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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

Jun 22, 2021

James and Ashley interview RWR McDonald about his new novel 'Nancy Business,' follow-up to the bestselling 'The Nancys.' In it, they discuss the parallels between the original girl detective Nancy Drew and The Nancys' Tippy Chan, the art of balancing the humorous and heavy in fiction writing, and the physical toll of a creative life. 

Learn more about Rob on his website, and buy a copy of 'Nancy Business' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else books are sold. 

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

  • Harold Robbins (contact Rob for title recommendations);
  • The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene;
  • Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke;
  • The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart;
  • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake;
  • Goat Mountain by David Vann (who we interviewed in episode 23)

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