Writer's Routine

  • 315. Shaun Bythell, author of 'The Diary of a Bookseller' - Scotland's most famous bookseller discusses editing diaries, why everyone loves a bookshop, and style guides

    47:24
    Shaun Bythell runs 'The Bookshop' in Wigtown, it's Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop, and is now incredibly popular. Back in 2017, Shaun published, 'The Diary of a Bookseller', a book filled with his daily experiences running the store. People fell in love with his wry musings, the life of a bookseller, and it became a Sunday Times bestseller. He's followed it up with 'Confessions of a Bookseller', and 'Remainders of the Day', in the 'Bookseller Series'.We talk about why everyone finds the life of a bookseller appealing and whether that's really what it's like. You can hear how a diary becomes published, how an editor works on it, and whether having them published has changed how he writes a diary. This was recorded back in 2022, I have no clue why it's taken so long to be released. Sorry Shaun, and I hope you enjoy the episode!Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 314. Jonny Sweet, author of 'The Kellerby Code' - Screenwriter and Author discusses jokes influencing novels, why guilt is useless, and dealing with praise

    45:34
    Jonny Sweet won the 'Best Newcomer' Prize at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, created a sketch group with 'The Inbetweeners' Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, and appeared in many TV Comedies, including 'Chickens' and 'Him and Her'. He wrote the movie 'Wicked Little Letters' starring Olivia Colman, which was released this year. He has also just published one of the most acclaimed novels of the year. 'The Kellerby Code' tells the story of Edward, living in a world he can't afford and to which he doesn't belong. Getting by doing odd jobs for friends, he falls in love with one of them, and after a little act of kindness in the group takes a sinister turn, it unleashes the unspeakable brutality at Edward's core.We talk about why he's been lying to people about the plot, and how the writing process changes depending on what he's working on. You can hear how much he thinks like a director when writing, and why he prefers not to hear himself think. This novel has been highly recommended by some of the best authors around, and we discuss how he deals with such praise.You can support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 313. Kate Storey, author of 'The Memory Library' - Book Club author discusses why a change of genre means a change of name, whether outlining curbs creativity, and why she watches for jokes

    45:45
    Our special guest this week is Kate Storey. Under the name Lisa Timoney, she's published 3 books, 'Her Daughter's Secret', 'Her Mother's Lies' and 'His Secret Wife'... but a change of genre means a change of name.Kate's back with book club fiction now, and has published, 'The Memory Library'. It's all about Sally Harrison, who has been building a library for 43 years. Every year she adds a new book to it, dedicated to her estranged daughter Ella who has fled to Australia... however, when disaster strikes, Ella must return home and fix their relationship. It's an ex-English teacher's dream novel, a book about books!We discuss outlining, how much she knows what she's doing, without trying to limit the places her characters could take her. Also, we chat through how how she has learned as an author, and what she wants to change about the way she works. You can hear why she finds pictures online to inspire her characters, what it's like to work with an editor, and how far the finished book is from her very first idea.Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 312. Alina Khawaja, author of 'Maya's Laws of Love' - How to avoid tangents which block your ideas, dealing with rejections, and trying to get better

    48:14
    After writing around 7 books and getting many rejections or near-misses, Alina Khawaja finally has a published novel. It's called 'Maya's Laws of Love', and tells the story of Maya on her way to Pakistan for an arranged marriage she hopes will end with love. Only, after a disastrous journey, she begins to wonder if Mr. Right might actually be someone else she meets along the way.Alina is well read and decorated, with a degree in English, History and Creative Writing, and a Masters in Literatures of Modernity, and all the time whilst studying, she's been writing. She's been carrying on in the face of rejections, reading to get better, and cracking out stories. You can hear how she dealt with rejections and near-misses, and why she thinks this novel finally got her published. Also, at a time when self-publishing has never been easier or more successful, we talk about why Alina was desperate to follow the traditional route.You can hear about her outlining process and whether that's likely to change, also why she tries to avoid tangents, and how she's trying to make her work stand out in busy bookshelves.Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 311. Samuel Burr, author of 'The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers' - Mystery writer talks about learning from making TV, spying for inspiration, and how the business actually works

    01:01:34
    Samuel Burr has worked as a TV executive, creating shows like 'The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds', 'Eight Go Rallying', and 'The Secret Life of Cleaners'. Many years ago he worked on a documentary in a retirement home, now it's given him the basis for his debut novel.'The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers' looks at Clayton Sumper, an enigma who was abandoned at birth on the steps of the puzzlemakers, ending up being raised by some of the sharpest minds in the country. The hope is that he's learned from them, as to discover the secrets of who he is and who he can be, he needs to crack one last puzzle.We talk about the details of writing such a tricksy book, matching chapter names to crossword answers, and how getting deep into those details impacted his ability to be creative. You can hear why he works towards a final sentence, also why he uses the pomodoro technique, and how he gets ideas by spying on strangers.We discuss his time at the Faber Academy, how working in TV has influenced his storytelling in novels, and you can hear about the business of writing - what does an advance mean? What happens if you get a big deal? How do you get paid?Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 310. Caz Frear, author of 'Five Bad Deeds' - Thriller writer discusses the pressures of doing everything, getting into the right mindset, and making your day better

    01:00:06
    Caz Frear was launched to debut success after winning the 'Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller' competition. Her novel, 'Sweet Little Lies', won the prize and found the bestselling status they searched for. What happens next? How do you follow up on debut success? Caz discusses how she dealt with that writing her 2nd and 3rd novels, and why she's constantly looking to make her day better and improve how she works. We talk about the tech problems she attempts to deal with, how the process has changed after being a number of books down, and how she deals with the pressures of being an author that needs to do everything.Her new novel is 'Five Bad Deeds', which tells the story of Ellen Walsh, a teacher, mother, wife, and all round good citizen, who discovers she has done something incredibly bad... but has no idea what.You can hear about why she's changed her work-day to go easy on herself, how he stays creative while doing the admin, and how she's changed her mindset of working.Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 309. Chioma Okereke, author of 'Water Baby' - Poet and Author discusses writing without genre, changing how you plot, and performing poetry

    54:16
    Chioma Okereke's writing career started as a performance poet, even though she was terrified of performing poetry. From there she wrote short fiction, and was a highly placed runner up in the Costa Short Story Award, for 'Trompette de la Mort'. Her move into long-form began with her debut 'Bitter Leaf', which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. Her new novel is 'Water Baby', which looks at a 19 year old woman trying to escape her community in Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria. It explores the themes of education, digitalisation, and the representation of Africa. Her research for the novel prompted her to start a charity, 'Makoko Pearls', which is a direct and safe way to financially support the community.We discuss why it was inspired by her wandering thoughts during a cooking show, also how she researched the location, which is so vital to the plot, without going there for a while. You can hear why living around the world has influenced her reason to write stories, how changing her plotting method has helped her 2nd novel, and find out why you can accept that some days are simply bad.You can hear why her desk is always messy, how performing poetry affected how she viewed novels, and what she does when facing a creative block.Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 308. Paul Carlucci, author of 'The Voyageur' - Acclaimed author discusses moving from short stories to novels, by inspired by fact, and learning grammar

    57:23
    Paul Carlucci has published 3 short story collections and works as a copywriter, making other peoples work read better. He's just released one of the most hotly anticipated debuts of the year, it's called 'The Voyageur'.It tells the story of Alex, a motherless stockboy in 19th century Montreal, who is taken in by Serge, a drunken fur trader. After heading out on an expedition into the wilderness which goes awry, Alex must fend for himself at the mercy of stranger men, and a seemingly brilliant saviour in Dr Beaumount.We talk about the novel being inspired by real life, and how he blended fact with fiction. Also, you can hear about the switch from short stories to long form, and what he's learned from a day-job in copywriting. We chat through learning grammar and how that affects creative storytelling, and how much he worries about the formalities of writing when getting down prose. You can hear about his particular blend of plotting and pantsing, and why this project would be lost without his current publisher.Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
  • 307. Kerry Andrew, author of 'We Are Together Because' - Award winning composer and writer discusses the search for the perfect word, imagining the worst, and finding what you really want

    54:21
    Kerry Andrew is an all-round creative. As a composer, they've won 4 British Composer Awards, as a writer they've been nominated twice for the BBC National Short Story Award. Kerry has published 2 novels, 'Swansong', 'Skin', and is back with a third, 'We Are Together Because'.It's all about siblings Luke, Connor, Thea and Violet, spending their first summer in their estranged father's house. Truth is, they don't even know each other too well, and when the worst happens, they discover if they can rely only rely on each other.We talk about what life is like on a writing retreat and whether being around creatives gives you a different kind of energy. Also why writing in the past might change you write in the present, you can hear about the search for the perfect word, and why a recent health diagnosis has made Kerry evaluate what they really want to do.Support the show at patreon.com/writersroutine@writerspodwritersroutine.com
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