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The Worm Hole Podcast

The Worm Hole Podcast logo

Join me each second and fourth Monday of the month, when I’ll be in conversation with an author about one (occasionally more) of their books. We’ll be taking a fairly deep dive, looking at the background, the topics, writing, and the nitty gritty. Expect some spoilers and frequent discussions of the endings.

To listen to the episodes on this site, click on the links in the table below. This will take you to the episode’s page which includes all the notes. Or, to listen on apps, click the buttons (or links in the case of sites I can’t find buttons for).

You can also listen on: TuneIn, Deezer, and Gaana.

Subscribe via the RSS feed.

Coming soon

A photograph of Liz Fenwick Book cover

Liz Fenwick
The Secret Shore
June 24th 2024

The artwork for a milestone episode

Milestone episode!
Alex Hay, Stacey Thomas,
Lucy Barker

July 1st 2024

A photograph of Jacquie Bloese Book cover

Jacquie Bloese
The Golden Hour
July 8th 2024

Published Episodes

A photograph of Gill Paul, Elizabeth Fremantle, Amanda Geard, and Maggie Brookes

Milestone Episode 01: Gill Paul, Elizabeth Fremantle, Amanda Geard, Maggie Brookes

Celebrating 100 episodes of this podcast, Charlie is joined by Elizabeth Fremantle, Gill Paul, Amanda Geard, and Maggie Brookes for a general bookish chat. We get all philosophical about genre, discuss film adaptations (Elizabeth’s Firebrand is out), whose books we wish we could have written, and best fan encounters.

A photograph of Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ

Episode 99: Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ

Charlie and Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ (Dazzling) discuss Igbo mythology, the differences between polygamy and monogamy in Igbo culture, and the social impacts of colonialism and military coups in Nigeria. Chịkọdịlị also talks about having her characters bother her when she’s trying to shower, finding literature in rubbish heaps, and needing a literary residency – please let her know if you’ve one to spare!

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Episode 98: Sarah Marsh

Charlie and Sarah Marsh (A Sign Of Her Own) discuss the lesser-known aspect of Alexander Bell’s work – teaching deaf children to speak – in terms of both the real history and the fictionalised character she created in order to explore the events. This includes snippets about the manufactured rivalry between the two inventors of the telephone; Bell’s wife, Mabel Hubbard (who was deaf); the Deaf community in London in the late 1800s; and the way Sarah employs language – written, signed, spoken – to excellent effect.

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A photograph of Natasha Solomons

Episode 97: Natasha Solomons

Charlie and Natasha Solomons (Fair Rosaline) discuss Natasha’s interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, told from the perspective of Rosaline, wherein Romeo is a groomer and Juliet must be saved from him. We discuss as well Natasha’s stylistic choices for her prose and the changes she made to the original ending.

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A photograph of Lucy Barker

Episode 96: Lucy Barker

Charlie and Lucy Barker (The Other Side Of Mrs Wood) discuss Victorian mediums both factual and fictionalised – their work, the spiritualism that led to their popularity, the social circles, the rivalry, the rumours of fraud, and the women’s roles as early grief counsellors. We also talk about the early days of the Suffrage movement and various aspects of the book’s ending.

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A photograph of Jennifer Saint

Episode 95: Jennifer Saint

Charlie and Jennifer Saint (Atalanta) discuss the forgotten story of the female member of the Argonauts – Jennifer’s use of and changes to the various versions of the mythological story, including her usage of motherhood as a theme, Homer’s thoughts on his women characters, the assault of Callisto, and the fact that Jason isn’t much of a hero.

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A photograph of Elizabeth Fremantle

Episode 94: Elizabeth Fremantle

Charlie and Elizabeth Fremantle (Disobedient) discuss the formative life, and Elizabeth’s fictionalisation, of Artemisia Gentileschi, a woman painter from the 17th century.

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A photograph of Kristy Woodson Harvey

Episode 93: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Charlie and Kristy Woodson Harvey (The Summer Of Songbirds) discuss whether we should like her character, Lanier (who stops her best friend and brother being together); the various plot threads she left out of the book (including alternative endings); and US summer camps (both Kristy’s experiences, and the effect of the pandemic lockdowns). We also spend a good amount of time discussing the pre-actor’s-strike announcement of an adaptation of Kristy’s Peachtree Bluff series and her next two books.

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A photograph of Maggie Brookes

Episode 92: Maggie Brookes

Charlie and Maggie Brookes (Acts Of Love And War) discuss the small group of British Quakers who went to aid refugees during the Spanish Civil War, the way the war tore families apart as people chose different sides, and why she ended her romantic thread differently than might be expected.

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A photograph of Stacey Thomas

Episode 91: Stacey Thomas

Charlie and Stacey Thomas (The Revels) discuss English Civil War era witch hunting which includes the methods, the propaganda, and the awful theatre of it all. We also discuss Stacey’s inclusion of actual witches in her narrative, and Stacey’s recommendations of Wolf Hall and A Little Life.

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A photograph of Celina Baljeet Basra

Episode 90: Celina Baljeet Basra

Charlie and Celina Baljeet Basra (Happy) discuss the experiences some undocumented migrants to Western Europe face, French film director Jean Luc Goddard’s seminal film Bande à part, Indian talkshow Koffee With Karan, and Celina’s particular usage of Umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.

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A photograph of Rachel Abbott

Episode 89: Rachel Abbott

Charlie and Rachel Abbott (Don’t Look Away) discuss young carers and the guilt they can feel, trafficking in Cornwall – both fact and fiction – and having her series’ policewoman staying in the background of the story rather than take the spotlight. (We talk about that a couple of times, I loved it!)

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A photograph of Karen Hamilton

Episode 88: Karen Hamilton

Charlie and Karen Hamilton (The Contest) discuss the specifics of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and the vast support crews, her ridiculously privileged holidaying characters and where their requests are based in reality, and why everyone is obsessed with toilets. We then move on to an extensive discussion of the thriller aspect of Karen’s book and whether, even though there is one killer in her book, there are in fact more.

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A photograph of Radhika Sanghani

Episode 87: Radhika Sanghani

Charlie and Radhika Sanghani (I Wish We Weren’t Related) discuss having alopecia, healing from being a people pleaser and self-empowerment in general, and her comic novel which includes an ex-fiance turned future brother-in-law, and a father who died, was not dead, but then died – true fictional story. Radhika’s book also includes beloved cats, so we talk about cats too.

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A photograph of Gill Paul

Episode 86: Gill Paul

Charlie and Gill Paul (A Beautiful Rival) discuss the working lives of and rivalry between businesswomen Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, and the antisemitism in the US during WW2. We also discuss our views of Wallis Simpson.

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A photograph of Tasneem Abdur-Rashid

Episode 85: Tasneem Abdur-Rashid

Charlie and Tasneem Abdur-Rashid (Finding Mr Perfectly Fine) discuss writing a story that hadn’t yet been told in novels and working with getting the balance and choices right when it came to writing for British Bengali Muslims, Muslims from other cultures, and other readers. We also discuss the guys she cut from the first draft, why she decided to finish her rom-com on the somewhat controversial note she did, oh and if you’re looking for a great Turkish restaurant in North London, we’ve got you covered.

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A photograph of Amanda Geard

Episode 84: Amanda Geard

Charlie Place and Amanda Geard (The Moon Gate) discuss Tasmania in WW2 and in general, Australia’s famed poet Banjo Paterson and his fellow Bush Ballad writers, British Blackshirts and the Mitfords, and the Moorgate Tube Crash in London. On a lighter note, Amanda also tells us much about the writing of her book, including a lot of what she left out in order to reduce her book from the lengthy draft it was to the mere 500 hardback pages it is.

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A photograph of Alex Hay

Episode 83: Alex Hay

Charlie and Alex Hay (The Housekeepers) discuss his meticulously planned and fast-paced 1900s heist novel wherein the entire contents of a grand house are to be removed… and the mistress of the place is in on it. Alex tells us about the successful collaboration between himself and his three editors and we discuss the various comedy aspects of the book.

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Episode 82: Paula Cocozza

Charlie and Paula Cocozza (Speak To Me) discuss how phones have taken the place of conversation, a number of literary Susans, and Paula tells us about her love of reading and libraries in childhood.

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A photograph of Nicolai Houm

Episode 81: Nicolai Houm

Charlie and Nicolai Houm (The Gradual Disappearance Of Jane Ashland) discuss a unique and somewhat extreme form of coping with grief, where his characterisation blends into his own writer self, and the open ending he left his readers with.

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A photograph of Elissa Soave

Episode 80: Elissa Soave

Charlie and Elissa Soave (Ginger And Me) discuss including the working class in fiction, writing about neuro-divergence without labels, and social care and society in context. We also touch on Elissa’s Greggs habit, writing about her home town, and why her editor told her ‘this is not Reservoir Dogs…’

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Episode 79: Lisa See

Charlie and Lisa See (Lady Tan’s Circle Of Women) discuss the medieval Chinese woman doctor Tan Yuanxian, whose book is still in use today. We also discuss, in this context, the isolation and disability of being an aristocratic woman in the time period.

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A photograph of Eleanor Shearer

Episode 78: Eleanor Shearer

Charlie and Eleanor Shearer (River Sing Me Home) discuss how slavery didn’t really end when it was abolished, and Eleanor’s experiences studying the Caribbean during this time and the knowledge she gained. We also explore different versions of freedom, and the way Eleanor’s family influenced her writing.

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Episode 77: Jenni Keer

Charlie and Jenni Keer (The Legacy Of Halesham Hall) discuss wacky puzzle houses, writing as a reader, the age gap in her book, and Rebecca-like characters who remain alive.

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Episode 76: Kate Thompson

Charlie and Kate Thompson (The Little Wartime Library) discuss the wartime history and community of East London’s Bethnal Green – the Tube station that housed locals during the Blitz, the library that moved down into the tunnels and is now back overground, and the people that made the community what it was. We also discuss wartime reading and the measures put in place to stop women reading escapist fiction.

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Episode 75: Ronali Collings

Charlie and Ronali Collings (Love & Other Dramas) discuss her relationship with her mother and where that influences her novel, racist comments and decisions in the workplace, and her experiences of female friendships during her IVF journey. We begin with her studies for a Masters – her supervisor was Bernardine Evaristo.

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A photograph of Kristina McMorris

Episode 74: Kristina McMorris

Charlie and Kristina McMorris (Sold On A Monday; The Ways We Hide) discuss the harrowing photographs of children that inspired her last two novels, why she chose to focus – in the first book – on the news reporters rather than the children, and changing the fictional outcome of the stories.

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A photograph of Orlando Ortega-Medina

Episode 73: Orlando Ortega-Medina

Charlie and Orlando Ortega-Medina (The Fitful Sleep Of Immigrants) discuss the reality for LGBT asylum seekers in the US, Orlando’s own experiences as a lawyer, and same-sex marriage rights now Roe v Wade has been overturned.

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Episode 72: Amita Parikh

Charlie and Amita Parikh (The Circus Train) discuss how Amita’s dancing and performing experiences influenced her work, her controversial decision to have her wheelchair-using heroine learn to walk, and the WW2 Theresienstadt Ghetto (concentration camp) where prisoners led a fairly cultured life.

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Episode 71: Emma Cowell

Charlie and Emma Cowell (One Last Letter From Greece) discuss grief, miscarriage and expectations surrounding it, and, in keeping with her book’s title, Greece and its culture.

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Episode 70: E C Fremantle

She’s back! Charlie and E C Fremantle (The Honey And The Sting) discuss producing a book that is utterly devoid – and then some – of filler, Black people of the Stuart era, and the film of Fremantle’s first novel, which will star Jude Law and Alicia Vikander.

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A photograph of Cecelia Tichi

Episode 69: Cecelia Tichi

Charlie and Cecelia Tichi (A Fatal Gilded High Note) discuss the Gilded Age in its success and its crimes, her rebellious 1890s character who defies class, and the history of French Bulldogs.

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A photograph of Kate Glanville

Episode 68: Kate Glanville

Charlie and Kate Glanville (The Peacock House) discuss her main character who is 90 years old, and villains who aren’t so villainous after all. Kate also discusses the way her dyslexia has effected her reading, and some of her thoughts on education in this vein in the context of her younger character.

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A photograph of Kristin Harmel

Episode 67: Kristin Harmel

Charlie and Kristin Harmel (The Forest Of Vanishing Stars) discuss the true story, and Kristin’s own fictional one, of a group of over a thousand Jewish people who during WW2 slowly escaped to and hid in a vast forest away from the Nazis.

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Episode 66: Sally Page

Charlie and Sally Page (The Keeper Of Stories) discuss story collection, the forgotten mistress of the abdicated Edward VIII, and dogs who swear something chronic!

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Episode 65: Natalie Jenner

Charlie and Natalie Jenner (Bloomsbury Girls) discuss Jane Austen in all Natalie’s interesting concepts, tales of related auctions she has been involved in, and the work to ‘preserve and pull together’ a record of the books that inspired her. They also discuss Natalie’s inclusion of Daphne du Maurier in her novel, Persephone Books, and genre in its context as a label.

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A photograph of Chloe Timms

Episode 64: Chloe Timms

Charlie and Chloe Timms (The Seawomen) discuss Chloe’s dystopian fictional religious cult in all its fantasy and reality, the major changes she made to the book as the editing progressed, and her own interpretations of the various parts of the ending.

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A photograph of Amanda Geard

Episode 63: Amanda Geard

Charlie and Amanda Geard (The Midnight House) discuss buying big derelict houses, the importance of community in County Kerry, and Amanda’s stunning epilogue – which is one of Charlie’s favourites.

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A photograph of Grace D Li

Episode 62: Grace D Li

Charlie and Grace D Li (Portrait Of A Thief) discuss Chinese American identity, art theft and repatriation, and bonkers fun fictional heists.

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Episode 61: Yvonne Bailey-Smith

Charlie and Yvonne Bailey-Smith (The Day I Fell Off My Island) discuss the effects on children of immigration from Jamaica to the UK, the effects on parents, and the lack of educational care afforded to and the assumptions made about Black British students.

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A photograph of Jennifer Saint

Episode 60: Jennifer Saint

Charlie and Jennifer Saint (Elektra) discuss the Trojan War in terms of the women the men left behind – Elektra, Clytemnestra, Cassandra, and, arguably, Helen.

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A photograph of Melissa Fu

Episode 59: Melissa Fu

Charlie and Melissa Fu (Peach Blossom Spring) discuss the experiences of Chinese refugees during the Second Sino-Japanese War – particularly those who fled to Taiwan – the centuries old hand scrolls that inspired her own character’s scroll, and how the lives of her family influenced her work.

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Episode 58: Natasha Miller

Charlie and Natasha Miller (Relentless) discuss Natasha’s incredible and inspirational life as a classical violinist and jazz singer, and founder and owner of a multi-million dollar events company. Our discussion includes her childhood – she’s a survivor of abuse – and being a parent who strives to get it right.

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Episode 57: Kate Quinn

Charlie and Kate Quinn (The Rose Code; The Diamond Eye) discuss the extraordinary people behind Bletchley Park’s successes, including socialite Osla Benning, and her relationship with Elizabeth II’s future husband, Prince Philip. And, in a nod to her latest novel, Kate introduces us to Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a WWII Soviet sniper from Kyiv.

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A photograph of Imogen Clark

Episode 56: Imogen Clark

Charlie and Imogen Clark (Impossible To Forget) discuss her latest novel – a pre-release bestseller, creating the story as she goes and publishing what is her first draft, and beginning her career as a novelist in her 50s.

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A photograph of Patrick Gale

Episode 55: Patrick Gale

Charlie and Patrick Gale (Take Nothing With You; Mother’s Boy) discuss musicality – his own and his character’s, setting a childhood in a care home, the beloved Cornish poet Charles Causley, and a future stage production of Take Nothing With You.

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Episode 54: Kaia Alderson

Charlie and Kaia Alderson (Sisters In Arms) discuss the little-known 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the only all-Black female US unit in WW2 – their day-to-day work dealing with a backlog of post that no one else could figure out, the leaders, and the various responses to them then and now – and Kaia tells us about the influential Dr Mary McLeod Bethune as well as the baseball Negro Leagues.

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Episode 53: Sara Nisha Adams

Charlie and Sara Nisha Adams (The Reading List) discuss books! The ways they can bring very different people together, the importance of libraries in Sara’s life and their impact as a community hub, and her family in the context of her work.

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Episode 52: Edward Carey

Charlie and Edward Carey (B: A Year in Plagues and Pencils; The Swallowed Man) discuss his epic drawing project wherein he undertook to create a sketch each day of the pandemic, the various individuals whose lives became a part of the wider picture, and finish on a completely different but relevant subject – the literary and social history of Pinocchio.

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Episode 51: Janie Chang

Charlie and Janie Chang (The Library Of Legends) discuss the incredible journeys made by Chinese university students, during the 1937 Japanese invasion, as they evacuated their campuses and made their way on foot to safer areas of the country. We also discuss the Shanghai International Settlement and Janie’s compelling family history.

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Episode 50: Samantha Sotto

Samantha Sotto returns! We discuss her latest book The Beginning Of Always (its inspiration was the woman whose death mask was used to create the first aid dummy Resusi Annie), and, not to be outdone, Sam’s dog Alfie also returns to make a second appearance.

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A photograph of Rebecca F John

Episode 49: Rebecca F John

Charlie and Rebecca F John (The Haunting Of Henry Twist) discuss being gay and bisexual in the 1920s, the way the flapper years could mask the effects of War, and the fictional man who cannot believe that his male partner is not some sort of reincarnation of his dead wife.

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A photograph of Rosie Travers

Episode 48: Rosie Travers

Charlie and Rosie Travers (The Theatre Of Dreams) discuss writing novels set amongst the working class of the south coast, Art Deco buildings we’ve lost and those we’ve saved, and the sporting professional heroine publishers rejected.

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A photograph of Jennifer Robson

Episode 47: Jennifer Robson

Charlie and Jennifer Robson (Our Darkest Night) discuss the horrors of life as an Italian Jew during the Second World War, those who fled and those who helped them, and the people who chose to stay behind.

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A photograph of Hazel Gaynor

Episode 46: Hazel Gaynor

Charlie and Hazel Gaynor (The Bird In The Bamboo Cage) discuss the lives of the pupils and teachers of the Chefoo school for missionaries’ children in China during the Japanese occupation, and the way being Brownie Guides helped to keep them going. We also discuss the beginnings of her career, and her collaborations with fellow historical fiction writer, Heather Webb.

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A photograph of Claire North

Episode 45: Claire North

Charlie and Claire North (Notes From The Burning Age) discuss climate change today and into the future, sexism back of house in theatre, and how she views her books in terms of colours and shapes rather than words.

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A photograph of Tyler Keevil

Episode 44: Tyler Keevil

Charlie and Tyler Keevil (Your Still Beating Heart) discuss using the violence of Snow White in an adult thriller to shocking and literary effect, writing in the second person to tell a story within a story where either – or both, or none – may be ‘true’, and the many hearts at the heart of his novel.

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Episode 43: Rachel Hore

Charlie and Rachel Hore (A Beautiful Spy) discuss the life and work of a female spy in the years between the First and Second World Wars, the man who inspired James Bond’s M, and how Rachel took care to do right in her representation of a real person.

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A photograph of Gill Paul

Episode 42: Gill Paul

Charlie and Gill Paul (The Second Marriage) discuss the lives and loves of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas from their early married years until later life, the womanising ways of the men in their lives, and the opera and celebrity that in Gill’s book links them all.

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Episode 41: Rosanna Ley

Charlie and Rosanna Ley (The Orange Grove) discuss whether one of her main characters, Ella, made the right decision with the situational contexts at hand, the viability of a shop focused on orange-related products and set up in Dorset, the Seville producers of those products, and the secrets of the flour-free cake that starts the whole thing off.

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Episode 40: Zen Cho

Charlie and Zen Cho (Black Water Sister) discuss traditional Chinese beliefs, smashing up shrines, and Jane Austen.

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Episode 39: Christina Courtenay

Charlie and Christina Courtenay (Echoes Of The Runes; The Runes Of Destiny) discuss what the Vikings were really like, time travellers’ historical partners travelling back with them, and predictability and coincidence as plot devices.

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A photograph of Nicola Cornick

Episode 38: Nicola Cornick

She’s back! Nicola Cornick (The Forgotten Sister; The Last Daughter) returns to discuss Amy Robsart and the mystery of her death, the relationship between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I, and who killed the Princes in the Tower.

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A photograph of Kimberly Derting

Episode 37: Kimberly Derting

Charlie and Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder) discuss publishing a dark YA series in the wake of Twilight, avoiding romance and family tropes, and the further lives of her characters beyond the final page.

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Episode 36: Kate Forsyth

Charlie and Kate Forsyth (Bitter Greens; The Wild Girl) discuss the story and history of Rapunzel – which was part of Kate’s doctoral thesis – as well as the woman who told the Brothers Grimm many of their tales, and the progression of change those tales went through as the brothers pursued success.

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Episode 35: Liz Fenwick

Charlie and Liz Fenwick (The Path To The Sea) discuss the success of spies in the Cold War who were – on the face of it – ‘just’ housewives, bringing new characters to more prominence and bringing past characters back from other books, and the age-old question of cream or jam first.

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Episode 34: Lillian Li

Charlie and Lillian Li (Number One Chinese Restaurant) discuss racial prejudice in Chinese restaurants, looking at the narrative of immigrant parents and sacrifice, and how her editor pushed her to increase the impact of themes and ideas.

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A photograph of Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Episode 33: Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Charlie and Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (The Rabbit Back Literature Society; Secret Passages In A Hillside Town) discuss dreams that become literature – vampires; books where words and plot points change in a sort of book plague; secret passages that wipe your memory, and many more – writing a book that’s difficult for a reader to work out and not knowing yourself what the answer is, creepy and traumatic fictional games, and issuing an alternative ending to your novel in a brand new publication.

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Episode 32: Susmita Bhattacharya

Charlie and Susmita Bhattacharya (Table Manners) discuss her world-wide travel and moves abroad – including a visa-less stopover, the experiences of recent immigrants to Britain, and having your work featured and serialised on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra.

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A photograph of Elizabeth Baines

Episode 31: Elizabeth Baines

Charlie and Elizabeth Baines (Used To Be; Astral Travel) discuss writing for radio, short stories – the relative importance of their first lines and differences to novels – writing a book about trying to tell a story, and the difficulties in labelling someone complicit or a victim in the context of past societal values.

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Episode 30: Katy Yocom

Charlie and Katy Yocom (Three Ways To Disappear) discuss tiger conservation in India and balancing numbers alongside human requirements for life, the importance of being diligent when writing about a culture that is not your own, and what the three ways to disappear are.

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Episode 29: Marianne Holmes

Charlie and Marianne Holmes (A Little Bird Told Me; All Your Little Lies) discuss procedures when children go missing, societal changes in regards to domestic violence in the 1970s, and, on a lighter note, trying not to finish books you’re not enjoying.

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Episode 28: Deborah Swift

Charlie and Deborah Swift (Past Encounters; The Occupation; The Lifeline) discuss Brief Encounter at Carnforth, the experiences of prisoners of war at the time and once back home, the real life story of a Jersey woman who hid her Jewish friend, and reactions to the death of the last woman in Britain to be given capital punishment.

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Episode 27: Tammye Huf

Charlie and Tammye Huf (A More Perfect Union) discuss her great-great-grandparents’ relationship as an 1840s Irishman and a Black American slave, the way owners used Christianity to support their views of a racial hierarchy, and the lengths reached in order to label people by skin colour.

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Episode 26: Eric Beck Rubin

Charlie and Eric Beck Rubin (School Of Velocity) discuss the representation of the Holocaust in literature, using classical music as a literary device, having a main character whose person limits the opportunity for dialogue through his obsession with another, and the reader being a writer.

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A photograph of Intisar Khanani

Episode 25: Intisar Khanani

Charlie and Intisar Khanani (Thorn; Sunbolt; Memories Of Ash) discuss working to better the health of people in Cincinnati, rewriting and exploring the Goose Girl fairy tale to stunning effect, bonkers jail-breaking heroines, and men who take a far more subtle approach than riding in on horses to save the day.

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Episode 24: Joanna Hickson

Charlie and Joanna Hickson (First Of The Tudors; The Tudor Crown; The Lady Of The Ravens) discuss the royal and noble individuals of the War of the Roses, the women who made an impact, the ever-present question of who killed the princes in the tower, and, on another topic entirely, using weasels to prevent conception.

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Episode 23: Nicholas Royle (‘critic’)

Charlie and Nicholas Royle (Quilt; An English Guide To Birdwatching; Mother: A Memoir) discuss killing yourself – your avatar – off in your fiction, using ‘it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife’, and sharing a name with another British writer who also writes fiction… that is also about birds…

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A photograph of Midge Raymond

Episode 22: Midge Raymond

Charlie and Midge Raymond (Forgetting English; My Last Continent; also Everyday Writing; Everyday Book Marketing) discuss the current situation in Antarctica and the balance of keeping it clean whilst allowing research and tourism, environmental and climate changes in the same location, and being followed to the toilet by a penguin.

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A photograph of Peter Ho Davies

Episode 21: Peter Ho Davies

Charlie and Peter Ho Davies (The Welsh Girl; The Fortunes) discuss moving as a writer from Britain to the US, Welsh with English as a second language, the first Chinese Americans, Hollywood star Anna May Wong, and the impact – then and now – of the murder of Vincent Chin.

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A photograph of Tracy Rees

Episode 20: Tracy Rees

Charlie and Tracy Rees (Amy Snow; Florence Grace; The Hourglass; Darling Blue; The House At Silvermoor) discuss Richard, Judy, Dickens, Austen, and Brontë – not all at once – coffee houses in Victorian times, landslides and hourglasses, changes to the Yorkshire mines in the late 1800s to early 1900s, and the inclusion of the average person in historical fiction.

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A photograph of Sofie Laguna

Episode 19: Sofie Laguna

Charlie and Sofie Laguna (One Foot Wrong; The Eye of the Sheep; The Choke; the forthcoming Infinite Splendours) discuss beginning with acting, writing from a child’s perspective and not labelling those who are different, bad fictional parents, not liking John Wayne… and we have the inaugural reading of Sofie’s October release.

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A photograph of Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Episode 18: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Charlie and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (The Whispering Trees; Season of Crimson Blossoms) discuss Nigeria at this time, publishing a novel on a very controversial subject and reactions to it, effects of grief, and looking at cultural expectations of women as the generations change.

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A photograph of Roselle Lim

Episode 17: Roselle Lim

Charlie and Roselle Lim (Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune; Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop) discuss weaving culture, mental illness, and magic into your fiction, an aid for your eyes when chopping onions, and children you excitedly take to tourist attractions who wonder what you see in them.

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A photograph of Isla Morley

Episode 16: Isla Morley

Charlie and Isla Morley (Come Sunday; Above; The Last Blue) discuss growing up and travelling back to South Africa, creating a negative heroine, the 1800s medical phenomenon wherein people were literally blue, and what it’s like owning five tortoises.

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A photograph of Terri Fleming

Episode 15: Terri Fleming

Charlie and Terri Fleming (Perception) discuss looking at the further lives of Mary and Kitty Bennet, working with Austen’s original stories and prose, Mr and Mrs Bennet’s relationship, and organising bookshelves.

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A photograph of Zoë Duncan

Episode 14: Zoë Duncan

Charlie and Zoë Duncan (The Shifting Pools) discuss coping with and healing from war trauma in reality and fiction, the use and power of dreams, employing various styles and formats, and how fascinating reader interpretations can be.

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A photograph of Dan Richards

Episode 13: Dan Richards

Charlie and Dan Richards (Climbing Days; Outpost) discuss asking to join well-known people for lunch and producing fascinating interviews for your book, travelling the less beaten paths of your mountaineering great-great aunt, finding society in isolated places, and looking ahead to how we might continue to approach humanity’s harming of nature after the benefits to scaling back have been shown by this current crisis.

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A photograph of Weike Wang

Episode 12: Weike Wang

Charlie and Weike Wang (Chemistry) discuss having both a scientific – in epidemiology no less! – and a writer background, making use of extracts and white space and preferring them beyond more long-form prose, the difficulties of studies and incorporating friends’ experiences in your stories, and fictional dogs who are inherently important to the text.

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A photograph of Laura Pearson

Episode 11: Laura Pearson

Charlie and Laura Pearson (Missing Pieces, Nobody’s Wife, I Wanted You To Know) discuss the process of grieving for various members of a family, writing a book about cancer when you are working through the same, and changing stories almost entirely from their beginnings.

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A photograph of Camilla Bruce

Episode 10: Camilla Bruce

Charlie and Camilla Bruce (You Let Me In) discuss the darker side of faerie, being as in the dark about answers as your readers are, survival and coping methods following trauma, and the habits of cats inspiring your work.

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A photograph of Fran Cooper

Episode 09: Fran Cooper

Charlie and Fran Cooper (These Dividing Walls, The Two Houses) discuss open mic nights, current and recent sociopolitical situations in Paris (and the world), the way we talk about women and motherhood, and the complexity of relationships.

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A photograph of Andrew Blackman

Episode 08: Andrew Blackman

Charlie and Andrew Blackman (On the Holloway Road, A Virtual Love) discuss life on the road, following in Jack Kerouac’s footsteps, offline and online identity, writing an entire book about a character but never giving them a voice, current climate change activism, and withholding – for very good reason – the endings your readers expect.

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A photograph of E C Fremantle

Episode 07: E C Fremantle

Charlie and E C Fremantle (The Poison Bed) discuss changing pen names, a horrific murder case in the Stuart nobility, coping as a new mother in a one-of-a-kind situation, and the historical line between witchcraft and ‘simple’ superstition.

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A photograph of Nancy Bilyeau

Episode 06: Nancy Bilyeau

Charlie and Nancy Bilyeau (The Crown; The Chalice; The Tapestry; The Blue; Dreamland) discuss the lifestyle of Dissolution-era nuns, using a website’s ‘contact me’ form to great success, there being more relics than there were items, using your family’s name in your work, and the grand amusement parks and luxury hotels of New York’s past.

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A photograph of Samantha Sotto

Episode 05: Samantha Sotto

Tune in as Charlie and Samantha Sotto (Before Ever After; Love and Gravity; A Dream of Trees) discuss characters that join you in your car in the midst of a traffic jam, time travelling with Issac Newton, switching from your fully researched work in progress to a story that needs to be told, and… chickens?

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A photograph of Phillip Lewis

Episode 04: Phillip Lewis

Charlie and Phillip Lewis (The Barrowfields) discuss planning out fictional houses, the detail and beauty of classical music, books about books, and how real life in all its ups and downs makes its mark on your work.

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A photograph of Naomi Hamill

Episode 03: Naomi Hamill

Tune in as Charlie Place and Naomi Hamill (How To Be A Kosovan Bride) discuss post-war Kosovo, using a narrative method that divides opinion, and researching Albanian folklore.

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A photograph of Orlando Ortega-Medina

Episode 02: Orlando Ortega-Medina

Tune in as Charlie Place and Orlando Ortega-Medina (Jerusalem Ablaze; The Death of Baseball) discuss celebrity fictional reincarnation, writing short stories that don’t have messages, and working with ideas that could – if misinterpreted – look like something else.

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A photograph of Nicola Cornick

Episode 01: Nicola Cornick

Tune in as book blogger Charlie Place and author Nicola Cornick (House of Shadows; The Phantom Tree; The Woman In The Lake) discuss burning down your place of work in fiction, every day objects of ill repute, and solving Tudor mysteries yet to be solved.

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