Writing tips, publishing advice and lots of laughs: listen to every episode of The Riff Raff Podcast right here
Episode 81: Stephanie Scott
April 19, 2020
Amy chats to debut author, Stephanie Scott, about her beautiful novel, What's Left of Me is Yours. They discuss how to effectively write about people falling in love, how to take inspiration from real life and craft it into your own narrative, and how to effectively combine extensive research with letting your novel guide you.
Episode 80: Alex Allison
March 08, 2020
Amy Baker chats to Alex Allison, author of The Art of the Body - a novel about the relationship between a young artist and his carer. They discuss how to approach writing about disability, how theme informs plot and character informs theme, and how Alex used SMART targets to get his novel written around a hectic day job. They also touch on how to use events to drive a novel forwards, whether you need to define the 'wants' of your characters and how writing to make people think you're clever is a huge error.
Episode 79: Kiley Reid
February 09, 2020
Amy Baker of The Riff Raff chats to Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age - a novel that tells the story of a young black girl wrongly accused of kidnapping a white child and the events that follow. Amy and Kiley discuss writing a book that makes people question their perceptions, the multiple layers of effective dialogue, and why you must always think about what a scene needs to achieve before writing it. They also discuss taking on the subject of race with humour, how scrapped scenes are still forward progress and the importance of writing to the truth of your characters' experience.
Episode 78: Elle Nash
January 11, 2020
Amy Baker chats to Elle Nash, author of 'Animals Eat Each Other' - a complex and impressive psychological exploration of obsession and desire. Amy and Elle chat about writing without judgement of your characters, giving yourself the necessary space for magical epiphanies to occur and using universal experiences to convey feelings and emotions that your reader may not be familiar with.
Episode 75: Lara Prescott
October 12, 2019
Amy chats to Lara Prescott, author of instant New York Times Bestseller, The Secrets We Kept - a book inspired by the CIA plot to infiltrate Soviet Russia, not via propaganda, but via the novel, Doctor Zhivago. Amy and Lara discuss how books can change the world, writing historical fiction based on real life events and using visual exercises to understand the rhythm and balance of your novel.
Episode 74: Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
September 14, 2019
Amy chats to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, author of Sarong Party Girls, about inhabiting your characters to create a believable first person narrative, revelling in your story's details & conveying perspective shifts in your characters. They also discuss writing to tight deadlines, using humour to provide levity to dark subject matter and finding inspiration in the world around you.
Episode 73 - Ashley Hickson-Lovence
August 11, 2019
Amy chats to Ashley Hickson-Lovence about his debut novel, The 392. We discuss those special moments that spark book ideas, writing about one event from multiple perspectives, the challenges of taking on 11 different voices, and the art of editing a finale.
Episode 67 - Sara Collins
April 14, 2019
Amy chats to Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton. We discuss Sara's early obsession with books and drive to write the type of narrative she hadn't found before, the role of female anger in her novel, and the mess and magic of the writing process.
Episode 54 - Gabrielle Fernie
November 04, 2018
We talk to Gabrielle Fernie, author of the hilarious memoir Lush, about writing honestly – especially when it comes to your own life; how to hit a deadline (even with a wisdom tooth infection) and why it can really pay off to share your work with authors you admire.
Episode 51 - Fatima Farheen Mirza
October 07, 2018
The Riff Raff chat to Fatima Farheen Mirza about her sensational New York Times best-selling debut novel, A Place For Us. We discuss how exploratory writing can help you discover your plot, the importance of honouring the consciousness of your characters, and how to address cultural matters without creating generalisations.
Episode 50 - Caroline O'Donoghue
January 01, 2020
Happy 50th podcast birthday to us! We're celebrating with Caroline O'Donoghue, author of Promising Young Women, as she opens up about the beauty (and importance) of the writer/editor relationship, sticking to your guns when it comes to being weird and how to write around a demanding day job.
Episode 48 - Holly Ringland
September 16, 2018
This week we're talking to Holly Ringland, author of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, about celebrating female relationships in books, how to nail descriptive writing so that it's not 'all pate and no biscuit' (it will make sense when you listen, promise) and why, when all is said and done, it will always be your readers who ultimately bring your story to life.
Episode 47 - Michael Donkor
September 09, 2018
The Riff Raff chat to Michael Donkor, author of Hold, about the importance of dialogue in building character relationships, the licence writing gives you to think about ordinary things in new ways and the art of giving the reader just enough to draw their own conclusions.
Episode 41 - July 2018 Live Event
July 28, 2018
Live from the Effra Social in Brixton - The Riff Raff Live! In July we enjoyed readings and writing advice from Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart), Rachel Heng (Suicide Club), Claire Askew (All The Hidden Truths), Holly Ringland (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart), Amy Lilwall (The BIggerers) and Emily THomas (Mud).
Episode 39 - Adam Kay
July 14, 2018
We talk to Adam Kay, author of This Is Going To Hurt about how to find humour in deeply unfunny moments, the sometimes overlooked importance for your book of having a beginning, middle and an end and why the key thing is to care about the characters and world you are creating.
Episode 37 - June 2018 Live Event
July 01, 2018
Live, from the Effra Social in Brixton, it's The Riff Raff June Meet Up 2018! Featuring book readings and writing advice from debut authors Sophie Mackintosh (The Water Cure), Rachel Edwards (Darling), Justin Myers (The Last Romeo), Sharlene Teo (Ponti) and Paul Howarth (Only Killers and Thieves).
Episode 35 - Preti Taneja
June 17, 2018
The Riff Raff chat to Desmond Elliott prize nominee Preti Taneja about her state of the nation novel, We That Are Young. We discuss basing your book on a pre-exiting narrative, how to cover big themes without sacrificing plot and using characters as a tool to convey political ideas. Quality iffy at very end due to poor connection!
Episode 33 - The Riff Raff Live Event - May 2018
June 03, 2018
Recorded live at The Riff Raff in Brixton on May 10th 2018, this month we welcome Guy Gunaratne (In Our Mad & Furious City), Samuel Fisher (The Chameleon), Anne Patterson (Yes), Kate Leaver (The Friendship Cure) and Zelda Rhiando (Fukushima Dreams).