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 wedlikeaword@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you.

Brian Pattinson (and friend)

Doing It Yourself (and Doing It …)

In this new (and bonus length) episode of We’d Like A Word, Paul and Stevyn talk to authors Jake O’Kelly (in the studio) and Andrew Chapman (via phone) about self-publishing, the value of beta readers and the importance of good covers. We also talk about gay fiction and about writing sex scenes … because so few people seem to do it well and a great many authors (including your hosts) haven’t yet been brave enough to try. Why is writing a sex scene so hard? (Oo-er) And is it more difficult to write sex scenes that are outside of your comfort zone e.g. a gay author writing a hetero scene? It’s a fascinating discussion. Oh, and apologies for the slight background noise – there was a very excitable radio show going on in the studio next door to us.

Available as a podcast from Thursday 21st November on iTunes, Spotify, Anchor FM, Google podcasts and wherever good podcasts are hosted.

As always, do get in touch if you fancy answering this show’s brain-teaser or to suggest topics for us to cover. Email us at wedlikeaword@gmail.com plus you can find us on Twitter and Facebook as @wedlikeaword.

Paul, Jake O’Kelly and Stevyn

Andrew Chapman

Jake O’Kelly is the author of The Smell of Good Decisions, a near-dystopian near-future thriller set in his home town of San Francisco in which four people become the unwilling victims of a military experiment to weaponise the human olfactory system. He was formerly the head of publicity for Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). He now works for online developers Mozilla (creators of Firefox and other well-known software). Website

Andrew Chapman, with the full support of his family, gave up his job to ‘have a go’ at being a writer. He has self-published two very well received books Tripping the Night Fantastic – a booze-sodden and occasionally surreal whodunit – and The Accidental Scoundrel in which the hero discovers that, in order to marry his girlfriend, he has to join her eccentric father’s gang of gentlemen thieves. Andrew’s next book has recently attracted the attentions of traditional publishers and he hopes that he may not have to live in a caravan for much longer. Website

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

99Designs – to get book covers, logos etc. designed

ACX – to get affordable audiobooks made

The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award

And here are the San Diego Comicon photos that Stevyn mentions (and it was 2008 not 2005 – his memory isn’t what it was, obviously) …

Photos Copyright (c) Stevyn Colgan

Books mentioned in this episode:

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Taken by the T Rex by Alara Branwen and Christie Sims

List of the Lost by Morrissey

Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp by Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan

David Bramwell’s Odditorium, weird bum reading and Jacob Rees Mogg

Dr David Bramwell

‘A small Odditorium’ featuring Dr David Bramwell. In this episode author, musician, truth-seeker, Utopian and all round oddfellow Dr David Bramwell discusses bum readers, the world’s largest underground temple, a haunted moustache, Jacob Rees Mogg and singalonga Wicker Man. And we’ll be asking … is Milton Keynes the new Stonehenge?

Our competition question is: What is the official term for a bum reader? Listen to the podcast and email your answer to wedlikeaword@gmail.com


Anthony Horowitz on James Bond & giving life after death

Anthony Horowitz looking like he’s up in front of a firing squad. Picture taken at the wonderful Noireland international crime fiction festival in Belfast.

Anthony Horowitz admits he’s a killer. Dozens of times over. The thing is, we’re not just talking about the dozens and dozens he’s dispatched in the pages of his many books or TV shows like Midsommer Murders and Foyle’s War. But that’s all I’m saying here. You can hear his startling revelations from his own mouth on the latest episode of We’d Like A Word.

Our official topic is life after death – whether it’s right for new authors to give extended life to characters after their original authors have died. Anthony Horowitz does it – and does it well – with Sherlock Holmes and most recently with James Bond in Forever and A Day. (You can win a copy of that in the competition – details on the podcast.)

But we talk about a lot else and a lot of other authors, in particular Sophie Hannah, who has brought Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot back to life.

You’ll also hear Anthony Horowitz read from his James Bond book, let slip his views on Brexit, villains and where he writes.

Graham Norton – can celebs write good fiction?

Graham Norton and Stevyn Colgan on We’d Like A Word

It’s Graham Norton! Yes, that Graham Norton on We’d Like A Word. Talking about his own writing and whether celebrities can ever be good authors? It’s on the radio at 7pm UK time tonight (Wednesday 8th May 2019) Wycombe Sound 106.6 FM. And then via the podcast afterwards.

Graham Norton – comedian, TV star and Father Ted legend – tells us about his other life as an author. He’s written two novels – Holding and now A Keeper. But are they any good? Are they funny? Are they even supposed to be? Do celebrities famous for something entirely different make good writers? Graham Norton may be hilARious (he is), but can he write? You’ll have to listen to this episode of We’d Like A Word to find out. He reads from his second novel A Keeper, talks about how he writes, how he gathers material and about Ireland. There’s also a competition to win one of Graham’s books – but you’ll have to listen to find out.