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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

Sep 13, 2022

***Warning! Spoilers for Denizen by James McKenzie Watson in this episode***

Heads up, this episode of James and Ashley Stay at Their Respective Homes in Separate Cities is full of spoilers for Denizen. If you haven't read Denizen yet, you can still enjoy reading about our special double-guest episode, and then get even...


Aug 23, 2022

Author Bronwyn Birdsall joins us to discuss the writing of her first novel, 'Time and Tide in Sarajevo,' and her life after chronic fatigue syndrome. We discuss living with a mindset of rest and recovery, moving overseas and reinventing yourself, and the question at the heart of the book – how do we find hope in a...


Aug 4, 2022

Ashley's got some exciting news she's been bursting to share, and you're just going to have to listen to this episode to find out what it is! 

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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 -


Jul 18, 2022

'Denizen,' the Penguin Literary Prize winning novel from James McKenzie Watson is finally out in the world! In this episode, Ashley asks James about the experience of taking 'Denizen' from idea to published novel. He shares insights into how to seriously improve your writing craft and how to understand your work as...