YWTB! Suzanne O’Sullivan

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

This episode Simon’s special guest is Dr. Suzanne O’Sullivan, whose first book It’s All In Your Head has just been crowned the winner of the Wellcome Book Prize. Pauline first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline’s tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone. As many as a third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected which is often the last thing a patient wants to hear and a doctor to say. We accept our hearts can flutter with excitement and our brows can sweat with nerves, but on this journey into the very real world of psychosomatic illness, Suzanne O’Sullivan finds the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves.

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Suzanne about It’s All In Your Head earlier this week. They talked about the book and how Suzanne went about writing it, the plight of those with psychosomatic illnesses and how people perceive them in society, the Wellcome Book Prize and much more.

Shortlisted author for the Wellcome Book Prize Awards 2106, held by the Wellcome Trust.  London 2016

Shortlisted author for the Wellcome Book Prize Awards 2106, held by the Wellcome Trust. London 2016

Over the next few weeks and months Simon will be back with a whole host of authors including Charlotte Wood and Janet Ellis. In the meantime if you would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Garth Greenwell 

 

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

This episode Simon’s special guest is Garth Greenwell, whose debut novel What Belongs To You is getting rave reviews around the world.  On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Garth a few weeks ago about What Belongs to you. They discussed the novel, it’s themes of love, obsession, lust, language and sex as well as queer literature and much, much more.

 

 

Simon will be back with a whole host of authors over the next few weeks and months. In the meantime if you would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel, Joanna Cannon and many more.

YWTB! Joanna Cannon

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

This episode Simon’s special guest is Joanna Cannon, whose debut novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep Simon havs described on many occasion as being like To Kill A Mockingbird if it was set in 1970’s Nottingham. During the heatwave in England, 1976, Mrs Creasy goes missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands and investigate. As the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined… Part whodunnit, part coming of age, this is a gripping debut about the secrets behind every door as Joanna Cannon takes us behind the twitching curtains.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna about The Trouble With Goats and Sheep earlier this month. They talked about the novel, it’s many characters and perspectives, how Joanna’s background and real life events inspired the book, prejudice and perception, oh and Angel Delight.

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That is it for this series of You Wrote The Book, Simon will be back with a whole host of authors in April. In the meantime if you would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Ruth Ware

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

This episode Simon’s special guest is the author Ruth Ware, who’s turned her hand to crime, figuratively speaking, with her latest novel In A Dark, Dark Wood.  Nora hasn’t seen her former best friend, Clare, for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her? But out in those dark, dark woods, something goes wrong. Very wrong. And Nora soon discovers that some things can’t stay secret forever.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Ruth about In A Dark, Dark Wood at the end of last year. They talked about the novel, the change from writing YA to a thriller, how she dealt with plots twists, suspense and tension as well as adding chills, other crime novels we love and Reese Witherspoon buying the adaption rights. Before all that and more, Simon started off by asking her where the idea for the book came from…

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Joanna Cannon and Marlon James.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Michel Faber

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

This episode Simon’s special guest is the author, Michel Faber, whose novels such as Under The Skin and The Crimson Petal and the White are cult classics and favourites with so many readers, including Simon himself. They met to discuss his career staring with latest, and last, novel The Book of Strange New Things. Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible – his ‘book of strange new things’. It is a quest that will challenge Peter’s beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea. The Book of Strange New Things is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart.

Simon had the pleasure of chatting with Michel after an event at Gladfest earlier in the year when they talked about the book, escapist and realist literature, labels of genre, how grief and love influenced it, why it really is going to be his last novel, what comes next as well as the other highlights of his career so far.

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ruth Ware, Joanna Cannon and fingers crossed Marlon James.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can emailyouwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing books on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Paul McVeigh

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

This episode Simon’s special guest is the author Paul McVeigh, whose main character in his debut novel The Good Son will entertain you make you laugh and possibly break your heart. Mickey Donnelly is smart, which isn’t a good thing in his part of town. Despite having a dog called Killer and being in love with the girl next door, everyone calls him ‘gay’. It doesn’t help that his best friend is his little sister, Wee Maggie, and that everyone knows he loves his Ma more than anything in the world. He doesn’t think much of his older brother Paddy and really doesn’t like his Da. He dreams of going to America, taking Wee Maggie and Ma with him, to get them away from Belfast and Da. Mickey realises it’s all down to him. He has to protect Ma from herself. And sometimes, you have to be a bad boy to be a good son.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Paul about The Good Son at the start of his writers retreat in Ireland where he interrupted his peace and quiet to discuss The Good Son, Mickey, the Troubles in Belfast of the 80’s and much more. They started off by talking about just what exactly he was working on at the beginning of his rip away writing.

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ruth Ware, Joanna Cannon and Michel Faber.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Helen Macdonald


Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

After a small hiatus Simon is back and his guest for this episode is the Helen Macdonald. Unless you have been on another planet it is unlikely you will have missed Helen’s mash up of memoir, ode to her father, nature writing and part biography of T.H. White, H is for Hawk which has won both the Samuel Johnson Prize for non fiction as well as the Costa Book of the Year

As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She bought Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and took her home to Cambridge, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. H is for Hawk is an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. This is a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to reconcile death with life and love.

Simon had the pleasure of chatting to Helen in a cafe in Liverpool a few weeks ago, so excuse the background noise, where they discussed the phenomenon of H is for Hawk, how she went about writing it, what it was like to put her life so out in the public eye and much more…

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ruth Ware Paul McVeigh, Joanna Cannon and Michel Faber.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, David Nicholls, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Bethan Roberts

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

Simon’s guest for this episode is the author Bethan Roberts, who first came to my attention with her third book, the marvellous and moving, My Policeman. A novel which made Simon rush out to by both her previous novels The Pools and The Plain Good Cook, however it is her latest novel Mother Island which I read first and was delighted to award as one of the Fiction Uncovered winning titles for 2015.

Mother Island is the story of two women, Nula and Maggie, joined by old family history and love for the same little boy. Nula, struggling with her new baby and feeling alone in her marriage, employs her cousin Maggie as a nanny when she returns to work. But it’s not long before Nula finds herself threatened by Maggie’s close bond with her son, Samuel. Nula’s outwardly perfect house crackles with unspoken jealousies and rivalry until Maggie’s intense love for Samuel tips into obsession and she decides her only option is to abduct the child. As Maggie makes her desperate bid for safety, the women’s shared past of trauma and loss comes to the fore once more.

Simonhad the pleasure of interviewing Bethan about Mother Island  a few weeks ago, discussing cousins, the nanny vs mother relationship, domestic drama and suburban noir as well as Elvis Presley, Stephen Fry and much, much more. First though he started by asking her where the seed of an idea for the novel came from…

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ruth Ware Paul McVeigh, Susan Barker, Michel Faber and David Whitehouse.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, David Nicholls, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Val McDermid

Hello and welcome back, after a short break, to the second series of You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

Simon’s guest for this episode is one of his favourite crime writers Val McDermid who some might say is a book machine as her latest novel Splinter the Silence is her 35th book. Throughout her career she has written crime series and standalones, non fiction, books for children and even taken on Jane Austen’s work. Splinter the Silence is the ninth in her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, which if you have never read before fret not as this can also be read  as a standalone whilst it teases at stories that have gone before it.

Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden? Former DCI Carol Jordan has her own demons to confront, but with lives at stake, Tony and Carol begin the hunt for the most dangerous and terrifying kind of killer – someone who has nothing to fear and nothing to lose …

Simon the pleasure of talking to Val about Splinter the Silence a few weeks ago, they discuss some of the themes and inspirations of the book came from, from internet and social media trolling, to feminism, from computer games and hacking to murders based on authors suicides. They also talked about whether she is indeed a book machine.

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Bethan Roberts, Paul McVeigh, Susan Barker, Michel Faber and David Whitehouse.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, David Nicholls, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Carys Davies

Hello and welcome back, after a short break, to the second series of You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Carys Davies whose second short story collection The Redemption of Galen Pike has recently won both Fiction Uncovered and the International Frank O’Connor short story award. In a remote Australian settlement a young wife with an untellable secret reluctantly invites her neighbour into her home. A Quaker spinster offers companionship to a condemned man in a Colorado jail. In the ice and snows of Siberia an office employee from Birmingham witnesses a scene that will change her life. At a jubilee celebration in a northern English town a middle-aged alderman opens his heart to Queen Victoria. A teenage daughter leaves home in search of adventure. High in the Cumbrian fells a woman seeks help from her father’s enemy. Spare, precise, charged with a prickly wit, the stories Carys Davies writes remind us how little we know of the lives of others.

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Cary whilst she was in the middle east a few weeks ago and they discussed the tales in her collection, the writing process of the short story, which short stories and short story writers inspired her, myths and fairy tales and much more.

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Bethan Roberts, Paul McVeigh, Susan Barker, Val McDermid and David Whitehouse.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, David Nicholls, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.