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 in real life, how the physiological costs of paying attention affect the types of story shapes that work best, and how to write the ultimate story that will grip, move and change people. He also gives advice on the kinds of people you must engage if you want your writing to be a hit. As well as that we discuss the purpose of villains, horror, and tragedy.

Here’s his book about the amazing effects of oxytocin, THE MORAL MOLECULE.

And his book on building trust, THE TRUST FACTOR.

Here’s his TED Talk on the ‘moral molecule’ oxytocin.

Here’s his website:

Here’s the link to sign up to my new WEEKLY WRITING WORKOUT.

And if you’d like to try a story that will have you pumping out oxytocin, buy my novel THE HONOURS.

You can pre-order my next novel, THE ICE HOUSE, here.

And if you’d like to drop the show a little something to help keep the lights on, you can do so here: