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.

Feb 22, 2022

Lech Blaine is the author of the memoir 'Car Crash' and the Quarterly Essay ‘Top Blokes’. Here, he speaks to James and Ashley about the challenge of writing and releasing these two publications back to back during the pandemic, and the burnout that followed. He also discusses the epiphanies that writing a memoir can bring and the emotional toll of sharing so much vulnerability with readers. 

His writing has appeared in The Monthly, Guardian Australia, The Best Australian Essays, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and Meanjin. He was an inaugural recipient of a Griffith Review Queensland Writing Fellowship. 

Learn more about Lech on his website, and buy a copy of 'Car Crash' and 'Top Blokes' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else books are sold. 

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

  • Cloudstreet by Tim Winton;
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton;
  • Sphere by Michael Crichton;
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton;
  • State of Fear by Michael Crichton;
  • Lee Child;
  • John Grisham;
  • Know My Name: A Memoir by Channel Miller
  • Specky Magee by Felice Arena and Garry Lyon;
  • Harry Potter by JK Rowling;
  • Glory Gardens by Bob Cattell

The Joy of Creative Writing – lunchtime workshop with Ashley: Tuesday 8 March, 12:15-1:15 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. Wherever you’re at, this is the class for you. Through a series of short, timed writing exercises, we’ll explore different ways to access the creative recesses of our minds and surprise ourselves! Get your ticket here.

Get in touch!