Category Archives: Podcast

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! Jessie Burton

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Jessie Burton, whose debut novel The Miniaturist has taken the book world by storm, going to both number one in hardback and paperback as well as winning several awards.

In The Miniaturist we find ourselves in 1686, as eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways …Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Jessie about The Miniaturist, where the idea came from, the research she undertook to do it and its amazing success – all without spoilers. They also discuss acting, adaptations, what makes a great story, what’s next and much more…

 

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That is it for Your Wrote The Book for a while as Simon is off judging Fiction Uncovered but he will be back later in the summer joined by Emily St John Mandel, SJ Watson and more. 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, Joanne Harris, Richard Flanagan, Kamila Shamsie, Neel Mukherjee, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.

YWTB! Laline Paull

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Laline Paull who has now turned her hand to the novel with her debut, The Bees. The Bees is the story of Flora 717, a sanitation bee, she lives to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. But Flora is not like other bees. Despite her ugliness she has talents that are not typical of her kin. While mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. But enemies are everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. And when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all, her instinct to serve is overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce love that will lead to the unthinkable…

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Laline about The Bees, bees which she has now made him obsessed by and how the hive so easily became both a symbol and discussion of gender politics, class, monarchy, religion and being different. I started off asking the most obvious question, why had drawn Laline to bees?

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For the next episode, and last until July, Simon will be joined by Jessie Burton to discuss the book everyone has been talking about The Minaturist. 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, Joanne Harris, Richard Flanagan, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.

YWTB! Neel Mukherjee

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Neel Mukherjee. Neel first came to many readers attention with his debut novel A Life Apart, a tale of a young man from Calcutta growing up in England knowing he is different in more ways than one, in 2010. Neel returned last year with The Lives of Others a sprawling novel which looks at a family in the India of the late 1960’s when the Naxalite movement started its violent uprising. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker last year.

Simon caught up with Neel to discuss the The Lives of Others, where the idea came from and how he went about creating a novel that encompasses a whole country in one particular time both in the political and the domestic. They also discuss the Man Booker, the state of Indian fiction in the UK, why he is adverse to the term ‘family saga’ and why his novels, so far, have been so very different.

 

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Laline Paull, Jessie Burton and Tess Gerritsen. 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, Joanne Harris, Richard Flanagan, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.

YWTB! Victoria Hislop

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Victoria Hislop whose debut novel The Island, became a huge hit and best seller holding onto the top spot for 8 weeks and selling over two million copies worldwide, also spawning a miniseries in Greece. The Island was followed up with two more number one best sellers, The Return and The Thread as well as ashort story collection The Last Dance and Other Stories. Now Victoria returns with The Sunrise, a tale set in the town of Famagusta, when it was at the peak of its tourist trade and Savvas and Aphroditi have just built The Sunrise the most glamorous and desire hotel on the island of Cyprus. However things are soon to change as Cyprus is an island at war with itself as Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots still struggle post war to settle and conflict looks like it is brewing. We follow Savvas and Aphroditi, and two families both under their employment, whose heritage is from both parts of Cyprus, as the troubles begin and soon change everything. Simon spoke to Victoria about The Sunrise; the history of Cyprus, the research and how to write conflict neutrally. They also discuss the success of The Island and rather unusually hairdressing and hairdressers.

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by David Nicholls, Neel Mukherjee many more. 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 Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Alan Bradley, Niccolo Ammaniti, Armistead Maupin, Emma Donoghue, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.

YWTB! Rebecca Makkai

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Rebecca Makkai whose debut novel The Borrower, a wonderful tale of a young boy and a librarian who kidnap each other, became a huge acclaimed hit when it was released back in 2011. Rebecca now follows it with The Hundred Year House of the history of a house told backwards from 1999 until 1899 and all those who have resided in it and their secrets. (It can’t really be explained any more succinctly than that; you have to read it to see how brilliant it is.) Simon had the delight of catching up with Rebecca to talk about how it was to write a story backwards and the risks it has for the reader, the nature of ghosts and the haunting of time, families and their secrets and structures, The Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew, how she has become a voice for some of the LGBT community and more…

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Victoria Hislop, Kirsty Wark and many more. 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 Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Alan Bradley, Niccolo Ammaniti, Armistead Maupin, Emma Donoghue, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.

YWTB! Kate Forsyth

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is episode is Kate Forsyth. Kate is the author of over 20 books for adults, young adults and children in her home land of Australia. Here in the UK it has been her recent novels Bitter Greens, a retelling of the Rapunzel soon to be out in the US, and The Wild Girl that have caught readers imaginations as she combines famous fairy tales, those who told them and history into wonderful epic novels that capture you from the start. Simon caught up with her to discuss when fairy tales first took hold of her imagination, their mutual love of Rapunzel, how she has studied them (and will soon be a doctor of fairy tales), how you can become a Doctor of Fairytales and much more.

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Rebecca Makkai, Alison Moore, Victoria Hislop and Kirsty Wark. 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 Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Alan Bradley, Niccolo Ammaniti, Armistead Maupin, Emma Donoghue, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.

YWTB! Sarah Hall

Hello and welcome to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

In an unusual episode Simon goes back to 2012 when he interviewed Sarah Hall an interview he thought his old, now dead, computer had lost but recently (joy of joys) rediscovered hidden away on a USB stick! So Simon thought, after listening to it and thinking it was still a very relevant and interesting interview (if he says so himself) and would share it now.

Sarah Hall, recently named one of Granta’s Best Young British Authors, is the author of four novels and her writing CV shows why. Her debut Haweswater won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Betty Trask Award, and a Lakeland Book of the Year prize. In 2004, her second novel, The Electric Michelangelo, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her third novel The Carhullan Army, was published in 2007, and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Award. The Carhullan Army was listed as one of The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade. Her fourth novel, How To Paint A Dead Man, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and won the Portico Prize for Fiction 2010.  Her first collection of short stories, titled The Beautiful Indifference, which we discuss at the start came out in 2011, it won the Portico Prize for Fiction 2012 and the Edge Hill short story prize, it was also short-listed for the Frank O’Connor Prize. Simon discussed prizes, short stories vs the novel and the debate on readability vs literary when they met up in a book shop in Manchester back in 2012…

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Kate Forsyth, Sharon Bolton and Kirsty Wark. 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 Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Alan Bradley, Niccolo Ammaniti, Armistead Maupin, Emma Donoghue, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell, Emma Healey and many more.

YWTB! Emma Donoghue

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote The Book, a book based podcast hosted by Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the coming months he will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader, from the current novel they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Emma Donoghue. Emma is the author of five short story collections including the wonderfully titled The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits and most recently Astray, she is also the author of several other novels including The Sealed Letter, Slammerkin and Room. It was Room which lead Emma into almost every reading household with advance rave reviews of its writing and also because of its subject matter having been inspired by the Fritzel case. Now Emma is back with her new novel Frog Music a tale of a true unsolved crime of a cross dressing frog hunter in San Francisco in 1876, which Simon was lucky enough to discuss with her over a coffee.

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In two weeks Simon will be joined Kate Colquhoun to discuss her book Did She Kill Him?: A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery and Arsenic which is a look into the ‘The Maybrick Mystery’ where Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick in 1889. If you have any questions for Kate, 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 Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Alan Bradley, Niccolo Ammaniti, Armistead Maupin, Hannah Kent, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr, Maggie O’Farrell and many more.