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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

Dec 14, 2021

The last episode for 2021 is a special bonus interview with Michelle Tom, who James and Ashley first spoke to in episode 38 (the most downloaded episode of the year). As part of Avid Reader's Festival of Cancelled Events, James joined Michelle in conversation for an online event to discuss her memoir, 'Ten Thousand...


Dec 7, 2021

The best (and most!) book recommendations of the year! We share the 'What Are You Reading?' highlights from a wide range of our 2021 guests, including Nardi Simpson, David Vann, Kavita Bedford, Luke Stegemann, Ruhi Lee, Joanna Nell, Fiona Murphy, Heather Taylor Johnson, Jacinta Dietrich and – of course – James...


Nov 23, 2021

James and Ashley speak with Melbourne-based author Jacinta Dietrich about her debut book 'This Is Us Now', which explores a young couple's relationship as one of them faces a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Based on her boyfriend's experience of surviving lymphoma, the book explores two individuals who don't know...


Nov 16, 2021

CSI: TASMANIA, the Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival, is happening 27 & 28 November 2021, and it's entirely online! In this bonus ep, James and Ashley speak to festival director and author LJM Owen about this year's festival highlights. (This isn't a paid promo, we just love connecting readers...


Nov 9, 2021

James is back! He and Ashley chat about his recent CIDP relapse and ongoing recovery, and how his perspective on living with chronic illness has shifted. Thankfully, the steroids haven't affected his sense of humour.  

Disclaimer: None of the information in this episode is medical advice, and if you're concerned about...