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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?

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is author of two books, How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, a thriller novella and collected essays. My Name is Revenge was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Woollahra Digital Literary Awards. Her writing appears in Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Big Issue, Westerly, Kill Your Darlings and more. She lives and works in Sydney, NSW. Find her on Twitter and Instagram or visit her website.

James McKenzie Watson won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize for his novel Denizen, which also received a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship and 2021 KSP Fellowship, and was highly commended for the 2020 Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships. His short fiction has been recognised in competitions including the International InkTears Flash Fiction Contest and the Grieve Writing Competition, and featured in publications such as Baby Teeth Journal and Brave Voices Magazine. He works as a nurse in regional NSW. Find him on Twitter and Instagram or visit his website.

Ashley Kalagian Blunt and James McKenzie Watson

Aug 31, 2021

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 bookshopBooktopia 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!