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Through discussions and interviews with writers, artists and health professionals, author friends James McKenzie Watson and Ashley Kalagian Blunt explore the big questions: how do books get written? How do people navigate life with chronic illness? And just what are you reading?

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of Dark Mode, an internationally published psychological thriller. Her earlier books are How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, collected fiction and essays. Her writing appears in the Sydney Morning Herald, Overland, Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, and more. Ashley is an enthusiastic teacher of writing and creativity. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico. Find her on Twitter and Instagram or visit her website.

James McKenzie Watson is the author of Denizen, which won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize and was shortlisted in 2023 Ned Kelly Awards for Best Debut. His writing has appeared in The GuardianMeanjinKill Your Darlings and the Newtown Review of Books. He has appeared at events including the Sydney Writers Festival, Newcastle Writers Festival and BAD Crime Sydney. He works as a nurse. Find him on Twitter and Instagram or visit his website.

May 16, 2024

Throughout their careers, James and Ashley have each picked up some excellent writing tricks, plus developed a few of their own. Now, they’re each sharing a few of their most effective writing techniques (starting with episode 94 - James’ shortcut to compelling characters).
In this episode, Ashley gives a...

Apr 23, 2024

'The doctors were telling me, "We’re going to take your greater omentum out" … I had no idea what these terms meant.' 

In episode 96, author Tracy Sorensen joins us to discuss her remarkable novel/cancer memoir, The Vitals, narrated by her internal organs.

After her original cancer diagnosis, a desire to...

Apr 2, 2024

‘I had thought I was going to be like Harper Lee. I was going to write one book, it was going to be a massive global success, and then I would go into hiding.’ 

Hear from award-winning Irish author Liz Nugent, whose novel Strange Sally Diamond may have turned Ashley into a total fangirl. 

Liz discusses her journey...

Mar 12, 2024

Throughout their writing careers, James and Ashley have each picked up some excellent writing tricks, plus developed a few of their own. In the coming months, they’ll each share a few of their most effective writing techniques, starting with James’ shortcut to compelling characters. 

British science-fiction author...

Feb 20, 2024

’I kept this condition very, very secret from everybody.’

Adele Dumont's remarkable new memoir, The Pulling, details her life with trichotillomania — a mental health condition that, at times, has consumed her life.

In this episode, she discusses the unique writing process that enabled her to put long-held secrets...