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Always Take Notes

English, Arts, 1 season, 190 episodes, 10 hours, 48 minutes
About
Always Take Notes is a fortnightly podcast from London for and about writers and writing. Hosts Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd speak to a diverse range of people in the industry on a variety of topics, from the mysteries of slush piles and per-word rates, to how data are changing the ways newspapers do business and how to pitch a book. patreon.com/alwaystakenotes
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#190: Toby Mundy, literary agent and executive director of the Baillie Gifford Prize

In this episode Simon and Rachel speak with Toby Mundy, the CEO of the UK office of the international literary agency Aevitas Creative Management, and executive director of the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction. Toby has worked in the publishing industry for more than three decades. After starting his career at HarperCollins he founded Atlantic Books in 2000. During his tenure, Atlantic Books won Independent Publisher of the Year and Imprint of the Year at the British Book Awards and achieved more than 25 top ten Sunday Times bestsellers. Atlantic titles were shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times between 2003 and 2013, including the The White Tiger, which won the prize in 2008. Toby became director of the Baillie Gifford Prize in 2014. We spoke to him about his entry into the industry, setting up Atlantic Books, his subsequent career as a literary agent, and his role with the Baillie Gifford Prize. This episode was recorded prior to the recent controversy about Baillie Gifford's sponsorship of literary festivals.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/9/20241 hour, 13 seconds
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#189: Naomi Klein, non-fiction author

Rachel and Simon speak with the non-fiction author Naomi Klein. Her debut book, "No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies", sold more than 1m copies after its publication in 1999; her follow-up, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" (2007), also reached the top of the New York Times bestseller charts. She has written extensively about the climate, including in books such as "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" and "On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal", and is the founding co-director of the Centre for Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia. Her latest book, "Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World", won the inaugural Women's Prize for non-fiction. We spoke to Naomi about the huge success of "No Logo", the line between journalism and activism, and "Doppelganger". “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/25/202457 minutes, 17 seconds
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#188: Hugo Rifkind, journalist and novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with Hugo Rifkind, a journalist who has just published his second novel, "Rabbits". Born and raised in Edinburgh, Hugo studied philosophy at university. He has formerly been a columnist for the Spectator, GQ and the Herald, and is now a columnist, critic and leader writer for the Times and a presenter on Times Radio, as well as a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s comedy show "The News Quiz". Hugo's first novel, "Overexposure", a satire of celebrity culture, was published in 2006. His new novel, "Rabbits", is a story of drugs, aristocracy, death and disputed inheritance, set among the teenage Scottish elite of the 1990s. We spoke to Hugo about his early life at boarding school in Scotland, how that experience inspired "Rabbits", and about his work at the Times.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/11/20241 hour, 41 seconds
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#187: Pari Thomson, editorial director for picture books, Bloomsbury, and children’s author

Rachel and Simon speak with Pari Thomson, editorial director for picture books at Bloomsbury and also a children's author. After an international childhood, Paris studied English at university; she began her career with stints at a literary agency, as a bookseller at Waterstones and as a manuscript reader. She joined Bloomsbury in 2016 and now commissions children's picture books. In 2023 Macmillan published her debut novel, "Greenwild: The World Behind the Door", a fantasy adventure inspired by the plants at Kew Gardens, near where Pari lives. Blackwell's named it their Children's Book of the Year and it also won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. The second book in the series, "Greenwild: The City Beyond the Sea", was published this month. We spoke to Pari about breaking into the world of publishing, the taxonomy of children's literature, and the "Greenwild" novels. “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/28/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 55 seconds
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#186: Hisham Matar, novelist and non-fiction writer

Simon and Rachel speak with the novelist and non-fiction writer Hisham Matar. Born in New York to Libyan parents, Hisham spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his life in London. He is the author of the novels "In the Country of Men", which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and "Anatomy of a Disappearance", as well as two memoirs: "The Return", which was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in 2017, the PEN/Jean Stein Award, and the Rathbones Folio Prize, and "A Month in Siena", a meditation on grief, art and human intimacy. His most recent book, published in January, is the novel "My Friends". Hisham is a professor at Barnard College, Columbia University and his work has been translated into over 30 languages. We spoke to Hisham about his early life in Libya and Egypt, the abduction of his father in 1990 and how it shaped his development, and his new novel, "My Friends".   “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/14/202451 minutes, 51 seconds
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#185: Bettany Hughes, historian

Rachel and Simon speak with the historian Bettany Hughes. A specialist in ancient and medieval history, Bettany is the author of five books: “Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore”, “The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life”, “Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities”, “Venus & Aphrodite” and “The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”. Alongside writing, Bettany is an experienced broadcaster, having written and hosted more than 50 TV and radio documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Netflix, among others; more than 250m people worldwide have watched her programmes. She is the co-founder of SandStone Global, a TV, film and audio production company. We spoke to Bettany about discovering a passion for ancient history as a child, balancing book-writing with television work and her latest book, “The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/30/202457 minutes, 4 seconds
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#184: Paul Theroux, novelist and travel writer

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux. Born in Massachusetts, as a young man he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi and taught at universities in Uganda and Singapore. He published his first novel, "Waldo", in 1967, and since then has written numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including "The Great Railway Bazaar" (1975), "The Mosquito Coast" (1981), "Riding the Iron Rooster" (1983), and "Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories" (2014). In 2015 Paul was awarded a Royal Medal from the Royal Geographical Society for "the encouragement of geographical discovery through travel writing". His other awards include the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters Award for literature; the Whitbread Prize, and the James Tait Black Award. His novels "Saint Jack", "The Mosquito Coast", "Doctor Slaughter" and "Half Moon Street" have all been adapted for film and television. We spoke to Paul about building a career as both a travel writer and a novelist, his relationship with V.S. Naipaul, and his new novel, "Burma Sahib."  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/16/20241 hour, 1 minute, 16 seconds
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#183: Madhumita Murgia, journalist and author

Simon and Rachel speak with the journalist and author Madhumita Murgia. She is currently the Financial Times' first Artificial Intelligence Editor, where she covers developments in AI globally and broader issues including surveillance, data privacy and tech regulation. Before she joined the FT, she was head of technology at the Daily Telegraph, and associate editor at Wired magazine. Her first book, "Code Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI" was recently shortlisted for the inaugural Women's Prize for Non-Fiction. Madhu holds two Master's degrees - one in journalism and one in clinical immunology. We spoke to her about making the move from science to journalism, becoming the FT's first AI editor, and about her new book.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/2/202459 minutes, 42 seconds
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#182: Nicholas Shakespeare, novelist and biographer

Simon and Rachel speak with the novelist and biographer Nicholas Shakespeare. He began his career as a journalist, working for the Times and the Telegraph, before turning to book-writing in the 1980s. His debut novel, "The Vision of Elena Silves" (1989), won the Somerset Maugham Award; "The Dancer Upstairs" was named the best novel of 1995 by the American Libraries Association and a film adaptation was directed by John Malkovich. "The High Flyer" (1993) and "Snowleg" (2004) were both longlisted for the Booker Prize. His non-fiction work includes an acclaimed biography of the English travel writer Bruce Chatwin. We spoke to Nicholas about his early life and living all over the world, combining novels and non-fiction, and his new biography of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/19/20241 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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#181: Juliet Mabey, co-founder and publisher, Oneworld Publications

Rachel and Simon speak to Juliet Mabey, co-founder and publisher of Oneworld Publications. She established the company in 1986 with her husband, Novin Doostdar, as an independent publishing house focusing on non-fiction. Its books have covered a broad range of subjects, including biography, history, politics and science, and have won prizes including the FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. In 2009 Juliet set up a fiction list; its authors won the Booker prize in 2015 (Marlon James for "A Brief History of Seven Killings"), 2016 (Paul Beatty, "The Sellout") and 2023 (Paul Lynch, "Prophet Song"). Oneworld now includes imprints focusing on children's literature, young-adult books and crime fiction. We spoke to Juliet about winning three Booker prizes since 2015, her early experience setting up Oneworld, and the role of independents versus large corporate publishers.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/5/202458 minutes, 26 seconds
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#180: Jo Nesbø, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with Jo Nesbø, one of the world's bestselling crime writers. Jo's writing career began when he was commissioned to produce a memoir about life on the road with his band, Di Derre, and he instead came up with the plot for his first Harry Hole crime novel, "The Bat". His books - including "The Leopard", "Phantom", "Police", "The Son", "The Thirst", "Macbeth" and "Knife" - are now published in 50 languages, and have sold over 55 million copies around the world. Alongside the Harry Hole series he has published standalone novels as well as several children’s books in the "Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder" series. We spoke to Jo about writing his first book in five weeks, while already established as a musician, his anti-hero Harry Hole, and his latest novel, "The Night House." “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/20/202453 minutes, 36 seconds
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#179: Jhumpa Lahiri, novelist and short-story writer

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist and short-story writer Jhumpa Lahiri. Her bestselling debut story collection, “Interpreter of Maladies”, won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2000 and was translated into more than 30 languages. Her debut novel, “The Namesake”, was published to acclaim in 2003 and adapted into a film in 2006; “The Lowland” (2013) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Since 2015 Jhumpa has written in Italian, with volumes of essays, fiction and poetry including “In Altre Parole” (“In Other Words”), “Il Vestito dei libri” (“The Clothing of Books”), “Dove mi trovo” (“Whereabouts”), “Il quaderno di Nerina” (“Nerina's Notebook) and “Racconti Romani” (“Roman Stories”). We spoke to Jhumpa about winning the Pulitzer Prize with her first published book, writing in a foreign language and her latest collection of short fiction, “Roman Stories”. “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/6/202457 minutes, 24 seconds
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#178: Adam Thirlwell, novelist

Simon and Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist Adam Thirlwell. The author of four novels - the first of which, "Politics", was published in 2003 when he was 24, and the latest of which is "The Future Future" - Adam's work has been translated into 30 languages. His essays appear in the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books, and he is an advisory editor of the Paris Review. His awards include a Somerset Maugham Award and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2018 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has twice been selected - in 2003 and 2013 - by Granta as one of their Best of Young British Novelists. We spoke to Adam about his stellar university career and publishing his first novel in his early twenties, balancing fiction with working for literary magazines, and his latest work, "The Future Future".  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/23/202454 minutes, 6 seconds
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#177: Philippa Gregory, novelist and historian

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist and historian Philippa Gregory. She began her career in journalism and worked at BBC Radio before publishing her first historical novel, "Wideacre", in 1987 while she was completing a PhD in 18th-century literature. Other bestselling novels followed, including "The Other Boleyn Girl" - which was adapted into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman in 2008 - and "The White Queen". To date, Philippa's books have sold more than 10m copies worldwide; in 2018 she was awarded an Honorary Platinum Award by Nielsen to mark significant sales across her career. "Normal Women", her latest book, looks at 900 years of British history and tells stories of "female soldiers, guild widows, highwaywomen, pirates, miners and ship owners, international traders, theatre impresarios, runaway enslaved women, ‘female husbands’, social campaigners and rebels". We spoke to Philippa about her early career in academia, finding huge success as a historical novelist, and writing "Normal Women". “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/9/202457 minutes, 32 seconds
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#176: Henry Jeffreys, drinks writer

Simon and Rachel speak to the drinks writer Henry Jeffreys, who won Fortnum & Mason Drink Writer of the Year for 2022/23. Henry is the author of four books on alcohol: "Empire of Booze", a history of Britain and its empire told through the origin stories of various drinks; "The Home Bar"; "The Cocktail Dictionary"; and, most recently, "Vines in a Cold Climate", about the nascent English wine industry. Henry worked in the wine trade and publishing before becoming a writer. He has appeared on BBC radio and television, is a wine expert for BBC Good Food and edits the Master of Malt whisky blog, as well as contributing to numerous other publications. We spoke to Henry about his early career working as a book publicist, his debut, "Empire of Booze", and his most recent work, "Vines in a Cold Climate".  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠⁠Amazon⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Bookshop.org⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Hatchards⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠Waterstones⁠⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/26/202354 minutes, 45 seconds
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#175: Kassia St. Clair, journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak to the journalist, author and former co-host of Always Take Notes, Kassia St. Clair. She has written for Architectural Digest, The Economist, the Times Literary Supplement and Wired, and had a column in Elle Decoration for many years. Her first book, “The Secret Lives of Colour”, recounted the “unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues”; the book was a top-ten bestseller, a Radio 4 Book of the Week and has been translated into more than 20 languages. “The Golden Thread”, her second book, chronicled 30,000 years of textile history and was named a Book of the Year by the Sunday Times. Her latest book, “The Race to the Future”, revisits the Peking-Paris automobile race of 1907. We spoke to Kassia about getting started in journalism, writing “The Secret Lives of Colour” and changing direction for “The Race to the Future”. “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠Amazon⁠, ⁠Bookshop.org⁠, ⁠Hatchards⁠ or ⁠Waterstones⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/12/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 57 seconds
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#174: Adam Sisman, biographer

Simon and Rachel speak with the biographer Adam Sisman. After an initial career in publishing, Adam's first book, a biography of historian A.J.P. Taylor, appeared in 1994. His second, "Boswell's Presumptuous Task" (2000), won the US National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, and he has subsequently written biographies of another historian, Hugh Trevor-Roper, and the espionage novelist John le Carré. A coda to his original biography of Le Carré, published in 2015, came out this year; it contains information he was unable to publish in the novelist's lifetime. Among Adam's other works are two volumes of letters by travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. We spoke to Adam about his new book - "The Secret Life of John le Carré" - his early career in publishing, and his move into writing biographies.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via ⁠Amazon⁠, ⁠Bookshop.org⁠, ⁠Hatchards⁠ or ⁠Waterstones⁠. You can find us online at ⁠⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/28/202351 minutes, 20 seconds
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#173: Victoria Hislop, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist Victoria Hislop. After studying English at university, Victoria worked in book publishing, PR and journalism. She turned to fiction in 2005 with “The Island”, a love story set on Spinalonga, Greece’s former leprosy colony. The novel was translated into 40 languages and sold more than six million copies worldwide; it was adapted into a 26-part Greek television series, which achieved record ratings in the country. Subsequent books, including “The Return” and “One August Night”, have also been bestsellers. We spoke to Victoria about the origins and development of her interest in Greece, moving from publishing to journalism to fiction-writing, and her latest novel, “The Figurine”. “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via Amazon, Bookshop.org, Hatchards or Waterstones. You can find us online at ⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/14/202359 minutes, 7 seconds
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#172: Anjan Sundaram, journalist and author

Simon and Rachel speak with Anjan Sundaram, an award-winning author, journalist and television presenter, whose war correspondence has won a Frontline Club Award and a Reuters prize. Anjan's previous books are "Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship" (an Amazon Book of the Year) and "Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo" (a Royal African Society Book of the Year). He has reported from Central Africa for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Observer, Granta, Foreign Policy, Politico and the Associated Press. His books have been featured by Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria on CNN; by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show; and on BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week and Start the Week. We spoke to Anjan about working as a stringer in the Congo and elsewhere in Africa, juggling journalism and book writing, and his new book, "Breakup", on the personal costs of war reporting.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via Amazon, Bookshop.org, Hatchards or Waterstones. You can find us online at ⁠⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/31/202356 minutes, 1 second
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#171: Sarah Braybrooke, publishing director, Ithaka Press

Rachel and Simon speak with Sarah Braybrooke, publishing director at Ithaka Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK. Sarah started her career in publicity, first at Profile, then at Scribe, an independent publishing house based in Australia. She stayed with Scribe for 12 years, becoming managing editor of Scribe UK in 2017, and publisher in 2020. During her time there, Sarah worked on titles including "Gut", a bestselling science book about the digestive system, and "Billion Dollar Whale", an investigation into the 1MDB scandal. She moved to Ithaka in 2022. We spoke to Sarah about getting started in publishing, the differences between the Australian and British industries and setting up her list (which includes the new "Always Take Notes" book). Book tickets to our live recording in London on October 25th with Nicholas Shakespeare here.  “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press. You can order it via Amazon, Bookshop.org, Hatchards or Waterstones. You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/17/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 2 seconds
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#170: Frank Cottrell-Boyce, author and screenwriter

Simon and Rachel speak with the author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce. "Millions", his debut children's novel, published in 2004, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal. He is also the author of "Noah's Gold", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again", "Cosmic", "Framed", "The Astounding Broccoli Boy" and "Runaway Robot". His books have been shortlisted for numerous other prizes, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Whitbread Children's Fiction Award (now the Costa Book Award) and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Along with Danny Boyle, Frank also devised the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012. He has written for the hit TV series "Dr Who" and was the screenwriter for films including "Goodbye Christopher Robin" and "Millions". We spoke to Frank about his career as a screenwriter - moving from soap operas to feature films - his work on the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and his new novel, "The Wonder Brothers". “Always Take Notes: Advice From Some Of The World’s Greatest Writers” - a book drawing on our podcast interviews - is published by Ithaka Press on October 12th. You can order it via Amazon, Bookshop.org, Hatchards or Waterstones. You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/3/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 29 seconds
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#169: Helen Macdonald, nature writer and novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the nature writer and novelist Helen Macdonald. "H is for Hawk", a memoir of grief and falconry published in 2014, won several prizes including the Costa Book of the Year and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. "Vesper Flights", a collection of essays, was a Sunday Times bestseller in 2020. "Prophet", her latest book, is a sci-fi novel co-written with Sin Blaché. Helen is currently working on a project about Midway Atoll, an island in the North Pacific Ocean. We spoke to Helen about her huge success with "H is for Hawk", writing about the natural world in poetry, journalism and non-fiction, and about "Prophet". This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four-, five, six- or ten-week online course. You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/19/20231 hour, 48 seconds
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#168: Lee Child, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with the novelist Lee Child, one of the world’s leading thriller writers. Lee - real name James Grant - was born in Coventry in 1954, raised in Birmingham, and now lives in the United States. He began his writing career after he was made redundant from Granada Television in the 1990s. Today the novels featuring his hero, former military policeman Jack Reacher, consistently achieve the number-one slot on bestseller lists around the world and have sold over 100m copies. Lee is the recipient of many awards, most recently Author of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2019. We spoke to him about starting the Jack Reacher novels after losing his job in television, film and TV adaptations from Tom Cruise and Amazon, and handing the franchise over to his brother Andrew.  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lee-child-author-jack-wyoming-ranch-country-fg3tddwxw https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/my-childhood-cold-war-fears-are-back/ This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four-, five, six- or ten-week online course. You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/5/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 16 seconds
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#167: Megan Nolan, novelist and journalist

In this episode Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist and journalist Megan Nolan. Her essays and reviews have been published by the Guardian and the New York Times, among other publications. Her debut novel, "Acts of Desperation", was published in 2021 and received a Betty Trask Award, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her second novel, "Ordinary Human Failings", was published in July. We spoke to Megan about getting started in journalism in her early twenties, balancing essay-writing with fiction-writing and about "Ordinary Human Failings". You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/22/202350 minutes, 30 seconds
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#166: James Daunt, managing director, Waterstones, CEO, Barnes & Noble

Simon and Rachel speak to James Daunt, who runs both Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest retail bookseller, and Waterstones, the largest retail bookseller in the United Kingdom. James currently oversees approximately 600 Barnes & Noble shops in the United States and 293 Waterstones locations across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium. After an early career as an investment banker, James opened his own bookstore, Daunt Books, in London in 1990. In 2011 James was appointed managing director of Waterstones when the struggling bookseller was bought by a Russian businessman, Alexander Mamut; Waterstones was subsequently restored to profitability. In 2019 he additionally became chief executive of Barnes & Noble. We spoke to James about setting up his own independent bookstore in the 1990s, being brought in to save Waterstones two decades later, and subsequently taking on the top role at Barnes & Noble.  This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four-, five, six- or ten-week online course. You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/8/202357 minutes, 8 seconds
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#165: Francesca Main, publisher, Phoenix Books

Rachel and Simon speak to Francesca Main, publisher of Phoenix Books, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group which in turn is part of Hachette. She started her career at Penguin, first in the rights department and then as an editorial assistant at Hamish Hamilton; she then spent four years as a commissioning editor at Simon & Schuster. She joined Picador as editorial director in 2011 and launched the careers of writers including Adam Kay, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Jessie Burton. In 2015 Francesca was named Editor of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards. In 2020 she moved to Orion to launch her own imprint, Phoenix, which she has said will be a destination "for books you can't put down and can't forget". We spoke to Francesca about her experience working at Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Picador, about publishing smash hits such as "The Miniaturist" and "This Is Going to Hurt", and about setting up Phoenix Books. This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four-, five, six- or ten-week online course. You can find us online at ⁠alwaystakenotes.com⁠, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is ⁠patreon.com/alwaystakenotes⁠. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/25/20231 hour, 54 seconds
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#164: Albert Read, managing director, Condé Nast Britain

Simon and Rachel speak with Albert Read, who runs magazine publisher Condé Nast in the UK and recently published a book called "The Imagination Muscle", about the genesis of ideas. Albert has launched and led businesses for Condé Nast in the UK, and across Europe and Asia, overseeing titles such as Vogue, GQ, Wired, Condé Nast Traveller and Vanity Fair. A former journalist, he has written for the Spectator, the TLS, the Times and the Telegraph. He initially studied classics at university before later completing an MBA. We spoke to Albert about moving from editorial to the business side of journalism, his career at Condé Nast, including launching new editions of Vogue in India and China, and about "The Imagination Muscle," his new book.  You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/11/202356 minutes, 2 seconds
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#163: Abigail Bergstrom, literary agent and novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the literary agent and novelist Abigail Bergstrom. She started her career at the publisher Simon & Schuster in 2011; by 2014 she had been promoted to commissioning editor. She was then headhunted to set up and launch the literary arm of Gleam Futures, a talent-management agency, and oversaw the publication of several bestselling books. In 2020 Abigail was nominated for Literary Agent of the Year 2020 at the British Book Awards and in 2021 she launched her own company, Bergstrom Studio, a literary agency and publishing consultancy. Abigail is also a writer in her own right: her debut novel, “What a Shame”, was published by Hodder and Stoughton in 2022 and has been optioned for television. Her second novel is due to be published in 2024. We spoke to Abigail about starting out in publishing, setting up her own business and her experience of writing novels. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/27/202357 minutes, 52 seconds
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#162: Nels Abbey, author and co-founder of the Black Writers Guild

Simon and Rachel speak with Nels Abbey, a British-Nigerian writer, media executive and satirist who co-founded the Black Writers Guild in 2020 in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. A former banker, Nels's first book, "Think Like a White Man", was published in 2019. Penned under the alter-ego ‘Professor Boulé Whytelaw III’, the book is a satire of modern racial discourse and politics in the corporate world. Nels is now working on "Hip Hop MBA - What the Empires, Moguls, and Business of Rap Can Teach the World", an examination of how rap music has come to influence and dominate the fields of art, commerce, and culture the world over. Canongate will publish "Hip Hop MBA" in 2024. Nels has also written for publications including the Guardian, Metro and the Voice. We spoke to Nels about leaving the corporate world for creative pursuits, "Think Like a White Man", and the development of the Black Writers Guild over the past three years.  This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four-, five, six- or ten-week online course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/13/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
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#161: Sophie Lambert, literary agent, C&W

Rachel and Simon speak with the literary agent Sophie Lambert. After working as a bookseller and a book buyer in London for several years, Sophie moved to New York and spent three years there as an assistant at Janklow & Nesbit. She moved back to London and started her own list at Tibor Jones and Associates before joining C&W in 2013. She became a director and later managing director; in 2019 Sophie was shortlisted for Agent of the Year. She represents authors who have been nominated for or won numerous awards, including the Booker Prize, British Book of the Year, the Baillie Gifford, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Ondaatje Prize. We spoke to Sophie about moving from bookselling to agenting, her current role at C&W and her experience of instigating projects herself.  This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four-, five, six- or ten-week online course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/30/202358 minutes, 8 seconds
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#160: Jed Mercurio, screenwriter and novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with the screenwriter and novelist Jed Mercurio. A former hospital doctor and Royal Air Force officer, Jed made his entry into television after he answered an advert in the British Medical Journal seeking advisors for a hospital drama. Although he had limited experience, he was soon scripting the BBC series "Cardiac Arrest". Jed's subsequent television credits include "Bodies", "Lady Chatterley’s Lover", "Critical", "Strike Back", and "The Grimleys", and his most recent creations, police dramas "Line of Duty" and "Bodyguard", both topped the ratings for UK television drama. Jed's screenwriting work has achieved award wins or nominations at the Emmys, Golden Globes and BAFTAs, and he has also published several novels, including "Ascent" in 2007 which focuses on a Soviet fighter pilot turned cosmonaut. We spoke to Jed about moving from the air force and medicine into writing, working on novels as well as screenplays, and creating "Line of Duty". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/16/202352 minutes, 39 seconds
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#159: Carrie Plitt, literary agent, Felicity Bryan Associates

Rachel and Simon speak with the literary agent Carrie Plitt. She began her career in publishing in the rights department at Penguin, before moving to the literary agency Conville and Walsh in 2011. In 2016 she joined Felicity Bryan Associates and the authors she now represents include Reni Eddo-Lodge, Catherine Belton and Natasha Lunn. In 2018 Carrie was included on the Bookseller's list of rising stars of the book trade and in 2020 she was shortlisted for Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards. She is also the co-host of "Literary Friction", a podcast about books and ideas. We spoke to Carrie about life as an American in London and building her list of clients, representing Reni Eddo-Lodge as her book, "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race", became a huge hit, and her advice for young writers looking to secure representation.  You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/2/202359 minutes, 19 seconds
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#158: David Wolf, editor, Guardian Long Read

Simon and Rachel speak to David Wolf, who runs the Long Read section of the Guardian newspaper, publishing in-depth reporting, profiles and essays. David has worked at the Long Read since the section was founded in 2014 – first as commissioning editor, then overall editor. During that time, the Long Read has published over 1,000 pieces and David has personally edited articles on a wide variety of subjects, from profiles of the French President and Britain's most successful estate agent, to stories about Leni Riefenstahl, Hindu Supremacism and "proper" binmen. Before he joined the Guardian, David was arts & books editor of Prospect magazine. He has also written for the Guardian, Observer, Prospect, Slate and the New Republic. We spoke to David about how studying French and philosophy at university shaped his approach to editing, the history of the Long Read section, and the sometimes extended process of bringing a story idea to fruition.  You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/18/202359 minutes, 30 seconds
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#157: Sally Hayden, journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak to the journalist and author Sally Hayden, who won the Orwell Prize for Political Writing in 2022 for her book "My Fourth Time, We Drowned". Currently the Africa correspondent for the Irish Times, she has also worked with the BBC, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, the New York Times and the Washington Post. In 2019 she was included on Forbes's "30 Under 30" list of young media stars in Europe. Sally's reporting focuses on migration and human rights; that led to "My Fourth Time, We Drowned", an investigation into the migrant crisis across North Africa. Alongside winning the Orwell Prize, the book was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and the Moore Prize for Human Rights Writing. We spoke to Sally about entering the world of journalism, reporting from countries across Africa and the Middle East, and the genesis of her book. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/4/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 14 seconds
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#156: Fraser Nelson, editor, The Spectator

Simon and Rachel speak with Fraser Nelson, who has edited the Spectator magazine since 2009. Previously a financial journalist with the Times and political editor of the Scotsman, during his tenure at the Spectator Fraser has overseen a near doubling of the magazine’s sales. He is also a columnist with the Daily Telegraph, sits on the board of the Centre for Social Justice, a centre-right think tank, and has presented two Channel Four documentaries on the subject of inequality. We spoke to Fraser about the process of running a weekly magazine, his earlier career in newspapers, and adapting a print title to the digital age. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/21/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 46 seconds
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#155: Karolina Sutton, literary agent, Creative Artists Agency

Rachel and Simon speak with the literary agent Karolina Sutton. After a brief stint in advertising, she got a job as an agents' assistant and quickly started putting together her own list. She has worked with authors including Margaret Atwood, Ed Caesar, Anthony Doerr, Haruki Murakami, Tara Westover and Malala Yousafzai. In 2020 she won Agent of the Year at the British Book Awards. Earlier this year she moved from Curtis Brown to CAA. We spoke to Karolina about moving from advertising to agenting, working with high-profile clients and what she looks for in a book proposal. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/7/202354 minutes, 30 seconds
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#154: Ian McEwan, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with the novelist Ian McEwan, the critically acclaimed author of 17 novels and two short-story collections. His first published work, a collection of short stories, "First Love, Last Rites", won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976. Ian's novels include "The Child in Time", which won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 1987; "The Cement Garden"; "Enduring Love"; "Amsterdam", which won the Booker Prize in 1998; "Atonement"; "Saturday"; "On Chesil Beach"; "Solar"; "Sweet Tooth"; "The Children Act"; "Nutshell"; and "Machines Like Me", which was a number-one bestseller. "Atonement", "Enduring Love", "The Children Act" and "On Chesil Beach" have all been adapted into films. We spoke to Ian about his experience as the first-ever student on the University of East Anglia creative-writing course, his extraordinary run of success in the 1990s and early 2000s, and about his new novel, "Lessons." You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/21/20231 hour, 1 minute, 54 seconds
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#153: Tessa Hadley, novelist and short-story writer

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist and short-story writer Tessa Hadley. She is the author of eight novels, including "Accidents in the Home" (2002), for which she was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and "The Past" (2015), which won a Windham-Campbell Literature Prize. Tessa regularly publishes stories in the New Yorker; a new collection of her short fiction, "After the Funeral", will be released in July. We spoke to Tessa about being published for the first time in her 40s, writing in different mediums, and her latest novel, "Free Love". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/7/202357 minutes, 55 seconds
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#152: Orlando Figes, historian

Simon and Rachel speak to Orlando Figes, author of nine books on Russian and European history which have been translated into over 30 languages. Born in London, Figes studied history at Cambridge and, as a graduate student, completed archival research in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. He rose to prominence in 1996 with his second book, "A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891–1924", which the Times Literary Supplement later named as one its "100 most influential books since the war". His subsequent works include "Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia", "Crimea: The Last Crusade" and "The Europeans", and until recently he was a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London. We spoke to Orlando about reaching a popular audience with his history books, "The Whisperers" and "The Europeans", and his timely latest project, "The Story of Russia". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/24/202359 minutes, 4 seconds
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#151: Moya Lothian-McLean, contributing editor, Novara Media

Rachel and Simon speak to Moya Lothian-McLean, contributing editor at Novara Media. She began writing articles about music for Vice in 2015 while studying at university; in 2016, after graduating, she joined Stylist as an editorial assistant and wrote features as well as articles for the website. In 2020 she joined gal-dem, an independent magazine, as politics editor. Now she is contributing editor at Novara Media and writes for the New York Times and the Guardian, among other publications. Alongside her editorial work, she presents "Human Resources", a podcast about Britain's involvement in slavery, and appears on broadcast media. We spoke to Moya about breaking into freelancing, her stint at gal-dem and her current role at Novara Media, and the differences between journalism and content creation. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/10/202356 minutes, 45 seconds
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#150: Mohsin Hamid, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak to the novelist Mohsin Hamid. Born in Lahore, he grew up mostly in Pakistan but spent part of his childhood in California and returned to America to attend Princeton University. He worked in New York and London as a management consultant before returning to Lahore to pursue writing full-time. Mohsin's first novel, "Moth Smoke" (2000), was published in 14 languages and won a Betty Trask Award. His second novel, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" (2007), recounted a Pakistani man’s abandonment of his life in New York in the aftermath of 9/11. Published in over 30 languages, it became a million-copy international bestseller and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. A film adaptation followed in 2013 starring Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson. Mohsin's other novels include "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" in 2013, "Exit West" (2017) and most recently "The Last White Man." We spoke to Mohsin about the moving from Pakistan to America and from the corporate to the literary world, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" and the shadow of 9/11, and his new book "The Last White Man". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/27/202255 minutes, 14 seconds
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#149: Merve Emre, author, academic and literary critic

Rachel and Simon speak to author, academic and literary critic Merve Emre. After a stint as a management consultant, she completed a PhD and taught English literature at McGill University in Canada, before taking up a role as an associate professor at Oxford. (This year she is a distinguished writer-in-residence at Wesleyan in the US.) Alongside her academic work, Merve has written books including "Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America", "The Ferrante Letters" and "The Personality Brokers" (published in Britain as "What's Your Type?"), about the Myers-Briggs personality test. She is also a contributing writer at the New Yorker and her essays have been published in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic and the London Review of Books. We spoke to Merve about the differences between academia in America and Britain, her books and her criticism. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/13/202258 minutes, 47 seconds
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#148: Oliver Bullough, journalist and author

Simon and Rachel speak to the journalist and author Oliver Bullough. After studying history at university Oliver moved to Russia, where he worked first for an English-language magazine in Saint Petersburg, then for The Times of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan, and subsequently for Reuters, where he covered the war in Chechnya. Oliver's early books - "Let Our Fame Be Great" in 2010 and "The Last Man in Russia" in 2013 - examined respectively the Caucasus and a dissident Orthodox priest. His more recent books have focused on financial crime, with "Moneyland" in 2018 and this year with "Butler to the World". Oliver's journalism also appears in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the New York Times, and GQ. We spoke to Oliver about writing about oligarchs in the year that Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, navigating the complexities of English libel law, and the response to "Butler to the World". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/29/202258 minutes, 50 seconds
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#147: Tina Brown, journalist, editor and author

Rachel and Simon speak to the journalist, author and editor Tina Brown. She began working as a freelance journalist as a student and contributed to publications including the New Statesman, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph; in 1973 she won the Catherine Pakenham award for the most promising female journalist under the age of 25. In 1979 she was invited to edit Tatler, in 1984 she took over at Vanity Fair and in 1992 she became the first woman to become editor-in-chief of the New Yorker, a position she held until 1998. She was inducted into the Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame in 2007—the same year "The Diana Chronicles", her bestselling biography of the Princess of Wales, was published. In 2008 she set up the Daily Beast, a news website. We spoke to Tina about breaking into journalism and running Tatler in her 20s, editing marquee American publications in the 1980s and 1990s, and her latest book on the British royal family, "The Palace Papers". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/15/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 22 seconds
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#146: Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, academic and author

Simon and Rachel speak with the academic and author Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. After undergraduate studies and a PhD at Cambridge, Robert moved to Oxford in 2002, where he is a professor of English Literature and a fellow of Magdalen College. His previous books include "Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist", which won the Duff Cooper Prize for biography in 2011; "The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland" in 2015, which was shortlisted for the Costa Prize, and most recently "The Turning Point: A Year that Changed Dickens and the World" (2021). Robert has edited editions of Charles Dickens, Charles Kingsley and J.M. Barrie, and is a regular contributor to the Times, Guardian, Spectator, Literary Review, New Statesman and TLS. He has worked as a historical advisor on BBC adaptations of "Jane Eyre" (2006), "Emma" (2009) and "Great Expectations" (2011); acted as a consultant to the "Enola Holmes" film franchise; and served as a judge for the Man Booker and Baillie Gifford prizes. We spoke to Robert about combining an academic career with writing for a wider audience, his biographies of Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll, and his upcoming book "Metamorphosis." You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/1/202256 minutes, 29 seconds
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#145: Kit de Waal, novelist and short-story writer

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist and short-story writer Kit de Waal. Born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and a Caribbean father, she worked for several years in criminal and family law, sitting on adoption panels and writing manuals on foster care. Her experience in this field informed her debut novel, "My Name is Leon", which was published in 2016 after a six-way auction and was adapted into a television film this year. Kit has also worked to increase diversity in publishing, using some of her advance from "My Name is Leon" to fund a creative-writing scholarship and editing "Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers" in 2019. We spoke to Kit at Wimbledon BookFest about getting published for the first time in her 50s, about class and publishing and "Without Warning and Only Sometimes", her new memoir. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Creative Writing for Beginners, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/18/202254 minutes, 51 seconds
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#144: Marlon James, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with novelist Marlon James. Born in Jamaica in 1970, his novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings" won the Man Booker Prize in 2015, and was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States and a New York Times Notable Book. Marlon is now working on a trilogy of African fantasy novels, which began with "Black Leopard, Red Wolf", a finalist for the US National Book Award for fiction in 2019, followed by "Moon Witch, Spider King" in 2022. His earlier novels include "The Book of Night Women", which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2010, and "John Crow’s Devil", his debut in 2005. We spoke to Marlon about growing up in Jamaica and his decision to leave the country, winning the Booker Prize in 2015, and his new "Dark Star" trilogy. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Creative Writing for Beginners, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/4/202258 minutes, 13 seconds
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#143: Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK

Rachel and Simon speak with Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books UK. She was the first member of her family to go to university, where she studied drama; after declining an unpaid internship in the media, she turned to publishing, working in sales first at Macmillan, then Transworld and Bonnier. She left Bonnier for a stint in the toy industry, but returned to the company several years later. In 2015 and 2016 she was included on the Bookseller's list of the most influential people in publishing. She became CEO of Bonnier Books UK in 2018, and is also chair of the Publisher’s Association Consumer Publishers Council. We spoke to Perminder about her entry into publishing, her work at Bonnier, now the seventh-largest publisher in Britain, and the idea of author as brand. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Creative Writing for Beginners, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/20/202256 minutes, 54 seconds
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#142: Irvine Welsh, novelist and screenwriter

Rachel and Simon speak with novelist and screenwriter Irvine Welsh. Born in the Leith area of Edinburgh, Welsh moved to London in 1978 where he immersed himself in the punk scene. He returned to Edinburgh in the late 1980s, studied for an MBA, spent 18 months addicted to heroin and worked in the council's housing department. His debut novel, "Trainspotting", an account of heroin addicts written in a thick Leith dialect, was published in 1993. It became a cult success, helped by a film adaptation in 1996, directed by Danny Boyle. Welsh subsequently wrote two sequels and a prequel to "Trainspotting", as well as a number of standalone novels, including "Glue" (2001) and "The Blade Artist" (2016). His new novel, "The Long Knives", is a sequel to both "Filth" from 1998 and "Crime" from a decade later, which he has also adapted as TV drama. We spoke to Irvine about the impact of "Trainspotting", getting into the minds of violent characters, and why he does not have a literary agent. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Creative Writing for Beginners, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/6/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
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#141: Lauren Child, children's author and illustrator

Rachel and Simon speak with children's author and illustrator Lauren Child. She set up her own lampshade company and worked at a design agency before turning to books, publishing “I Want a Pet!” and “Clarice Bean, That's Me” in 1999. As well as the Clarice Bean series, Lauren is the author of the award-winning “Charlie and Lola” books (adapted into a television series which ran from 2005-08) and the Ruby Redford detective series. To date she has sold more than 6 million books in 19 languages worldwide. Between 2017 and 2019 she was the British Children's Laureate, a position awarded to a “writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field”. We spoke to Lauren about her process of writing and illustrating, the impact of celebrity authors on children's literature and her bestselling series. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/23/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
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#140: Colin Thubron, travel writer and novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with the novelist and travel writer Colin Thubron. Colin worked in publishing in London and New York before writing his first travel book, "Mirror to Damascus", in 1967. Other early books continued to focus on the Middle East, but later he was drawn towards the Soviet Union and Communist China. In 1982 Colin travelled by car into the Soviet Union, a journey described in "Among the Russians". His best-known travel books include "Behind the Wall" (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), "In Siberia" (which won the Prix Bouvier) and "Shadow of the Silk Road". Colin has also written eight novels, and between 2008 and 2017 he served as president of the Royal Society of Literature. We spoke to Colin about exploring Russia, China and central Asia, his latest book, "The Amur River", and his parallel career as a fiction writer. This episode was produced in conjunction with the London edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, and is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/9/202256 minutes, 53 seconds
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#139: Antonia Fraser, historian and novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the historian and novelist Antonia Fraser. She began her career in the 1950s as an assistant to George Weidenfeld, the co-founder of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, a British publishing house. Lady Antonia wrote her first book, "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table", in her early twenties; her first major historical work, "Mary Queen of Scots", was published in 1969. Since then she has written biographies of Oliver Cromwell, Charles II, the six wives of Henry VIII and Marie Antoinette, the last of which was adapted into a film directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Kirsten Dunst. She has also written two volumes of autobiography, including "Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter". Lady Antonia has served as President of English PEN and Chairman of the Society of Authors. We spoke with her about the success of "Mary Queen of Scots", her research process and her new book, "The Case of the Married Woman". This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/26/202255 minutes, 34 seconds
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#138: Sebastian Junger, journalist, author and film-maker

Simon and Rachel speak with journalist, author and film-maker Sebastian Junger. Attracted since childhood to “extreme situations and people at the edges of things,” Sebastian grew up in New England and worked as a high-climber for tree removal companies. After a chainsaw injury, he decided to focus on journalism, primarily writing about people with dangerous jobs. That led to his debut book in 1997, "The Perfect Storm", an account of the loss of a fishing boat, which went on to sell over 3.5 million copies and was made into a film starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Sebastian has reported on conflict in the Balkans, West Africa and Afghanistan, and as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair established a partnership with British photographer Tim Hetherington, with whom he collaborated on the documentary "Restrepo" in 2010. The film was nominated for an Oscar before Hetherington's death in Libya in 2011. Sebastian's other books include "War", "Tribe" and most recently "Freedom". We spoke to Sebastian about his smash-hit debut, his time as a war reporter, and his latest book. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/12/20221 hour, 41 seconds
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#137: Monica Ali, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist Monica Ali. Granta named her one of their brightest young British novelists in 2003 ahead of the publication of her first book, “Brick Lane”, which was then adapted into a film in 2007. She is also the author of “Alentejo Blue”, “In the Kitchen”, “Untold Story” and “Love Marriage” and has been nominated for awards including the Booker prize, the Orwell prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. We spoke to Monica about her smash-hit debut, her screenwriting work and her latest book, “Love Marriage”. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Plot & Story – The Deep Dive, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/28/20221 hour, 1 minute, 8 seconds
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#136: David Mitchell, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with novelist David Mitchell. Raised in Worcestershire in England, Mitchell later spent eight years living in Japan. The author of nine novels, including "Cloud Atlas", "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" and most recently "Utopia Avenue", David has been nominated for the Booker prize five times. His work has appeared in over 30 languages. David's novel "The Bone Clocks" (2014) won the World Fantasy Book Award and his screenwriting credits include "Matrix: Resurrections". We spoke to David about his 'multiverse' approach to fiction, the smash hit that was "Cloud Atlas", and his screenwriting work. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Plot & Story – The Deep Dive, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/14/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 27 seconds
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#135: Sian Meades-Williams, journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak with journalist and author Sian Meades-Williams. She has written for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Times and the New York Times and is the creator of Freelance Writing Jobs, a media-industry newsletter. In 2021 she launched the Freelance Writing Awards and in March 2022 she published "The Pyjama Myth", a guide to "the highs, lows and in-betweens of life in the competitive world of freelance writing". We spoke to Sian about getting into journalism, making her first steps as a freelancer and her new book. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/31/202259 minutes, 27 seconds
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#134: Toby Harnden, journalist and author

Simon and Rachel speak with the journalist and author Toby Harnden. A dual British and American citizen, Toby spent a decade as a Royal Navy officer before becoming a journalist. A former foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph who has reported from 33 countries, Toby was imprisoned in Zimbabwe, faced prosecution in Britain for protecting confidential sources, and was vindicated by a public inquiry in Ireland. He specialises in terrorism and war: his books include "Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh" (1999), "Dead Men Risen: An Epic Story of War and Heroism in Afghanistan" (which was published in 2009 after a fraught battle with the British Ministry of Defence and later won the Orwell Prize) and "First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11". We spoke to Toby about getting into journalism after leaving the military, writing about the IRA and the war in Afghanistan, and his latest book "First Casualty". This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/17/20221 hour, 59 seconds
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#133: Ruth Ozeki, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist Ruth Ozeki. In the 1980s Ruth worked in film, first as an art director and production designer for low-budget horror films, then as a writer, producer and director of independent films. "Halving the Bones" (1995), a documentary about her family history and the process of bringing her grandmother's remains from Japan, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Her first novel, "My Year of Meats", was published in 1998 and "All Over Creation" followed in 2003. In 2010 Ruth was ordained as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest. "A Tale for the Time Being", published in 2013, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and has been published in more than 30 countries. We spoke to Ruth about her childhood interest in writing, the mutually reinforcing practises of novel-writing and Zen Buddhism, and her new novel, "The Book of Form and Emptiness", recently shortlisted for the Women's Prize. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/3/20221 hour, 16 seconds
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#132: George Packer, journalist and author

Simon and Rachel speak with journalist and author George Packer. A staff writer for the Atlantic and a former staff writer for the New Yorker, George is the author of "The Unwinding: Thirty Years of American Decline", which was a New York Times bestseller and won a National Book Award. His other nonfiction books include "The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq", "Blood of the Liberals", which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 2001, and "Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century". He has also written two novels, "The Half Man" and "Central Square". George's writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Harper's, and other publications. We spoke to George about writing his latest book "Last Best Hope" while in lockdown, working at the New Yorker and the Atlantic, and the journalistic climate today. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/19/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 11 seconds
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#131: Christina Patterson, journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak with journalist and author Christina Patterson. She began her career in publishing and worked as a literary programmer for the Southbank Centre; from 2000 to 2003 she was director of the Poetry Society. She joined the Independent and wrote columns and interview pieces as well as investigations into nursing, for which she was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2013. Christina published her first memoir, "The Art of Not Falling Apart" in 2018, and "Outside, the Sky is Blue: A Family Memoir", in February. We spoke to Christina about memoir-writing, her time working at newspapers and her portfolio career today. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Writing a Memoir, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/5/202258 minutes, 5 seconds
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#130: David Nicholls, novelist and screenwriter

Simon and Rachel speak with the novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls. In 2009 David's novel "One Day" was a global bestseller, published in 40 languages, and he is also the author of "Sweet Sorrow", "Us", "The Understudy" and "Starter for Ten". On screen, David has written adaptations of "Far From the Madding Crowd" and "When Did You Last See Your Father?", as well as turning his own novels, "Starter for Ten" and "One Day", into feature films. His adaptation of Edward St. Aubyn’s "Patrick Melrose", starring Benedict Cumberbatch, was nominated for an Emmy and won a BAFTA for best writer. Other works for TV include episodes of "Cold Feet", "Tess of the D’Urbervilles" and two-part love story "The 7.39". We spoke to David about starting out as an actor, his huge success with "One Day" and his parallel career as a screenwriter. This episode is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative, the writing school attached to the major literary agency. CBC has provided an exclusive discount for Always Take Notes listeners. You can use the code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of Plot & Story – The Deep Dive, or any other four- or six-week online writing course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/22/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 18 seconds
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#129: Maggie Fergusson, author and journalist

Rachel and Simon speak with the author and journalist Maggie Fergusson. After studying history at university, Maggie briefly worked in finance before joining Harper's & Queen magazine (now known as Harper's Bazaar.) As a freelance writer, she was sent by the Times to interview the Scottish poet George Mackay Brown in 1992, and it proved the beginning of a friendship that would culminate with a prizewinning biography published in 2006. Maggie became Secretary of the Royal Society in Literature in 1989; she continues to work at the RSL as the Literary Adviser and edits their annual magazine. We spoke to Maggie about her work past and present at the RSL, her biographies of Mackay Brown and Michael Morpurgo and her journalism for the Tablet, 1843 Magazine and the Spectator. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways and on Instagram @alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/8/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 24 seconds
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#128: David Shelley, CEO, Hachette UK

Simon speaks with David Shelley, Group CEO of Hachette UK. After studying English at university, David entered the publishing industry in the 1990s as an editorial assistant at Allison & Busby. David rose through the ranks to become publishing director there at the age of just 23, and eventually turned the loss-making business into a profitable one, before joining Little, Brown as a crime editor in 2005. Six years later he became publisher at Little, Brown and he has held his current position as Hachette UK group CEO since 2018. We spoke to David about starting his career at an independent publisher, his path to becoming CEO at Hachette, the second-largest trade publisher in the world, and attempts to diversify the publishing industry. This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any four- or six-week online course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/22/202258 minutes, 16 seconds
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#127: Katie Kitamura, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with Katie Kitamura. Born in California to Japanese parents, she wrote her first book, "Japanese for Travellers: A Journey Through Modern Japan", in her early 20s. Her debut novel, "The Longshot", about a mixed martial arts fighter, was published in 2009; "Gone to the Forest", a tale of family drama in an unnamed colonial country, followed in 2012. "A Separation", published in 2017, was a finalist for the Premio von Rezzori literary prize. "Intimacies", her latest novel, was longlisted for the National Book Award and recommended by Barack Obama. We spoke to Katie about "Intimacies", adapting fiction for the screen and the importance of finding the right register. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/8/202259 minutes, 2 seconds
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#126: Alex Kay-Jelski, editor-in-chief, the Athletic UK

Simon and Rachel speak with Alex Kay-Jelski, the editor-in-chief in the UK of sports website the Athletic. Alex, previously sports editor of the Times and the Daily Mail, set up British operations for the Athletic in 2019, hiring well-known names from other publications (and new young journalists) in a move that shook up the sportswriting scene. Originally established in 2016, the Athletic had 1.2 million subscribers as of December 2021, and this month was acquired by the New York Times for $550m - £400m (we recorded this interview before news of the acquisition broke). We spoke to Alex about committing to sports journalism in his teens, his years at the Daily Mail and the Times, and launching the Athletic with its roster of celebrated football journalists. The piece on the sacking of Frank Lampard discussed in the interview is available here (subscription required). You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/25/202254 minutes, 34 seconds
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#125: Elif Shafak, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with award-winning novelist Elif Shafak. The author of 12 novels and 7 works of non-fiction, her work has been translated into 55 languages. "The Forty Rules of Love" (2009) was chosen by the BBC as one of 100 novels that have shaped the world; "10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World" was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the RSL Ondaatje Prize in 2019; her latest novel, "The Island of Missing Trees", was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards in 2021 and chosen for Reese Witherspoon's influential book club in November. We spoke to Elif about writing in both Turkish and English, "The Bastard of Istanbul" and the accusation that she had "insulted Turkishness" and why heavy metal is the perfect music to write to. This episode is sponsored by Writing Magazine, who are offering our podcast listeners 20% off any of their courses throughout the whole of December and January. To claim your discount, simply email: [email protected] with the code PODCAST20 and the course you’d like to enrol on. For full course details, visit their website: https://www.writers-online.co.uk/writing-courses You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/11/202259 minutes, 50 seconds
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#124: Howard Jacobson, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with novelist Howard Jacobson. Born in Manchester, Howard spent his early career as an academic and published his first novel, "Coming from Behind," in 1983. He has now written sixteen novels and six works of non-fiction, and won the Booker Prize for "The Finkler Question" in 2010 (he was also shortlisted in 2014 for "J".) His most recent novel is "Live a Little" and his memoir "Mother’s Boy - A Writer’s Beginnings" will be published in March 2022. We spoke with Howard about finding his voice and publishing his first novel as he turned 40, winning the Booker Prize, and the utility of shame and failure as a writer. This episode is sponsored by Writing Magazine, who are offering our podcast listeners 20% off any of their courses throughout the whole of December and January. To claim your discount, simply email: [email protected] with the code PODCAST20 and the course you’d like to enrol on. For full course details, visit their website: https://www.writers-online.co.uk/writing-courses You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/28/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 22 seconds
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#123: Marianne Tatepo, commissioning editor, Ebury Press

Rachel and Simon speak with Marianne Tatepo. Currently commissioning editor for Ebury Press and Pop Press, part of Penguin Random House UK, she publishes non-fiction books, with a particular interest in lifestyle, memoir, wellbeing and food. In January 2022 she will take up a new post as publishing director at Square Peg, another PRH imprint. In June 2020 Marianne founded the Black Agents and Editors’ Group (BAE), a publishing community and mentoring network; later that year she was named as one of the 150 most influential people in British publishing by the Bookseller. In April she became the first guest editor of the magazine and was also named as one of their rising stars. We spoke to Marianne about her decision to study for a master’s degree in publishing, her experience of the industry and why she founded BAE. This episode is sponsored by Writing Magazine, who have provided an exclusive discount for listeners of Always Take Notes. Download their digital magazine and try their introductory subscription offer at 3 issues for just £4.99 (worth £18). Claim this offer online at: https://pocketmags.com/offer/warners-group/atnwritingm You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/14/202158 minutes, 48 seconds
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#122: David Baldacci, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with bestselling American novelist David Baldacci. A former trial lawyer, after early attempts at screenwriting David published his first thriller, "Absolute Power", in 1996. A film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. David has now published 43 novels for adults; his books have sold 150 million copies worldwide, in over 45 languages and more than 80 countries. David's notable characters include Amos Decker, Aloysius Archer, Atlee Pine and John Puller, and he has also published seven novels for young readers. We spoke to David about the origin and publication of "Absolute Power", balancing series and standalone novels, and negotiating a better deal with publishers.  This episode is sponsored by Writing Magazine, who have provided an exclusive discount for listeners of Always Take Notes. Download their digital magazine and try their introductory subscription offer at 3 issues for just £4.99 (worth £18). Claim this offer online at: https://pocketmags.com/offer/warners-group/atnwritingm We’ve this year launched a new tier on the podcast’s crowdfunder on Patreon. Our most generous supporters now receive intimate mini-episodes in which past guests answer three revealing questions, as well as a two-month trial (worth $26) to the automated transcription service Otter.ai. If you’re a journalist, Otter is a great tool to organise interview audio. It can also capture conversations in in-person or virtual meetings, and it’s available in English across Web, iOS, Android, Zoom and Google Meet.
11/30/20211 hour, 1 minute, 16 seconds
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#121: Hollie McNish, poet

Rachel and Simon speak with the poet Hollie McNish. After rising to prominence online, she has published four collections of poetry: “Papers”, “Cherry Pie”, “Why I Ride” and “Plum”. “Nobody Told Me”, a collection of prose and poetry about parenthood taken from Hollie's diaries, was published in 2016 and won the Ted Hughes award for New Work in Poetry. In May she released “Slug...and other things I've been told to hate”, a bestselling poetic memoir. She has also recorded an album of poetry and music, co-written a play about the history of women's football in Britain, and has just finished a reimagining of “Antigone”. We spoke to Hollie about the difference between poets and spoken-word artists, launching a career in the artform, and how she deals with hostile critics. This episode is sponsored by Writing Magazine, who have provided an exclusive discount for listeners of Always Take Notes. Download their digital magazine and try their introductory subscription offer at 3 issues for just £4.99 (worth £18). Claim this offer online at: https://pocketmags.com/offer/warners-group/atnwritingm You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/16/202159 minutes, 22 seconds
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#120: Gary Younge, journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak with journalist and author Gary Younge. Born in Hertfordshire to Barbadian parents, in his final year at university Gary won a bursary from the Guardian to study journalism at City University. He started working at the Guardian in 1993, and after reporting from all over Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean, he was appointed the Guardian’s US correspondent in 2003. In 2015 he returned to London where he became the Guardian’s editor-at-large. In 2020 he left the paper to take up a post at the sociology department at Manchester University. Alongside his journalism Gary has written five books, including "Another Day in the Death of America, A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives" and "The Speech, The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream". We talked to Gary about his career at the Guardian, his non-fiction books and his decision to enter academia. This episode is sponsored by Writing Magazine, who have provided an exclusive discount for listeners of Always Take Notes. Download their digital magazine and try their introductory subscription offer at 3 issues for just £4.99 (worth £18). Claim this offer online at: https://pocketmags.com/offer/warners-group/atnwritingm You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/2/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 29 seconds
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#119: Tracy Chevalier, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with novelist Tracy Chevalier. Tracy moved to Britain from America in the 1980s and worked in publishing before completing an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She is now the author of ten novels, including "Girl With a Pearl Earring", which has sold more than 5m copies worldwide and been adapted into a film and a play as well as a forthcoming opera. We talked to Tracy about her rigorous research process, the usefulness (or not) of the label "historical fiction", and avoiding the temptation to repeat the same trick twice. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/19/202156 minutes, 2 seconds
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#118: Alex Wade, libel lawyer, journalist and author

Simon speaks with Alex Wade, a libel lawyer, journalist and author. Alex began life at law firm Carter-Ruck and went on to work as a lawyer for national newspapers. A spell off the rails in his early 30s saw Alex reinvent himself as freelance journalist and take up boxing. His experience of the then-subterranean world of white-collar boxing led to his first book, "Wrecking Machine". Alex went on to write two books about surfing and, in 2016, his first novel, "Flack's Last Shift", was published. Alex now combines working as a media lawyer for the firm Reviewed and Cleared with writing, and, from his current base in the south of France, is working on a new book, "A Season on the Med", about football in the Mediterranean. Simon spoke to Alex about the business of helping authors, publishers, podcasters and broadcasters avoid being sued, as well as Alex's own colourful past. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, on Instagram @alwaystakenotes, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/5/202159 minutes, 9 seconds
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#117: Val McDermid, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with novelist Val McDermid. After graduating from university Val worked as a journalist for 16 years, earning the nickname “Killer” on account of her determination to always get the story. She left journalism to pursue novel-writing full-time, and to date has sold more than 17m books across the world. Dubbed the “Queen of Crime”, Val is the author of several acclaimed series, following Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, private detective Kate Brannigan, journalist Lindsay Gordon, and cold-case detective Karen Pirie. In August she published “1979”, the first in a new strand about Allie Burns, a reporter. We spoke with Val about her years as a tabloid journalist, the art and the necessity of juggling multiple book series at once and how attitudes towards crime writing have changed in recent decades. This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the full price of any six-week online course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/21/20211 hour, 1 minute, 47 seconds
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#116: William Dalrymple, historian and travel writer

Simon and Rachel speak with William Dalrymple, the award-winning historian and travel writer. While still at university in 1986, William set off to follow on foot the outward route of Marco Polo from Jerusalem to Mongolia and wrote a bestselling account of the journey, "In Xanadu". In 1999, after three other books of travel, he concentrated on writing history. "White Mughals", published in 2003, won the Wolfson Prize. "The Last Mughal" won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. These books have now been combined with two others, "The Return of a King" and "The Anarchy," to form a quartet on the rise and fall of the East India Company. We spoke to William about "In Xanadu", his Company Quartet of history books, and the art of writing a book proposal. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/7/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 38 seconds
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#115: Aminatta Forna, novelist and non-fiction writer

Simon and Rachel speak with Aminatta Forna, a novelist and non-fiction writer. She is the author of a memoir, “The Devil that Danced on the Water”, about her father—a dissident who was executed in Sierra Leone—as well as several award-winning novels, including “Happiness”, “The Hired Man”, “The Memory of Love” and “Ancestor Stones”. She has recently published “The Window Seat”, a collection of essays. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages and she is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. We spoke to Aminatta about her early work at the BBC, the similarities between creative non-fiction and fiction and her decision to take up a post at Georgetown University. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/24/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
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#114: Henry Winter, chief football writer, The Times

Rachel and Simon speak with Henry Winter, chief football writer at the Times. Henry has been writing about football for 35 years, covered England since 1994 and attended eight World Cups. He joined the Independent at its launch in 1986, moved to the Daily Telegraph in 1994, and joined the Times in 2015. Alongside his newspaper journalism, Winter ghost-wrote the autobiographies of Liverpool players Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes and Steven Gerrard, and co-wrote "FA Confidential" with former FA chief executive David Davies. He is also the author of "Fifty Years of Hurt: The Story of England Football". We spoke with Henry about the art of the match report, the progression of his career, and both writing and ghost-writing books. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/10/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
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#113: Lennie Goodings, chair of Virago Press

Simon and Rachel speak with Lennie Goodings, chair of Virago Press. Born in Canada, Lennie came to Britain in the 1970s and joined Virago as a publicist in 1978. In subsequent roles—first in marketing, then as publisher—Lennie has worked with authors including Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters and Linda Grant. She won the Bookseller's Industry Award for Editor and Imprint of the Year in 2010, a Lifetime's Achievement Award at the Women of the World festival in 2018 and was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2020. Her book, "A Bite of the Apple", a memoir-cum-history of Virago, was published in 2020 by Oxford University Press. We talked to Lennie about the early years of her career, the intimacy of editing a writer's work and how the business of feminist publishing has evolved. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/27/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 18 seconds
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#112: Simon Scarrow, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with historical novelist Simon Scarrow. Simon worked first as a schoolteacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman-era "Eagles of the Empire" series has sold over 4 million copies in the UK alone, and his work has been translated into 24 languages. His other work includes a quartet of novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, a novel about the 1565 Siege of Malta, a contemporary thriller written with Lee Francis, and "Blackout", the first in a new series set in Berlin during the early months of the Second World War. We spoke to Simon about his interest in historical fiction, the surprisingly varied readership of his novels and the financial benefits of writing a series. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/13/20211 hour, 1 minute, 15 seconds
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#111: Kate Mosse, novelist and founder of the Women's Prize For Fiction

Simon and Rachel speak with novelist Kate Mosse. The author of nine novels and short-story collections, as well as four plays and three works of non-fiction, her writing has been translated into 38 languages and published in more than 40 countries. "Labyrinth", the first volume in her hit "Languedoc Trilogy", was the bestselling title in Britain in 2006. Kate is also the founder and director of the Women's Prize for Fiction, the largest annual celebration of women's writing in the world. We spoke to Kate about the history and future of the Women's Prize, her years in publishing and crafting historical fiction. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/29/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 59 seconds
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#110: William Boyd, novelist and screenwriter 

Rachel and Simon speak with William Boyd, bestselling novelist and prolific screenwriter. William was born in Ghana and grew up there and in Nigeria. His novels include "A Good Man in Africa," "The New Confessions," "Any Human Heart," "Restless" and most recently "Trio." He has won the Somerset Maugham Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Jean Monnet. Twenty of his screenplays have been filmed, including "The Trench", which he also directed, and he has published five collections of short stories. We spoke to William about starting out as a novelist while working as an academic, his parallel screenwriting career and the experience of writing a James Bond novel. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/15/202158 minutes, 56 seconds
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#109: Terri White, editor-in-chief, Empire magazine, and author

Rachel and Simon speak with Terri White, editor-in-chief of Empire magazine and author. She began her journalism career working on titles including Woman & Home and Marie Claire before joining the launch team of Nuts in 2003. In 2010, aged 29, Terri became the editor of ShortList, a men's lifestyle magazine, and moved to New York in 2014 to run Time Out New York. During that time, Terri's mental health deteriorated and she ended up in a psychiatric ward—an experience she chronicled in her acclaimed recent memoir, “Coming Undone”. We spoke to Terri about her rapid career progression, the challenges of confessional writing and her vision for Empire. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/1/20211 hour, 8 seconds
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#108: Jonny Geller, literary agent, Curtis Brown

Rachel and Simon speak with Jonny Geller, one of the best known literary agents in London. Jonny joined Curtis Brown in 1993 as an assistant after a short career as an actor. He became a literary agent in 1995 after discovering a novel on the unsolicited pile which went on to sell rights worldwide. He became CEO of the agency in 2012 and is now also CEO of the overall Curtis Brown Group. Jonny's clients include novelists William Boyd, Monica Ali, Tracy Chevalier, David Mitchell and Elif Shafak, as well as former British prime minister Gordon Brown and the musician Bono. He represented David Cornwell, aka John le Carré, until his death last year and now represents his estate, as well as that of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. We spoke to Jonny about his unusual entry into the world of literary agenting, his approach to selling books, and how he combines the role of CEO with handling his authors. Jonny's agent's manifesto is available here and his Tedx Talk is here. This episode of Always Take Notes is sponsored by Curtis Brown Creative. Go to www.curtisbrowncreative.co.uk to find out more about their creative writing courses. Use code ATN20 for £20 off the price of any four-week, six-week or ten-week online course. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/18/202159 minutes, 20 seconds
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#107: Leaf Arbuthnot, journalist and novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with journalist and novelist Leaf Arbuthnot. She has written for publications including the TLS, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman and she is currently the film critic and acting features editor at Tatler. Her first novel, “Looking for Eliza”, about the unlikely friendship between two lonely women in Oxford, was published by Orion in 2020. She has also written “The Birthday Party”, a serialised novel, and is working on a play about the Magnitsky Act. We spoke to Leaf about student journalism, writing engaging reviews and releasing her debut book in lockdown. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/4/20211 hour, 28 seconds
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#106: Simon Sebag Montefiore, historian and novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with Simon Sebag Montefiore, a historian and novelist whose books have been published in 48 languages. His history books include "Catherine the Great and Potemkin", which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson and Duff Cooper Prizes, "Young Stalin", which won the Costa Biography Award (UK) and "Jerusalem: The Biography" which won the Wen Jin Prize in China. His Moscow trilogy of novels comprises "Sashenka", "Red Sky at Noon" and "One Night in Winter." We spoke with Sebag, as he likes to be known, about interviewing Margaret Thatcher as a schoolboy, his adventures in the Russian archives, and combining history and writing novels. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/20/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 37 seconds
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#105: Rosie Nixon, editor-chief, Hello! magazine and novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with Rosie Nixon, editor-in-chief of Hello! and novelist. Rosie has worked in the magazine industry for more than 20 years and has previously held senior roles at Grazia, Glamour and Red. In 2017 Rosie was named Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors in the entertainment and celebrity category. She is also the author of three novels, “The Stylist”, “Amber Green takes Manhattan” and “Just Between Friends”. Her first non-fiction book, “Kindness Counts”, will be released in November. We spoke to Rosie about her early jobs at teen magazines, covering the royal family and the compulsion to write novels. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/6/202154 minutes, 54 seconds
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#104: Simon Akam, magazine writer and author

In an episode with a difference Rachel interviews her Always Take Notes co-cost Simon to mark the publication of his book "The Changing of the Guard,"  which tells the story of the British Army since 9/11. After a complicated gestation the book was published last month and has generated extensive debate on the review pages, along with excerpts in the FT magazine, the Atlantic and GQ. Rachel also asks Simon about his magazine journalism and balancing time as a freelancer. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/23/20211 hour, 7 seconds
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#103: Samira Shackle, freelance writer and author

Simon and Rachel speak with Samira Shackle, a freelance writer and author. Her first book, “Karachi Vice”, is a modern history of Pakistan’s largest city through the testimony of five ordinary citizens. It was chosen as a Radio 4 Book of the Week in February. She is the editor of the New Humanist magazine, a quarterly journal of ideas, science and culture, and a regular contributor to the Guardian Long Read. We spoke to Samira about the research and reporting of “Karachi Vice”, writing narrative non-fiction and the mysterious case of the Gatwick drone. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/9/202154 minutes, 28 seconds
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#102: Jack Thorne, playwright and screenwriter

Rachel and Simon speak with Jack Thorne, a writer of film, television and theatre. Jack has won five BAFTAs for his television work; his latest credits include "National Treasure", "The Virtues" and the BBC’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s "His Dark Materials". In film, his credits include "Wonder", "The Aeronauts" and "Enola Holmes". In theatre, his play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" won multiple Olivier Awards including Best New Play and multiple Tony awards including Best Play. We spoke with Jack about his early plays, breaking into screenwriting with "Skins", and his work with the BBC, HBO and Netflix. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/23/20211 hour, 39 seconds
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#101: Natalie Haynes, author and comedian

Simon and Rachel speak with Natalie Haynes. Following an education as a classicist and a career as a stand-up comedian, Natalie has written three novels—“The Amber Fury”, “The Children of Jocasta” and “A Thousand Ships” (which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020)—as well as two non-fiction books, “The Ancient Guide to Modern Life” and “Pandora’s Jar”. Natalie has also written for publications including the Times, the Independent, the New Humanist, the Guardian and the Observer on a variety of subjects. We discussed the value of classical languages, reinterpreting myths and the performative nature of writing. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/9/20211 hour, 52 seconds
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#100: James Ashton, business journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak with business journalist and author James Ashton. James was city editor and executive editor of the Evening Standard and Independent titles and before that city editor of the Sunday Times. He has also written for the Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, Scotsman, Business AM and Reuters. His book “The Nine Types of Leader” chronicles the different categories of CEO he has encountered in over twenty years of journalism. We spoke to James about the art of the CEO interview, his book, and what it's like to move from working at a newspaper to working freelance. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/26/202154 minutes, 55 seconds
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#99: Sirin Kale, feature writer

Rachel and Simon speak with feature writer Sirin Kale. After a stint in lobbying, Sirin turned to journalism and worked at Dazed & Confused and Vice UK. Now freelance, she contributes to publications including the Guardian, where she writes the widely read “Lost to the Virus” series, Observer, Vogue, Wired, GQ and 1843 Magazine. We talked to Sirin about her decision to change careers, the importance of time management and reporting sensitive stories. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/12/202157 minutes, 9 seconds
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#98: Ed Needham, editor Strong Words, former editor FHM, Maxim, Rolling Stone

Simon and Rachel talk with magazine editor Ed Needham. Today Ed single-handedly writes and edits Strong Words, a literary journal for book lovers who want to locate their next great read more accurately amid an ocean of new product. Formerly Ed was editor of FHM in London during its million-selling heyday in the 1990s, then moved to New York in 1999 to launch and edit the American edition. In New York he was also managing editor of Rolling Stone and editor-in-chief of US Maxim, at a time when that title was the biggest men’s magazine in the world. We spoke to Ed about his time at FHM at the height of 'lads' mags', his stints at American magazines, and how he set up and runs Strong Words. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/29/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 29 seconds
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#97: Rebecca Giggs, author

Simon and Rachel talk with the nature writer Rebecca Giggs. Rebecca, who is from Perth, Australia, writes about how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays and Best Australian Science Writing. We spoke with Rebecca about “Fathoms: the World in the Whale”, her debut non-fiction book, her exhaustive research process and about the Australian literary scene. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/15/202059 minutes, 4 seconds
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#96: Samanth Subramanian, magazine writer and author

Rachel and Simon talk to magazine writer and author Samanth Subramanian. Samanth is a contributing writer to the Guardian Long Read, and his writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, WIRED, Granta, Harper's and 1843, among other publications. He is the author of three books, “Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast,” (which won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize in 2010), “This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War” (winner of the 2015 Crossword Prize for Non-Fiction) and his latest, “A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J. B. S. Haldane”, published in 2020. We spoke to Samanth about studying journalism as an undergraduate, his transition to narrative journalism, and about the gruelling realities of freelance life. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/1/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 12 seconds
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#95: Emily Hayward-Whitlock, book-to-film agent

Simon and Rachel speak with agent Emily Hayward-Whitlock, head of the book-to-film department at The Artists Partnership. Emily handles the film and TV rights for various literary agencies and publishers, including Rogers Coleridge and White, Serpent’s Tail, Janklow and Nesbit, Unbound, Profile Books and Nosy Crow. Her recent deals include Richard Osman’s bestselling novel, “The Thursday Murder Club”, to Amblin Pictures and Gail Honeyman’s “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” to Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s production company. We spoke to Emily about what kinds of books are most attractive for film and TV, how much involvement a writer can expect to have in adaptations of their work and the ascendancy of streaming services. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/17/202055 minutes, 11 seconds
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#94: Patrick Radden Keefe, author and New Yorker staff writer

Rachel and Simon speak with Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and author of three books. Patrick's most recent title is the best-selling “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.” His work at The New Yorker, where he has been a contributor since 2006, has received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. “Say Nothing” received the Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the National Book Critics Circle Award. We spoke to Patrick about his early reporting on the US National Security Agency, his entry to The New Yorker, and the challenge of researching and writing “Say Nothing.” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/30/herve-falcianis-great-swiss-bank-heist https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/07/how-mark-burnett-resurrected-donald-trump-as-an-icon-of-american-success https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/09/28/the-avenger You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/3/202053 minutes, 54 seconds
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#93: Phoebe Hurst, managing editor, Vice UK

Simon and Rachel speak with Phoebe Hurst. As the managing editor of Vice UK, Phoebe is responsible for commissioning and editing stories with a youth-focused lens; she has also written about topics as varied as mental health, plastic waste, and the rise of Pret A Manger. Before that, she was the editor of Munchies, Vice's food channel, and has freelanced for publications including Wired, the Guardian and Dazed. We spoke to Phoebe about getting started in journalism, the joys of a good editor and the fabled “Vice Voice”. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/20/202054 minutes, 5 seconds
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#92: Alexander McCall Smith, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with prolific novelist Alexander McCall Smith. Alexander was a professor of Medical Law, before turning his hand to writing fiction. His first book, “The White Hippo”, a children’s title, was published in 1980. But it wasn’t until the appearance of the highly successful “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series that Alexander became a household name. The series has now sold over twenty million copies in English alone. Alexander’s various series of books have been translated into forty-six languages. Others include the “44 Scotland Street” novels and the Isabel Dalhousie books. Recently, he launched the Ulf Varg series of ‘Scandi blanc’ novels set in Sweden. Alexander talked to us about his rapid writing pace, the moral questions of detective novels and the idea of cultural appropriation. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/6/202055 minutes, 23 seconds
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#91: Linda Grant, writer and novelist

Simon speaks with the writer and novelist Linda Grant. She began her career as a journalist, writing for the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday, before publishing “The Cast Iron Shore”, her first novel, in 1996. Her subsequent books include “Remind Me Who I Am, Again” (1998), “When I Lived in Modern Times” (2000), “Still Here” (2000), “The People on the Street” (2005) and “The Clothes on their Backs” (2008). Her work has variously won or been nominated for a clutch of prizes, including the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize and the Letter Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage. Linda talked about literary touchstones, writing great dialogue and “A Stranger City”, her latest novel. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/22/202049 minutes, 44 seconds
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#89: Amanda Craig, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist Amanda Craig. After a brief spell in advertising and PR, Amanda became a journalist—writing for the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Telegraph and the Independent—and went on to win the Young Journalist of the Year and the Catherine Pakenham Award. Amanda is now a full-time novelist and her latest book, “The Golden Rule”, was published in June. We talked to Amanda about writing interconnected stories, the economics of the publishing industry and her experience of libel law. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. The photo credit for Amanda's photograph is Charlie Hopkinson.
8/25/202053 minutes, 1 second
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#88: Toby Young, journalist and author

Simon and Rachel speak with journalist and author Toby Young. He has written for the Times, the Sun on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and has been a columnist at the Spectator since 1998. His book, “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People”, about his stint at Vanity Fair, became a bestseller and was adapted into a film starring Simon Pegg. Toby co-founded the West London Free School and is the chief executive of the Free Speech Union. We talked to Toby about his entry into journalism, his contrarian instincts and whether there is a “business of outrage”. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/11/20201 hour, 1 minute, 1 second
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#85: Louise Doughty, novelist

Rachel and Simon speak with Louise Doughty. Louise is the author of nine novels, including “Apple Tree Yard”, a number-one bestseller which was adapted as a four-part series by the BBC. Her sixth novel, “Whatever You Love”, was nominated for the Costa Novel Award and Orange Prize for Fiction; her eighth novel, “Black Water”, was chosen by the New York Times as one of their Notable Books of the Year. Her work has been translated into 30 languages. We spoke to Louise about creative writing programmes, the vexing “chick lit” label and her extensive research process. https://www.louisedoughty.com/ https://louisedoughty.com/apple-tree-yard/ https://louisedoughty.com/whatever-you-love/ https://louisedoughty.com/black-water/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/30/202055 minutes, 5 seconds
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#84: Guy Stagg, travel writer

Simon speaks with the travel writer Guy Stagg. In 2013 Guy, who had grown up in Paris, Heidelberg, Yorkshire and London, walked from Canterbury to Jerusalem. "The Crossway," an account of this journey, was published by Picador in 2018. The book won an Edward Stanford Travel Award and was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Award. We spoke to Guy about travel writing in the age of Tripadvisor, his long walk to Jerusalem, and how that experience turned into a book. https://www.guystagg.co.uk/ https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1509844597/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/16/202058 minutes, 8 seconds
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#83: Hadley Freeman, journalist and author

Rachel and Simon speak with the journalist Hadley Freeman. She has been a staff writer at the Guardian since 2000, working in London and the US on the fashion desk, as a features writer and as a columnist. She has contributed to other publications including the British and American editions of Vogue, and written several books. We spoke to Hadley about fashion journalism, the challenges of column writing and her family memoir, “House of Glass”. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/oct/01/nicolas-cage-if-i-dont-have-a-job-to-do-it-can-be-very-self-destructive https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/apr/29/tony-slattery-had-very-happy-time-went-slightly-barmy https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008322632/house-of-glass-the-story-and-secrets-of-a-twentieth-century-jewish-family/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/2/202048 minutes, 5 seconds
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#82: Colum McCann, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with Colum McCann, who is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His novel, "TransAtlantic", was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013, and his previous novel, "Let the Great World Spin", won the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a New York Times bestseller. His work has been published in 40 languages and he teaches on the MFA program at Hunter College in New York. We spoke with Colum, who was born in Dublin but now lives in New York, about his fiction, his teaching and his new, genre-busting novel "Apeirogon". http://colummccann.com/ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/24/apeirogon-a-novel-by-colum-mccann-book-review http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/creativewriting/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/19/202055 minutes
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#81: Alysoun Owen, editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

Simon and Rachel speak with Alysoun Owen, editor of the “Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook” and the “Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook”, and the author of the “Writers’ & Artists’ Guide to Getting Published”. She has worked in the publishing industry, both in Britain and overseas, for more than 25 years; in 2012 she established her own consultancy. Alysoun talked about the history of the yearbook, first published in 1906, as well as how its content - and how the industry at large - has changed. https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/store/9781472947512/writers-artists-yearbook-2020/ https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/store/9781472950215/writers-artists-guide-to-getting-published/ https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/store/9781472947635/children-s-writers-artists-yearbook-2020/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/5/202054 minutes, 28 seconds
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#80: Tim Rice, lyricist

Rachel and Simon speak with lyricist Tim Rice, who has worked in music, theatre and films since 1965. In collaboration with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim wrote song lyrics for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita.” He has since worked with other distinguished popular composers such as Elton John (“The Lion King,” “Aida”) and Alan Menken (“Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast”). His awards include three Oscars, four Tonys, five Grammys and one Emmy. Tim spoke about his collaborations with different composers, his songwriting process and the business of musicals. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. Tim Rice photograph is by Charles Francis.
4/21/202056 minutes, 4 seconds
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#79: Sophie Elmhirst, magazine writer

Rachel and Simon speak with magazine writer Sophie Elmhirst, a freelance journalist. As well as writing regularly for the Guardian Long Read and The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, on subjects ranging from millennial culture to the inner workings of the tampon business, Sophie is a contributing editor at The Gentlewoman and Harper’s Bazaar. She talked about her decision to enter, leave, and re-enter journalism, producing longform features and how she manages multiple commissions at once. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/11/tampon-wars-the-battle-to-overthrow-the-tampax-empire https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/culture/2012/10/unquiet-mind-hilary-mantel https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/31/intimate-terrorism-domestic-abuse-coercive-control-farieissia-martin https://www.1843magazine.com/features/meet-alexa-inside-the-mind-of-a-digital-native You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/7/202054 minutes, 33 seconds
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#78: Simon Lancaster, speechwriter

Simon speaks with Simon Lancaster, who runs Bespoke Speechwriting Services and has written speeches for top politicians and the CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world, including Unilever, Rio Tinto, and Nestle. Simon is the author of “Speechwriting: The Expert Guide” and “Winning Minds: Secrets from the Language of Leadership.” He is a fellow at Henley Business School, lectures at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and regularly appears as a media pundit on oratory. Simon told us about his experience writing speeches for British politicians, how the fundamentals of rhetoric have remained consistent across time, language and culture, and how speechwriting is distinct in the business world. https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20010904204643/http://www.dti.gov.uk:80/ministers/speeches/johnson160500.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrF1THd4bUM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEqINP-TuV8 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/24/20201 hour, 54 seconds
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#77: Kiley Reid, novelist

Simon and Rachel speak with Kiley Reid, the bestselling author of “Such a Fun Age”. A recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, “Such a Fun Age” is her debut novel. The book was the subject of a 10-way bidding war while the television and film were acquired by Lena Waithe, an Emmy-award winning writer and producer, ahead of its publication. Kiley talked about how her experiences informed the book’s plot, the process of workshopping a novel and what it’s like to adapt your own work for the screen. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Eoin Redahan. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/10/202041 minutes, 43 seconds
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#76: Giles Hattersley, features director, British Vogue

Rachel and Simon speak with Giles Hattersley, the features director of the British edition of Vogue magazine. Giles studied English at Warwick University and completed an MA in fashion journalism before joining the Sunday Times in 2003. Working his way up from an intern on the Style section, he joined the News Review later that year and went on to become the paper's youngest ever chief interviewer, aged 25, writing profiles of everyone from Beyonce to Richard Dawkins. In 2007, he briefly became editor-in-chief of Arena magazine, before returning to The Sunday Times. In 2017, he was hired by Edward Enninful as features director of British Vogue, where he oversees the magazine's arts, politics, celebrity, lifestyle and social trend coverage. Giles talked about his entry into journalism at the Sunday Times, the position of writing in the overall Vogue package, and the Meghan Markle guest editor experience. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/toffs-stiffies-and-world-domination-x5r7wc6lk https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/jane-fonda-on-ageing https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/ariana-grande-british-vogue-interview You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is managed by Eoin Redahan, our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/25/202055 minutes, 28 seconds
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#75: Lisa Taddeo, author and journalist

Rachel speaks with Lisa Taddeo, the bestselling author of “Three Women”, a non-fiction book exploring love and longing in America. Her journalism has appeared in Esquire, Playboy and New York magazine, and her short stories have won two Pushcart prizes. Lisa is currently working on a novel, due to be released in 2020. Lisa talked about the process of writing “Three Women”, imagining the last days of Heath Ledger for Esquire and the best time to get in touch with an editor. https://classic.esquire.com/article/2008/4/1/the-last-days-of-heath-ledger You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is managed by Eoin Redahan, our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/11/202053 minutes, 42 seconds
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#74: Jay Rayner, restaurant critic, the Observer

Simon and Rachel speak with Jay Rayner, the restaurant critic of the Observer. After studying politics at Leeds University, where he edited the student newspaper, Jay entered national newspaper journalism, winning Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 1992. The restaurant critic of the Observer since 1999, Jay has also worked extensively in television, including as a judge on Masterchef, and written several books. Jay talked about how, in his view, there is no such thing as “food writing” (just writing that happens to be about food), his lesser-known stint as a novelist and his celebrated hatchet job on Le Cinq, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is managed by Eoin Redahan, our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/22/202058 minutes, 23 seconds
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#73: Alexandra Pringle, editor-in-chief, Bloomsbury Publishing

2020 sees a new co-host join Always Take Notes - Rachel Lloyd, assistant editor for Books and Arts at The Economist. In this episode Simon and Rachel speak with Alexandra Pringle, the editor-in-chief of Bloomsbury Publishing. Alexandra began her career at Art Monthly, before joining the pioneering feminist press Virago in 1978, where she edited the Modern Classics series before becoming editorial director. After stints at Hamish Hamilton and as a literary agent, Alexandra joined Bloomsbury in 1999. Alexandra talked about the importance of finding the right agent, how the industry has changed over the course of her career and the impact of Pottermania on Bloomsbury.  You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is managed by Eoin Redahan, our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/14/202057 minutes, 50 seconds
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#72: Charles Moore, journalist and biographer

Simon and Eleanor speak with Charles Moore, who was handpicked by Margaret Thatcher to write her authorised biography – he has just published his third and final volume, Herself Alone. Prior to writing about Mrs Thatcher, Charles was editor of the Spectator between 1984 and 1990, and editor of the Daily Telegraph between 1995 and 2003. Charles spoke about editing Boris Johnson's copy, his one journalistic regret, and his heated tête-à-têtes with Margaret Thatcher. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/31/201951 minutes, 44 seconds
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#71: Tanya Gold, freelance journalist

Simon speaks with freelance journalist Tanya Gold, who has written for a broad range of publications in both the UK and the US. Tanya discussed her investigation into anti-semitism in the Labour Party for the American magazine Harper's, her experience at the centre of a Twitter storm earlier this year after she criticised Nike's plus-sized mannequins, her decision 15 years ago to first write about her struggles with alcohol, and her plans for a potential book on that subject. https://harpers.org/archive/2018/10/among-britains-anti-semites/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/obese-mannequins-selling-women-dangerous-lie/ https://www.theguardian.com/global/2019/sep/22/how-to-survive-a-twitter-storm-tanya-gold-fat-shaming https://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/jul/07/drugsandalcohol You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/17/201955 minutes, 26 seconds
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#70: Robbie Collin, Telegraph film critic

In this episode, Eleanor spoke with The Telegraph's chief film critic Robbie Collin, who joined the paper in 2011. Robbie discussed starting his career at News of the World and his most formative films, the difficulties of seeing so many films in one week, his trickiest interviews, and his infamous encounter with actor Joaquin Phoenix. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/3/20191 hour, 27 minutes, 23 seconds
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#69: Laura Weir, editor-in-chief, ES Magazine

In this episode, Eleanor spoke with editor-in-chief of ES Magazine Laura Weir, who after a stint at Elle and The Sunday Times, was headhunted from Vogue in 2016 to head up the redesign of the weekly magazine published by London's Evening Standard newspaper. Laura discussed the new direction in which she has taken ES Magazine, what makes a quintessential ES Magazine story, the difficulties that come with writing a weekly column, and the problem with today's pitching standards. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/19/201950 minutes, 45 seconds
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#68: Simon Robinson, global managing editor, Thomson Reuters

Simon and Eleanor speak with Simon Robinson, global managing editor at Thomson Reuters. Simon joined the news service in 2010 and ran investigations and enterprise reporting in Europe, Middle East and Africa for six years, editing major series on Iran, Russia and migration. Between 2017 and 2019 he was regional editor for EMEA, running Reuters' biggest region. Between 1995 and 2010, Simon was a correspondent and then editor for Time magazine, reporting from more than 50 countries. Simon spoke about what the work of a newswire involves and how it has changed, his own career progression from starting out in Australia to foreign correspondency, and the changing aspirations of the journalists he manages. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/5/201956 minutes, 48 seconds
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#67: Anna Davis, director, Curtis Brown Creative

Simon speaks with Anna Davis, founder and director of Curtis Brown's creative writing school, which launched in 2011. Anna worked for Curtis Brown for more than a decade as a literary agent before setting up Curtis Brown Creative. Previously she was a lecturer on Manchester University’s MA in novel writing. She is also a former Guardian columnist, and the author of five novels, published around the world in 20 languages: The Dinner, Melting, Cheet, The Shoe Queen and, most recently, The Jewel Box. Anna talked to Simon about how Curtis Brown Creative differs to university writing courses, her entry into the publishing world and how to write a novel. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/22/201955 minutes, 36 seconds
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#66: Ferdinand Addis, historian

Simon speaks with Ferdinand Addis, the author of Rome: Eternal City, a narrative history of Rome which spans 3,000 years over some 650 pages. Ferdinand read Classics at university before embarking on a career as a journalist and author. His wrote three short books for the publisher Michael O'Mara before moving on to his epic biography of Rome, which was published last year. He is now working on a history of Roman Britain. Ferdinand spoke about the origins of his interest in Rome, gave a robust defence of the classics, and discussed whether ‘popular historian’ is a useful term. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rome-Eternal-City-Ferdinand-Addis/dp/1781851883 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/8/201954 minutes, 24 seconds
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#65: May Jeong, magazine writer

Simon speaks with Canadian magazine writer May Jeong, who spent five years reporting on Afghanistan, and is best known for her months-long investigation in to the bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz for The Intercept. This story won her the 2017 South Asian Journalists Association’s Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Report on South Asia, as well as the Prix Bayeux Calvados Award for War Correspondents in the Young Reporter category. May's work has also appeared in other publications including the New York Times, Harper's and the London Review of Books. In this episode, May talked about why she decided to cover conflict, her preference for magazine over newspaper journalism, and her latest venture into writing fiction. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/24/201952 minutes, 45 seconds
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#64: Jeffrey Archer, novelist

Simon speaks with Jeffrey Archer, a novelist whose books have sold more than 275 million copies worldwide. Archer wrote his first novel aged 34, when a failed business deal left him heavy in debt. His third novel, Kane and Abel, sold over a million copies in its first week of release in 1979. He has now written more than 20 novels, alongside short stories, a play and non-fiction, and is published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages. Archer was deputy chairman of the Conservative Party in the 1980s and in 1999 stood as the  Conservative candidate for mayor of London. In November that year, he withdrew his candidacy, having been charged with perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He served two years in prison. Archer spoke about the experience of life as a best-selling author, how he combines a rigorous writing routine with lack of pre-planning of plot, and his relationships with publishers and editors. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/10/201956 minutes, 50 seconds
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#63: Zahra Hankir, editor and anthologist

Eleanor and Simon speak with Zahra Hankir, journalist and editor of Our Women on the Ground, an anthology of essays from Arab women reporting from the Arab world, published this month by Penguin. Zahra spoke about her personal connection as an Arab woman to these journalists, their stories and their work. She discussed the difficulties of compiling and editing an anthology broaching delicate political topics that could prove dangerous to their writers. She also talked about whether she ever worries about feeling professionally pigeonholed by her heritage and "specialist subject". You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/27/201954 minutes, 37 seconds
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#62: Jamie Glazebrook, executive producer, Peaky Blinders

Eleanor speaks with Jamie Glazebrook, the executive producer of hit BBC series Peaky Blinders, whose fifth series will air later this year. Peaky Blinders, which has won a slew of television awards, follows the exploits of the eponymous Birmingham-based gang in the years after the First World War. Jamie discussed whether we have reached peak TV, the influence of the streaming giants and whether the TV and film industry still has a class problem. Jamie himself has developed and produced television in the UK since the nineties – working for many leading production companies including Talkback, Tiger Aspect and HatTrick. His credits include The 11'O Clock Show, High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman, and BAFTA-nominated The IT Crowd. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/13/20191 hour, 7 minutes, 42 seconds
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#61: Ruth Padel, poet

Eleanor and Simon speak with Ruth Padel, who is a poet, novelist, critic and Professor of Poetry at King’s College London. Ruth spoke about her verse biography of her great-great-grandfather Charles Darwin, as well as her upcoming verse biography of Beethoven, Beethoven Variations. Ruth also discussed her brief tenure as Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 2009, and her view on the new generation of Instagram poets. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/30/201947 minutes, 27 seconds
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#60: James Graham, playwright and screenwriter

Simon speaks to James Graham, one of Britain's best known contemporary playwrights who has also written widely for film and television. James' first award was the Pearson Playwriting Bursary in 2006. His big break came when his 2012 play This House, written for the National Theatre and set in the British parliament in the 1970s, enjoyed a sell out run and garnered widespread critical acclaim. His subsequent work includes the 2017 play Ink, about the early days of Rupert Murdoch, and this year's film Brexit: An Uncivil War, which was broadcast on Channel 4 and HBO and starred Benedict Cumberbatch. James spoke about how he broke into writing for the theatre and later television, his methods for researching and creating drama based on both recent and historical political events, and the economics of the business. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/16/20191 hour, 41 seconds
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#59: Christina Lamb, chief foreign correspondent, the Sunday Times

Simon speaks to Christina Lamb, one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents who has documented conflict across the world, from Afghanistan to Rwanda. Currently chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times, Christina discussed balancing her war reporting duties with her work as an author, including writing I Am Malala and her most recent book Our Bodies, Their Battlefields, about women in war. She also talked about getting arrested and deported in Pakistan while reporting for the Financial Times, and the impact her work has had on her mental health. http://christinalamb.net/articles/it-was-what-we-feared.html http://christinalamb.net/articles/yazidis.html You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/2/201959 minutes, 21 seconds
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#58: Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer, the New Yorker

Simon and Eleanor speak to Jon Lee Anderson, a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine and veteran war correspondent. Jon Lee began his career in the early 1980s, reporting on Central America. As a New Yorker staff writer since 1998, he has reported from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Liberia and many other countries. Jon Lee spoke about about the myths and realities of conflict journalism, the time he discovered the hidden grave of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and the experience of profiling Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1998/10/19/the-dictator-2 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Che-Guevara-Revolutionary-Jon-Anderson/dp/0553406647 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/18/201959 minutes, 32 seconds
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#57: Anna Codrea-Rado, campaigner for freelancer rights

Simon speaks with Anna Codrea-Rado, a freelance journalist who has written for titles including the New York Times and Wired, and who now advocates for better conditions for freelancers, through her #FairPayForFreelancers campaign, her popular newsletter The Professional Freelancer, and FJ&Co, a platform that provides tools and resources and organises events. Alongside discussing her campaigning, Anna, who studied journalism at Columbia in New York, talks about the potential pitfalls of journalism degrees, including the way they can contribute to elitism within the industry. She also discusses the pressure she felt to become a "real journalist" while working on an alumni magazine, before she became staff at the Guardian and then VICE, and her own later moves to establish herself as a freelancer. https://twitter.com/annacod?lang=en https://twitter.com/fjandco https://theprofessionalfreelancer.substack.com/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/4/201959 minutes, 39 seconds
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#56: Ed Caesar, magazine writer

Simon and Eleanor speak to British magazine writer Ed Caesar, who was recently made a contributing writer at the New Yorker and whose work has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Wired, GQ and numerous other publications. Ed talked about his early career at the Independent, his decision to go freelance, breaking into the American market and the challenges of balancing his writing work and travel with his domestic commitments. He also discussed why he chooses not to live in London. https://edcaesar.co.uk/2011/05/04/isner-mahut-endless-tennis-gq/ https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/01/house-of-secrets https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/magazine/uss-wasp-lost-world-war-ii-aircraft-carrier.html You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/21/201957 minutes, 34 seconds
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#55: Ann Goldstein, Elena Ferrante's translator

Simon and Eleanor speak to Ann Goldstein, who translated Elena Ferrante's phenomenally successful Neapolitan novels (My Brilliant Friend and its three sequels) out of Italian and into English. Ann also had a long and distinguished career as an editor at the New Yorker, where she rose to become head of the copy department. Ann spoke about the process of literary translation, the challenges of working with a writer whose identity she did not know, and also how the world of magazines has changed since she began her working life in the 1970s. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/7/201951 minutes, 56 seconds
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#54: Kamal Ahmed, editorial director, BBC News

Eleanor speaks to Kamal Ahmed, editorial director of BBC News and one of Britain’s most prominent journalists. He joined the BBC in April 2014 as business editor after a 20-year career in newspapers, including the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday and Daily Telegraph. Kamal spoke about reshaping the BBC for a younger, more-open minded generation, and about the difficulties of maintaining a publicly apolitical stance. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/23/201939 minutes, 42 seconds
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#53: Pandora Sykes, journalist and podcaster

Simon and Eleanor speak to Pandora Sykes, journalist and co-host of the hugely successful podcast the High Low. Pandora began her journalistic career at the Sunday Times, where she held the position of fashion features editor and wrote the Wardrobe Mistress column for the paper's Style magazine. She has written for numerous other titles including Elle, the Telegraph, the Guardian, Marie Claire, and the Spectator, and consults widely for a range of brands from Topshop to Cartier. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/when-hungry-bum-attacks-0gp0kqcg9q2 https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/how-bff-marketing-became-the-m-o-for-womens-direct-to-consumer-brands You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/9/201953 minutes, 5 seconds
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#52: Andrew Hankinson, journalist and author

In an episode recorded live at the Well Told longform journalism conference in London, Simon and Eleanor speak with author and journalist Andrew Hankinson. Hankinson has written magazine features for the Observer, Wired and Cosmo, and is author of literary nonfiction book You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life, a retelling of the last eight days of killer Raoul Moat and his stand off with the Northumbrian police in 2010. Hankinson spoke about why he chose to write in the rarely used second person and how he got the idea for his book, as well as how, as a result of bad editing and pay, he has stopped pitching to magazines. We hope you enjoy the episode. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/26/201945 minutes, 50 seconds
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#51: Jennifer Croft, Booker Prize winning translator

Simon and Eleanor speak to Jennifer Croft, who won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Olga Tokarczuk’s Polish novel Flights. Jennifer, currently based in New York, has received a slew of other plaudits for her work, including NEA, Cullman, PEN, Fulbright and MacDowell awards, as well as the inaugural Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, Vice, n+1 and the Guardian. We spoke to Jennifer about her entry into translation, her longstanding relationship with Tokarczuk, the potential role of artificial intelligence in translation and her own upcoming memoir Homesick, which she first wrote in Spanish. https://twitter.com/jenniferlcroft You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/12/201953 minutes, 11 seconds
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#50: Alex Perry, journalist and author

Simon speaks to Alex Perry, who is a reporter, author and writer for film and television. His books include The Good Mothers, about the women who exposed the true might of the Calabrian mafia, which was excerpted in the New Yorker. His journalism has additionally appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times magazine, TIME, Newsweek, and other publications. Alex spoke to Simon about his first overseas assignment, what it's like reporting from danger zones including Afghanistan in 2001, working as a bureau chief in India and Africa, and how The Good Mothers is currently being developed into a television project. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/26/201953 minutes, 42 seconds
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#49: Farrah Storr, editor-in-chief, Cosmopolitan UK

Eleanor and Simon speak to Farrah Storr, editor-in-chief of the British edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. In her current role since 2015, Farrah was previously the launch editor of Women’s Health. She has won a slew of awards, including 'New Editor of the Year' in 2014 and 'Editor of the Year' (Men's and Women's category) in 2018 from the British Society of Magazine Editors, and is also author of the book The Discomfort Zone. Farrah spoke about the evolution of her career, whether 'women's magazine' is still a useful term, the position of reported journalism in Cosmopolitan and how the magazine now shows a wider variety of women's bodies than in the past. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/12/201955 minutes, 22 seconds
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#48: Dan Franklin, associate publisher, Jonathan Cape

Simon speaks to Dan Franklin, associate publisher at Jonathan Cape and one of the most celebrated book editors in the United Kingdom. Franklin talked about how the world of books has evolved since he started his career in the 1970s, the experience of editing some of Britain's most well known literary novelists, including Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes, and also publishing some more eclectic books, including Michael Jackson's autobiography 'Moonwalk' and Madonna's 'Sex.' You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/29/201954 minutes, 34 seconds
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#47: Rebecca Mead, staff writer, the New Yorker

Simon and Eleanor speak with Rebecca Mead, a longtime staff writer at the New Yorker magazine who recently returned to the UK after many years in the United States. Rebecca spoke about her early career as a fact-checker, how she moved into writing her own features, first at New York magazine and later for the New Yorker, and lifted the lid on some of the internal processes at the celebrated magazine, from the process of assigning stories to the practicalities of spending months reporting individual assignments. She also spoke about My Life in Middlemarch, her book length tribute to George Eliot's great nineteenth century novel. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/15/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 11 seconds
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#46: Mark Haddon, novelist

Simon speaks with Mark Haddon, who won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year award for his bestselling novel A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Haddon also teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and Oxford University. He spoke to Simon about how writing and illustrating children's books provided a stepping stone to writing for adults, and about his very first (unpublished) novel, which could be published as a warning "for young men who think they're rather clever". Haddon also discussed the distance he keeps from Curious Incident, as well as his upcoming novel Porpoise. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/1/201958 minutes, 10 seconds
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#45: Alexa von Hirschberg, senior commissioning editor, Bloomsbury

Eleanor speaks with Alexa von Hirschberg, a senior commissioning editor at Bloomsbury Publishing. Alexa began her career in 2007 at Canongate Books. In 2008 she joined Bloomsbury as an editorial assistant, working with authors including Colum McCann, Lawrence Norfolk, Margaret Atwood and William Boyd. Today her list includes Kate Tempest, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Aminatta Forna, Alexei Sayle and Laurie Penny. We spoke about how Alexa found her way through the British publishing landscape, the experience of editing Reni Eddo-Lodge and the demands of writing cover copy for Margaret Atwood. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/18/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 52 seconds
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#44: Dylan Jones, editor, British GQ

Simon and Eleanor speak to Dylan Jones, editor of Condé Nast's British GQ since 1999. Jones spoke about GQ's place in 2018, a year in which masculinity has never been so scrutinised, as well as the challenges he has faced as an editor, including the controversy around GQ's Johnny Depp cover. Jones also spoke about the beginning of his journalism career, starting with the first record review he sent NME and editing ID magazine, to working at the Observer and the Sunday Times.
12/4/201854 minutes, 31 seconds
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#43: Daisy Johnson, novelist

Simon and Eleanor speak to Daisy Johnson, who, earlier this year and at 27 years old, became the youngest person ever shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize with her novel Everything Under. We spoke to Daisy about her views on the importance of the Man Booker, whether there is rivalry between the shortlisted candidates and how fun the winning ceremony actually is. Daisy also talked about studying creative writing at master's and bachelor's level, and how useful these courses are for novelists.
11/20/201855 minutes, 10 seconds
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#42: Ian Rankin, novelist

Simon and Eleanor speak to crime writer Ian Rankin, the multi-million copy bestseller of over thirty novels and creator of detective John Rebus. Ian's books have been translated into thirty-six languages and adapted for radio, the stage and the screen. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards, including the Diamond Dagger, the UK’s most prestigious award for crime fiction. We spoke to Ian about the changing face of crime fiction, his struggles during his early years as a writer, and subsequently the lived experience of enormous literary success. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/6/201851 minutes, 15 seconds
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#41: Hermione Lee, biographer

Simon speaks with Hermione Lee, the biographer known for her lives of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather and Penelope Fitzgerald. She has chaired the judges of the Man Booker Prize, is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the British Academy, is published in the Guardian and regularly contributes to arts programmes on Radio 4. Until last year, Hermione was President of Wolfson College Oxford. Simon interviewed Hermione about her entry into academia, the process of writing biographies versus journalism, and the surprising misconceptions around biography as a genre. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Eleanor Halls and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/23/201854 minutes, 24 seconds
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#40: Richard Skinner, director of the fiction programme at the Faber Academy

Simon and Kassia speak with Richard Skinner, director of the fiction programme at the Faber Academy, one of a number of creative writing schools established outside the traditional university context in recent years. Richard created the academy's flagship 'Writing a Novel' six-month course in 2009 and since then has worked with hundreds of writers. Notable graduates include SJ Watson, whose debut novel Before I Go To Sleep became an international bestseller and Andreas Loizou, whose The Devil's Deal was translated into nine languages. In his own life Richard is a novelist, poet and critic. We spoke about how the Faber Academy course works, and also put to him some of the common criticisms levelled at creative writing programmes. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/9/201854 minutes, 41 seconds
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#39: Cal Flyn, author

Kassia and Simon speak with Cal Flyn, a Scottish author and journalist. Cal worked as an investigative reporter for The Sunday Times and data reporter at the Telegraph before turning to literary non-fiction. Her first book Thicker Than Water, which dealt with colonialism in Australia and intergenerational guilt, was published in 2016 and selected by The Times as one of the best books of the year. Her second book, Islands of Abandonment, is expected in 2021. We spoke to Cal about breaking into, and breaking out of, newspaper journalism, about the complexities of writing about her own family, and the art of navigating the world of literary grants and residencies. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/25/201856 minutes, 32 seconds
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#38: Rory Stewart, author

Kassia and Simon speak to Rory Stewart, the MP for Penrith and the Border and the author of Occupational Hazards and The Places in Between, a New York Times bestseller. We spoke to him about his influences and how his feelings about walking memoirs and travel literature have evolved. He also spoke in greater depth about how he came to write The Places in Between and how his relationship with his father was pivotal to his most recent book, The Marches. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/11/201852 minutes, 48 seconds
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#37: Clare Conville, literary agent, C+W

Simon speaks to Clare Conville, the co-founder of literary agency C+W (formerly Conville and Walsh). Listed by the Observer as one of “Our top 50 players in the world of books”, Clare previously worked as an editor at Random House, before co-founding Conville & Walsh in 2000. Between them Clare’s clients have won or been nominated for nearly every major literary prize in the UK, including the Man Booker Prize, the Orwell Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction. We discussed the development of Clare's career, her long standing interest in children's writing, the art of selling a book and the change in the literary climate fostered by creative writing courses. http://cwagency.co.uk/agent/clare-conville http://cwagency.co.uk/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/28/201846 minutes, 54 seconds
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#36: Lionel Barber, editor, the Financial Times

Kassia and Simon chat to Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times since 2005. We discussed his early career in journalism, which included stints at The Scotsman and a fellowship at the Washington Post, before his move to the Financial Times. He also spoke about his plans for the newspaper, both when he first took over as editor in 2005 and how these may have changed more recently as the idea of globalism has become more fraught. We also discussed some recent pieces he's been involved with, including the controversial interview with Steve Bannon. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Nicola Kean. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
8/14/201853 minutes, 33 seconds
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#35: Joanne Harris, novelist

Simon and Kassia speak to Joanne Harris, author of the 1999 novel Chocolat, which was filmed a year later starring Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp, as well as numerous other best sellers including Gentleman and Players, Runelight and Peaches For Monsieur le Curé. Joanne talked about her early career as a teacher, dealing with unhelpful advice, the experience of writing a huge best-seller and subsequent movie adaptation, and her prolific, and occasionally acerbic, presence on social media. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/31/201851 minutes, 16 seconds
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#34: Niall Ferguson, historian

Simon and Kassia speak to Niall Ferguson, conservative historian and author of The Ascent of Money and The Pity of War. He talked about his career, financial pressures and the dynamics of writing as a popular historian in the world of academia. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/17/201846 minutes, 48 seconds
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#33: Louisa Joyner, editorial director, Faber & Faber

Simon and Kassia speak to Louisa Joyner, editorial director at publisher Faber & Faber. Louisa moved to Faber in 2016 from Canongate, and previously worked at HarperCollins, where she published Costa Book of the Year winner Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall and commissioned Curtis Sittenfeld's re-write of Pride and Prejudice - Eligible. Louisa spoke to us about entering publishing from academia, her approach to the editorial process, where Faber fits in today's market, and where she sees the industry going in future. https://twitter.com/louisajoyner You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Liz Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
7/3/201858 minutes, 50 seconds
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#32: Jeremy Gavron, author

Kassia speaks to Jeremy Gavron, author of The Book of Israel, (winner of the Encore award), A Woman on the Edge of time and Felix Culpa, a novel pieced together from lines from over eighty other books. Jeremy spoke honestly about many of the relationships that have informed his work, including those with agents and editors and also with his mother, whose story he tells in A Woman on the Edge of Time. https://scribepublications.co.uk/books-authors/books/felix-culpa https://scribepublications.co.uk/books-authors/books/a-woman-on-the-edge-of-time1 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/19/201856 minutes
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#31: Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author

Kassia and Simon speak to Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike, a biography of Italian rake Gabriele d'Annunzio, which won all three of the UK's most prestigious prizes for non-fiction for 2013 - The Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize, and the Costa Biography of the Year award. Lucy spoke to us about the rhythms of her work, her relationship with agents and publishers, and her literary treatment of heroism. https://lucyhugheshallett.com/ https://twitter.com/lucyhh You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
6/5/201853 minutes, 41 seconds
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#30: Jonathan Shainin, editor, Guardian Long Read

Kassia and Simon speak to Jonathan Shainin, who runs the Long Read section of the Guardian. He spoke to us about his nomadic career, which took him from New York (and the New Yorker), to Abu Dhabi, India, and back to New York, before coming to London to set up the Long Read in 2014. Jonathan discusses the differences between US and UK editing styles, where the Long Read fits into the wider Guardian ecosystem, and how venturing abroad can fit into the career of an editor as well as a writer. https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/the-long-read https://twitter.com/gdnlongread You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Elizabeth Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/22/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 38 seconds
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#29: Julia Kelly, romance novelist

Kassia and Simon speak to romance novelist Julia Kelly about her portion of the literary universe - romance fiction is a billion-dollar industry. Julia talked to us about how she came to write her first books, the importance of marketing and social media for romance writers, the pros and cons of self-publishing in this genre, and why the happy ending remains non-negotiable. She also discussed the impact of the #metoo movement on the world of romance. http://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/authors/Julia-Kelly/575597749 https://www.juliakellywrites.com/ http://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/The-Light-Over-London/Julia-Kelly/The-Matchmaker-of-Edinburgh-Series/9781501172922 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
5/8/201858 minutes, 5 seconds
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#28: Peter Moffat, BAFTA-winning screenwriter

Kassia and Simon interview screenwriter and playwright Peter Moffat, whose work includes the series Cambridge Spies, Criminal Justice - later the basis of HBO's The Night of - and Silk, as well as the TV films Hawking and Einstein & Eddington. Peter spoke about moving from his early career as a lawyer into writing, the distinctions between British and American approaches to producing TV drama, and the role of both intensive research and muzak-free coffee shops in his writing routine. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0595584/ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hbos-night-how-peter-moffat-who-wrote-bbcs-original-version-inspired-story-915914 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/24/20181 hour, 4 minutes, 50 seconds
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#27: Helen Lewis, deputy editor, the New Statesman

Kassia and Simon interview Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman. She spoke to us about what her current role entails, the training she received as a sub-editor at the Daily Mail (and what it was like to work there). Helen candidly discussed the importance of networking, feminism, sub-editing and longform journalism. She also revealed a brilliant tip for powering through writers' block. https://www.newstatesman.com/2016/01/where-bodies-are-buried-0 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/27/hot-feminist-by-polly-vernon-reducing-revolution-to-sloppy-self-help You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Elizabeth Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
4/10/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 59 seconds
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#26: Max Hastings, military historian

Simon speaks to Max Hastings, the best-selling military historian and erstwhile foreign correspondent and newspaper editor. They discussed Max's early career - how 1960s and 70s Fleet Street really was, without the benefit of rose-tinted spectacles - his experiences in the Falklands in 1982, the development of his book writing, from early ventures to his doorstopper World War Two histories, and the evolution of military history as a genre. http://www.maxhastings.com/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/27/20181 hour, 3 minutes, 20 seconds
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#25: Hannah Westland, publisher, Serpent's Tail

Kassia and Simon speak to Hannah Westland, the publisher at Serpent's Tail, an independent imprint that published Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin and Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent. She spoke to us about her early career — she started out as a literary agent — some of the projects she's currently working on and the role of independent firms in the publishing marketplace. https://serpentstail.com/ https://twitter.com/hannahwestland?lang=en You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook atfacebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
3/13/201858 minutes, 50 seconds
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#24: Laura Palmer, publishing director, Head of Zeus

Simon speaks to Laura Palmer, publishing director for fiction at Head of Zeus, an independent publishing house in London. Laura co-founded Head of Zeus in 2012, having started her career at Quercus Books, and she also worked at Corvus, the commercial fiction imprint of Atlantic Books. We spoke about what 'commercial fiction' precisely means, whether 'women's fiction' is still a useful label, best practice for aspirant writers and editors, and whether the Kindle has boosted public appetite for erotica. http://headofzeus.com/ Sophie Hannah - Why and How I Plan My Novels https://sophiehannah.com/why-and-how-i-plan-my-novels/ Save the Cat! - A step-by-step guide to telling the perfect story https://www.amazon.co.uk/Save-Cat-Only-Screenwriting-Youll/dp/1932907009 Head of Zeus - Submissions portal http://headofzeus.com/submissions-login Head of Zeus - Internship application http://headofzeus.com/about-us You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Liz Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/27/201856 minutes, 24 seconds
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#23: Ben Judah, journalist and author of This is London

Kassia and Simon chat to Ben Judah, the journalist and author of This is London and Fragile Empire. He told us about how he got into writing, the influence on his work of Polish reportage styles and why he's decided to take a little break from Twitter. (We were on Skype, so please excuse the odd rough patch.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-London-Life-Death-World/dp/1447274792 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fragile-Empire-Russia-Vladimir-Putin/dp/0300205228 http://standpointmag.co.uk/dispatches-jan-10-ben-judah-siberia-gulag-stalin http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/dispatches-january-february-2014-hunting-lynx-with-the-old-believers-ben-judah-tuva-siberia You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
2/13/201858 minutes, 59 seconds
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#22: Patrick Kingsley, New York Times correspondent

Kassia and Simon interview Patrick Kingsley, a correspondent with the New York Times. Patrick previously covered migration and the Middle East for The Guardian, based in Cairo and Istanbul. His first book, How To Be Danish (2012), was an exploration of contemporary Danish society. His second book, The New Odyssey (2016), chronicled the European refugee crisis, and was one of NPR's books of the year. Now based in London, Patrick is also a past winner of the annual foreign reporting award at the British Journalism Awards. We spoke about how foreign correspondency works — the intricacies of fixers, bureau chiefs and deadlines, Patrick's motivation to go abroad, some of his major pieces for the Guardian, his earlier experiences of student journalism and how he has combined his newspaper reporting and book writing. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/sep/06/gap-year-thailand-full-moon-party https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/22/cairo-prison-abu-zabaal-deaths-37-prisoners https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/09/hashems-journey-a-lesson-in-humility-and-heroism https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/world/middleeast/the-jihadi-who-turned-to-jesus.html?_r=0 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/30/201851 minutes, 58 seconds
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#21: Nikesh Shukla, author

Kassia interviews Nikesh Shukla, a TV and fiction writer. We spoke about his novels Coconut Unlimited and Meatspace, and how he came to edit The Good Immigrant, the collection of essays about race and immigration and what it means to be a model "good immigrant" in the UK. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/16/201848 minutes, 53 seconds
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#20: Antony Beevor, military historian

Kassia and Simon interview Antony Beevor, the celebrated military historian. Best known as author of Stalingrad, the runaway success which on publication in 1998 transformed military history as a genre, Antony has also written on the Spanish Civil War, the battles of Crete and Berlin, and D-Day. His latest book Arnhem – The Last German Victory, will be published in May 2018. Antony, who is also a former chairman of the Society of Authors, has sold more than seven million books in 32 languages. They discussed Antony's early move from serving as an army officer to writing, the experience of an unexpected smash with Stalingrad, the techniques he uses to marshal vast quantities of material, and his creative collaboration with his wife Artemis Cooper, who is also a writer. http://www.antonybeevor.com/ https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/antony-beevor/5016/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
1/2/20181 hour, 14 minutes, 4 seconds
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#19: Sam Knight, magazine writer

Simon interviews Sam Knight, a British writer who works mainly for the Guardian and the New Yorker and specialises in longform pieces on unusual topics, such as the UK sandwich industry and the psychology of a stalker. They discuss his entry into journalism, his love of classic American nonfiction and how he puts features together. https://harpers.org/archive/2014/02/a-god-more-powerful-than-i/ https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/24/how-the-sandwich-consumed-britain https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/30/follow-the-white-ball You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Ed Kiernan edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/19/201755 minutes, 33 seconds
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#18: Joelle Owusu, editor, Unbound

Kassia speaks to Joelle Owusu, an editor at Unbound, the innovative publishing company that aims to use crowd-funding to shake up the way books are produced, paid for and disseminated. Joelle explained how Unbound's business model works, how it compares to traditional publishing, and how they aim to give voice to writers that have traditionally faced a sceptical response from the industry. She also discussed her own career, which has seen her make an unlikely move from petroleum geology to editorial. https://unbound.com/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Liz Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
12/5/201754 minutes, 54 seconds
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#17: Candice Carty-Williams, senior marketing executive, Vintage Books

Kassia and Simon interview Candice Carty-Williams, senior marketing executive at Vintage Books. She spoke to us about the nuts and bolts of marketing a book and the role data play. She also discussed how she wrote her debut novel "Queenie", which was acquired by Orion earlier this year for a six-figure sum and will be published in 2019. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/21/201751 minutes, 53 seconds
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#16: Nick Summers, features editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

Kassia and Simon spoke to Nick Summers, a features editor for Bloomberg Businessweek who at time of recording was based in London but is now in New York. Nick talked us through his commissioning and editing process and spoke about some fascinating pieces he's worked on recently including one on an Wall Street informant who double-crossed the FBI and another that looked into exactly what it is that IBM does (and whether it's any good at it). Stories discussed: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-03-23/-bro-i-m-going-rogue-the-wall-street-informant-who-double-crossed-the-fbi https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-05-22/ibms-eps-target-unhelpful-amid-cloud-computing-challenges You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Liz Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
11/7/201743 minutes, 46 seconds
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#15: Oliver Franklin-Wallis, commissioning editor, British Wired

Simon interviews Oliver Franklin-Wallis, commissioning editor at British Wired. Oliver edits — and writes — longform features for the magazine. He discusses his background and entry to journalism, dos and don'ts of the pitching process and stories about the future of death, the Ebola crisis and the 'Hyperloop.' Stories discussed: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alkaline-hydrolysis-biocremation-resomation-water-cremation-dissolving-bodies http://www.wired.co.uk/article/post-ebola-syndrome http://www.wired.co.uk/article/hyperloop-hype-machine Books discussed: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mountains-Mind-Fascination-Robert-Macfarlane/dp/1847080391 https://www.amazon.co.uk/H-Hawk-Helen-Macdonald/dp/0099575450 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Liz Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/24/201755 minutes, 6 seconds
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#14: Kiran Millwood Hargrave, winner, Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017

Kassia and Simon interview Kiran Millwood Hargrave, an award-winning children's novelist as well as a poet and playwright. She revealed what motivates her to write, her previous struggles with her mental health, and how she manages her finances. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Stars-Kiran-Millwood-Hargrave/dp/1910002747 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Island-at-End-Everything/dp/1910002763/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=P971NT2SPAQHBKY75N6Y https://www.chickenhousebooks.com/authors/kiran-millwood-hargrave/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Olivia Crellin edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
10/5/201747 minutes, 17 seconds
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#13: Tom Standage, deputy editor, The Economist

Kassia and Simon interview Tom Standage, deputy editor of The Economist. They spoke about Tom's long career at the publication, why there is a no-bylines policy and some of The Economist's newer projects, such as a virtual-reality reconstruction of the Mosul Museum in Iraq, containing artefacts destroyed by Islamic State in 2015. More information on this project can be found below: https://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/05/virtual-reality You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Elizabeth Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/26/201753 minutes, 18 seconds
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#12: Patrick Walsh, literary agent, PEW Literary

Simon and Kassia interview literary agent Patrick Walsh, who runs PEW Literary in London and formerly co-founded Conville & Walsh. They discuss the complexities journalists can face moving into book writing, the art of the nonfiction proposal, the expansion of the Chinese market and the thrill of the deal. http://www.pewliterary.com/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Elizabeth Davies edited this episode. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.
9/12/201744 minutes, 3 seconds
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#11: Tom Jennings, director, Logan Nonfiction Programme

Simon interviews Tom Jennings, director of the Logan Nonfiction Programme at the Carey Institute for Global Good in upstate New York in the US, where Simon stayed earlier this year. They spoke about Tom's career and the importance for writers of grants and fellowships like the one organised by the Carey Institute. If you're fascinated — or slightly intimidated — by residencies and grants, this episode is for you. More information on the Logan Programme and the Carey Institute is available at the links below: http://careyinstitute.org/programs/nonfiction/ http://careyinstitute.org/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
8/29/201737 minutes, 32 seconds
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#10: Alice Fishburn, editor, FT Weekend Magazine

Kassia and Simon interview Alice Fishburn, editor of the Financial Times Weekend Magazine. They discuss how she got her start in journalism, where the magazine sits within the rest of the FT’s offerings, and why longform journalism seems to be valued less in the UK than the US. Some of the FT Weekend Magazine pieces mentioned in the interview are: ‘Has science cracked the peanut allergy?’: https://www.ft.com/content/682bb942-4583-11e7-8d27-59b4dd6296b8 ‘Out of road: driverless vehicles and the end of the trucker’: https://www.ft.com/content/2d70469c-140a-11e7-b0c1-37e417ee6c76 You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
8/14/201737 minutes, 55 seconds
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#9: Sara Baume, novelist

Kassia interviews Irish novelist Sara Baume on the publication of her second book, 'A Line Made By Walking.' Sara spoke candidly about switching careers, what makes her write, how she got her first book deal and the financial realities of life as a full-time novelist. Her first book, published in 2015, was 'Spill Simmer Falter Wither. https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Line-Made-Walking-Sara-Baume/1785150413/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501513781&sr=1-1&keywords=a+line+made+by+walking https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Line-Made-Walking-Sara-Baume/1785150413/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501513781&sr=1-1&keywords=a+line+made+by+walking You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
8/1/201744 minutes, 56 seconds
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#8: Stig Abell, editor, Times Literary Supplement (TLS)

Simon and Kassia interview Stig Abell, editor of the Times Literary Supplement and former managing editor of the Sun. Stig has also reviewed books for the Spectator and ran the Press Complaints Commission. We discussed his career, his plans for the TLS, the impact of Facebook on print media and why he remains optimistic about its future. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
7/18/201740 minutes, 14 seconds
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#7: Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher, Dialogue Books

Simon and Kassia interview Sharmaine Lovegrove, who is the publisher at Dialogue Books – a new Little, Brown imprint that aims to showcase work by writers neglected by traditional British publishing. Sharmaine has previously run a bookshop in Berlin, been literary editor of ELLE Magazine and co-founded Dialogue Scouts, a consulting company that looks for books to be adapted for film and television. Sharmaine talks about the importance of bringing new voices into the often cliquey world of British publishing, how she got her start in the industry, and what she aims to achieve at Dialogue. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
7/3/201744 minutes, 38 seconds
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#6: Nicola Solomon, chief executive, The Society of Authors

Kassia interviews Nicola Solomon, chief executive of the Society of Authors, the British trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators. The SoA specialises in protecting authors' interests in negotiations and disputes with agents and publishers. Nicola discusses freedom of expression, explains how the publishing industry has changed over the past century and how to get a fair book contract. www.societyofauthors.org/ You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
6/20/201734 minutes, 40 seconds
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#5: Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

Simon and Kassia interview Peter Frankopan, a historian at Oxford University and director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. His latest book 'The Silk Roads : A New History of the World' proved a No 1 bestseller all over the world, topping the nonfiction charts in India, Pakistan, China and the UK, where it remained in the Top 10 for 10 months. Peter discusses what it feels like to be at the centre of a publishing whirlwind, the unlikely circumstances in which he first got his literary agent, and his views on the current political scene. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and James Edgar designed our logo.
6/6/201734 minutes, 42 seconds
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#4: Giles Wilson, founding editor, BBC News Magazine

In this episode, Simon interviews Giles Wilson, the founding editor of the BBC News Magazine and now creative director at Harpoon Productions. Giles discusses how and why the BBC started commissioning longer written pieces online, and the future of longform journalism in the UK and beyond. The three stories Giles mentions are: * Reykjavik Confessions www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/2014/…ec_7617/index.html * The Village and the Girl www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt…-a0eb-4ef064900f92 * The Uncatchable www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/2014/…ec_8700/index.html You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook atfacebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. This episode was edited by Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. Thanks to The Two Chairmen pub in Westminster for hosting our live events.
5/22/201727 minutes, 15 seconds
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#3: Laura Barber, publishing director and editorial director, Portobello Books and Granta

In the third episode of Always Take Notes, Simon and Kassia interview Laura Barber, publishing director at Portobello Books and editorial director at Granta. Laura discusses the differences between the two imprints she works on; how books can be both bought off-proposal from agents or — less often — commissioned by publishers; and the kinds of writing that she finds exciting. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook atfacebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Kassia St Clair and Simon Akam, and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. This episode was edited by Ed Kiernan. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. Thanks to The Two Chairmen pub in Westminster for hosting our live events.
5/9/201734 minutes, 7 seconds
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#2: Imogen Pelham, literary agent, Marjacq

In the second episode of Always Take Notes, Simon and Kassia talk to Imogen Pelham. Imogen is a literary agent at Marjacq, an agency based in London, where she represents both literary fiction and non-fiction authors. She explains the mysteries of book advances and the different ways she sells novels and non-fiction to publishers. Imogen also spoke about how to get into the industry, and gives tips to aspiring authors and agents. You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, @takenotesalways on Twitter, and facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Kassia St Clair and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. This episode was edited by Olivia Crellin. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. Thanks to The Two Chairmen pub in Westminster for hosting our live events.
4/25/201737 minutes, 3 seconds
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#1: Jonathan Beckman, deputy editor, 1843

In the first episode of the Always Take Notes podcast Simon and Kassia interview Jonathan Beckman, the deputy editor of 1843 (the lifestyle and culture magazine from The Economist) and author of the award-winning 'How to Ruin a Queen.' Jonathan previously worked at the Literary Review, where he ran the Bad Sex Awards – indeed that's how Kassia first met him… You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, @takenotesalways on Twitter, and facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Kassia St Clair and produced by Olivia Crellin, Ed Kiernan and Elizabeth Davies. This episode was edited by Elizabeth Davies. Zahra Hankir is our communities editor and deals with all things social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. Thanks to The Two Chairmen pub in Westminster for hosting us.
4/2/201726 minutes, 59 seconds