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.

Dec 19, 2023

It's books wrap-up season! James and Ashley are getting on the bandwagon and discussing their favourite reads from 2023 in the first annual 'Bed on a Plinth Awards.'

Books and authors discussed in this episode (warning: spoilers!):

  • Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt
  • Crushing by Genevieve Novak
  • The Sun Walks Down by...

Dec 12, 2023

Our most popular episode of the year is back! James has gathered the best 'What Are You Reading?' segments from 2023 into a comprehensive summary of book recommendations from our guests.  

We discuss a huge variety of books, including thriller, mystery, memoir, rom com, literature, essays, poetry, nonfiction, plays...

Nov 28, 2023

‘I wanted to find compassion for me and for any writer out there who’s doing the best they can but it’s not working out the way they planned.’  

Author Laurie Steed shares how crippling anxiety affected both his literary career and his experience of fatherhood. Before he could address the anxiety, he first had...

Nov 7, 2023

‘When I was a lawyer, I knew what was good enough, because if you did the job properly, you were paid, and if you didn’t do the job properly, you were sued. It was very clear-cut. With writing, you never know. There’s a lot of subjectivity.’

James speaks with Penguin Literary Prize winning author Annette Higgs...

Oct 17, 2023

Ashley reveals the inspiration behind the twists and turns in her bestselling psychological thriller, Dark Mode

Together with return guest Jacinta Dietrich and self-described enthusiastic reader Ali Thomas, Ashley and James delve into every scintillating Dark Mode detail they normally can’t discuss, including the...