online via ZoomJoin Ashley in conversation with international bestselling thriller author Anna Downes as she talks about her much-anticipated second novel. Free, RSVP here. Here's what time it is Rockhampton. Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
43:53 01/25/2022
49 | Bonus episode! What does it mean?! A conversation about Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
***Warning! Spoilers for Earthlings by Sayaka Murata in this episode*** After arguing about the intense and disturbing ending to Earthlings by Sayaka Murata in episode 45, James and Ashley rope past guest Jacinta Dietrich into returning to the podcast to try and figure out what might happened in the novel's closing pages. If you've read Earthlings, you know what we mean! If you haven't – well, Ashley says you can listen to this ep anyway, since this book doesn't hinge on a twist. James disagrees.  Our guest is author Jacinta Dietrich, a writer and editor who holds a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her first book, This Is Us Now, was published in 2021 by Grattan Street Press. Books, articles and authors discussed in this episode: This Is Us Now by Jacinta Dietrich (from ep 45);  Earthlings by Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori; Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata;  How to Be Australian by Ashley Kalagian Blunt;  Certain Prey by John Sandford;  Mortal Prey by John Sandford;  David Vann (from ep 23);  ‘The Future of Sex Lives in All of Us’ by Sayaka Murata for the NY Times;  'I acted how I thought a cute woman should act' by David McNeill for the Guardian;  'Of Darkness and Stars' by Sally Breen for Sydney Review of Books 'Earthlings' Summary and Study Guide from Bookrags Burgers, Beers and Books interview with Ashley Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
49:49 01/18/2022
48 | Using connection to build community with author Shankari Chandran
How do we build community and a sense of self after loss, especially the kind of loss that echoes for generations? James and Ashley speak with Australian Sri Lankan author Shankari Chandran about her new novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, and how her efforts to find connection in the writing community echo her Tamil family's work to build community after being dispossessed from their homeland in the Sri Lankan civil war. Shankari discusses writing from a place of anger and love, the changing Australian publishing landscape, and how literature creates an archive of the dispossessed.  This episode connects to our conversations with previous guests Nardi Simpson (ep 18), Luke Stegemann (ep 26), David Heska Wanbli Weiden (ep 40), in which we explore the legacy of mass traumatic events on the health of communities and society. Shankari Chandran was raised in Canberra, Australia. She spent a decade in London, working as a lawyer in the social justice field, before returning to Australia, where she now lives with her husband and children. She is the author of two previous novels, Song of the Sun God, and The Barrier, and has been shortlisted for the Fairway National Literary Award and the Norma K Hemming Award for speculative fiction.  Learn more about Shankari on her website, and buy a copy of Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: A Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam; Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell; Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (from ep 18); Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie; They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall; David Heska Wanbli Weiden (from ep 40); Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian translated by Mabel Lee; Amnesia Road by Luke Stegemann (from ep 26) Check out Shankari's essay on writing and resilience published by Writing NSW. Plus, join Ashley for her Laneway Learning online workshop, The Joy of Creative Writing (Monday 31 January, 7:45-9pm AEDT) and her upcoming online event with Anna Downes (Thursday 3 Feb, 11am AEDT).  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
42:05 01/11/2022
47 | Bonus episode! In conversation with Michelle Tom for Avid Reader's Festival of Cancelled Events
The last episode for 2021 is a special bonus interview with Michelle Tom, who James and Ashley first spoke to in episode 38 (the most downloaded episode of the year). As part of Avid Reader's Festival of Cancelled Events, James joined Michelle in conversation for an online event to discuss her memoir, 'Ten Thousand Aftershocks.' This event took place on October 18 2021.  A video recording of this event is available to watch on YouTube and includes Michelle answering questions from the audience at the end of the event. See you in 2022! Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
48:09 12/14/2021
46 | What are you reading? The best book recommendations of 2021
The best (and most!) book recommendations of the year! We share the 'What Are You Reading?' highlights from a wide range of our 2021 guests, including Nardi Simpson, David Vann, Kavita Bedford, Luke Stegemann, Ruhi Lee, Joanna Nell, Fiona Murphy, Heather Taylor Johnson, Jacinta Dietrich and – of course – James and Ashley.  Books discussed in this episode (all 44 of them): Bindi by Kirli Saunders The Road to Woop Woop by Eugen Bacon The End: My Struggle Book 6 by Karl Ove Knausgaard Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter Shadow Child by PF Thomése Eight Lives by Susan Hurley The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright Disoriental by Négar Djavadi The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon Deepfakes by Nina Schick The Possessed by Dostoevsky Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias A Heart So White by Javier Marias The Stranger and short stories by Albert Camus When We Dead Awaken by James Robins The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby The Ripping Tree by Nikki Gemmell On Quiet by Nikki Gemmell Beautiful Kate by Newton Thornburg The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien The Neverending Story by Michael Ende Fun Home by Alison Bechdel Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid Betty by Tiffany McDaniel The Animals in that Country by Laura Jean McKay Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet Ghost Species by James Bradley The Past by Tessa Hadley The Iceman by John Sandford Storm Prey by John Sandford Love, Clancy by Richard Glover Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover Prosopagnosia by Sonia Hernandez No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer Late Bloomer by Clem Bastow The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan Earthlings by Sayaka Murata Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata What about you – what are you reading? Get in touch and let us know! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
65:28 12/07/2021
45 | Writing the book you need with Jacinta Dietrich, author of 'This Is Us Now'
James and Ashley speak with Melbourne-based author Jacinta Dietrich about her debut book 'This Is Us Now', which explores a young couple's relationship as one of them faces a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Based on her boyfriend's experience of surviving lymphoma, the book explores two individuals who don't know where their relationship is going and have to figure out how they feel about each other, all as one of them goes through chemo. Jacinta discusses how cancer treatment 'suppresses every part of a relationship', her decision to write the book she needed to read, and how she managed to write honestly about difficult feelings.  Jacinta Dietrich is a writer and editor who holds a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. 'This Is Us Now' is her first book. You can order it from Booktopia and bookshops across Australia.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green;  Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott; The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks;   Lee Kofman (featured in episode 3);  Earthlings by Sayaka Murata;  Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata;  Late Bloomer by Clem Bastow;  Kay Kerr (featured in episode 37);   The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan;  Tana French;  Dinuka McKenzie;  Andrew Solomon, of course!  Ten Thousand Aftershocks by Michelle Tom (featured in episode 38);  Lyn Yeowart (featured in episode 39)  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
39:01 11/23/2021
44 | Bonus episode! CSI: TASMANIA, the Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival
CSI: TASMANIA, the Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival, is happening 27 & 28 November 2021, and it's entirely online! In this bonus ep, James and Ashley speak to festival director and author LJM Owen about this year's festival highlights. (This isn't a paid promo, we just love connecting readers and writers.)   TAF2021 - CSI: TASMANIA online, 27 & 28 November 2021 Tasmania's International Crime and Mystery Literary Festival features more than 35 crime and mystery authors speaking across panels, books clubs and mini-masterclasses. The line-up includes David Heska Wanbli Weiden (featured in episode 40), Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid, Liz Nugent, Garry Disher, Naomi Hirahara, Abir Mukherjee, Vanda Symon, JP Pomare, Candice Fox,   Anita Heiss, RWR McDonald (featured in episode 32) and lots more!  For more info and tickets, visit TerrorAustralisFestival.com and follow @terroraustralisfestival on Instagram. Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
18:50 11/16/2021
43 | Losing your baby legs: James and Ashley discuss relapse and recovery
James is back! He and Ashley chat about his recent CIDP relapse and ongoing recovery, and how his perspective on living with chronic illness has shifted. Thankfully, the steroids haven't affected his sense of humour.   Disclaimer: None of the information in this episode is medical advice, and if you're concerned about your own health, you should consult a proper medical professional.  Books and authors discussed in this episode: A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris;  The Stand by Stephen King The Joy of Creative Writing: an online workshop with Ashley Thursday 2 December, 6:15-7:30 pm AEDT Online via Zoom Tix $9-14 Whether you haven’t written creatively since high school or you’re the author of 12 books, this fun class will help you get your creativity flowing. Through a series of short, timed writing exercises, we’ll explore different ways to access the creative recesses of our minds and surprise ourselves! You might be a writer working on a specific project, a poet searching for new ideas, or someone who just wants to give creative writing a try for the first time in years – wherever you’re at, this is the class for you. Get your ticket here. TAF2021 - CSI: TASMANIA online - November 27 + 28 2021  Tasmania's International Crime and Mystery Literary Festival features more than 35 crime and mystery authors speaking across panels, books clubs and mini-masterclasses. The line-up includes: David Heska Wanbli Weiden (featured in episode 40), Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid, Liz Nugent, Garry Disher, Naomi Hirahara, Abir Mukherjee, Vanda Symon, JP Pomare, Candice Fox, Anita Heiss, RWR McDonald (featured in episode 32).  Early bird tickets are $90 and are available until Sunday 14 November. For more information on the festival and ticket follow this link. Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
33:41 11/09/2021
42 | Ashley Stays at Home
Ashley's on her own again, and without James around, things get really earnest really fast. She shares ten of her favourite quotes from a variety of books, summarising 'The Most True Things She Knows About Life and Writing' (one of them, at least, is funny.) Then she does a deepdive #WhatAreYouReading into Rutger Bregman's 'Humankind: A Hopeful History,' recommended by recent guest Lyn Yeowart. Books and authors discussed in this episode: 'A Brief for the Defense' by Jack Gilbert;  Humankind: A Hope History by Rutger Bregman; Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenrich;  The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle;  The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson;  Billy Collins, poet;  Sarah Sentilles, author Boundless, the festival of Indigenous and culturally diverse writers, is taking place 30 Oct to 1 November, free and online. Book your tickets at boundlessfestival.org.au Intro to Novel Writing: Finding Joy In Your First Draft with Ashley Tuesday 2 November 2021, 7:45-9 pm AEDT Online via Zoom Tix $9-14 Whether you’re planning to complete 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or you’re drafting your first masterwork at your own pace, this workshop is a gift basket of tips and tricks to make the process easy, efficient and fun. Learn how to tap into your creativity to get the words flowing, how to separate drafting from editing to make your writing process more efficient, and how to know if you’re on the right track. This is a workshop for novice writers who are in the early stages of a novel or memoir, or are keen to start one. Get your ticket here. Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
20:16 10/26/2021
41 | Misdiagnosing Van Gogh with author and editor Heather Taylor-Johnson
Ashley interviews author and editor Heather Taylor-Johnson. When Heather was diagnosed with Ménière's disease at age 25, one of the many things it meant was quitting skydiving. She discusses how more than two decades of living with chronic illness have inspired her writing and led to the anthology 'Shaping the Fractured Self: Poetry of Illness and Chronic Pain'. She also shares Van Gogh's misdiagnosis with her condition, describes how a year of studying art has changed her writing process, and tells us about her latest book, 'Rhymes with Hyenas'. Learn more about Heather on her website, and buy a copy of 'Rhymes with Hyenas' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Heather Taylor-Johnson is a writer and editor. Born in Minnesota and now living in South Australia, she has written novels and poetry collections, and is the editor of 'Shaping the Fractured Self: Poetry of Chronic Illness and Pain'. Her writing has been published in Meanjin, Southerly, Cordite, Westerly, Griffith Review, Island and TEXT. She lives with Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear. Books and authors discussed in this episode: Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability by Jennifer Bartlett (ed); Prosopagnosia by Sonia Hernandez; No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
39:16 10/12/2021
40 | Vigilante justice with David Heska Wanbli Weiden, author of Winter Counts
James and Ashley interview David Heska Wanbli Weiden about his multi-award-winning debut novel 'Winter Counts.' In it, they discuss the shocking American laws that let crimes on Native American Reservations go unpunished, the importance of food in cultural reclamation, and the marvel of Carhenge. Learn more about David on his website, and buy a copy of Winter Counts from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  'Winter Counts' is a contemporary thriller about Virgil Wounded Horse, a hired vigilante on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Through it, Weiden reveals the profoundly broken criminal justice system on American reservations.  David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota nation and the author of Winter Counts. His debut novel, Winter Counts was the winner of the 2021 Thriller Award for Best First Novel, the Spur Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, and the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing. He lives in Colorado. Books and authors discussed in this episode:  Jim Thompson, US noir author; Don Becker, Denver comedian; Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby; These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall; They Can't Take Your Name by Robert Justice; The House of Ashes by Stuart Neville; The Shadow House by Anna Downes (our guest from episode 5); The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright; Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk  Get in touch! Ashley's website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
36:32 09/28/2021
39 | What are you wearing? with Lyn Yeowart, author of 'The Silent Listener'
James and Ashley interview Lyn Yeowart, author of the rural-noir thriller, 'The Silent Listener.' In it, they discuss how Lyn's own childhood shaped the events in the book, the fascinating world of synesthesia, and why it's never too late to start writing.  Learn more about Lyn on her website, and buy a copy of 'The Silent Listener' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold. Books and authors discussed in this episode: The Spiral by Iain Ryan;   Humankind, a Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman; Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman; How Fiction Works by James Woods; The Important Things by Audrey Molloy; The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright; Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary; One Hundred Years of Dirt by Rick Morton Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson  
48:12 09/14/2021
38 | How to survive an earthquake with Michelle Tom, author of 'Ten Thousand Aftershocks'
James and Ashley interview Michelle Tom about her stunning memoir 'Ten Thousand Aftershocks.' In it, they discuss the captivating and highly original structure of Michelle's book, the strange parallels between childhood trauma and earthquakes, and the transformative power of owning your narrative.  Learn more about Michelle on her website, and buy a copy of Ten Thousand Aftershocks from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Join Ashley for a fun online creative workshop, Monday 6 Sept, 6:15pm AEST. Book here! Books and authors discussed in this episode: Memoir Writing For Dummies by Ryan Van Cleave; Trespasses: A Memoir by Lacy M Johnson; The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch; Lee Child's Jack Reacher series; To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf; The Return by Rachel Harrison; It by Stephen King; Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon (of course!) Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
53:06 08/31/2021
37 | Oversharing and neurodiversity with authors Kay Kerr and Anna Whateley
James and Ashley interview Kay Kerr and Anna Whateley, neurodiverse authors of young-adult fiction. In it, Kay and Anna discuss their journeys to diagnosis as adults, their upcoming second books, and their remarkable friendship. Learn more about Kay on her website, and buy a copy of her debut novel 'Please Don't Hug Me' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Learn more about Anna on her website, and buy a copy of her debut novel 'Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode Late Bloomer by Clem Bastow; The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough; Henry Hamlet's Heart by Rhiannon Wilde; Future Girl by Asphyxia; When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro; The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro; Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro; Vodka and Apple Juice by Jay Martin; A History of My Brief History by Billy Ray Belcourt; The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson You can read James' interview with Writing NSW here.  Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
41:54 08/17/2021
36 | Deafness, secrets and solace with Fiona Murphy, author of 'The Shape of Sound'
James and Ashley interview Fiona Murphy about her memoir 'The Shape of Sound.' In it, they discuss the complexities of Deaf culture and identity, the corrosive power of secrets, and the challenges of being deaf in the healthcare industry.  Learn more about Fiona on her website, and buy a copy of The Shape of Sound from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever else books are sold.  Books and authors discussed in this episode Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon; The Past by Tessa Hadley; The Iceman by John Sandford; Storm Prey by John Sandford; Love, Clancy by Richard Glover Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover  Join Ashley and a great line-up of authors for the Writers Unleashed Festival happening online, Saturday 21 August. Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
50:58 08/03/2021
35 | Bonus episode! Amy Lovat of Secret Book Stuff grills James and Ashley
James and Ashley are interviewed by Amy Lovat of Secret Book Stuff (who they interviewed in episode 34), for Amy & Laura's radio show 'Reading Makes You Better in Bed.' In it, they discuss reading habits, the history of James and Ashley's podcast, and whether or not reading really does make you better in bed. This interview originally aired on Newcastle Live Radio on June 25 2021.  You can learn more about Secret Book Stuff on their website, follow them on Instagram and Facebook, or explore their various radio shows/podcast appearances. Books and authors discussed in this episode: Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (interviewed in ep 18);  Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota (interviewed in ep 28);  Of Gold and Dust by Samantha Wills;  Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon;  The Shape of Sound by Fiona Murphy;    Hitch by Kathryn Hind; The Spill by Imbi Neeme; The Rabbits by Sophie Overett;  The End, My Struggle Book 6 by Karl Ove Knausgaard;  David Vann (interviewed in ep 23) Get in touch! Ashley's Website: ashleykalagianblunt.com Ashley's Twitter: @AKalagianBlunt Ashley's Instagram: @akalagianblunt James' Website: jamesmckenziewatson.com James' Twitter: @JamesMcWatson James' Instagram: @jamesmcwatson
34:30 07/27/2021