YWTB! Jung Yun

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

This episode Simon’s special guest for this episode is the author Jung Yun, whose debut novel Shelter is a slice of suburban noir which once you start reading is incredibly hard to put down.

You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Kyung Cho owns a house that he can’t afford. Despite his promising career as a tenure-track professor, he and his wife, Gillian, have always lived beyond their means. Now their bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future. A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighbourhood. Growing up, they gave Kyung every possible advantage – expensive hobbies, private tutors – but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he decides to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves under the same roof where tensions quickly mount and old resentments rise to the surface.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Jung earlier this month Shelter and started off by asking her where the idea for the novel first sparked…
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Over the next few weeks and months Simon will be back with a whole host of authors. 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, Charlotte Wood, Armistead Maupin, Helen Macdonald, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Michel Faber, Emily St John Mandel, Kit de Waal and many more.

YWTB! Kit de Waal

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 the author Kit de Waal, whose debut novel My Name is Leon is a book that you should all be getting onto your bedside table and read as soon as you can.

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one. Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not. As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum. Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Kit earlier this week and talking all about about My Name is Leon. They discuss adoption, racism, love, family, books and much more.
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Over the next few weeks and months Simon will be back with a whole host of authors. 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! Charlotte Wood

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 the author Charlotte Wood, whose latest novel The Natural Way of Things he managed to get his hands on from Australia last year, and if you live there you will know why, which is out in the UK and America over the next few weeks. It is going to blow you away.

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue – but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

Simon had the pleasure of interviewing Charlotte about The Natural Way of Things last week all the way from Australia, so excuse the occasional echo. He started off by asking her where the idea spark for the novel came from…
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Over the next few weeks and months Simon will be back with a whole host of authors. 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! 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.