Category Archives: Simon Savidge

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! 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! Kate Grenville

Hello and welcome back, after a short break, to the second series of You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight over the forthcoming months Simon will be joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader. From the current book they have published to the first book they read and everything in between. This series already has a stellar line up as I will be joined by the likes of Hanya Yanagihara, Ryan Gattis, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

Simon’s guest for this return episode is is one of Australia’s best known and best loved authors, Kate Grenville. Kate is the author of nine works including the Orange Prize winning Idea of Perfection and the Man Booker and Miles Franklin shortlisted The Secret River which has become one of the most read an most talked about Australia novels in recent years.

Kate’s latest work is One Life which is the story of Kate’s own mother Nance Russell, whose life spanned a century of tumult and change. In an act of great imaginative sympathy, Kate draws on the fragments of memoir Nance left, to create an intimate account of the patterns in her mother’s life. In many ways Nance’s story echoes that of many mothers and grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the twentieth century offered a path to new freedoms and choices. In other ways Nance was exceptional. In an era when women were expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home, and discovered her husband’s secret life as a revolutionary.

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ryan Gattis, Emily St John Mandel and Hanya Yanagihara.  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! 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! Natalie Haynes

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 Natalie Haynes, a comedienne, classicist, journalist, reviewer and judge of the Orange Prize in 2012, the Man Booker in 2013 and currently judging the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. I’m not jealous at all. Somehow amongst all that she has managed to write her debut novel The Amber Fury. Anyone expecting a comedy or a farce after Natalie’s stand up days might be in for a shock as The Amber Fury is a gripping and often twisting psychological thriller centred around Alex, a woman running away from her past and the death of her fiancé, as she starts to teach a group of kids deemed difficult in The Unit, a place for kids no school will have. As she teaches them the classical tragedies little does she know there is a tragedy coming unravelling in front of her eyes. Simon had the pleasure of sipping water from huge wine glasses with Natalie at her publishers and started by asking her what she thought people might expect from a Natalie Haynes novel…

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In two weeks Simon will be joined by Naomi Wood to discuss Mrs Hemingway, a fictional account of the famous author’s wives. If you have any questions for Naomi, 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.

YWTB! Keith Ridgway

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.

After a small hiatus from the show Simon is back with an interview he recorded earlier in the year with Keith Ridgway. Keith Ridgway’s latest book, entitled ‘Hawthorn and Child’, was a book which thrilled people and divided them on if it was a novel or collection of interlinked/interweaving short stories. Regardless it  was one of Simon’s favourite books of 2012 as it read rather unlike any book he had read before and was hooked. In this show they discuss (in a pub in Liverpool so watch out for some music in the background) ‘Hawthorn and Child’, if it is indeed a novel or a collection of interweaving short stories, just what on earth constitutes a novel, his debut novel ‘The Long Falling’ which was awarded both the Prix Femina Etranger and the Prix Premier Roman in 2001 and also  how stories might change in the future, ghosts and much more…

If you have any suggestions for authors you would like on the show or questions you would love to ask an author, then please feel free to email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or comment on twitter @youwrotethebook

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every week with Gavin Pugh on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Until next time thank you for listening… And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Evie Wyld, John Boyne, Xiaolu Guo, Alan Bradley, Taiye Selasi, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr and Maggie O’Farrell.

YWTB! Xiaolu Guo

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.

The guest for this episode is author Xiaolu Guo who has just been named one of the Granta Young Best British Novelists, a list which only happens once a decade. Xiaolu has been a favourite author of Simon’s ever since he read, the now cult novel, A Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers, I have since read 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, UFO in Her Eyes, which is one of the many movies she has written and also her short story collection Lovers in the age of indifference, so as you might have guessed he is a bit of a fan. In this episode they discuss the Granta listing, her works so far, her writing rituals and what might be coming next…

Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Sophie Hannah, Keith Ridgway and John Boyne. If you have any questions you would like to ask the author, or any feedback then you can email youwrotethebook@gmail.com or comment on twitter @youwrotethebook

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every week with Gavin Pugh on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Until next time thank you for listening… And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Alan Bradley, Taiye Selasi, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Damian Barr and Maggie O’Farrell.