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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.