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Episodes

26: Dark Undercurrents of Everyday Life

9/20/2018
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Claire speaks to Charlotte Duckworth, author of psychological suspense novel The Rival. They discuss Charlotte’slong journey as a writer and some of her novel’s themes: how motherhood changes a woman and often rocks her sense of identity and how that can play out against the backdrop of her work. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Rival, by Charlotte Duckworth Our Kind of Cruelty, by Araminta Hall No Further Questions,by Gillian McAllister Rosie Loves Jack, by Mel Darbon Help Me!:...

Duration:00:20:38

25: This Inexhaustible Canvas

9/6/2018
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Diana Evans is the author of three novels, 26a, The Wonder, and most recently Ordinary People, which came out this spring in the UK to much acclaim and is out nextz week in the US. She talked to Claire about her favourite London-set books, her own past life as a dancer, why it was important for her to capture the experience of middle class black Brits, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: 26a, by Diana Evans The Wonder, by Diana Evans Ordinary People, by Diana Evans After...

Duration:00:24:04

24: You Can Pretty Much Do Anything

8/23/2018
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Claire’s guest today is Joanna Penn, who's a bit of a superstar in the world of self-publishing. She's the author of 28 books to date, including thrillers and non-fiction to help authors with their careers, and she's an award-winning creative entrepreneur, podcaster, and professional speaker. Her website, TheCreativePenn.com, has been named as one of the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer's Digest. She talks about her own career journey, the state of self-publishing now and how it has...

Duration:00:30:57

23: A Particular Kind of Loneliness

8/9/2018
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On this week's episode, we hear from Sarah J Harris, who's the author of The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder, as well as YA novels under a different name. She discusses the particular loneliness of synaesthesia, her love for the martial arts, the long path to publication, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder, by Sarah J Harris Jessica Cole: Model Spy, by Sarah Sky The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton Don’t You Cry, by Cass...

Duration:00:20:56

22: Around Books All The Time

7/26/2018
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We hear from Bronte Hutchinson, who's a successful and popular Bookstagrammer. She talks about the logistics of what she does, what she looks for in a book cover, how she organises her to-be-read pile, and the books she can’t stop raving about. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: The Water Cure, by Sophie Mackintosh The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder, by Sarah J Harris Vox, by Christina Dalcher A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, by Helen Jukes Around the World in 80 Days: My World...

Duration:00:12:39

21: The Stuff You Can't Prepare For

7/12/2018
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Claire speaks to Daisy Buchanan, who's a prolific journalist and the author of How to Be a Grown-Up, which is out now in paperback. They discuss how difficult the 20s years can be, their opposite experiences of family life, their shared ambivalence towards motherhood, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: How to Be a Grown Up, by Daisy Buchanan The Multi-Hyphen Method: Work less, create more, and design a career that works for you, by Emma Gannon The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy...

Duration:00:34:36

20: Behind Closed Doors

6/28/2018
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Claire’s guest is Alicia Drake, author of the Paris-set coming of age novel I Love You Too Much. They discuss something of Alicia’s writing process, the Frenchness of her novel, and its themes – among them loneliness, the ache to belong, and what happens when beauty fades. Books Mentioned in this Episode: I Love You Too Much, by Alicia Drake The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris, by Alicia Drake The Horseman, by Tim Pears The Wanderers, by Tim...

Duration:00:23:39

A Transcendental Alchemy

6/14/2018
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Claire speaks to Rosie Walsh, whose novel The Man Who Didn’t Call is out today. They talk about how love can drive us mad at any age, why Rosie loves the Elena Ferrante novels, how the Pomodoro technique helps her writing, and much more. Books Mentioned in the Episode: The Man Who Didn't Call/Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh The Neapolitan Novels, by Elena Ferrante Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff The Woman In The Mirror, by Rebecca James Whiskey When We're Dry, by John Larison The...

Duration:00:29:07

18: A Passionate, Angry Novel

5/31/2018
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Our guest on Episode 18 is Sarah Vaughan, author of three books including the bestseller Anatomy of a Scandal, which came out in January 2018. We talked about what inspired her best-selling novel, her experience of studying at Oxford, the advantages of writing fiction later in life, and more. Books Mentioned on the Podcast: Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan The Art of Baking Blind, by Sarah Vaughan The Farm at the Edge of the World, by Sarah Vaughan White Teeth, by Zadie...

Duration:00:33:00

17: Uncomfortable Empathy, with Guy Gunaratne

5/17/2018
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In Episode 17, we hear from Guy Gunaratne, whose debut novel In Our Mad and Furious City has just come out to wide and well-deserved acclaim. We talked about the impetus for his book, what he’s learned about storytelling from grime music and from his own work as documentary marker, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: In Our Mad and Furious City, by Guy Gunaratne Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin The Tin Drum, by Gunter Grass The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul...

Duration:00:26:19

16: More Interesting More Quickly

5/3/2018
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Our guest on Episode 16 is Caroline Ambrose, who’s the founder of the Bath Novel Award, an advocate for public libraries, a quiz show veteran, and a superfan of super trees. She talks us through the ins and outs of running a writing prize, what it is that makes the Bath Novel Award special, some of the exciting books that have been shortlisted and are now out in the world, her work campaigning for libraries, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: Rainbirds, by Clarissa...

Duration:00:37:06

15: Indispensable Hearts of the Community

4/19/2018
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Claire speaks to Libby Page, author of The Lido, which is out today. They discuss the inspiration for the book, the magic of outdoor swimming, the new Up Lit trend, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: The Lido, by Libby Page (pre-order The Lido in the US) Tin Man, by Sarah Winman Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon I Love You Too Much, by Alicia Drake Swell, by Jenny Landreth Floating, by Joe Minihane Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves, and the Will to Swim, by Alexandra...

Duration:00:20:09

14: A Decidedly Dark Turn

4/5/2018
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Claire's guest is Muhammad Khan, author of the recent YA Novel I Am Thunder. They discuss the inspiration for his book, his transition from teacher to writer, the first book he read featuring an Asian character and the impact that it had on him, and more. Books mentioned on the episode: I Am Thunder, by Muhammad Khan Rice without Rain, by Minfong Ho The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas Apple Tree Yard, by Louise Doughty The Worst Witch, by Jill Murphy The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by...

Duration:00:20:19

BONUS: Preview of UNSCRIPTED, by Claire Handscombe

3/29/2018
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In this bonus episode, hear an excerpt from Claire’s novel, Unscripted, forthcoming from Unbound. You can pre-order the novel and pledge for Kickstarter-style rewards at UnscriptedNovel.com ***** Support Claire on Patreon to get bonus content and personalised book recommendations. Buy Brit Lit Podcast merch to show your love for your podcast and help support it. Pre-order Claire’s novel, Unscripted, help make the book happen, and get rewards too. For daily news and views from British...

Duration:00:12:11

13: In a Pub, Three Writers

3/22/2018
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Our guest on Episode 13 is John Mitchinson, a long-time publishing veteran, co-founder of Unbound and co-host of the Backlisted Podcast. We go deep into the weeds of the groundbreaking publishing company he helped found, his own role there, and publishing in general. Books mentioned on the episode: The Good Immigrant, by Nikesh Shukla A Murder of Crows, by Ian Skewis The Sewing Machine, by Natalie Fergie Black And Blue, by Ian Rankin My House of Sky: A Life of J A Baker, by Hetty...

Duration:00:36:10

12: School Uniforms and Sticky Toffee Pudding

3/8/2018
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Our guests today are Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison, two authors who co-write YA novels about awkward love stories. They discuss their books, their friendship, their university years, and differences between the British and American teen experiences, and it’s a lot of (almost clean) bookish fun. ***** Books mentioned on the episode: Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe Lobsters/A Totally Awkward Love Story, by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison Never Evers, by Tom Ellen and Lucy...

Duration:00:38:33

11: A Nice Problem to Have

2/22/2018
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We hear from Jimena from Belgravia Books, a London-based independent bookshop which is also the home of Gallic Books, a publisher devoted to bringing the best of French literature to an English-speaking audience. We talked about what she loves most about working in a bookshop, French books to put on your reading list, and the new worlds that translated fiction opens to us. ***** Books mentioned in this episode: Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe The Red Notebook, by Antoine...

Duration:00:32:05

10: That Grey, Grim Area of Celebrity

2/8/2018
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Claire speaks to Daniel Ross, whose novel Bobby Denise is Reigning Rampant is forthcoming from Unbound. They talk about the process of crowdfunding a novel as well as some of his favourite books about cats and music. Books mentioned this episode: Bobby Denise Is Reigning Rampant, by Daniel Ross Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe Johnny Ruin, by Don Dalton The Second Death of Daedalus Mole, by Niall Slater Such Small Hands, by Andres Barba Know Your Place: Essays on the Working Class...

Duration:00:20:45

09: So Invested in Characters

1/25/2018
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Our guest today is Maggie Harcourt, author of the YA novels The Last Summer of Us, Unconventional, and the forthcoming Theatrical. We talked about our respective fandoms past and present, her experience of conventions, why fanfiction can be a useful tool for the beginner writer, and much more. Books mentioned on the show: Unconventional, by Maggie Harcourt Theatrical, by Maggie Harcourt Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke Hold Back the Stars, by Katie Khan Wing...

Duration:00:27:19

08: We Just Need a Hot Air Balloon

1/11/2018
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Our guest today is Nikesh Shukla, writer, editor, rapper, and advocate for BAME voices in publishing. We talked about the pervasiveness of social media, the upcoming US edition of The Good Immigrant, and his response to the ubiquity of fictional white boys with dogs called Timmy. Books mentioned on the show: Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading, by Lucy Mangan Dear Mrs. Bird, by A J Pearce In Our Mad and Furious City, by Guy...

Duration:00:21:41