Category Archives: You Wrote The Book! Podcast

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…
jungyunedited

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.
3455

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! 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.

Jo-Cannon-1080x720 (1)

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! 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.

Michel_Faber_in_London1

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! 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…

Helen-Macdonald-014

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…

blog-bethan-roberts

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! 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.

697d6396-d714-40be-ab04-d25f386c6b9e-1020x612

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.

YWTB! Hanya Yanagihara


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 Hanya Yanagihara whose second novel A Little Life has had a huge reception over in America and is now getting a huge amount of discussion over here in the UK where it has also been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It starts as the tale of four men who become friends in college. Willem is an actor, JB a photographer, Malcolm an architect and Jude a lawyer. All these me are set to become successful yet all have a lot more going on than meets the eye and behind closed doors. However it is Jude who becomes the focus as the novel takes a darker turn looking into his background and the physical and mental effects which he is still dealing with now. It is a novel that looks at love, friendship, loss, pleasure, pain, hope, survival, failure and success. It is a book about class, sexuality and race. It is a book about what it means to be a human. It’s amazing, it is also brutal.

Simon had the pleasure of meeting up with Hanya Yanagihara a few months ago to discuss A Little Life, male friendship, New York, things left unsaid, sexuality, pain, love and a whole lot more. He started by asking her to give us a little more insight into the four men at the start of the novel, well after having a small fan boy moment.

 

Hanya-Yanagihara-009

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, Joanne Harris, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.

YWTB! Ryan Gattis

ello 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 Ryan Gattis whose latest novel All Involved is based around the true events in April 1992, after one of the most notorious, racially charged trials in American history, the city of L.A. exploded in violence, it is like the book equivalent of a rollercoaster.

For six days, Los Angeles is a city ablaze. For six days, seventeen people are caught in the chaos. For six days, Los Angeles shows the world what happens when laws are no longer enforceable. Ernesto Vera is walking home from his job at a taco truck when three guys jump out of a car and assault him. Ernesto’s not in a gang, he’s not involved, but his sister is – and when Payasa hears that her innocent brother has been murdered, she wants revenge. As widespread rioting breaks out across the city, Ernesto’s death triggers an astonishing sequence of events, not just for the gangs involved, but for the fire fighters, nurses and law enforcement who must deal with the consequences.

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Ryan over a coffee a few months ago in Liverpool and discussed his latest novel, gang culture, the cycle of riots and the incredible goals he set himself with this novel. He started by asking when Ryan first knew he wanted to write about the 1992 riots…

 

Ryan Gattis

Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Bethan Roberts, Paul McVeigh, Susan Barker, Hanya Yanagihara 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, Joanne Harris, 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.

vd-Kate-Grenville

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.