Six of The Best: The Best Board Games to Play When It’s Hot Summer is not the season of boardgames. That’s the received wisdom, anyway. Christmas, Hannukah, Chuseok, Lunar New Year – boardgames start with the gathering of the harvest, and comfort us until winter’s darkness passes. Who wants to be shut up indoors trying … Read more

A Place At The Table Conventions are a weird place to go if you’re autistic. On the one hand, you’re thrown into a maze of unfamiliar stalls plastered with bright signs, pushed and manhandled and bumped, with voices coming at you from every direction, tinny music from stallholders’ Bluetooth speakers, and announcements thundering out from … Read more

“POOP POOP” or “Obsession: Being A Modest Introduction To Tabletop Games For People Who Hate Tabletop Games” I get it. Believe me, I do – the specific and prolonged agony of finding yourself press-ganged into a games night you didn’t want to be part of. Come on, it’ll be fun. Let’s play- and from that … Read more

COWARD UK Book Tour Dates For the first two weeks of May I’m setting off to do some events to celebrate the release of my new book: Coward: Why We Get Anxious & What We Can Do About It. I wanted to do something a bit different so I asked on social media if anywhere … Read more

Death Of 1000 Cuts – S3E46 – The Psychology of Writing – Pt 1 Stress This episode is the first in a short series about the psychology of writing. What stories do we tell ourselves when we tell stories? How can we write more, write better. and be a little bit happier when we do … Read more

Anxiety and Panic Survey Hey friends. So if you listen to my podcast, Death Of 1000 Cuts, follow me on social media or know me in real life, you’ll probably know that I manage pretty bad anxiety and panic disorders. I’m working on a potential book about my experiences, and about my trying to finally … Read more

This is a live episode from Latitude festival, with me chatting to author Kerry Hudson. I chat with Kerry Hudson about her memoir LOWBORN, about class and growing up in poverty, and her novels THIRST and TONY HOGAN BOUGHT ME AN ICE CREAM FLOAT BEFORE HE STOLE MY MA. She talks about how she came … Read more

6 Podcasts About The Science Of Writing Here are 6 podcast episodes about the science of writing. My writing podcast, Death Of 1000 Cuts, mostly features my chatting with fiction authors, and looking at listeners’ first pages. But sometimes I chat with psychologists and scientists, to delve into the mysteries of writing and creativity. You’ll … Read more

3 WEEKS IN THE LIFE OF A NEW BOOK A few listeners to the podcast have asked me for an update on how my new novel, The Ice House, has been selling. I thought it might be useful to break it down so you can see one example of what it’s like being an author … Read more

10 CHATS WITH AMAZING FANTASY AUTHORS Since my new Fantasy novel The Ice House is coming out (yes, this is a link to where you can buy it), I thought I’d share some of my favourite chats with Fantasy authors who’ve come on my podcast for writers, Death Of 1000 Cuts. I’ve always felt a … Read more

6 GREAT CHATS WITH SF AUTHORS Ian McEwan recently announced his new novel MACHINES LIKE ME is set in a world with advanced technology, but it’s not Science Fiction. He told the Guardian: ‘There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future, not in terms of travelling at 10 … Read more

Today I chat with Martin Lotze, neuroscientist at the University of Greifswald, about his research into the brains of writers. Martin has researched how the minds of writers and non-writers operate, using fMRI scans to observe which areas of the brain are activated during the writing process. His fascinating work demonstrates that wholly different parts … Read more

Today’s episode is in response to a couple of comments I encountered this week, about writing, and the kind of attitudes ‘proper’ authors should have. I felt a bit uncomfortable with both statements, so I’ve recorded a little talk where I dig into my feelings a little. It’s just another data point but I hope … Read more

On this episode I chat with author Nick Harkaway about accelerating futures, detective stories and the meaning of life. Nick Harkaway is the author of several novels, most recently GNOMON, set in a near-future Britain where everything is recorded, monitored and shared. In this wide-ranging chat we cover everything from writing from multiple viewpoints, to … Read more

This episode is an unscripted, unedited talk from me about creative writing and fiction and motivation. So I decided to record this one evening a few days ago, to get out a few things about writing, and keeping going with your writing, that had been on my mind. (I’m aware that the language I use … Read more

On today’s episode I chat with (my) editor Jo Dingley about finding books, making them better, and getting them to readers. Jo is an editor at Canongate in the UK and has years of experience finding stories, working with authors to make their books better, and helping those books launch and find an audience. We … Read more

This episode’s chat is with author Chris McCrudden, talking geeky comedy, stories, and the hard numbers of book sales. In this wide-ranging chat recorded back in January, Chris talks Greek myth, the perils of satire, his winding road to publication, finding time to write and why writing tips bring him out in hives. We discuss … Read more

In this episode I chat with New York Times Bestselling Author VE Schwab about magic, moving between worlds and some surprising revelations about pain. We chat about her early work, the very first book she got published, the perils of the ‘sophomore slump’, rediscovering joy and autonomy in novel writing, and exploring aspects of your … Read more

In this episode I chat with author Gareth Hanrahan about his Fantasy debut THE GUTTER PRAYER. We geek out about tabletop roleplaying, and the lessons he’s learned from making stories up on the spot. He talks through his process for creating worlds and cool stuff within them, and the challenge of writing stories with no … Read more

This episode I chat with author Jess Kidd about death, genre and being haunted by the past. Jess Kidd is the author of HIMSELF, THE HOARDER and most recently, THINGS IN JARS. We talk through her process for writing her novels, and what she’s learned along the way. This is a great episode to listen … Read more

On today’s episode I chat to Millie Seaward, publicist for Little, Brown, about the art of getting books to readers. She answers questions like: – what kinds of books are easiest to sell? – what types of books get most reviews? – what makes a book an ‘event’? – what’s a blog tour and is … Read more

Today I take a look at a listener’s first page and suggest ways to make it better. It’s an old school Death Of 1000 Cuts ‘In The Barber’s Chair’ episode. Hurrah! I chat a bit about exposition, writing convincing dialogue, world-building in Fantasy and Science Fiction, and centring your protagonist’s conflicts. Lots of meat and … Read more

This is the first episode of Death Of 1000 Cuts, Season 3, the podcast for writers. It’s all about creative writing, and stories, and how to write more, better, and be happier as you do. In this episode I preview what I’ve got planned for the new season of the podcast this year, and share … Read more

In this episode I chat to researcher, neuroscientist and psychologist Paul J Zak about the power of narrative and what goes on in our brains when we get lost in a great story. We chat about his research into oxytocin and how it affects our decisions, how the brain responds to stories versus events happening … Read more

Today I chat to writer and performer Molly Naylor, about the basics of what makes a story work, vulnerability, and constructing a career in the Arts. Molly co-wrote the Sky comedy drama After Hours, has brought several solo shows to the Edinburgh Fringe, is a poet, playwright and runs the night True Stories Live in … Read more