Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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

Feb 8, 2022

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 bookshopBooktopia 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 Zoom
So 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!