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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

May 3, 2022

'If he wants to follow me, I can't stop him.' After a random encounter with poet and author Ellis Gunn at an auction, a stranger decides to stalk her. Years later, she sits down to write about the experience – and realises it's connected to a lifetime of gendered abuse, including surviving both sexual assault and...


Apr 19, 2022

If you've ever dreaded public speaking, this episode is for you! Author and podcaster Katherine Collette speaks about her charming new novel The Competition, which satirises the world of competitive speaking clubs. We explore why public speaking is so intimidating for most people. We also discuss Katherine's personal...


Mar 29, 2022

38,000 people go missing every year in Australia, yet only a small number of these cases garner public interest. In 'The Missing Among Us,' author Erin Stewart explores the issue of missing persons from a variety of perspectives, including the lack of police resources that leave families leading their own searches, the...


Mar 8, 2022

Fiona Robertson lived with migraines for years, writing short stories as a creative pursuit. Now she's free from migraines and the award-winning author of the debut short story collection, If You're Happy. Her work explores the lives of lonely people seeking happiness in a turbulent world. 

She tells us about the common...


Feb 22, 2022

Lech Blaine is the author of the memoir 'Car Crash' and the Quarterly Essay ‘Top Blokes’. Here, he speaks to James and Ashley about the challenge of writing and releasing these two publications back to back during the pandemic, and the burnout that followed. He also discusses the epiphanies that writing a memoir can...