Category Archives: Podcasting

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! 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! Tess Gerritsen

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 Tess Gerritsen, one of the biggest selling crime writers around now and indeed currently riding high in the book charts worldwide with her latest novel. Tess has been thrilling us with romantic suspense’s novels and medical thrillers for almost three decades. Since 2001 she has been thrilling us with one of crime fiction fans favourite series, Rizzoli and Isles. For ten novels we have been following Detective Jane Rizzoli and pathologist Dr Maura Isles.

In Die Again Rizzoli and Isles are back at the crime scene of a famous hunter and taxidermist who has been horrifically killed rather like a predator might kill its prey in the wild and it soon appears this might not be a singular incident for the killer. We also jump to a safari trip in Botswana where a group of relative strangers are heading for adventure only the trip soon becomes a nightmare as something or someone is picking them off one by one. How are the two stories connected? You will have to read the book to find out.

Simon had the pleasure of catching up with Tess over lunch, so do excuse the background noise, to discuss Die Again and the rest of the Rizzoli and Isles series. We talk about how she is inspired by the most macabre of facts, autopsies, the mystery that is plotting, the journey from book to television and the fascination with big cats. Simon started off by asking Tess if she had realised that when she first started writing The Surgeon she knew she had a hit series on her hands…

 

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Laline Paull and Jessie Burton. 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! Sarah Perry

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 special guest for this episode is the author Sarah Perry. Sarah’s debut novel After Me Comes The Flood came out earlier in 2014 and is a very tricksy, quirky and deliciously gothic novel that will confuse you and compel you as it twists and turns. It starts when bookseller John ends up stuck in the middle of a wood on the way to his brothers, he finds refuge in an old house where weirdly everyone has been expecting him, and the more time he spends there the stranger things get.

Simon spoke to Sarah about After Me Comes the Flood, the themes it brings up such as good and evil, madness and beauty vs brains. They also discuss the gothic tropes, have the odd double entendre and talk about one of the best books ever, Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. 

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Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Rose Tremain and Neel Mukherjee. 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! Kate Colquhoun

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 Kate Colquhoun. Kate is the author of several non-fiction works including Taste: The History of Britain Through Cooking and A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton. It was Mr Briggs’ Hat, a non-fiction account of the murder of Thomas Briggs in July 1864 which reads like a page turning thriller, which drew people’s attention to Kate’s writing on mass. Now she is back with Did She Kill Him? A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery and Arsenic which looks at the case of the Maybrick Murder, which took place in Liverpool. Simon had the pleasure of catching up with Kate in an old Victorian prison in Liverpool to talk about the book and the case which had everyone talking in 1889.

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Over the next few episodes I will be joined by Emma Jane Unsworth, Emma Healey and Kirsty Wark. If you have any questions for them, 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.