Category: Books

  • The 13 top writing tips I wish I’d had before I started

    I’ve wanted to be an author since 1989, when I was six years old. I took creative writing workshops in university and college. I churned out novels and stories and possibly the worst poetry in history of English. In my early thirties, I spent five years writing and revising a creative non-fiction book that, despite […]

  • Ep 52 Epiphanies, obsession and vulnerability with Lech Blaine, author of Car Crash

    Writing a memoir is all about taking the mess of life and shaping into a coherent, moving narrative. This is what author Lech Blaine did for his memoir, Car Crash. Then, when writing Top Blokes, a Quarterly Essay on Australian politics, he found himself weaving memoir into his writing once again. What’s the cost of […]

  • Ep 51 Finding something purely for yourself with award-winning author Dinuka McKenzie

    When Dinuka McKenzie first sat down to write a novel, she had no dreams of publication – or understanding of the craft of fiction. She was the working mother of two young kids, feeling like everyone wanted something from her all the time. All she wanted was to do something that was purely for herself. Now […]

  • But how does your HUSBAND feel about your memoir?!

    When I started writing, one major thing I had absolutely no idea about was narrative structure. I thought I just had to write a good story – and that’s true, but it was only later that I discovered how essential structure is to good stories. It took me an embarrassing number of years to even realise […]

  • Ep 50 How to remake the world with author Sarah Sentilles

    “We have these narrow stories about what it means to be a human being,” author Sarah Sentilles says. But we have the power to expand them, just as we have the power to remake the world. Sarah Sentilles is the author of Draw Your Weapons, Breaking Up with God, A Church of Her Own and […]

  • Ep 48 Building community after loss with author Shankari Chandran

    How do we build community and a sense of self after loss, especially the kind of loss that echoes for generations? In episode 48, James and I talk to Australian author Shankari Chandran about her latest novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, and how her efforts to find connection in the writing community echo her […]

  • The top 10 most popular episodes of James and Ashley Stay at Home

    James and Ashley Stay at Home, the podcast I co-host with author James McKenzie Watson, is about to hit 50 episodes. We’ve been exploring writing, creativity and health since way back in June 2020, and we’ve talked to an amazing variety of guests. If you live with chronic illness or have a writing or creative […]

  • An exceptionally generous gift you can give anyone

    Think of a book (or movie, album, whatever) that you really love. Now imagine someone says to you, ‘Let me take the time to read that book, and then let’s talk about it. For an hour.’ Which, if you think about it, is an incredibly generous thing to do. This is the premise of Ben […]

  • My big acting debut

    Like everything else this year, my big acting debut happened while I was alone in my apartment, staring into the tiny green dot glowing above my computer screen. And here it is! Okay, yes, it’s just a quick video highlighting the great audiobooks available from my first publisher, Spineless Wonders, and the best app to […]