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First Graft Podcast
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First Graft Podcast

Author: Heidi James

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Join me as I write my next novel, The Sound Mirror, share the ups and downs, breakthroughs and frustrations, and my endless procrastination. Come along on my research trips, listen to interviews with other writers and publishing folk. Get tips, share your progress or questions, tell me your challenges, laugh at my stupid false starts. Even better, write along with me! First drafts are hard graft, so we best get writing.
17 Episodes
In this chapter I talk to the wonderful Katherine Angel, the author of Daddy Issues (Peninsula Press, 2019), and Unmastered: A Book On Desire, Most Difficult To Tell (Penguin, 2012). Her next book is called Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again, and will be published by Verso. Katherine teaches creative and critical writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and has a PhD in the history and philosophy of sexuality and psychiatry from the University of Cambridge. We talk about consent, complexity, Stranger Things, relationships, inspiration, Sophie MacKintosh's The Water Cure, Adam Phillips on Winnicott, writing ourselves into being, trusting the process and so much more. See links below:
In this chapter I share some news... and chat with my editor Hetha Duffy about editing, our process, what to look out for in your work, what Hetha loves to read and she also gives us top tips on submitting your work and the intricacies of writing, editing and publishing. 
Join me as I chat with Rónán about his novel, music, silence, making meaning, translation, writing and the wild creativity of family lexicons and fibs. Read this book!
Hey, How're you?This chapter we talk about writing in a colloquial voice; it's importance in reflecting diverse characters, but not misrepresenting or diminishing them. How do we do it? And do it well? I share a short extract of the first draft of The Sound Mirror, where I'm working on voice.Also I chat about the following books:Trainspotting by Irvine WelshThe Panopticon by Jenni FaganThe Colour Purple by Alice WalkerThe Wake by Paul KingsnorthA Clockwork Orange by Anthony BurgessandLucia by Alex PhebyMurmur by Will EavesLet me know what you're working on, who you'd like hear on the podcast and what you think about writing in a character's idiom.Next chapter I have a special guest! twitter - @heidipearljamesFacebook - First Graft
Triumph, wobbles, anxiety and first draft trials...So, had recorded the charming and talented Ronan Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul but the quality wasn't good enough for you beauties... hence just me this chapter. I will be recording Ronan when he's in London promoting his book. Sorry Ronan!If you would like to come on and discuss your work (ANY creative process not just literary endeavours) let me know, get in touch!Books I mention this chapter are:Dogwood by Lindsay ParnellMothlight by Adam ScovellUnion Street by Pat Barker
I chat with Sharon about writing her novel The Handsworth Times and her forthcoming novel, Should I Fall Behind, process, confidence, social media, empathy, appropriation, Nick Cave, music playlists, swearing and more...We mention writers: Janet FrameKit de Waal(check out their work if you haven't already)Sharon's book is available here:
In this episode I talk about time; theory, experience, the novel, death, ageing, New Years Resolutions and writing. Pretty basic then. I am indebted to the incredible website, http://www.exactlywhatistime.comfor all the information I discuss on theories and philosophies of time and I recommend you check it out if it interests you; and it should!!I also talk about:From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie CampbellInfinite Jest by David Foster WallaceThe Blind Assassin by Margaret AtwoodNabokov's Dream DiaryInnocents and Others by Dana SpiottaLet me know how you're doing and how you write time... Happy New Year, you gorgeous bunch!
Hey...In Chapter nine I talk about...BooksAnne Fine - Raking the AshesFleur Jaeggy - Sweet Days of DisciplineDavid Seabrook - All the Devils are HerePodcast This Podcast Will Kill YouAnd a soup... Recipe below (I swear it makes you glow like the Ready Brek kid)Plus I share a couple of monologues I wrote from two character points of view and discuss how these exercises can help get under the skin of your characters (ouch).Get in touch and tell me about your reading and writing, and have a very darling festive season. Coconut lentil soupyou need:Split red lentils (handful or two)Can of coconut milkturmeric (teaspoon)ginger (I use the powder kind... it's fine)lime juice (a good squirt)Sesame oilVeg stock (about as much as the coconut milk)chilli (dried flakes)garlic (3 cloves)spinach leavesChuck it all in, boil it, simmer it till the lentils have softened and dissolved... Trust me. It's delicious, and I can't cook.
In this chapter I talk about class, writing difficult, unlikeable characters and process.In Ketchup I chat about:Olivia Sudjic's book, ExposureDead Ink's collection of essays, Know Your PlaceAndThe TV adaptation of Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend.If you have any suggestions for my character's name, give me a shout on twitter or the First Graft facebook page!
Join us as we chat about point of view, class, our favourite books, Rebekah's new novel and how to win a copy of the Somesuch anthology.
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