Write-Off with Francesca Steele

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Joanne Harris

Season 2, Ep. 8

This interview has a special place in my heart because Joanne Harris, the prolific author known for the gorgeous Chocolat, among other things, was the first person I ever interviewed. I spoke to her for my university newspaper 20 years ago, and she was, thankfully, very nice then and remains very nice today. 


I’m not sure I’ve spoken to a more adventurous novelist. Joanne fearlessly tackles whichever genre she is interested in at the time and indeed isn’t fond of the notion of genres at all actually. We talk about her excellent new thriller, A Narrow Door, and how it felt to write that compared with, for example, her 'gastromances' (not a word she’s keen on, completely understandably) such as Chocolat. We also discuss her making (and burning) a sculpture out of rejection letters, rewriting her fantasy novel Runemarks from scratch because her daughter wanted to see it published and how mistakes are all signposts on the road to success. Oh, and also the time she met Harvey Weinstein. 


You can find me on Twitter at @francescasteele and Instagram at @Francesca_steele


Please do rate or review the podcast on your Apple podcast app – it helps more people find out about Write-Off, and also I just really like seeing the reviews!


This season is sponsored by the wonderful Jericho Writers https://jerichowriters.com. Listeners of the podcast can get an exclusive 15% discount on membership by going to  www.jerichowriters.com/join-us and entering the code Write-Off.

More Episodes

4/7/2022

Jeffrey Archer

Season 2, Ep. 7
Jeffrey Archer is a bit different from many of my usual guests. He’s not at all sentimental, he’s very confident – I mean this is a former MP who went to prison for perjury after all – and in many ways that confidence seems impenetrable. But this is, I think, what makes him so interesting to listen to because even Jeffrey Archer is afflicted by self-doubt and even Jeffrey Archer has had to come up with strategies for dealing with it, even if sometimes the strategy is basically just being ferociously productive. Since his first book, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was rejected by 17 publishers before selling in 1976, he has sold more than 300 million copies of his books worldwide, which makes him one of the top 25 fiction authors of all time.We talk about his incredible self-discipline when it comes to his writing routine, how lots of editors rejected his debut because none of them believed he would write a second book and how he would not have made a good prime minister! You can find me on Twitter at @francescasteele and Instagram at @Francesca_steeleDon’t forget that I list my guests' books at my online shop https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/francescasteele. This helps fund the podcast so please do buy there! Also do rate or review the podcast on your app - it helps more people find out about Write-Off, and also I just really like seeing the reviews!The lovely Scott Elliott helped me produce this season. Please do consider him for all your pod needs. https://www.podcastconsultant.co.ukThis season is sponsored by the wonderful Jericho Writers https://jerichowriters.com. Listeners of the podcast can get an exclusive 15% discount on membership by going to  www.jerichowriters.com/join-us and entering the code Write-Off.
3/31/2022

Abi Elphinstone

Season 2, Ep. 6
I loved talking to Abi Elphinstone, a bestselling children’s author who writes about dreamsnatchers and sky gods and wildcats. She has been called a worthy successor to C.S. Lewis by The Times, and talks regularly at schools about her writing process, with great enthusiasm even when the kids mistake her for JK Rowling. I was especially grateful to Abi for fitting me in when she was practically moments from giving birth, and I think that’s testament to how she’s always keen to chat about her work whenever she can. We actually haven’t had an author on Write-Off before talking about rejection at the agent stage specifically but Abi is an extremely good example. She was rejected a grand total of 96 times before she got her first book deal, and she is not afraid to talk about it, once posting some of those rejections online. We talk about what she learnt from all that feedback, how her dyslexia stood her in good stead for years of hard work and mapping out stories before she starts. You can find me on Twitter at @francescasteele and Instagram at @Francesca_steeleDon’t forget that I list my guests' books at my online shop https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/francescasteele. This helps fund the podcast so please do buy there! Also do rate or review the podcast on your app - it helps more people find out about Write-Off, and also I just really like seeing the reviews!The lovely Scott Elliott helped me produce this season. Please do consider him for all your pod needs. https://www.podcastconsultant.co.ukThis season is sponsored by the wonderful Jericho Writers https://jerichowriters.com. Listeners of the podcast can get an exclusive 15% discount on membership by going to  www.jerichowriters.com/join-us and entering the code Write-Off.