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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 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.

Aug 17, 2021

James and Ashley interview Kay Kerr and Anna Whateley, neurodiverse authors of young-adult fiction. In it, Kay and Anna discuss their journeys to diagnosis as adults, their upcoming second books, and their remarkable friendship.

Learn more about Kay on her website, and buy a copy of her debut novel 'Please Don't Hug Me' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else books are sold. 

Learn more about Anna on her website, and buy a copy of her debut novel 'Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else books are sold. 

Books and authors discussed in this episode

  • Late Bloomer by Clem Bastow;
  • The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough;
  • Henry Hamlet's Heart by Rhiannon Wilde;
  • Future Girl by Asphyxia;
  • When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro;
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro;
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro;
  • Vodka and Apple Juice by Jay Martin;
  • A History of My Brief History by Billy Ray Belcourt;
  • The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

You can read James' interview with Writing NSW here

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