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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.

Nov 9, 2021

James is back! He and Ashley chat about his recent CIDP relapse and ongoing recovery, and how his perspective on living with chronic illness has shifted. Thankfully, the steroids haven't affected his sense of humour.  

Disclaimer: None of the information in this episode is medical advice, and if you're concerned about your own health, you should consult a proper medical professional. 

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

  • A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris; 
  • The Stand by Stephen King

The Joy of Creative Writing: an online workshop with Ashley

  • Thursday 2 December, 6:15-7:30 pm AEDT
  • Online via Zoom
  • Tix $9-14

Whether you haven’t written creatively since high school or you’re the author of 12 books, this fun class will help you get your creativity flowing. Through a series of short, timed writing exercises, we’ll explore different ways to access the creative recesses of our minds and surprise ourselves! You might be a writer working on a specific project, a poet searching for new ideas, or someone who just wants to give creative writing a try for the first time in years – wherever you’re at, this is the class for you. Get your ticket here.

TAF2021 - CSI: TASMANIA online - November 27 + 28 2021 
Tasmania's International Crime and Mystery Literary Festival features more than 35 crime and mystery authors speaking across panels, books clubs and mini-masterclasses.

The line-up includes: David Heska Wanbli Weiden (featured in episode 40), Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid, Liz Nugent, Garry Disher, Naomi Hirahara, Abir Mukherjee, Vanda Symon, JP Pomare, Candice Fox, Anita Heiss, RWR McDonald (featured in episode 32)

Early bird tickets are $90 and are available until Sunday 14 November. For more information on the festival and ticket follow this link.

Get in touch!