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! Val McDermid

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 one of his favourite crime writers Val McDermid who some might say is a book machine as her latest novel Splinter the Silence is her 35th book. Throughout her career she has written crime series and standalones, non fiction, books for children and even taken on Jane Austen’s work. Splinter the Silence is the ninth in her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, which if you have never read before fret not as this can also be read  as a standalone whilst it teases at stories that have gone before it.

Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden? Former DCI Carol Jordan has her own demons to confront, but with lives at stake, Tony and Carol begin the hunt for the most dangerous and terrifying kind of killer – someone who has nothing to fear and nothing to lose …

Simon the pleasure of talking to Val about Splinter the Silence a few weeks ago, they discuss some of the themes and inspirations of the book came from, from internet and social media trolling, to feminism, from computer games and hacking to murders based on authors suicides. They also talked about whether she is indeed a book machine.

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Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Bethan Roberts, 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.

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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.

 

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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…

 

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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…

 

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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.