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In every episode we look inside the daily diary of a writer, to peak at the secrets of their success. How do they plan their day and maximise their creativity, in order to plot and publish a bestseller? Some are frantic night-owls, others roll out of bed into their desks, and a few lock themselves away for days in the woods - but none have a regular 9 to 5, and we'll find out how they've managed it.
 
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Jane Fallon's 10th novel, 'Queen Bee', is out now. It's all about Stella who is the ruler of a posh, snobbish street, and how her life is thrown upside down when a new girl moves into the neighbourhood. We talk about her research for the novel, and why she didn't have to look to far away to be inspired. You can hear how she finds it tough to inhabi…
 
Mara Timon's new novel is 'City of Spies', it's set in Lisbon during World War Two. It's a part and place of the war that warrants a story being told, as it's endlessly fascinating, but not many people know of it. We follow agent Elizabeth, whose cover is blown while discovering a huge wartime secret, and she must evade capture by the Gestapo while…
 
This week we're chatting to YouTuber, radio presenter, film maker and now writer, Calum McSwiggan. His debut is a memoir, 'Eat, Gay, Love', which tells the story of his journey around the world, meeting different members of the LGBTQ+ community. He hosted a popular radio show for FUBAR Radio and has also created several short films, including the a…
 
Erin Kinsley's second book 'Innocent' tells of a close-knit community devastated when a local celebrity is found dead. It follows on from her immensely successful debut 'Found, published last year to great acclaim. You can hear why that book was a story she needed to tell, and to get it down she completely changed her writing routine and process. W…
 
Menna van Praag is the author of 6 magical realism novels, her new one is 'The Sisters Grimm'. It's a story of four girls born on the same day with their fate twisted together, they must find each other to save their lives, but one is destined to die. It's a twist on classic fairytales, and we discuss the first moment the idea for the story came in…
 
Amanda Jennings has just published her 5th novel, 'The Storm', which is set in a lonely, isolated Cornish fishing village. It's about Hannah who seems to have the perfect marriage, but is desperately controlled by her husband, Nathan, behind closed doors, and how its linked to a tragic storm of years before. Since her debut, 'Sworn Secret', she reg…
 
Jo Thomas has carved out a fantastic niche in fiction. She writes escapist romance set in idyllic locations across the world. To accurately tell these stories, she takes amazing research trips all over the globe, diving straight into it, getting a feel of the food and drink, before dreaming up a love story that fits everything. She's told stories a…
 
Christopher Fowler writes everything - novels, screenplays, video games, graphic novels, and he's back with his 19th 'Bryant and May' book. It's called 'Oranges and Lemons' and sees the Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate a bizarre accident involving the Speaker of the House of Commons, and a truck full of citrus fruit. We talk about how he got the id…
 
Sophia Money-Coutts is a journalist and author who writes for 'The Sunday Telegraph' and the 'Evening Standard'. Her 3rd novel is 'The Wish List', about Florence who writes down her ideal man, and is then shocked when he wanders into her bookshop. You can hear how she got the idea at an...adult party, and how her family then influenced how she wrot…
 
Sabine Durrant has just published a brand new psychological thriller, it's called 'Finders, Keepers' and it tells the story of Verity who becomes obsessed with her new neighbour. You can find out how the story was inspired by a mission Sabine and her kids undertook to rescue a lost rabbit. We talk about the convention of genre and how much Sabine p…
 
Welcome to the second Writer's Routine Roundtable! We're back with 4 of the best uplit/ rom-com authors around to talk us through how they do it. Laura Jane Williams - She took us through her writer's routine last year, ahead of 'Our Stop'. She talks about how writing that book made her a believer, as her second 'The Love Square' has just been publ…
 
Melanie Blake is one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs, running a global talent agency, she's been a music manager, worked behind the scenes in TV, and has published a new book! 'The Thunder Girls' is the story of an 80s girl group reunion show, mixed with a hint of murder. We talk about what drives her as a creative and in business, and wh…
 
Jasper Fforde is a sublime storyteller, who has the rare gift of using words in a sequence many people would never think of. He's known for the 'Thursday Next' series, 'The Last Dragonslayer' YA books, and many other unique looks at the world. His new novel is 'The Constant Rabbit' which sees a group of anthropomorphised rabbits being kicked out of…
 
Peter James has sold over 20 million books, publishing across 37 languages. Many of them star DS Roy Grace, who is back in the new one 'Find Them Dead'. We talk about how Peter's writing routine and style has changed through the years, and what he now needs to know before he starts work. You can hear how he charts the flow and beats of the story be…
 
Chris Whittaker seems like one of the busiest people in the world. He works as a City Trader, volunteers at his local library, is renovating a house, looking after his family, and has had the time to write his 3rd crime thriller. 'We Begin at the End' is Duchess Radley, out for revenge against the murderer who killed her Aunt. It's American Noir. W…
 
Here's something brand new! A kind of bonus, hopefully semi-regular thing! This is the first Writer's Routine Roundtable, where we get authors together to chat about how they do what they do. How they plan, plot and then publish. In this episode, we have 3 fantastic crime authors, who all used to work for the Police... they say write what you know.…
 
Rachel Abbott is one of the best-selling Kindle novelists in history. Her debut 'Only the Innocent' became a number 1 bestseller on Kindle, since then she's published 11 books, sold over 4 million copies and been translated into 21 languages. We talk about what changed when she got 'properly' published after that, and how an editor made her see her…
 
Anthony McGowan is a highly acclaimed, multi-award winning author of novels and children's stories. He's written across almost everything, adult thrillers, YA books, children's fiction, even philosophy books for dogs. His new novel is 'Lark', it's part of 'The Truth of Things' series, which is a trilogy that has ended up being four books. They're a…
 
David Baldacci has storytelling in his bones. He's published books across all types of genre, thriller, mystery, fantasy, crime, even kids books too. He's written well over 40 novels, and plans his year of writing fairly thoroughly in order to publish 2 new books a year. He has a huge array of characters to choose between, and we learn about how he…
 
James Swallow is one of those writers who has stories burning inside him, itching to get out. He has written anything and everything. James writes sci-fi, fantasy, TV tie-ins, video games, audio dramas, and his new one is a spy thriller, 'Rogue'. It's about Marc Dane, an MI6 worker who usually spends time behind a desk and screen, but is thrown out…
 
Adele Parks has just published her 20th book in 20 years! 'Just My Luck' is about a group of friends who always pool in to buy a lottery ticket with the same numbers every week, only one week after a big fall-out, one couple buys the ticket alone... and wins. How do they cope with the fall out, betrayal and fights that come with that? We talk about…
 
Nicola Gill's debut novel is 'The Neighbours'. It tells the story of Ginny and Cassie, two unlikely friends who are thrown together when they both reach rock-bottom. It's a funny story of friendship, love and adventure. We talk about how Nicola got that first idea, how she crafted her day to make sure she got it down properly, and why she got to wo…
 
Neil Lancaster has published 2 'Tom Novak' books. His most recent is 'Going Rogue', which sees Tom up against a wave of far-right terrorism. Neil has an advantage in writing crime thrillers - he was in the Army, then worked in the Met Police for 25 years. We talk about how he took all the knowledge from his career, and made them into thrilling, pag…
 
Lorna Cook's new novel is 'The Forbidden Promise'. It's a dual-narrative, set in two timelines. In 1940, Constance finds a crashed Spitfire in the Scottish Highlands and must keep the pilot safe, against her families wishes. In 2020, Kate arrives in a Scottish B&B, and discovers a house with a dark history that has some connection to Constance. We …
 
Russ Thomas has just published his debut, 'Firewatching'. It's a police procedural. It stars DS Adam Tyler, on the hunt for a serial arsonist around Sheffield. It grew from a short-story Russ had been writing over 20 years, changing and turning along the way. We talk about the key moments in that process, what advice he was given from teachers, and…
 
Lucienne Boyce is a jack of all writing trades. She's published non-fiction, historical fiction, and is mid-way through writing a biography. She's just published the 3rd 'Dan Foster Mystery Book', called 'Death Makes No Distinction', a novel set in 18th century London all about the Bow Street Runners. We talk about why she loves writing in the past…
 
Nell Pattison's debut thriller is 'The Silent House', which tells the story of a crime happening in a full house, and no-one has a clue how. It stars Paige Northwood, as a British Sign Language interpreter called in to help the police. Nell herself is a BSL interpreter - they say write what you know - and we talk about how she had the initial story…
 
Sam Lloyd has written sci-fi and fantasy before, but when he got the idea for 'The Memory Wood' he knew it had to be a thriller. It tells the story of Elissa, who is kidnapped from school and locked away in the woods, and Elijah who finds her, but won't tell a soul. It's a blend of two ideas - one he had while killing time at his son's school, the …
 
Eleni Kyriacou is a journalist and editor, and has worked on stories for national newspapers and magazines. Her debut novel 'She Came to Stay' tells the story of Dina who leaves Cyprus for London in search of a better life. They're taken around by Bebba, a strange character with a secret past, and is absorbed by grimy 1950's Soho. It's a murder-mys…
 
Louise Hare's debut novel, 'This Lovely City', tells the story of Lawrie Matthews. A jazz musician fresh of the Empire Windrush, takes rooms in a tiny South London house, and immediately discovers a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. We talk about why this idea grew from a short-story, which she couldn't quite put down, also why she to…
 
Rory Clements has just released the 4th book in his 'Tom Wilde' series. It's a historical mystery called 'Hitler's Secret', in which Tom is enlisted to carry a valuable document out of Germany. If it is uncovered, it threatens to destabilise the Nazi party - and Tom must decide whether it's his duty to find out more. He's also written the 'John Sha…
 
This week our guest is SD Sykes. She's just released the 4th in her 'Oswald de Lacy' thriller series,'The Bone Fire'. It's set in the 14th century, in the murky Kent countryside, and it's a locked-room mystery. We talk about why she locked Oswald in a castle to tell the story, and how she manages to blend crime and mystery whilst bringing the 1300'…
 
Pete Brown has one of the best jobs in the world. He's a food and drink writer. He is the chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers, been British Beer Writer of the Year 3 times and also won 3 Fortnum and Mason food and drink awards. Yet, all that seems to do him a disservice. Pete is a fantastic cultural commentator, drawing on history to talk pa…
 
An Yu has just released her debut, 'Braised Pork'. It's tipped to be one of the literary debuts of the year, was acquired in a 7 way auction, and tells the story of nocturnal Beijing. It focuses on Jia Jia, who returns home to find her husband dead in the bathtub. Next to him is an image that she won't ever forget. It's an exploration of myth-makin…
 
Lucy Foley has just released her second mystery thriller. It's called 'The Guest List', and is set at a dream wedding, on a remote island, where someone gets killed and everyone has a motive. We talk about the fundamentals you need to include in writing whodunnits, and how to flip the tradition on its head. It comes after the huge success of her fi…
 
BA Paris has sold over 1 million books, they've been translated into 39 languages, and her new novel, 'The Dilemma' was released in early 2020 to huge acclaim. The idea is simple: what if you had to tell someone something which would destroy their lives. Bernadette tells the story hour by hour, across one day. She's a pantser by nature, so we talk …
 
Caroline Scott's new novel is a 'Radio 2 Book Club Pick', high praise in British books, and is set in the murky time straight after the First World War. 'The Photographer of the Lost' sees Edie go in search of her "missing in action" husband Francis, after she receives a strange photograph in the post. It's a twisting, turning, slightly romantic my…
 
Paul French has just released a 12 part audio series, 'Murders of Old China', through Audible. As the name suggests, it tells the stories of unsolved crimes from the early 20th century of China. We talk about how Paul discovered these crimes, and then set about researching them and possibly even solving them. As this has been specifically made for …
 
Hugh Montgomery is a someone who, if he wasn't so darned lovely, you'd probably have to envy quite a lot. He's a practicing clinician, a UK lead on climate change, he's written screen-plays, runs ultramarathons, learns a new skill a year, holds a world-record, and is now releasing his first full-novel. It's called 'Control' - a thriller set in the …
 
BONUS EPISODE! In the late noughties, Mason Currey started blogging about the most interesting, unique and quirky routines from history. 'Daily Rituals' ran for year, and spawned its own book in 2013. Upon reflecting all the rituals in there, he realised an overwhelming amount where men's. So he's written a new book to correct that. 'Daily Rituals:…
 
Amy Heydenrych has been brooding on the idea for her latest novel, 'The Pact', for some time now. After experiencing office bullying in an old job, she thought about how the feelings it caused, and how they could lead to the plot of a crime novel. The story is all about Freya, Nicole and Jay, and the harmless prank that leads to murder. It's her se…
 
Ann Cleeves is a hugely prolific author - she once wrote a book a year for 30 years, and still publishes more or less every 12 months. We talk about that writing year - when she comes up with ideas, starts working on them and finally hands in the first draft. She has written 8 'Vera Stanhope' books, a character that went on to be played by Brenda B…
 
Before publishing his first novel, Chris Hammer worked as a journalist. Travelling all over the world reporting stories gave him the ability to write anywhere, and taught him how to tell stories. He used all that knowledge to write 'Scrublands', his debut about Martin Scarsden, a journalist who becomes embroiled in a tangle of crimes after a vicar …
 
For over 40 years, Jeffrey Archer has sold many, many books. The current count is over 275 million. He's written 37, including a volume of diaries from his time in prison - 26 of those have been Sunday Times Bestsellers. His new book is 'Nothing Ventured', and it's the start of a brand new series. Although, the start of his writing career wasn't as…
 
Harriet Evans' 11 novel could be her biggest yet. Even with the huge success of 'The Wildflowers', 'The Garden of Lost and Found' is everywhere at the moment, and tells the story of Juilet. She's sent the key to a house that holds a forgotten world within. We talk about the first idea for the story, and how it developed from many ideas Harriet had …
 
In his phenomenally successful debut, 'Stuffocation', James Wallman told everyone to stop valuing things, and instead value experiences and the time we have on this planet. He's back to tell everyone how to spend that time, how to make sure we're getting the most out of our experiences, and how to make sure we're picking them wisely. We talk about …
 
Ruth Hogan's debut novel 'The Keeper of Lost Things' generated huge commercial success and critical acclaim across the world. Telling the story of Anthony Peardew, a short-story writer who collects treasures and trinkets. The whole story became clear to Ruth after she got a stunning first line, that simply appeared in her head. We talk about what s…
 
Owen Nicholls is a pop-culture obsessive, having written for Empire and NME, the mission for his first novel was 'High Fidelty for movies'. Originally thinking it may be a screenplay, instead he enjoyed the space and time writing a novel gave him. For Owen, a screenplay needs to be tight, purposeful and focused, he thinks that with novels you can t…
 
Along with Dan Gillespie Sells, Tom MacRae wrote the hit West End musical, 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'. It opened in Sheffield, before transferring to London, selling-out constantly and receiving rave 5 star reviews. After writing for comedy on TV and for Dr Who, Tom had always planned to write a musical with his mate Dan, from the band 'The …
 
Tim Smedley is a journalist who has worked for the FT, Guardian, New Scientist and many more. A few years ago, he was so disgusted at the levels of pollutants in the air around London where he lived - he moved. He also resolved to find out more about what was causing it, and to read a book on what could be done. He found out such a book didn't exis…
 
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