145 episodes

In every episode we look inside the daily diary of a writer, to peak at the secrets of their success. How do they plan their day and maximise their creativity, in order to plot and publish a bestseller?


Some are frantic night-owls, others roll out of bed into their desks, and a few lock themselves away for days in the woods - but none have a regular 9 to 5, and we'll find out how they've managed it.

Writer's Routin‪e‬ Dan Simpson

    • Books
    • 4.9 • 79 Ratings

In every episode we look inside the daily diary of a writer, to peak at the secrets of their success. How do they plan their day and maximise their creativity, in order to plot and publish a bestseller?


Some are frantic night-owls, others roll out of bed into their desks, and a few lock themselves away for days in the woods - but none have a regular 9 to 5, and we'll find out how they've managed it.

    Cherie Jones, author of 'How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House' - Debut novelist talks about waking up early, fitting everything in, and asking her characters questions.

    Cherie Jones, author of 'How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House' - Debut novelist talks about waking up early, fitting everything in, and asking her characters questions.

    Cherie Jones is a busy lady. She is a full time lawyer, a single mother of 4 children, is currently finishing a PhD, and has found the time to publish her first novel, 'How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House'.


    It's about four people the legacy of violence in the Bahamas, a place so many look on as paradise.


    Here's the blurb: In Baxter Beach, Barbados, moneyed ex-pats clash with the locals who often end up serving them: braiding their hair, minding their children, and selling them drugs. Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the Baxter Beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk thier freedom.


    We discuss how she fit everything in whilst being so busy, why she wanted to write the novel to reflect on a side of Barbados many don't know, and why she asks her characters questions.


    You can hear how the story came to her on a sodden London commute, rather than a sunny Barbadian beach, and what she needs around her to help her write.


    We chat about where, when and why she writes, and what she has learned from working on her debut.


    You can get a copy of the book here - https://amzn.to/3qVsPiq


    Please do support the show on Patreon.com/writersroutine, give us a follow on Twitter, and take a second to leave a review on your podcast provider.


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    • 44 min
    Susie Donkin, author of 'Zeus is a Dick' - Comedy writer on reimagining ancient myths, learning from screenplays, and keeping keen to be lean.

    Susie Donkin, author of 'Zeus is a Dick' - Comedy writer on reimagining ancient myths, learning from screenplays, and keeping keen to be lean.

    Susie Donkin has been a writer on the award-winning show, 'Horrible Histories', since it debuted on TV in 2009. She has now used that experience of hilariously retelling history for her new book, 'Zeus is a Dick'. It uses influences from Comedy Central's 'Drunk History' and Stephen Fry's 'Mythos' to reimagine ancient myths in a modern, edgy and fantastic way.


    Susie has also written on Channel 4's award-winning, 'Smack the Donkey', and plenty of radio. As Artistic Director of Spitz & Co she has created three successful rural touring comedy shows all of which have toured extensively throughout the UK.


    We discuss what she's learned from writing comedy which helped her work on the book, why she's keen to be lean, and how she worked on this with her daughter during lockdown.


    You can also hear what it's like to work with a commission, writing to someone else's tone, narrative and even chapter titles. We chat about why pace was so important to her, and about the radio producer that taught her what she knows about comedy writing.


    You can get a copy of Susie's brilliant book here - https://amzn.to/2NkcbdN


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    • 36 min
    Will Dean, author of 'The Last Thing to Burn' - Thriller writer talks about frantically thrashing out the words, paying justice to characters, and writing in the wilderness.

    Will Dean, author of 'The Last Thing to Burn' - Thriller writer talks about frantically thrashing out the words, paying justice to characters, and writing in the wilderness.

    Will Dean appears to have a glorious writing life. Hidden away in the Swedish wilderness, in a house that he built, he dreams up stories and thrashes them out in a few weeks. In reality, it's the product of years of sitting on ideas, mulling them over, and a zombie-like fuge state when he finally knows enough to tell it.


    After the success of his Tuva Moodyson series, he's released a tense standalone thriller called 'The Last Thing to Burn'. It focuses on 'Jane', a mystery woman locked up in the UK, and her desperate bids for freedom. We talk about how he got the idea suddenly one night and immediately made as many notes as possible, you can hear about the time he blocks out for himself to get the words down as quickly as possible, as why he thinks it's most vital he does justice to the characters.


    'The Last Thing to Burn' is one of the most anticipated releases of 2021 - here's the blurb...'she lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen. Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn't like what he sees, she is punished. For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting'


    You can get a copy here - https://amzn.to/3d2f2Cx


    If you'd like to help the show, please support us at patreon.com/writersroutine


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    • 40 min
    C.K. McDonnell, author of 'The Stranger Times' - Comedian and writer talks about how stand-up comedy made writing easier, about jokes getting in the way of the story, and why he annoys his characters.

    C.K. McDonnell, author of 'The Stranger Times' - Comedian and writer talks about how stand-up comedy made writing easier, about jokes getting in the way of the story, and why he annoys his characters.

    Caimh McDonnell used to be a stand-up comedian, gigging all over the country and writing for television. Now, he's a full-time storyteller working out of his own office in his garden. His new novel, 'The Stranger Times', investigates life in a newspaper which reports on the weirdest stories... which sometimes turn out to be true. It's the start of a brand new comic supernatural thriller series from C.K.


    We talk about the post-it notes all over the office that let him know when he's taken a wrong turn, how jokes sometimes get in the way of the plot and why he watches out for that constantly. You can hear about a writing year for Caimh, and why he's been so productive since stopping stand-up, and also about the difference between craft and inspiration.


    You can grab a copy of 'The Stranger Times' here - https://amzn.to/3pRMZcz


    Also, please have a look at the wonderful book 'The Pink Coffee Shop' by podcast fan Ellie Barker. She's acknowledged this show in it, so it'd be nice if you checked it out - https://amzn.to/2MV692w


    AND, support us on Patreon.com/writersroutine, if you can!


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    • 47 min
    Kate Mosse, author of 'The City of Tears' - Multi-million selling author talks thorough research, learning to write anywhere and building on the success of 'Labyrinth'

    Kate Mosse, author of 'The City of Tears' - Multi-million selling author talks thorough research, learning to write anywhere and building on the success of 'Labyrinth'

    Kate Mosse is the author of nine novels & short story collections, including the No 1 multimillion selling 'Languedoc Trilogy'. Her historical thriller 'Labyrinth' was one of the biggest selling novel of the 2000s and propelled her to success, she followed it with 'Sepulchre' and 'Citadel'. She's written bestselling Gothic fiction, non-fiction, plays, plus contributed essays and introductions to classic novels and collections. Her books have been translated into 38 languages and published in more than 40 countries.


    Her newest book is 'The City of Tears', it's the second in 'The Burning Chambers' series set in France in the 1500s. It focuses on a vital wedding that might finally reunited divided France, only for a terrible moment to threaten everything.


    We talk about much she researches her stories and how she even starts with that, also how much she knows about the entire series before she starts, and why she likes a solid base of plot before she sprints off with the adventure. You can hear how factual history affects her fictional characters, why she can't really be in full charge of her writing routine, and why you need to learn to write anywhere possible.


    You can buy a copy of the book here - https://amzn.to/3apwXjE


    If you enjoy, why not support us on patreon.com/writersroutine ?


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    • 54 min
    Jeff Lindsay, author of 'Fool Me Twice' - 'Dexter' creator talks intricate plotting, finding your vocation, and starting again after a huge series.

    Jeff Lindsay, author of 'Fool Me Twice' - 'Dexter' creator talks intricate plotting, finding your vocation, and starting again after a huge series.

    Jeff Lindsay's new book is 'Fool Me Twice', the second 'Riley Wolfe' thriller about the master thief that targets the world's wealthiest. Jeff is best known for his 8 'Dexter Morgan' novels, which became the hit Showtime series 'Dexter', about everyone's favourite neighbourhood serial killer.


    We discuss the pressure on his new series after the success of 'Dexter', and how he found starting all over again. Also, you can hear why his 'Riley Wolfe' thrillers are so much harder to plot and research, and how he begins that part of the process. Jeff talks about his writing day hidden away in the American wilderness, why he likes to get up early to trick his subconscious, and how signs and talismans energise his creativity.


    Get a copy of 'Fool Me Twice' here - https://amzn.to/2XZS6es


    This episode of the show is sponsored by 'Promptly Written: Vol 2'. It's a book of stories written in the 'Promptly Written' podcast, during which the author Matt Sugerik and Ian Lewis write a story a month based on a listener prompt.


    Listen to the show here - https://pod.link/1437554933
    Buy a copy of the book here - https://amzn.to/3iykRZj


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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
79 Ratings

79 Ratings

Writer in Michigan ,

Thank You!

Dan thank you so much for making this happen. I have binge listened from the beginning!!!Such a great idea brilliantly executed!!!!!
Thank you for these phenomenal chats!!!!

JjackalMadrid ,

Hola from Madrid

Always an auto listen for me as soon as it drops! Keep up the amazing work :)

Jess Jeffrey ,

All time favourite podcast!

I found this podcast a few months ago and I will be so sad when I finish binge-listening and have to wait for the next episode! It is so inspirational to aspiring authors, and I very often find myself pausing in the middle to jot notes down about my own story that was triggered by something an author said. Thank you Dan!! :)

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