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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.

Jun 22, 2021

James and Ashley interview RWR McDonald about his new novel 'Nancy Business,' follow-up to the bestselling 'The Nancys.' In it, they discuss the parallels between the original girl detective Nancy Drew and The Nancys' Tippy Chan, the art of balancing the humorous and heavy in fiction writing, and the physical toll of a creative life. 

Learn more about Rob on his website, and buy a copy of 'Nancy Business' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else books are sold. 

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

  • Harold Robbins (contact Rob for title recommendations);
  • The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene;
  • Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke;
  • The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart;
  • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake;
  • Goat Mountain by David Vann (who we interviewed in episode 23)

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