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Storyshaped

A podcast about the power of stories to shape lives and change the world.

A brand-new children's literature podcast all about the stories that shape us - and how the stories that formed us go on to shape the stories we create.We'll be talking to children's authors, illustrators, bloggers, and
Latest Episode12/22/2022

A Deep Dive into Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising

Season 1, Ep. 22
This week - the final episode of Season 1, Storyshaped fans! - Susan and Sinéad are indulging themselves with a Deep Dive into one of the books that profoundly shaped both of them. We're discussing Susan Cooper's 1973 classic The Dark Is Rising, which is a book that Susan describes as being part of her soul. It's an incredible story about a boy named Will Stanton, who steps into his power as an Old One on his eleventh birthday - and it involves such a wealth of mythology, folklore, allusions to medieval texts, and other stuff that pleases our nerdy hearts, that this episode was the MOST fun to record. Please do come with us as we dive deep into this beautiful book, which has Storyshaped us both, and get ready to whisper with us:When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,Three from the circle, three from the track;Wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone; Five will return, and one go alone...Many different editions of Susan Cooper's classic book exist, but this is a recent edition which might be easily accessible: The Dark Is RisingBiographical details about Cooper's life and work are drawn from her website: The Lost Land of Susan Cooper We draw on Heritage Artefacts of County Cork by Denis Power and Mary Sleeman (2022) for some of our insights into the mandala symbolReferenced in the episode is this blog post: https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/tag/piers-plowman/We also make reference to A Guidebook to Piers Plowman by Anna Baldwin, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007Susan draws on Britannic Myths by Steven O'Brien and Joe Machine (ill.) in our discussion of Herne the Hunter and Wayland SmithThe podcast dramatisation of The Dark is Rising can be found on Spotify here: BBC Sounds Robert MacFarlane The Dark is Rising AdaptationAnd the brilliant Backlisted Podcast episode with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is here: Backlisted PodcastThank you all so much for listening to Season 1 of Storyshaped! We're delighted to have reached so many ears, and we hope to reach many more in Season 2 - we'll be back in 2023 with more guest interviews and lots more bookish joy. Until then: all our best wishes for the Festive Season to everyone who celebrates, however you celebrate, and whatever you're doing: make sure to find a nice quiet corner to curl up in with a good book.Our podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
12/22/2022

A Deep Dive into Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising

Season 1, Ep. 22
This week - the final episode of Season 1, Storyshaped fans! - Susan and Sinéad are indulging themselves with a Deep Dive into one of the books that profoundly shaped both of them. We're discussing Susan Cooper's 1973 classic The Dark Is Rising, which is a book that Susan describes as being part of her soul. It's an incredible story about a boy named Will Stanton, who steps into his power as an Old One on his eleventh birthday - and it involves such a wealth of mythology, folklore, allusions to medieval texts, and other stuff that pleases our nerdy hearts, that this episode was the MOST fun to record. Please do come with us as we dive deep into this beautiful book, which has Storyshaped us both, and get ready to whisper with us:When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,Three from the circle, three from the track;Wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone; Five will return, and one go alone...Many different editions of Susan Cooper's classic book exist, but this is a recent edition which might be easily accessible: The Dark Is RisingBiographical details about Cooper's life and work are drawn from her website: The Lost Land of Susan Cooper We draw on Heritage Artefacts of County Cork by Denis Power and Mary Sleeman (2022) for some of our insights into the mandala symbolReferenced in the episode is this blog post: https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/tag/piers-plowman/We also make reference to A Guidebook to Piers Plowman by Anna Baldwin, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007Susan draws on Britannic Myths by Steven O'Brien and Joe Machine (ill.) in our discussion of Herne the Hunter and Wayland SmithThe podcast dramatisation of The Dark is Rising can be found on Spotify here: BBC Sounds Robert MacFarlane The Dark is Rising AdaptationAnd the brilliant Backlisted Podcast episode with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is here: Backlisted PodcastThank you all so much for listening to Season 1 of Storyshaped! We're delighted to have reached so many ears, and we hope to reach many more in Season 2 - we'll be back in 2023 with more guest interviews and lots more bookish joy. Until then: all our best wishes for the Festive Season to everyone who celebrates, however you celebrate, and whatever you're doing: make sure to find a nice quiet corner to curl up in with a good book.Our podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
12/15/2022

Getting Storyshaped With Sharon Gosling

Season 1, Ep. 21
We have the splendid pleasure of speaking with Sharon Gosling this week on the podcast - yes, only the author of one of our absolute favourite books of 2022, The Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott! The stories that shaped Sharon are wide-ranging and exciting, and our chat with her was fun, informative, and full of brilliant books. Come along with us as we take a walk through Sharon's Storyshaped life, and who knows? You might find she's Storyshaped in just the same way as you.Books mentioned in this episode include some of Sharon's own:The Diamond Thief, winner of the Redbridge Children’s Book Award 2014The Ruby Airship The Sapphire CutlassThe Golden ButterflyHouse of Hidden WondersThe Extraordinary Voyage of Katy Willacott. Her adult books have included The House Beneath the Cliffs and The Lighthouse BookshopAnd the stories that shaped her include:Little Grey Rabbit, by Alison UttleyMeg and Mog, by Helen Nicoll and Jan PienkowskiBoys' Best Adventures (any books that helped you to survive in the wild)The Circus of Adventure, by Enid BlytonAmazon Adventure, by Willard PriceBeaver Towers, by Nigel HintonWhen Marnie Was There, by Joan RobinsonThe Girl Who Ran Away, by Joan RobinsonThe Flight of the Doves, by Walter MackenTrixie Belden series, by Julie Campbell Tathem and othersThe Hardy Boys, by Franklin W. Dixon (collective pen-name)Little Women, by Louisa May AlcottThe Animals of Farthing Wood, by Colin DannTwenty-Five Years in the Word Mines, by Graham JoyceWhy Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette WintersonThe novels of Terry PratchettBabel, by R.F. KuangThe British Library collections of short storiesThe novels and short stories of Shirley JacksonThe work of Kelly LinkHag, edited by Carolyne LarringtonFolk, by Zoe GilbertParnassus on Wheels, by Christopher MorleyA Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories, by Joan AikenThe Faithless Lollybird, by Joan AikenOur podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
12/8/2022

Getting Storyshaped With M.G. Leonard

Season 1, Ep. 20
Today's guest is the BRILLIANT M.G. Leonard, author of some of the best books for young children available today. Her books have been personally inspirational to us, and M.G. herself is such a fount of inspiration, wisdom, and compassion - her insights into writing, the importance of stories, and how she used her own story to reshape her own life, is a must-listen. Come and join us, and find out how M.G. Leonard is Storyshaped.Books mentioned in this week's episode include M.G.'s own:Beetle BoyBeetle QueenThe Battle of the BeetlesThe Beetle Collectors' Handbook (non-fiction)The Tale of a ToothbrushThe Highland Falcon Thief (with Sam Sedgman)Kidnap on the California Comet (with Sam Sedgman)Murder on the Safari Star (with Sam Sedgman)Danger at Dead Man's Pass (with Sam Sedgman)Sabotage on the Solar Express (with Sam Sedgman)The Arctic Railway Assassin (with Sam Sedgman)TwitchSparkThe Ice ChildrenThe stories which shaped her include:Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret GardenRoald Dahl, The TwitsThe Work of Enid BlytonAstrid Lindgren, Pippi LongstockingWilliam Shakespeare, MacbethE.L. Grant Watson, What to Look for in Autumn (Ladybird Book)Elise Rousseau and Phillipe J. Dubois, A Short Philosophy of BirdsOur podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
12/1/2022

Getting Storyshaped With Efua Traoré

Season 1, Ep. 19
It's Thursday, which means we've got another wonderful Storyshaped podcast for you all! We're speaking with the incredible Efua Traoré, author of Children of the Quicksands and The House of Shells, two beautiful Middle Grade novels set in Nigeria and infused with the folklore, magic, and culture of that vibrant country. Efua takes us through her early days as an adventurer, tree-climber, go-getter and dreamer, and how stories - both in her local library and in the culture all around her - shaped her imagination and sparked her creativity. Come with us as we learn about how her first published story was shaped, and by whom; listen in as she shares her dreams for the future of children's literature in Nigeria and in Africa, and stay with us till the end for some tantalising hints about what's next from this incredible author! Are you ready? Then, let's get Storyshaped.Books mentioned in this week's episode include Efua's own:Children of the QuicksandsThe House of ShellsThe stories which shaped Efua include:Tales by Moonlight - a TV show from Efua's childhood in Nigeria which retold stories from folkloreEnid Blyton, The Famous FiveAlf Proysen, Mrs PepperpotC.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of NarniaAstrid Lindgren, The Six Bullerby ChildrenOtfried Preussler, The Little Water-SpriteTales From... (A collection of folktales and legends from all around the world)Louisa May Alcott, Little WomenArthur Conan Doyle, The Speckled Band (Sherlock Holmes)Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes)Chinua Achebe, Things Fall ApartChimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple HibiscusSabine Adeyinka, Jummy at the River SchoolTolá Okogwu, Onyeka and the Academy of the SunTomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and BoneNnedi Okorafor, Akata WitchNatasha Bowen, Skin of the SeaNamina Forna, The Gilded OnesJordan Ifueko, RaybearerOur podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
11/24/2022

Getting Storyshaped with Katharine and Liz Corr

Season 1, Ep. 18
This week, Susan and Sinéad are welcoming two authors for the price of one - sisters Katharine and Liz Corr are here to tell us all about their marvellous books and also the stories that shaped their lives. Come with us as we talk about the shaping power of the stories of Star Trek, the power of historical fiction and classical heroes (and anti-heroes), the wonder of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising, and how significant are the stories we're told about our family and our history. We also discuss the importance of feisty heroines, and how much they owe to Anne-with-an-E Shirley. Let's get Storyshaped!Among the books mentioned this week are Katharine and Liz's own:The Witch's KissThe Witch's TearsThe Witch's BloodA Throne of SwansA Crown of TalonsDaughter of DarknessQueen of Gods (forthcoming 2023)And the stories that shaped them include:The Peter and Jane Ladybird Reading Scheme books, written by William Murray and illustrated by Robert AytonThe Hobbit, by JRR TolkienThe Pied Piper of Hamelin, written by Robert Browning and illustrated by Kate GreenawayThe Water Babies, by Charles KingsleyThe Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. LewisThe Dark is Rising, by Susan CooperThe Grey King, by Susan CooperThe novels of Isaac AsimovPride and Prejudice, by Jane AustenLord of the Rings, by JRR TolkienThe Gormenghast Trilogy, by Mervyn PeakeGods, Men and Monsters by Michael Gibson and Giovanni CaselliThe myth of PerseusMythologica, by Stephen Kershaw and illustrated by Victoria Topping (erroneously referred to as 'Mythipedia' in the episode!)Twilight, by Stephenie MeyerThe novels of Terry PratchettOur podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
11/17/2022

Getting Storyshaped With Debbie Thomas

Season 1, Ep. 17
This week's guest is the wonderful Debbie Thomas! Susan and Sinéad had so much fun chatting to Debbie, who was full of wisdom and wit as we discussed the stories that shaped her - not only the stories in the books she loved, but also the stories of her family. This episode is filled with laughter and suffused with joy, the same joy that Debbie (and we at Storyshaped!) see as being vital in every child's - and every person's - life. Come with us as we meet Debbie, who not only crafts the most wonderful books, but who also uses her storytelling skills to show every single child the true value of story: that their story is important, and that they're worth being listened to. Find Debbie online via her website and find out more about her books, and her work with children in direct provision, in underprivileged areas, and in hospitalsBooks mentioned in this week's episode include Debbie's own:Dead Hairy (Mercier Press)Jungle Tangle (Mercier Press)Monkie Business (Mercier Press)Class Act (Mercier Press)My Secret Dragon (Little Island)Chameleon Dad (Little Island)And the stories and books which shaped her include:The Storytelling Animal, by Jonathan GottschallThe Seven Basic Plots, by Christopher BookerThe Science of Storytelling, by Will StorrAndrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story (TED Talk)Steering the Craft, by Ursula K. Le GuinHarry the Dog (series), by Gene ZionFlat Stanley (series), by Jeff BrownThe King of the Copper Mountains, by Paul BiegelMy Naughty Little Sister (series), by Dorothy Edwards and Shirley HughesThe Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. LewisThe work of Roald DahlThe Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton JusterThe Tin Drum, by Gunter GrassMidnight's Children, by Salman RushdieThe Dragonfly Pool, by Eva IbbotsonThe Abominables, by Eva IbbotsonEast of Eden, by John SteinbeckThe International Yeti Collective, by Paul Mason and Katy RiddellThe Annotated Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, ill. Jules Feiffer, Notes by Leonard S. MarcusCollected Fairy Tales"This life was hired out to me/To decorate the earth with glee."Our podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.
11/10/2022

Getting Storyshaped With Aislinn O'Loughlin

Season 1, Ep. 16
This week we're welcoming the fantastic Aislinn O'Loughlin to the podcast, where we talk about things like: how it feels to be a published author in your teens; how having a writer for a parent helps you to deal with the inevitable rejection that comes from making writing your career (and how marvellous it is to have a creative parent to help Storyshape you as you grow up); how having a love for drama can help you to shape your own stories, and how Terry Pratchett is responsible for her marriage. Tune in and come with us on a ramble through Aislinn's Storyshaped life!Find Aislinn's book online via her publisher: https://www.littleisland.ie/products/big-bad-meFollow Aislinn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AshiLockieBooks mentioned in this episode include Aislinn's own:Cinderella's Fella, illustrated by Marie-Louise FitzpatrickA Right Royal Pain, illustrated by Marie-Louise FitzpatrickFionn the CoolShak and the BeanstalkBig Bad Me (Little Island Books, 2022)And the books which Storyshaped her include:The Fairytales of the Brothers GrimmThe Fairytales of Hans Christian AndersenMatilda, by Roald DahlMort, by Terry PratchettThe Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar WildeThe Princess Bride, by William GoldmanCarrie, and Misery, by Stephen KingHarrow Lake, and Wicked Little Deeds, by Cat EllisThe work of Cynthia Murphy, Kathryn Foxfield, Amy McCaw, and Naomi GibsonThe Haunting of Tyrese Walker, by JP RoseCrater Lake, by Jennifer KillickOur podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ieIn the UK, check out our storefront on: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Storyshaped. Disclaimer: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.