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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 2, 2022

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 bookshopBooktopia or wherever else good books are sold. Shout out to Australia's hardworking independent booksellers!

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