Getting Storyshaped With Efua Traoré
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 Quicksands
The House of Shells
The stories which shaped Efua include:
Tales by Moonlight - a TV show from Efua's childhood in Nigeria which retold stories from folklore
Enid Blyton, The Famous Five
Alf Proysen, Mrs Pepperpot
C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
Astrid Lindgren, The Six Bullerby Children
Otfried Preussler, The Little Water-Sprite
Tales From... (A collection of folktales and legends from all around the world)
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Speckled Band (Sherlock Holmes)
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes)
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
Sabine Adeyinka, Jummy at the River School
Tolá Okogwu, Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun
Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone
Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch
Natasha Bowen, Skin of the Sea
Namina Forna, The Gilded Ones
Jordan Ifueko, Raybearer
Our podcast bookshop in Ireland is Halfway Up the Stairs: www.halfwayupthestairs.ie
In 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.
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17. SEASON FINALE: Getting Storyshaped With SF Said01:01:49In this S2 Finale episode, we are delighted to bring you an interview with an author who, we feel, wholly embodies the Storyshaped ethos - the brilliant SF Said. SF's writing is immersive, absorbing, mind-expanding, and thrilling, crafted with care and passion; truly, the best sort of writing, which also happens to be for children (though, as SF says, 'children's literature includes children, but excludes no-one'). We're delighted to get a chance to sit down with SF, whose thoughts on the power and value of children's literature, the importance of making stories available to all children, and the profound impact that stories have on the minds, hearts, and lives of those who consume them, are truly worth hearing - so come and spend an hour with us!And a quick housekeeping announcement from your hosts:We'll return in a wee while with a special bonus Q&A episode, where we'll answer some brilliant questions sent in by listeners, and after that we'll be taking a hiatus from Storyshaped while we sort out one or two pesky things (like life, family, and work!) But rest assured, Storyshapers: we, like the Terminator, will be back. Thank you all for listening, rating, reviewing, sharing, and sitting down with us over the past two seasons, while we've asked a variety of excellent people: Are you Storyshaped? We can't wait to get back to it, just as soon as we can. While you're waiting for our return: please help yourselves to our back catalogue and any bonus episodes we release, and do continue sharing, rating, and reviewing the show, as it really does help us to keep producing it for you.But for now: have some fantastic Storyshaped chat with the brilliant SF Said.Books mentioned in this week's episode include SF's own:Varjak PawThe Outlaw Varjak PawPhoenixTyger (all published by David Fickling Books)And the stories which shaped him include:The Cat in the Hat, by Dr SeussThe Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryOn Liberty, by John Stuart MillThe work of William BlakeComics, including:MarvelAsterixTintinPeanutsMad MagazineCalvin & HobbesWatership Down, by Richard AdamsThe Sandman, by Neil Gaiman and various artists (incl. Dave McKean)Cages, written and illustrated by Dave McKeanA Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K Le GuinHis Dark Materials, by Philip PullmanNoughts and Crosses, by Malorie BlackmanSkellig, by David AlmondJourney Back to Freedom, by Catherine JohnsonThe Essays of C.S. LewisThe Letters of JRR TolkienThe work of George MacDonald, including The Princess and the GoblinThe work of William MorrisThe work of Lord Dunsany (1878-1957)Film and TV:Star WarsStar TrekOur 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.
16. Getting Storyshaped With Ann Sei Lin52:53We had a fascinating chat with the amazing Ann Sei Lin this week on the podcast, where we got an insight into the stories that have been shaping her since her earliest days. Ann's fantastic debut, Rebel Skies, is an amazing story about what makes a human, all told through the fabulous surrounds of a Japanese-folklore inspired fantasy world complete with skyships, dragons, and living origami. It's a truly memorable debut and we were so pleased to get a chance to discuss it with Ann, and to find out more about the stories that helped her to become an author and create such a rich, immersive story world. We hope you're not afraid of heights...Books mentioned this week include Ann's own:Rebel Skies (Walker Books)Rebel Fire (Walker Books)And the stories which have shaped her include:The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk KiddThe Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston LerouxThe work of JRR TolkienThe work of Terry PratchettThe work of Robin HobbThe work of Robert JordanThe work of Julie KagawaThe Twelve Kingdoms (manga), by Fuyumi OnoHis Dark Materials, by Philip PullmanOrihima and Hikoboshi - a Japanese folktaleThe Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterImmortal Rain (manga), by Kaori OzakiThe Shadow Skye trilogy, by Joseph ElliottLonely Castle in the Mirror, by Mizuki TsujimuraYellowface, by RF KuangBabel, by RF KuangSixteen Souls, by Rosie TalbotCatfish Rolling, by Clara KumagaiOur 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.
15. Getting Storyshaped With Alice Ross01:00:23Susan had the chance to sit down with brilliant debut author Alice Ross this week, where they discussed Alice's novel The Nowhere Thief and Alice's journey to becoming an author, as well as SO MANY wonderful books and stories which shaped her into the author she is today. Alice is as big a fan of Diana Wynne Jones as we are here on the podcast, but as well as the work of the incomparable DWJ, there are loads of other fantastic stories mentioned here - each one a portal to an amazing world of story. Strap in, and join us as we get Storyshaped!Books mentioned in this week's episode include Alice's own:The Nowhere Thief (Nosy Crow)And the books and stories which shaped her include:The Mr Men books, by Roger HargreavesThe work of CS LewisThe work of Roald DahlThe work of Laura Ingalls WilderRamona and Beezus, by Beverly ClearyMalory Towers, by Enid BlytonGobbolino the Witch's Cat, by Ursula Moray WilliamsCharmed Life, by Diana Wynne JonesThe Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne JonesThe Magician's Nephew, by CS LewisThe Homeward Bounders, by Diana Wynne JonesHidden Turnings, ed. Diana Wynne Jones(inc. The Walled Garden, by Lisa Tuttle)Tom's Midnight Garden, by Philippa PearceFire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne JonesReflections: On the Magic of Writing, by Diana Wynne JonesHowl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne JonesThe work of Holly JacksonOne of Us Is Lying, by Karen McManusThis Book Kills, by Ravena GuronThe Thief of Farrowfell, by Ravena GuronThe work of Anne RiceLockwood and Co., by Jonathan StroudThe work of Stephen KingOur 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.
14. Getting Storyshaped With Ally Sherrick01:00:06We had the *most* fun this week sitting down with one of the Queens of Children's Historical Fiction (that's her official title, right), Ally Sherrick! We chat all things writing and story, including how much research Ally's rich, immersive novels take; where her love of history came from; what historical period she hasn't written about (yet), and what might be coming next from her talented pen. This episode was a wonder. Ally is a generous, inspirational, fascinating and truly wonderful podcast guest, and we hope you'll enjoy listening to our chat as much as we enjoyed recording it. Now! Let's get Storyshaped.Find Ally online at her websiteBooks mentioned in this week's episode include Ally's own (all published by Chicken House):Black PowderThe Buried CrownThe Queen's FoolVita and the GladiatorsAnd the stories that shaped her include:Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne and E.H. ShepardMy Naughty Little Sister, by Dorothy Edwards and Shirley HughesCharlie and Fred - stories made up by Ally's (wonderful) dad!Just-So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling, especially The Elephant's ChildThe Highwayman, by Alfred NoyesLe Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan AikenBlack Hearts in Battersea, by Joan AikenNightbirds on Nantucket, by Joan AikenA Small Pinch of Weather, by Joan AikenA Necklace of Raindrops, by Joan AikenA Traveller in Time, by Alison UttleyThe Ghost of Thomas Kempe, by Penelope LivelyCarrie's War, by Nina BawdenThe Wake, by Paul KingsnorthThe Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary SutcliffOur 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.
13. Getting Storyshaped With Alan Titley01:04:59This week we're talking to Alan Titley - emeritus professor, scholar, author, dramaturg, teacher, folklorist, journalist, seanchaí (storyteller) - about the stories that shaped him. This discussion was fascinating; we could have listened to Alan all day! Come with us and hear him talk about his earliest days of being told stories by a pipe-smoking teacher, right up to the scholarly work that went into creating his edition of the ancient Irish battle epic. Táin Bó Cuailgne (published as 'The Táin', illustrated by Eoin Coveney, published by Little Island, 2023). Alan's Storyshaped life has a unique depth and breadth, and it was a privilege to get a window into it. Come and join us!Books mentioned in this week's episode include some of Alan's own:Amach (An Gúm, 2004)The Táin, ill. Eoin Coveney (Little Island, 2023)Leabhar Nóra Ní Anluain (Cló Iar-Chonnacht)And the stories that shaped him include:The New Testament of the BibleDon Quixote, by Miguel de CervantesComics including The Beano, The Dandy, Topper, Rupert the BearBlack Beauty, by Anna SewellThe work of Jack KerouacThe work of DH LawrenceThe short stories of Frank O'ConnorThe Touch/An Teagmháil, by Liam O'FlahertyThe Majesty of the Law, by Frank O'ConnorThe work of Seosamh MacGriannaThe work of W.M. ThackerayThe work of Jane AustenThe work of Pádraic Ó ConaireThe work of Seamus Delargy and the Irish Folklore Commission, including:Leabhair Seán Uí Chonaill/Seán O'Connell's BookThe work of W. Somerset MaughamThe work of Thomas KenneallyCré na Cille, by Máirtín Ó Cadhain(Alan's translation: The Dirty Dust, Yale University Press, 2015)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. Getting Storyshaped With Victoria Williamson01:00:55Spend an hour with Sinéad and our guest, Victoria Williamson, as we take a stroll through the stories that have shaped one of the most prolific and imaginative children's authors writing today. Victoria's work ranges from emotionally charged stories for older children and young teens, right down to fantastical adventures for younger readers, never failing to enthral and captivate, and it was a pleasure to sit down with her and chat all things story. We talk about the 'hero's journey', her career as a teacher, the many far-flung places her work has brought her to, her commitment to social justice and other causes close to her heart, and what authorly ambitions she has yet to achieve. Come and join us, and find out how Victoria is Storyshaped.Find Victoria online via her websiteBooks mentioned in this week's episode include Victoria's own:The Boy With the Butterfly MindThe Fox Girl and the White GazelleHagstormWar of the WindThe Pawnshop of Stolen DreamsAnd the stories that shaped her include:The Hobbit, by JRR TolkienLord of the Rings, by JRR TolkienThe work of Stephen KingThe work of Monica DickensThe Tripods, by John ChristopherThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4, by Sue TownsendThe Hardy Boys (and later iterations), originally created and written by Franklin W. DixonMaps, atlases, and books about travelThe work of Jane Austen, the Brontes, Thomas Hardy, Charles DickensHarry Potter, by JK Rowling (these books set Victoria on the road to becoming a children's writer)Treasures of the Snow, by Patricia St JohnThe Chrysalids, by John WyndhamThe work of MR JamesVictorian Gothic Stories and Ghost stories (in general)Rivet Boy, by Barbara HendersonEuro Spies, by Lindsay LittletonHaarville, by Justin DaviesInto the Faerie Hill, by HS NorupThe Silver Road, by Sinéad O'HartTV influences include:Star TrekOur 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. Getting Storyshaped With Louie Stowell01:04:15Join us this week for an absolutely nerd-licious chat with the BRILLIANT Louie Stowell, whose writerly output is too great to be enumerated. She has written an abundance of non-fiction titles, created a treasure trove of tales about Kit and her friends (in the library, in the lake, and in the wood, among other spots), placed the glittering Otherland in its proper place in the pommel of her sword, and gifted us the marvellous LOKI series - truly the crowning jewel in her hoard. This was one of the most fun chats we've had on Storyshaped - you don't want to miss it!Find Louie online at her websiteBooks mentioned in this week's episode include Louie's own:The Dragon in the LibraryThe Monster in the LakeThe Wizard in the WoodOtherlandLoki: A Bad God's Guide to Being GoodLoki: A Bad God's Guide to Taking the BlameLoki: A Bad God's Guide to Ruling the WorldAnd the stories which shaped her include:Norse Myths that Shaped the Way We Think, by Carolyne LarringtonThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan MooreComics including:Superman and BatmanThe Dark Knight Returns2000 ADOinkHalo JonesBumble and Snug, by Mark BradleyThe Rivers of London, by Ben AaronovitchNeverwhere, by Neil GaimanThe City and the City, by China MiévilleThe Books of Magic, by Neil Gaiman and various artistsThe Expanse (series), by James S.A. CoreyChutzpah, by Jan MarkHairs on the Palm of the Hand, by Jan MarkJust William, by Richmal CromptonThe Tripods, by John ChristopherSpace Hostages, by Nicholas FiskThe Lord of the Rings, by JRR TolkienParadise Lost, by John MiltonThe Screwtape Letters, by C.S. LewisThe Light Between Worlds, by Laura E. WeymouthOther media:A BBC Radio Play of The Lord of the RingsThe Ring Cycle by Wagner (TV Production)Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)Hannibal (TV series)The Walking Dead (TV series)Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (book and TV series)Classic KitKat advertisement from the 1980s - No Rest for the WickedThe best version of LOTR ever (according to Louie)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.
10. Getting Storyshaped With Rebecca Schiller01:10:04A slightly different vibe for today's Storyshaped! We're sitting down with Rebecca Schiller - smallholder, parent, memoirist, creative writing teacher, neurodivergent person, and author, for a wonderful chat about her recent ADHD diagnosis, creativity (and permission to enter into creativity), parenthood, the art of writing a memoir, the beauty of children's literature, and how vital it is for children to feel empowered by the things they read. We also make some pit-stops along the way, where Rebecca traces the influence of some very important books, ones that shaped and affected the course of her life and career. We'd love you to come with us on this bookish ramble, where we'll find out how Rebecca is Storyshaped.Find Rebecca online at her websiteFollow Rebecca on InstagramRebecca founded the Mothers Who Write communityMore information on the courses Rebecca runs for writers and creativesBooks mentioned in this week's episode include Rebecca's own:Earthed: A Memoir (published as A Thousand Ways to Pay Attention in the United States)Your No Guilt Pregnancy PlanAmazing Activists Who Are Changing Our World, illustrated by Sophie BeerAnd the stories which have shaped her include:The Peter and Jane books, published by LadybirdStories from the BibleThe Wild Other, by Clover StroudAnne of Green Gables, by LM MontgomeryJane Eyre, by Charlotte BronteA Little Princess and The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Railway Children, by E. NesbitThe Regeneration Trilogy, by Pat BarkerLife Class, by Pat BarkerThe Skylarks' War, by Hilary McKayThis Must Be the Place, by Maggie O'FarrellHamnet, by Maggie O'FarrellShopaholic Ties the Knot, by Sophie KinsellaAlso mentioned: Five Children on the Western Front, by Kate SaundersThe Passion, by Jeanette WintersonOur 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.
9. Getting Storyshaped With Jenny McLachlan01:03:43Well, this was a hoot - as you'd expect from a guest like Jenny McLachlan, author of the BRILLIANT, bestselling ROAR books, as well as Dead Good Detectives, Stink (Worst. Fairy. Ever) and a whole load more. Jenny began her writing career with amazing YA books, before graduating into equally amazing Middle Grade novels and early readers - so, she has written across the ages, and with equal aplomb in all. She's funny, her characters are memorable, her stories are equal parts heartfelt and hilarious, and this chat was exactly the same. Come with us as we get to know the powerhouse that is Jenny McLachlan, and find out her answer to our perennial question: Are You Storyshaped?Find Jenny online:www.jennymclachlan.comHer TwitterBooks mentioned in this week's episode include Jenny's own:Flirty DancingLove BombStar StruckStargazing for BeginnersSunkissedTruly, Wildly, DeeplyThe Land of RoarReturn to RoarThe Battle for RoarDead Good DetectivesPet QuestThe Jumpy Bumpy FeelingThe Quack in the KitchenThere's a Chicken in my BookbagZoom to the Moon,Stink: Worst. Fairy. Ever.And the stories that shaped her include:Heart of Darkness, by Joseph ConradTopsy and Tim, by Jean and Gareth AndersonHelpers, Alfie, Moving Molly, and Dogger by Shirley HughesThe work of Jackie CollinsThe work of Jilly CooperJane Eyre, by Charlotte BronteThe work of Jane AustenThe work of Charles DickensThe Beano comicPippin in Playland comicAnnuals: Twinkle, Bunty, MandyBella magazineJust Seventeen magazineAngus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise RennisonThe work of Jacqueline WilsonWuthering Heights, by Emily BronteRomeo and Juliet, by William ShakespeareCirce, by Madeleine MillerThe Silence of the Girls, by Pat BarkerUtterly Dark and the Face of the Deep, by Philip ReeveThe work of M.G. Leonard (check out our podcast chat with M.G. here)TV influences:SuccessionGame of ThronesSaving Lives at Sea (TV documentary)Print Media:Joseph Coelho: I set out to find the happiness I felt as a child, and it workedOur 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.