Category Archives: You Wrote The Book!

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! Emily St John Mandel

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 Emily St John Mandel whose fourth novel Station Eleven has become one of the most bought and most discussed novel of the last two years.

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again. Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened. If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Emily about Station Eleven over a coffee in her hotel a few months ago. They discussed where the idea came from, how it was a new direction for her and just how she might cope if the end of the world came…

 

Emily-St

Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ryan Gattis, 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, Kamila Shamsie, Maggie O’Farrell 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! 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! Kate Mayfield


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 book they have published to the first book they read and everything in between.

Simon’s guest for this episode is Kate Mayfield who has written her memoir, The Undertaker’s Daughter. After Kate was born, she was taken directly to a funeral home. Her father was an undertaker, and for thirteen years the family resided in a place nearly synonymous with death. A place where the living and the dead entered their house like a vapor. The place where Kate would spend the entirety of her childhood. In a memoir that reads like a Harper Lee novel, Mayfield draws the reader into a world of Southern mystique and ghosts.

Kate’s father set up shop in a small town where he was one of two white morticians during the turbulent 1960s. Jubilee, Kentucky, was a segregated, god-fearing community where no one kept secrets—except the ones they were buried with. By opening a funeral home, Kate’s father also opened the door to family feuds, fetishes, and victims of accidents, murder, and suicide. The family saw it all. They also saw the quiet ruin of Kate’s father, who hid alcoholism and infidelity behind a cool, charismatic exterior. As Mayfield grows from trusting child to rebellious teen, she begins to find the enforced hush of the funeral home oppressive, and longs for the day she can escape the confines of her small town.

Simon had the pleasure of talking to Kate about her memoir and discussing her childhood, the atmosphere of the time, the dead, the characters we meet, how hard it was to write about people she knew and loved and more.

 

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For the next episode, and last until August, 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! 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…

 

Tess+Gerritsen+(c)+Jessica+Hills

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.

 

Neel-Mukherjee-012

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! Sharon Bolton

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.

My guest for this episode is Sharon Bolton or as some of you may have known her S. J. Bolton. Sharon has recently won the Dagger in the Library Award, which celebrates the entire work of a crime author and what a back catalogue it is. Sharon is the author of seven books; three standalones Sacrifice, Blood Harvest and Awakening and the Lacey Flint series Now You See Me, Dead Scared, Like This, For Ever and A Dark and Twisted Tide plus the short story If Snow Hadn’t Fallen. Simon had the pleasure of talking to Sharon about the Lacey Flint series and more, without giving away any spoilers…

S  J  Bolton (c) Mark Bassett

 

Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Neel Mukherjee 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 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! Rose Tremain

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 Rose Tremain. Rose is the author of thirteen novels many of which have won some of the biggest literary awards; Music & Silence for the Whitbred Novel of the Year, Sacred Country for the Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger and The Road Home winning the Orange Prize. The much loved Restoration was also shortlisted for the Man Booker. She is also the author of many sort stories and collections the latest of which is The American Lover, of which the title story was up for the BBC National Short Story Award.

It is a collection which had much breadth and scope, from the tale of the death of Tolstoy to that of a man who sees his mission is to look after dogs, from a woman messaging her lover on a Blackberry to the fictional imaginings of how Du Maurier’s Rebecca and Mrs Danvers were inspired, from an author who remembers a transgressive love affair decades ago to a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. You get the gist there is a lot going on in this collection which is as diverse as Rose’s novels. Simon had the pleasure of discussing Rose’s career with her a few weeks ago and started by asking her if she could describe what a Rose Tremain collection encapsulates…

 

Rose-Tremain

Over the next few episodes Simon will be joined by Sharon Bolton formerly S. J. Bolton, Neel Mukherjee 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 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.