Elizabeth Day, creator of the How To Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast and book joins the team to share failures and to see what their connection is to success. After putting so many of her personal failures in her book, would Elizabeth have any new ones to share? We hear from Man Booker Prize-winner Arundhati Roy about becoming a global sensation with her debut, Man Booker Prize-winning novel and what that meant for her, her friends and her family. And we also hear from Sarah Perry about what it meant to have The Essex Serpent named as Waterstones Book of the Year.
BOOKS MENTIONED: How To Fail, The God of Small Things, Ministry of Utmost Happiness, The Essex Serpent, Mothering Sunday, Painter To The King, On The Come Up, Range, Golden Hill.
What do we mean by perfection and is the pursuit of it a pointless exercise? We hear from poet Charly Cox about why just the word alone is enough to induce anxiety, Sebastian Faulks considers where in the arts perfection might lie and why capturing it might mean a journey to perfection and then back again. Finally we hear from novelist Gabriel Tallent who shares the sheer blood, sweat and tears of writing his debut novel.
BOOKS MENTIONED: She Must Be Mad, Paris Echo, Love Is Blind, My Absolute Darling, Dept of Speculation, Ink, Carol, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Hannah Witton joins Will and Holly in the studio to talk about Sex. As a sex-positive vlogger on YouTube, author of Doing It and The Hormone Diaries, plus a podcaster in her own right, Hannah Witton is the perfect guest to discuss why we’re so silly about sex writing in the UK and what makes for great sex on the page and between the sheets. They also listen to broadcaster and author, Caitlin Moran and Women’s Prize-winner A.M. Homes talking about writing sex in their fiction as well as Candice Carty-Williams, who shares some of the personal experiences that feed into her bestselling debut, Queenie.
Doing It, The Hormone Diaries, How To Be Famous, Music For Torching, Queenie, Pimp State, Jack of Hearts, Trumpet, An American Marriage, Eleven Minutes, The Dilly, Three Women.
Will, Dan and Holly talk about friendship with book recommendations coming straight away from Holly, who loves Expectation by Anna Hope. Dan talks about a Waterstones event for Empathy Day and how reading, empathy and friendship are all connected. We get to hear from Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winner Angie Thomas talking about friendship in the wake of her huge success with The Hate U Give. Tash Aw talks about how his international life puts a huge pressure on friendship and why it requires work to succeed. And to finish off we drop into an event featuring Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebenene, authors of Slay In Your Lane. The two best friends talk about how their book began and how their friendship helped them to share more of themselves through it.
BOOKS MENTIONED: Expectation, The Hate U Give, We, The Survivors, Slay In Your Lane, The Lido, Release, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
In this first episode we get to meet hosts Will Rycroft, Holly Davies and Dan Bird as they talk with bestselling author and screenwriter David Nicholls about their beginnings with books. Nicholls also shares his experiences as actor which feed directly into his new novel, Sweet Sorrow, which charts one life-changing summer as Charlie meets Fran during rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet and the two experience the transformative power of first love. Nicholls also speaks about his BAFTA Award-winning adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels for TV.
There’s also the chance to hear from Michael Palin as he talks about the fear and excitement that attends to the beginning of almost any enterprise, whether that be a journey, a new TV programme or sitting down to write fresh comedy. His latest book, Erebus, tells the story of HMS Erebus, the famous exploring vessel which went missing in the Arctic and whose wreck was recently discovered.
We also hear from Tomi Adeyemi’s event to launch her Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Older Fiction category-winning YA novel, Children of Blood and Bone. She shares a brilliant story about a young girl jumping to the head of the signing queue to demonstrate the importance of representation in encouraging younger generations to begin writing themselves.
BOOKS MENTIONED: Sweet Sorrow, Erebus, Children of Blood and Bone, Patrick Melrose, The Bad Beginning, Tales of the City, Dear Ijeawele
Welcome to the Waterstones Podcast, a chance to hear authors going beyond the book to talk about the themes and ideas that obsess us all. This is a books podcast with a difference, drawing on the regular appearances of authors nationwide in our events and the more intimate conversations recorded in the studio, each episode will take a different theme and see where it takes us.
As Dylan Thomas said, we shall begin at the beginning, with David Nicholls joining our podcast team to chat about his beginnings as a Waterstones bookseller, as an actor and then as a writer. ‘Beginnings’ will also feature Michael Palin on those first steps to any journey and Tomi Adeyemi on realising the power of being seen in encouraging new writers to put their words to the page.
So join us over the next few weeks as season one takes us through friendship, family, success, sex and perfection. We’ll be hearing from Arundhati Roy, Sebastian Faulks, Jeanette Winterson, Tash Aw, Angie Thomas, Elizabeth Day and many, many more.