Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

Apr 11, 2023

Author Lee Kofman returns to discuss her hugely popular writing memoir and guide, The Writer Laid Bare – James's favourite book of 2022! Lee dives into the concept of emotional honesty and 'nonesty' in writing and life, and why it's essential to her practice. 

We also discuss the importance of reading as writers and her recommendation to 'read up'. Lee explores how writers can ensure they're not writing with political blinkers, how to craft complex and realistic characters, and what part of The Writer Laid Bare has resonated most with readers. 

This episode offers inspiration and advice for anyone wanting to lead a more richly creative life. 

Dr Lee Kofman is a Russian-born Israeli-Australian author of six books and editor of two anthologies, writing teacher and mentor based in Melbourne. Her books in English include the writing guide The Writer Laid Bare, and two memoirs: Imperfect, and The Dangerous Bride. She has also edited two anthologies of personal essays, Rebellious Daughters and Split.

Get your copy of The Writer Laid Bare from Booktopia or your local bookshop

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

  • Karl Ove Knausgård; 
  • Jane Austin; 
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce; 
  • A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Saunders; 
  • Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose; 
  • Thomas Manne; 
  • The Fire and the Rose by Robyn Cadwallader; 
  • Turning Points in Medieval History by Dorsey Armstrong; 
  • Crying in H Mary by Michelle Zauner; 
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata; 
  • Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason; 
  • Taken by Dinuka McKenzie

Upcoming events with Ashley:

Upcoming events with James:

  • Yarrum Storyfest – 1-2 July, Yarrum Regional Theatre, Yarrum, VIC ($25-$40 book here
  • Sydney Writers Festival presents James McKenzie Watson – Wednesday 24 May, 6.30-7.30 pm, Penrith City Library ($5 – book here)
  • Sydney Writers Festival Life in the Landscape – Thursday 25 May, 11 am to 12 pm, Carriageworks ($15-$25 – book here

Ashley's psychological thriller 'Dark Mode' is out now! Learn more about it and get your copy here.

James' novel 'Denizen' is out now! Learn more about it and get your copy here. 

Get in touch!