A bumper Summer crop!

For reasons of a technical nature best left unexplained (as we’d only get cross again) there hasn’t been much activity on this webpage recently.

But now we’re back! and here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened in the interim.

Steve and Paul recorded two live episodes of WE’D LIKE A WORD in the beautiful cottage in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, in which John Milton created Paradise Lost during his self-imposed exile from London to escape the Black Death.

Milton’s Cottage

In the first show (click here to listen) their guest was Rachael Blok, author of thrillers Under the Ice, The Scorched Earth, Into the Fire and The Fall. That last title heavily referenced John Milton and the angel Lucifer’s fall from Heaven. It was a fascinating discussion about good and evil, redemption and punishment and the live audience very much appreciated it.

Stevyn (l) and Paul (r) with Rachael who is sitting in the actual chair from which the blind Milton dictated his great work.

The second live show (click here) was a frank, interesting and sometimes very amusing discussion about the nature of evil with cult horror writer Will Carver, author of such books as Nothing Important Happened Today, Hinton Hollow Death Trip, Psychopaths Anonymous and The Beresford. Once again, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the chat.

Stevyn, Will and Paul

Then, as if if this were not enough, the chaps celebrated National Independent Bookshop Week with a visit to the wonderful Chorleywood Books and had a chat with the owner, Sheryl Surville, and with multi-bestselling author Conn Iggulden – the only person (to date) to simultaneously have a #1 book in both the fiction and non-fiction charts. You can listen to the minisode here.

Paul, Conn and Sheryl

Also featured on this third show are authors Ivy Ngeow and Vaseem Khan, both prizewinners and talented writers. They talk about their favourite indie bookshops too … but if you want to know more about them you’ll have to wait until the next full podcast episode when they will be in the studio to discuss short story anthologies and collections.

Coming soon!

___________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on iTunes, Spotify and many other radio & podcast platforms but you can click here to hear the podcast on our hosting site, Anchor.

We’re on Twitter @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com (Yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes). We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan.

Pirates and smugglers – Writing in South Asia

Hello! And welcome to episode 50 of WE’D LIKE A WORD!

In this jubilee episode Stevyn and Paul are discussing writers from Pakistan and India and the problems they face getting their work out to the public. In the studio is Awais Khan from Lahore in Pakistan, the author of two novels – In The Company of Strangers (published by Simon & Schuster India, & soon to be published in the UK by Hera) & No Honour (published by Orenda Books – we had the publisher Karen Sullivan on a previous hilarious and revealing episode of We’d Like A Word). In The Company of Strangers is being made into a feature for Pikchur TV online streaming service. Awais is also the founder of The Writing Institute in Lahore.

In a fun and informative three part show we discuss rude agents, Annette Crossland, overcoming discouragement, how to schedule your writing, Jackie Collins, how to be socially relevant, the problem of counterfeit books in Pakistan, how to be a writer while holding down a day job, The Faber Academy, Liberty Books, the Indian/Pakistan trade embargo and whetehr you could smuggle your own books across the border, arranged and forced marriages, so-called ‘honour’ killings, and the brilliant work of the Edhi Foundation.

Awais Khan

Also in this episode we hear from Indian writers Amitav Ghosh and Vikram Chandra who give their insights into how they write, advice for new authors and the books they love.

Amitav Ghosh is the renowned Indian author of the Sea of Poppies trilogy & more recently, Jungle Nama. His writing advice is to write the book you would love to read yourself, or that would make you laugh or cry. He recommends Barkskins by Annie Proulx.

Vikram Chandra is most famous for writing Sacred Games, which was made into the extremely popular Netflix series of the same name. He advises new authors to follow their obsessions & ignore the received wisdom that you should write what you know. On the contrary, he says you should write what you do not know, what obsesses you. He recommends Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.

___________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on iTunes, Spotify and many other radio & podcast platforms but you can click here to hear the podcast on our hosting site, Anchor.

We’re on Twitter @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com (Yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes). We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan.

The Mystery of the Mistress of Mystery

Hello and welcome to another of our occasional episodes of the WE’D LIKE A WORD podcast!

On this episode Paul and Stevyn are chatting with Nina de Gramont, author of The Christie Affair.

The book is a fictionalised version of what might have happened when the famous murder mystery writer disappeared for 11 days in 1926. Nina talks about the original real life disappearance, the various theories and her own version – which works in a very cunning murder mystery (spoiler alert – poison is involved in classic Christie style) and Ireland’s notorious mother and baby homes.

We also hear about how Nina succeeded in writing The Christie Affair by changing her approach to writing, and after a failed attempt to write a book based on Emily Dickinson. We discuss why women are better at writing crime fiction than men (let us know if you disagree), the Cottingley Fairies, Agatha Christie’s secret surfing past, how to get a movie made of your book, and Stevyn’s starring role in the quintuple award-winning film Scootch!

We also refer to some other authors/scholars and their books, including The Line Up by Matthew Thompson, Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment by Dr James Smith, The Adoption Machine by Paul Jude Redman, Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James and the documentary Sex In A Cold Climate directed by Steve Humphries.

You could also check out Nina’s other books – The Last September, Gossip of the Starlings and Of Cats And Men. Plus Nina particularly recommends you read Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau.

We’d Like A Word can be found on iTunes, Spotify and most podcast streaming services. Or you can Click Here to listen to the podcast on our hosting site, Anchor FM.

____________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on various radio & podcast platforms. Our website is http://www.wedlikeaword.com for information on Paul & Steve & our guests. We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com

Yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes.

We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings (the new comic classic, just out) by Stevyn Colgan.

Live in Paradise

Hello there! And welcome to a special Christmas (but not Christmas-themed) bumper episode of We’d Like a Word.

By way of a change, Paul and Stevyn recently hosted a version of the podcast in front of a live audience at High Wycombe Arts Centre with their special guest, Robert Thorogood.

Robert, Paul and Stevyn

Robert is the creator of one of TV’s most popular murder-mystery series – Death in Paradise – and is also the author of The Marlow Murder Club as well as several Death in Paradise novels.

He was a contemporary of David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman and Sacha Baron Cohen in the Cambridge Footlights and, for a time, ran a small theatre company that utilised their great talents. But his career wasn’t all plain sailing … the life of a writer is tough and, as you’ll hear in the episode, it took a long time to achieve the level of success that he has. There’s hardship, disappointment and surprise along the way but Robert is a wonderful raconteur and tells his story with charm and humour. And he has some great advice for new writers.

In this episode you’ll learn how Death in Paradise came about, how they handled the tricky changeover of lead actors and why filming on Guadeloupe isn’t quite as much fun as it might seem.

You’ll also learn why Robert eschewed the Caribbean for a pretty Buckinghamshire town in his new novel The Marlow Murder Club.

You’ll also hear Mark Page talking briefly about Wycombe Food Hub, a fantastic community-created resource that not only helps people on lower incomes but also prevents 50 tons of ‘food waste’ going to landfill every month. This is all perfectly good edible food that supermarkets would otherwise ditch due to damaged packaging or over-ordering etc. Volunteers collect it at the end of every working day. It is then checked and put on sale at a fraction of the supermarket price. The hub also supplies crates of food to local charities and anything left over is donated to farms as animal feed.

All proceeds from the night were split between the Food Hub and the Arts Centre.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify or pretty much anywhere that hosts good podcasts. Or just click here.

_________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on various radio & podcast platforms. Our Twitter is @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com (and yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes). We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. 

And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan.

This little author went to market …

Hello! And welcome to a brand new (and somewhat delayed) episode of WE’D LIKE A WORD in which Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan talk to a virtual horde of authors about some of the ways that they’ve chosen to market their books.

It’s never been easier to publish a book thanks to initiatives like Amazon KDP (Kindle direct publishing) and others. But it’s also never been harder to get your book noticed and there’s a lot more pressure on authors these days to get involved in the marketing.

We talk to TV celebrity interviewer and keep fit guru Tina Baker, author of Call Me Mummy, who has dressed as bee, dressed in a wedding dress and undressed tastefully to promote her novel.

Paul, Tina and Stevyn

We also talk to Fiona Sherlock, author Preserved and Twelve Motives for Murder who has created murder mystery games that tie in to her books so that they become immersive. We asked listener Mark Vent and his family to try one of the games and you can hear how they got on during the episode.

Fiona (and murderous friends)

But there’s more …

We also talk to artist Lulu Allison, author of Salt Lick and Twice the Speed of Dark about her marketing ploys that make use of her artistic ability and discuss ways to get over the awkwardness of promoting your work (may involve unusual hats).

And we talk to Emma Grae whose novel Be Guid Tae Yer Mammy – written in the Scots language – has accidentally become embroiled in the whole question of Scottish independence. Is the phrase ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’ really true?

Lulu
Emma

WE’D LIKE A WORD is available on iTunes, Spotify, Podcast Radio and everywhere else that hosts good podcasts. Or visit our hosting site at Anchor FM.

For more information on the authors featured, visit:

Tina Baker

Fiona Sherlock

Lulu Allison

Emma Grae

___________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on various radio & podcast platforms. Our Twitter is @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com (and yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes). We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. 

And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan.

We go together like …

How difficult is it for two – or more – people to write together as a team? It seems to be fairly common practice for screenwriters and non-fiction authors. But how about novels? But how do you maintain consistency in your characters’ behaviour and voices? What happens if you disagree over the plot? In this brand new episode, Paul and Stevyn talk to to two teams of collaborative novelists about their process.

First up there’s consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman and her husband, the internationally bestselling and multi-award winning author Chris Brookmyre, who write together as Ambrose Parry. They’ve written a trilogy of thrillers set in Victorian Edinburgh – the most recent being A Corruption of Blood. We hear from them about how Marisa’s extensive medical history knowledge informed their writing (‘No he can’t have a robot leg’); whether being married helps their writing (and whether writing together helps their marriage); and why – when you’re an established author with a recognised name – would you masquerade as Ambrose Parry?

We then also hear from Dan Brotzel and Martin Jenkins, two of the three authors (along with Alex Woolf) of the new comic novel, Work in Progress (previously known as Kitten on a Fatberg). The three lads, who are in the same writers’ group, got together to write this book … about a fictional writers’ group (‘It’s all a bit meta’). We hear how the fictional authors and the real writers got together and how they succeed and fail in their efforts to keep readers laughing and turning the pages.

The authors are very kindly giving away copies of the book to a randomly selected few who retweet or share the We’d Like a Word announcement of this episode (see below for details of the accounts to follow).

Click here for Ambrose Parry’s page on Amazon
Click here for the book on Amazon

__________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast & radio show from authors Paul Waters & Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction & non-fiction. We go out on various radio & podcast platforms. Our Twitter is @wedlikeaword & Facebook @wedlikeaword & our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com Yes, we are embarrassed by the missing apostrophes. We like to hear from you – questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word to chat, review or read out passages from books. 

And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan.

Gender Differences

Hello and welcome to a brand new episode of We’d Like a Word in which we’re talking sex. Sexy, sexy sex. Oh yes.

Can a man write a book from a woman’s perspective? And vice versa? Can men write sex scenes that aren’t laughable or liable to end up being nominated for the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards? And is it a form of ‘cultural appropriation’ to even try?

Paul and Steve discuss all this, and much more, on this episode featuring R J McBrien and Shelley Weiner.

R (Richard) J McBrien is best known as a TV writer with credits for series like Spooks, Merlin, Red Caps, Soldier Soldier, The Bill, and Wallander under his talented belt. He’s now written a novel – Reckless – in which he writes as the female protagonist.

R J McBrien

However, his task was made easier with the help of Shelley Weiner, a tutor at the world-famous Faber Writing Academy and the author of  A Sisters Tale,  The Last Honeymoon, The JokerArnost,  The Audacious Mendacity of Lily Green and many books on how to be a writer.

Shelley Weiner

____________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast and radio show hosted by authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction and non-fiction.

Our website is www.wedlikeaword.com –  which is where you’ll find information about Paul and Steve and our guests.  We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword and Facebook @wedlikeaword and our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com – and yes, we are slightly embarrassed by the missing apostrophes but it’s not our fault.

We like to hear from you – your questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word in person, to chat, review, meet writers or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Paul’s debut novel Blackwatertown or Stevyn’s novels A Murder To Die For, The Diabolical Club and the forthcoming (August 19th 2021) Cockerings.

We go out on various radio and podcast platforms. You can find us on iTunes, Spotify, Listennotes, Podcast Radio, Google Podcasts or anywhere else that hosts good pods. Or go direct to their site on AnchorFM by clicking here.

Past Perfect?

Is writing a novel set in the recent past easier or harder than writing one set further back in history? How much research do you have to to do? What language can you use – especially if it is no longer appropriate to do so? And how do you deal with potential criticism from an audience that lived through the years in which your novel is set?

These are just some of the questions we put to our guests this week – Alan Parks and Eamon Somers.

Stevyn & Paul (top), Eamon & Alan (bottom)

Alan Parks is the author of the Harry McCoy ‘Tartan Noir’ thrillers Bloody January, February’s Son, Bobby March Will Live Forever and, most recently, The April Dead. Following a successful career in music management (where he commissioned music videos, artwork and photography for acts like New Order, The Streets, All Saints and Enya) he began writing a book about social housing in post-war Glasgow which somehow became a crime novel set in 1973. That became Bloody January, which was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

His website is here.

Alan Parks

Eamon Somers grew up in Dublin and became a campaigner in the fledgling gay liberation movement, serving three terms as spokesperson for Ireland’s National Gay Federation. He moved to London in the mid 1980’s to work with Haringey Council’s Lesbian and Gay Unit (including the anti-Clause 28 campaign). His lifelong interest in storytelling began with classes at the People’s College in 1970s Dublin, before going on to study at London’s Goldsmiths and later Birkbeck College. His short stories have been published in many literary magazines and his first novel, Dolly Considine’s Hotel, is published in July 2021.

His website is here.

Eamon Somers

____________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast and radio show hosted by authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction and non-fiction.

Our website is www.wedlikeaword.com –  which is where you’ll find information about Paul and Steve and our guests.  We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword and Facebook @wedlikeaword and our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com – and yes, we are slightly embarrassed by the missing apostrophes but it’s not our fault.

We like to hear from you – your questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word in person, to chat, review, meet writers or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Paul’s debut novel Blackwatertown or Stevyn’s novels A Murder To Die For, The Diabolical Club and the forthcoming (August 19th 2021) Cockerings.

We go out on various radio and podcast platforms. You can find us on iTunes, Spotify, Listennotes, Podcast Radio, Google Podcasts or anywhere else that hosts good pods. Or go direct to their site on AnchorFM by clicking here.

Child’s Play

Hello again! Welcome to another new episode of We’d Like a Word with two very special guests – Julia Donaldson and Ted Chaplin. And, on this episode, we’re talking all about writing (and drawing) for children. It’s also the first episode in over a year when Paul and Stevyn could actually meet one of their interviewees, which they did by visiting Ted’s studio (and by following current government safety advice).

Julia Donaldson hardly needs any introduction. With over 100 books to her name, countless awards and a former Children’s Laureate, she’s at the top of her field. She is, of course, the author of such classic children’s books as The Gruffalo, Zog, Room on the Broom, Stick Man and so many more. Her work has been translated into plays and TV shows and is known all over the world. She’s now funnelled all of her knowledge and wisdom into a new course – hosted by the BBC’s Maestro site – where you can learn from her.

We get to hear how she got started, some plum pieces of advice, and she kindly answers questions sent in by our listeners.

You may not know Ted Chaplin‘s name but you’ll know his work. Ted is an expert in CGI and has worked on several Aardman films – including The Pyrates, Early Man and Sean the Sheep: Farmageddon – as well as Hollywood blockbusters like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He also worked with Andy Serkis’s Imaginarium Studios developing new motion capture techniques in order to create more realistic digital characters. But he’s also a very talented illustrator and is just making the transition to children’s books. We visited him at home to see his work, and to ask him how a new author/illustrator breaks into the picture book market.

A signed thank you from multi-Oscar winning director Nick Park

You can see lots more of Ted’s work on his website. And, if there are any publishers out there who want to talk to him, please do! He’s a talented man with some great stories to tell (and draw).

This is a great episode with lots of good advice and … (Insert fanfare here) … there’s a competition. We’ve asked you to guess what five letter code word was used for the Indiana Jones 4 production. Most films and TV shows are kept closely under wraps during filming and code names are used – the most famous is the original Star Wars which had the code of Blue Harvest. Similarly, when Doctor Who was being resurrected it used the codename of Torchwood (an anagram). Torchwood later became the name of an organisation – and a spin-off series – within the Whoniverse, of course.

Will there be a prize? Who knows.

But we hope you enjoy the podcast.

___________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast and radio show from authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction and non-fiction. We go out on various radio and podcast platforms. Our website is www.wedlikeaword.com –  which is where you’ll find information about Paul and Steve and our guests.  We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword and Facebook @wedlikeaword and our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com – and yes, we are slightly embarrassed by the missing apostrophes.

We like to hear from you – your questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word in person, to chat, review, meet writers or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or The Diabolical Club by Stevyn Colgan.

You can find the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Listennotes, Podcast Radio, Google Podcasts or anywhere else that hosts good pods. Or go direct to their site on AnchorFM by clicking here.

You must remember this …

On this all new episode of We’d Like a Word, Paul and Stevyn talk about writing memoirs and autobiographies.

Joining them are guests Farah Bashir and Auriel Roe.

And it’s a truly international show with Farah in India and Auriel in Spain (and Paul and Stevyn (and Mr Harris the pug) in Buckinghamshire).

So … what ingredients do you need for a good memoir? Does it have to be the result of conflict and trauma or a difficult childhood? Or can it be a story of happiness and success?

Farah Bashir’s powerful debut Rumours of Spring is a memoir of her childhood in the shadow of insurgency in Kashmir, told from the perspective of her teenage self.

Meanwhile, Auriel Roe is the author of A Blindefellows Chronicle and  Let The Swine Go Forth – two novels that draw upon her past experiences as a teacher. She also runs Memoirist, a website of literary memoir writing where people can publish short autobiographical essays.

___________________________________________

We’d Like A Word is a podcast and radio show from authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction and non-fiction. We go out on various radio and podcast platforms. Our website is www.wedlikeaword.com –  which is where you’ll find information about Paul and Steve and our guests.  We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword and Facebook @wedlikeaword and our email is wedlikeaword@gmail.com – and yes, we are slightly embarrassed by the missing apostrophes.

We like to hear from you – your questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word in person, to chat, review, meet writers or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or The Diabolical Club by Stevyn Colgan.

You can find the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Listennotes, Podcast Radio, Google Podcasts or anywhere else that hosts good pods. Or go direct to their site on AnchorFM by clicking here.