Help Yourselves

Welcome to the wonderful world of self-help! On this new episode Paul and Steve chat to self-help gurus Daniel Fryer and John Williams.

Daniel is a highly experienced and much sought-after psychotherapist and the author of ‘The Four Thoughts that F*ck you up and How to Fix them’. John, meanwhile, is a one-man inspiration industry and has published two bestsellers, ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ and ‘Screw Work, Break Free’ and also runs such projects as The Ideas Lab, The Love Challenge and the Five Day Startup Challenge.

From L to R: Paul, John Williams, Stevyn, Daniel Fryer

There’s a lot of great advice in this episode about good mental health and how to turn your passions into a career. We also hear how John used his skills to find love, what Daniel contributed to the Bingo industry and Paul visits the quite lovely Book House in Thame, Oxfordshire – a popular haunt of Roald Dahl – and chats to owner, Brian Pattinson.

Podcast available from iTunes, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Listen Notes, Podtail, Anchor and anywhere else that good podcasts are found.

Now, how will we create the next episode while we’re all on self-isolating lock down due to COVID-19? Watch this space …

Meanwhile, you can contact us on Facebook or Twitter as @wedlikeaword or email us at [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you.

Brian Pattinson (and friend)

We’re all in this together

Hello m’lovelies.. Paul and Stevyn here.

Are you an author whose book launch and/or tour was cancelled/postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic? That sucks and, as authors ourselves, we feel for you.

We can’t hope to replace what you’ve lost but we’d like to help, in some small way, if we can.

Over the next few weeks our (nearly award-winning – we were so close!) podcast WE’D LIKE A WORD is offering you another platform to tell the world about your new book.  All we need from you is a short audio clip telling us:

  • Who you are;
  • The title of your book;
  • A brief summary of what it’s about;

And because we also want to support small indie bookshops in these troubled times …

  • The name of a bookshop that’s dear to you.

You can record it any way you like – your smartphone has a pretty good record function. Then email your file to us at [email protected] and we’ll do the rest.

As sound files can be quite large, we recommend using the free service to send us files over 20mb in size. Other services are available, of course.

We can’t guarantee to play every single one though we will do our best!


WE’D LIKE A WORD is written and presented by authors Stevyn Colgan and Paul Waters and is available fortnightly on Wednesdays from iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Podcast FM and most other podcast platforms. Former guests have included Graham Norton, Denise Mina, Anthony Horowitz, Asia Mackay, Joel Morris, Helen Cullen, Peter May, Dr Erica McAlister, Adrian McKinty, Alison Finch, Will Dean, Isi the Scribe, Belinda Bauer and many more. It was shortlisted for the 2020 London Book Fair Books Podcaster of the Year Award.

Kids’ Stuff

Paul. Stevyn, Serena Patel and Fritha Lindqvist

On the latest episode of We’d Like A Word, Paul and Stevyn chat to children’s author Serena Patel about her new book Anisha: Accidental Detective (excellently illustrated by Emma McCann). Books for children and young adults are as popular as ever so we talk about how to write for a younger audience and Serena’s dramatic life story and how it shaped her character (and the character of her book’s hero, Anisha). She also reads from her book and talks about her childhood experiences of racism, homelessness and being bullied. We also hear about the detective books she read as a child and the inspirational British Asians she looked up to.

We also go behind the scenes of children’s book promotion with freelancer Fritha Lindqvist (who helped Cressida Cowell train her dragon). Fritha also tells us about the various campaigns that exist to get children reading and learning from stories (see links below).

And in the second of an occasional series of bookshop visits, Paul goes to the beautiful Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street to chat to bookseller Rose Cole & book lovers from the USA.

Go listen now! Click here or find us on iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts or wherever good podcasts lurk.


National Literacy Trust

The NLT are an independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed. They work to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s poorest communities, where one in three people have literacy problems. Because low literacy is inter-generational, they focus their work on families, young people and children. They help to transform lives through literacy and have stacks of research that shows that reading for pleasure has a significant impact on a child’s future socio-economic chances. Encouraging and nurturing reading for pleasure benefits the whole economy and country.

More information here

The current Waterstones Children’s Laureate is Cressida Cowell author of the How to Train your Dragon books. Her laureate charter is a powerful ten point action plan that champions the creativity, intelligence and empathy skills reading books nurtures. It’s a call to action for all of us to realise the magic of reading for everyone. You can download the charter here


EmpathyLab is the first organisation to build children’s empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of high quality literature. Their strategy builds on new scientific evidence showing the power of reading to build real-life empathy skills. They believe that empathy is a beacon of hope in a divided world. They produce an annual Read for Empathy book collection and run an annual Empathy Day to shine a light on the power of reding to build empathy – it’s in 9 June this year.

More information here

A Day of Highs and Lows

Well, the day started well with the excellent news that We’d Like A Word has not only been nominated for ‘Best Books Podcast’ by those lovely people at the London Book Fair, but has made the final six! Consequently Paul and Stevyn were invited to the awards ceremony at the LBF, hosted by Cressida ‘How to Train your Dragon’ Cowell.

But then, just as the boys were finishing their happy dance, came the news that the London Book Fair has been cancelled due to many exhibitors pulling out (including the ‘Big Five’ British publishers and many major overseas buyers) due to travel issues and concerns over the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19. And we guess that it’s probably sensible – there’s a lot of worry about this issue. It’s even leading people to do things like this on public transport:

Oh the humanity!

Still, it’s lovely to be nominated.

Watch this space …