65 episodes

Tune into Book Talk from Scottish Book Trust fortnightly for the best author interviews, book chat, discussions and news of events north of the border. Enjoy our back catalogue and get involved in Book Talk on our site: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/booktalk.

Book Talk Scottish Book Trust

    • Books
    • 4.0, 1 Rating

Tune into Book Talk from Scottish Book Trust fortnightly for the best author interviews, book chat, discussions and news of events north of the border. Enjoy our back catalogue and get involved in Book Talk on our site: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/booktalk.

    Jamie's Bedtime Song

    Jamie's Bedtime Song

    • 18 sec
    Val McDermid, Kate Tough and Arne Dahl Interviews

    Val McDermid, Kate Tough and Arne Dahl Interviews

    Our final Book Talk podcast features a pair of heavyweights from the world of crime fiction and a debut author we should all be sure to keep an eye on.
    First up: Ryan Van Winkle has a chat with bestselling author Val McDermid and her partner in crime (research), forensic anthropologist Sue Black. Val has recently returned to her roots as a journalist with her latest book, Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, a work of non-fiction. But although, in her own words, she usually ‘makes stuff up,’ she still does meticulous research, and for that, she turns to Sue. The pair met while guesting on a radio show years ago and have been friends and research partners ever since. Learn how the writer/expert relationship works, what Sue respects most about Val’s writing, and how they balance the dark aspects of their day jobs with normal life.
    Ryan next introduces us to Kate Tough, whose debut novel, Head for the Edge, Keep Walking, deals with a woman’s ‘late quarter-life crisis.’ Kate talks about her inspiration, how she went from writing poetry and short stories to a novel and the invaluable assistance she received with it, and what you can expect from her at the upcoming Aye, Write! Festival in Glasgow.
    Finally, Sasha de Buyl has a word with Nordic crime superstar Arne Dahl. Dahl discusses his latest book, To the Top of the Mountain, the third in the Intercrime series, and what he loves most about the crime fiction genre.

    • 33 min
    The Illuminations by Andrew O'Hagan

    The Illuminations by Andrew O'Hagan

    This month, our Book Talk panel turns its attention to the latest book by fantastic Scottish author, Andrew O'Hagan.

    The Illuminations tells two stories; the first of Anne Quirk, a once-great photographer trying to reconnect with her past, and the second, of her grandson Luke, serving in the British Army in Afghanistan. Andrew O'Hagan has been twice nominated for the Man Booker Prize as has won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters

    Joining Sasha de Buyl are Kaite Welsh (@kaitewelsh), journalist and chair of the Green Carnation Literary Prize, and Yasmin Sulaiman (@yasmin_sul), Books Editor at The List.

    The panel discusses the novel's dual perspectives, the way the book explores the inner workings of a mind in the grip of dementia and the frustrations of the voiceless.

    Through the podcast, they explore the two main characters and how they interact, the comparison between the beauty of art and the atrocities of war and the gentle lyricism of O'Hagan's style.

    If you're reading, or have read, the book, what did you think? How do you think it compares to O'Hagan's previous work? We'd love to know what you thought - you can join the discussion in the comments below, or on Twitter @scottishbktrust.

    Book Talk is also available on Soundcloud.

    BookTalk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

    • 22 min
    Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and David Levithan Interviews

    Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and David Levithan Interviews

    This month, Ryan Van Winkle and our own Sasha de Buyl interview best-selling YA authors Garth Nix (@garthnix), Leigh Bardugo (@LBardugo) and David Levithan (@loversdiction) about returning to different worlds, crafting a series and creating characters that break the mould.

    Garth Nix is the Australian-born author of the Old Kingdom series, the Keys to the Kingdom series and the Seventh Tower series. Written almost 20 years ago, Sabriel was the first book in the Old Kingdom series and told the story of a young girl tasked with making sure the dead stay dead. Though Garth hasn't returned to the world of the Old Kingdom since 2003's Abhorsen, last year's Clariel found him back there, this time several hundred years before the events of Sabriel. Garth talks to Sasha about what it was like to go back, and why he went there again.

    Leigh Bardugo is the Jerusalem-born, LA-raised author of The Grisha Trilogy, a YA fantasy series that comprises Shadow and Bone, Seige and Storm and the third in the trilogy, Ruin and Rising. Shadow and Bone tells the story of Alina Starkov, an orphan who has to harness powers she didn't even know she had in order to save her best friend. The novel debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and the series has proved incredibly popular. Leigh talks to Ryan about crafting a trilogy, realising your potential and never taking a break.

    David Levithan is the hugely popular American author of a number of YA books, including Boy Meets Boy and The Realm of Possibility, and books for adults including The Lover's Dictionary. In collaboration with Rachel Cohn, he wrote Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, which was adapted into a film in 2008. His newest novel Every Day tells the the story of A, a character that wakes up in a different body and in a different life each morning. David talks to Ryan about creating a character without physical characteristics, what makes us ourselves and the nature of love.

    Podcast contents

    00:00 - 01:02 Introduction
    01:10 - 14:08 Garth Nix interview
    14:09 - 22.39 Leigh Bardugo interview
    22:40 - 36:27 David Levithan interview

    Book Talk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

    • 36 min
    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

    This month, our Book Talk panel turns its attention to the popular autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis, by French-Iranian author Marjane Satrapi.

    With a title that references the ancient capital of the Persian empire, Persepolis is a coming-of-age tale that spans some of the most unsettled years in Iran's recent history. The first volume tells the story of Satrapi's life in Tehran from the ages of six to fourteen, during which time she experiences the Islamic Revolution and the devastating Iran-Iraq war. The second volume marks her adolescence in Vienna, and her struggle to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she is becoming.

    Joining Sasha de Buyl are Damon Herd, PhD researcher at the Scottish Centre for Comic Studies, and Mona Vaghefian, Communications Coordinator for the Edinburgh Iranian Festival.

    The panel discusses the graphic novel's popularity with a wider audience, the new insights that the book offers on the history of Iran and the outsider perspective that Satrapi seems to experience in both Iran and Austria.

    Through the podcast, they explore their reactions to the honesty with which Satrapi writes about her childhood self, the dual existence of citizens during the Revolution and the book's place within the genre of autobiographical comic books, alongside such titles as Art Spiegelman's Maus and Joe Sacco's Palestine.

    If you're reading, or have read, the book, what did you think? How do you think it contributes to the wider graphic novel community?

    Have you seen the animated film that was released in 2007 - and if so, does the story carry over from the book?

    Book Talk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

    • 23 min
    Lucy Ribchester, Elisabeth Gifford and Lucy Hughes-Hallett interviews

    Lucy Ribchester, Elisabeth Gifford and Lucy Hughes-Hallett interviews

    In our first set of interviews for 2015, Ryan Van Winkle talks to Lucy Ribchester, Lucy Hughes-Hallett and Elizabeth Gifford about suffragettes, mythology and the fascist poet who wanted to create his own utopia.
    Lucy Ribchester is the Edinburgh-based author of the recently-published The Hourglass Factory, her first novel. As well as being shortlisted for this year's Costa Short Story Awards, Lucy is a previous recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. The Hourglass Factory tells the story of Frankie George, a young reporter who becomes entangled in the messy, passionate worlds of the circus and the suffragettes when she meets Ebony Diamond, a mesmerising trapeze artist using her skills to fight for votes for women. Lucy opens up to Ryan about her inspirations, the fascinating world of those early suffragettes and why it took her five years to finish the book. Elisabeth Gifford is the author of Secrets of the Sea House, a fascinating novel which explores the interaction between history and myth. Based in the Hebrides, the book looks at the mythology of the islands and of the sea, and what happens when the two appear to come together in the form of a dark discovery. The book enjoys a very definite sense of place, and Elisabeth chats to Ryan about the culture of the Hebrides, the link between the sea and those who live by it, and the responsibility she felt in dealing with such an interesting culture. Elisabeth's new novel Return to Fourwinds is out now. Finally, Ryan speaks to Lucy Hughes-Hallett, a Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction winner and author of The Pike: Gabriele d'Annunzio, a searing biography of the man who believed he was the greatest Italian poet since Dante. The book was awarded the 2013 Costa Book Award for Biography of the Year, and the subject matter is certainly eye-opening. d'Annunzio was a creative, daredevil and fascist whose life goal was to establish a utopia based on his political and artistic ideals. Lucy talks Ryan through the intensely thrilling world of this strange man and the way his life unfolded. 
    Podcast contents
    00:00 - 01:09 Introduction01:10 - 13:19 Lucy Ribchester interview13:20 - 19.08 Elisabeth Gifford interview19:09 - 29:33 Lucy Hughes-Hallett interview
    Book Talk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

    • 29 min

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