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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 won the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize for his novel Denizen, which was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. Denizen also received a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship and a 2021 KSP Residential Fellowship. James' short stories have been recognised in Australian and international competitions. His writing has appeared in The GuardianMeanjinKill Your Darlings and the Newtown Review of Books. He works as a nurse. Find him on Twitter and Instagram or visit his website.

Mar 21, 2023

Does anxiety go hand-in-hand with creative ambition Psychologist Sanchana Venkatesh joins Ashley and James to discuss the positives of creativity for mental wellbeing and the common problem of creative anxiety. 

An emerging writer herself, she's familiar with the types of anxiety common to creatives. She delves into...

Mar 5, 2023

In this poorly planned mess of a bonus episode, James and Ashley each share some upcoming events. Stick around to hear the punchline to James' favourite joke. 

Ashley's events: 

Feb 28, 2023

A garden shop owner goes out for her morning run and discovers the body of a woman who looks just like her. As more murders shake the city, she fears her past is catching up with her. 

A riveting psychological thriller drawn from true events, Ashley's debut novel 'Dark Mode' delves into the terrifying reality of the...

Feb 21, 2023

Keen for insights into how to get an agent and a book publisher? This is the ep for you! 

This is one of four weekly mini-episodes in celebration of the March 1st Australian release day!

A riveting psychological thriller drawn from true events, Ashley's debut novel Dark Mode delves into the terrifying reality of the...

Feb 14, 2023

Ashley wrote 40,000 words into the first draft of Dark Mode before scrapping most of it and restarting. Then she ploughed through to the end of a clunky draft in order to create a scene-by-scene outline of the plot mechanics. The outline became the blueprint for the next major revision – the one that landed her an...