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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 2, 2022

This special episode is a recording of Denizen’s online launch, which was live-streamed on Thursday July 21, two days after Denizen’s release. It was one of a series of launch events, alongside in-person events in Dubbo and Sydney, and ahead of tonight's Melbourne launch (6:30pm August 3 at Readings Emporium - there's still time to book!)

The event was hosted by Dani Vee of the Words and Nerds podcast and live streamed via the Words and Nerds Facebook page. A video recording of the event is available there (which is worth watching for the facial expressions during the lasagne discussion alone). It also featured special guests Lyn Yeowart (author of The Silent Listener, interviewed in episode 39) and Petronella McGovern (author of Six Minutes and The Good Teacher, interviewed in episode 12).

Get your copy of 'Denizen' from your local bookshopBooktopia or wherever else good books are sold. Shout out to Australia's hardworking independent booksellers!

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