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The Riff Raff Podcast #44 – Juman Malouf

Juman Malouf, The Riff Raff

I have a confession to make: I have a total girl crush on Juman Malouf. And I bet all the money in my pocket that, after listening to our podcast, you will too.

I very first heard of Juman courtesy of Marian Keyes – she's written a few books, you've probably heard of her. I heard Marian singing Juman's praises on Dolly Alderton's Love Stories podcast, so when the opportunity came up to interview her – Juman, that is, not Marian, or Dolly – about her debut novel The Trilogy of Two, Amy and I leapt at the chance.

The Trilogy of Two is a snappy YA crossover that follows twins Sonja and Charlotte as they battle to survive in a fantastical dystopian future. Think circus-steam-punk-Matrix and you're getting close. It is riveting read that zips along at a frenzied pace, punctuated by Juman's own delicate, hand-drawn illustrations – a rare and magical addition to any story.

In fact visuals feature heavily in our podcast discussion as Juman relays how images play a large and important role in her writing and creative process. We also talk about feeling like an alien, and how writing can help you find your identity; why it's so crucial to pursue your passion – and the grief of losing it, and the joy of creating your own vocabulary. Oh, and listen out for the part where Juman accidentally sends my fear of flying into orbit. Have a listen – you're going to love it.

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