PODCASTS – Narratives Library National Edition

Author Mark Smith reads  for Narratives from ‘The Road to Winter’ at the Somerset Festival of  Literature QLD 2017

Narratives Library National  is a  special weekly series of half hour programs with two authors ( or three!)interviews and reads and thoughtfully  selected music all from Australian songwriters and composers.

Narratives Library National Edition  is now   broadcast on the  National Community Radio Network  on  participating community radio stations  every week on Mondays 7.05pm  and  Thursdays  at 10pm.

Because not everyone will be able to tune into broadcasts the same editions will be here on this page for your listening pleasure.

And because not everyone wants to be tied to their computer you can also listen on your mobile phone or tablet.


We are now affiliated with Booktopia

To purchase  a particular  book just click on the relevant book cover. The majority of the authors and books featured on this site are available there.


Episode 24: Kim Mahood ‘ Position Doubtful’ ; and Sophie Green – ‘ The Inaugural meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Bookclub’


Music tracks: ‘ Periphery’ by Belle Miners

Episode 25:Publishing versus self publishing in the Romance Fiction industry

Want to publish your own ‘bodice ripper’? Or have you written a crime romance you are sure a publisher will jump to publish? Hear one of the country’s top romance publishers tell you what they are looking for in a manuscript and also listen to self published authors and romance readers  explain why they love the genre.

Episode twenty-six: Libby Hathorn and T.M Clarke.





Episode twenty-three: Luc Sante ‘The Other Paris’


This is lovely treat  – Author Luc Sante takes us on a walk through the Paris of the nineteenth century, a very different place to now.  The fields outside the ‘wall’ he  mentions are now where the motorway known as the Peripherique encircles the city, and thousands of people live there.Luc’s sonorous delivery makes this a very meditative aural experience, Ken Naughton’s discreet piano fills in spaces.

Australian duo ‘Bebe et Lulu’ gives the end a french flair.

Music Tracks:Ken Naughton , – Variations – Baby et Lulu- ‘Paris’ and ‘Paris se regarde’

Luc Sante was recorded at the Sydney writers Festival 2016.


Episode twenty-two: Nadja Spiegelman “ I’m supposed to protect you from all this”, Jenevieve  Chang ‘The Good Girl of Chinatown”



Nadja Spiegelman had a complicated family life, a fact she observed very early on as a small child . Her mother was highly strung and emotional and it made for a fraught  relationship. Jenevieve Chang  went to teach dance in China and found she was a lot more Australian than she realised, but not exotic  enough for her employers.

Music tracks:‘I love you and let you go’ by Gyan; ‘Fire in her Belly’ by Trysette.

Nadja  Spiegelman and Jenevieve Chang  were recorded at Sydney Writers Festival 2017.


Episode twenty-one: Nick earls and Friends read from “Wisdom Tree’



‘Wisdom Tree’ is a series of 5 novellas entitled : Gotham, Venice, Vancouver, Juneau, Noho by prolific author Nick Earls.

The actual books are half size of a normal paperback and fit in your back pocket or purse for a quick read at any moment. The five stories are linked but in subtle ways so each novella stands on its own. Nick has asked several other author friends  -Abdel Jasmin-Mageid, Matt Conlon, Liam Piper, Ashley Hay  –  to read from his works and he  also reads himself. In the interview he explains a little about each novella and why he chose that particular author to read from  it. No music track in this podcast.

 Nick Earls,Abdel Jasmin-Mageid, Matt Conlon, Liam Piper, Ashley Hay were recorded at the Byron writers Festival 2016.


Edition  twenty: Rachel Craw – ‘Spark’;   Krissy Kneen –‘ An Uncertain Grace’;   James Bradley ‘ Clade’

Three science fiction authors for this week.  In ‘Spark’ Rachel Craw has a group of teenagers, fumbling with their own emerging feelings and identities caught up in a  tale of genetic engineering  and superheroes, James Bradley  explains the title of his work ‘Clade’ and reads from the opening chapter when the hero has elected to go  on a mission to Antarctica, while Krissy  Kneen in ‘An Uncertain Grace’ really gets our heads turned around with the idea of observing  the world through other people’s eyes- even their skin!



Music track ‘ Robotica’ by Michael Fairley from ‘Boy from Mars’

Rachel Craw was recorded at the Somerset Festival of Literature; Krissy Kneen and James Bradley were recorded at the Sydney writers Festival.


Edition  nineteen:George Gittoes ‘Blood Mystic’ and Louise Doughty ‘Black  Water’


Today  our edition has a serious theme as two authors give us very different accounts of the horrors of war. Australian Artist George Gittoes has been present at so many wars I actually lost count and he corrected me when I was interviewing him. As a public speaker he is riveting His book ‘Blood Mystic’ is an account of just a few of the warzones he has witnessed and recorded, and of his life lived perpetually on the edge of danger. Louise Doughty’s book ‘ Blackwater’ is a novel, but it is based on extensive research she made into  Jakarta’s dark history. There is strong language used in this edition and adult themes.

Music track:‘Things Fall Apart’ the General Assembly

George Gittoes was recorded at Sydney Writers Festival 2017, Louise Doughty was recorded at Byron writers Festival 2016.


Edition eighteen :Jesse Blackadder – 60 seconds’ and Ashley Hay ‘100 small lessons’.


Our two authors today have set their work in tropical areas, and it is this ‘sense of place’ that imbues their characters trajectory.

In Jesse Blackadder’s ‘ 60 Seconds’ – a move from Tasmania to the Northern rivers of NSW  provides the backdrop to a family tragedy, while in Ashley Hay’s ‘ 100 small lessons’ the character of Lucy  has moved from Sydney to Brisbane. Both these novels are about coping with  loss and change.

Music tracks :‘Vulnerable –Angie Hudson; ‘When I get There’ – Lucie Thorne

Recorded at the Byron writers Festival 2017


Edition  seventeen:Lance Balchin ‘Mechanica’ ; Jack Heath – ‘The Cut Out’ ; Fleur Ferris – ‘Black’



This week three  fabulous authors who are classed as ‘Young Adult’- which means really, anyone over the ages of 14 will enjoy them. Lance Balchin reads from ‘Mechanica’ – of a  world without insects and animals, Jack Heath’s ‘The Cut Out’ , his  protagonist also inhabits a future world, one where he is forced to act as double  for the good of the government, while Fleur Ferris in ‘Black’ explores that classic stage set- the reputed ‘haunted house’.

Music track:‘Call the Police’ by Robert Childs from ‘Elastic Band’Mark Balchin and Fleur Ferris were recorded at the Somerset Festival of Youth Literature  2017 and Jack Heath was recorded at Sydney Writers Festival 2017


Edition  sixteen: Keenan Malik- ‘From Fatwah to Jihad’


Keenan Malik is an Indian-born British writer, lecturer and broadcaster, trained in neurobiology and the history of science . he is also a writer, lecturer and broadcaster and a  presenter of Analysis, BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme and a panelist on the Moral Maze.It is 20 years since the late Ayatollah Khomeini declared that everyone involved in the publication and sale of Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses should be killed. Keenan Malik’s book FROM FATWAH TO JIHAD – The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath attempts to understand the legacy of its publication  and questions the  notions of political correctness it has led us into in our debates about cultural differences.Keenan opened our interview by explaining the context for his book and the significance of its publication date. Because it is such  an important  and complex issue , Keenan’s read and interview will be our whole show this week.

Music Track : ‘ Bollyrock ‘by Fourplay from Cd ‘Now to   the Future’

Keenan Malik was recorded at the Byron Writers Festival 2017


Edition fifteen: Lesley Truffle –‘The Fabulous  Hotel du Barry ‘ &’The Scandalous Life of  Sacher Torte’ and  Cassandra Dean –‘Silk and Scars’



Two authors and three novels in this edition. Romance but really adult fiction and wonderful escapist stuff for the holidays. Lesley Truffle’s novels are set in  olden Tasmania and in her interview she tells me why  while Cassandra Dean sets her heroine in that wonderful standby for creepy Georgian carryings on – the Moors of England !


Featured music track: ‘Silvermines’ by Shane Howard from ‘Clan’.

Lesley Truffle and Cassandra Dean recorded in Melbourne 2017


Edition fourteen:Peter Helliar – ‘Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase’; Luke Proudfoot – ‘Shaka, Shaka Hawaii’ ; Damien Prossner – ‘Helix and the Arrival’

Peter Helliar recorded at Byron writers Festival 2017; Luke Proudfoot and Damien Prosner recorded at Somerset festival of Youth Literature 2017.



Some kids just love to read and can be found  with their nose in a book or glued to a screen e-reading any time of the day, but for some the magic of entering those other  imaginary worlds eludes them. Reading is an important skill and some parents despair that their children just don’t seem interested but maybe  they just haven’t found that one book that is the key . Our three authors today all write for that tricky  age of ‘7-12 years – Damien Posner – in ‘Helix and the Arrival’ goes back in time , way back , to prove that pre-historic families were just as exasperating  for a teenager as present day. While Luke Proudfoot on ‘Shaka, Shaka Hawaii’ has three friends who love to surf and play music in their band  and well known comedian Peter Helliar thinks kids are a tough crowd, but once you have won them over, they become faithful fans so his much demanded  follow up books to’ Frankie Fish  and the Sonic Suitcase’ are already available.

Featured music track :’Endless Summer’ by Laura Hill


Edition thirteen: Tex Perkins – ‘Tex’ , and Mark Holden- ‘My Idol Years’


To day we hear from Tex Perkins  reading, under slight duress on a hot day at a Byron Writers Festival, from his book entitled simply ‘Tex’, in which he reveals he  was never dismayed that he wasn’t taken seriously as a musician, he never wanted to be serious as a musician – and Mark Holden  reads from ‘ My Idol Years’  about one of the highlights of his career, singing with the Temptations.

Featured music tracks : ‘How Good is Life’  & ‘One step ahead of the Blues ‘ by  Tex, Don and Charlie .

Recorded at the Byron writers Festival 2017


Edition twelve: Penelope Janu -‘ In at the Deep End’,  Kendall Talbot  – Lost in Kakadu’, and  Susan Lattwein – ‘Arafura- Blood, the Wet and Tears ‘




Well here is some holiday listening! Three Adult romance authors with a love of the outback and the top end and the deep sea!Featured music track:’Nullabor Song’ by Kasey Chambers

Recorded at the A.R.R. A conference , Melbourne 2017.


Edition  Eleven :  Catherine Evans – ‘The Healing Season’ and Kelly Hunter –‘Wish’


Today we hear from two authors who are classed as Romance authors but this genre is now so expanded that under books published by romance imprints along with the usual  love stories you will find, crime, fantasy, science fiction, historical and in the case of Catherine Evans  and her book ‘ The Healing Season’ – scientist  romance! In Kelly Hunters novel ‘Wish’ we have a classic ‘ searching for a new life’ saga – but charmingly and satisfyingly told as a young mother struggles to start again.

Featured music track:‘The day that I lost You’ – Suzannah Espie;  “ Back to the Sun” -Ange Takats

Recorded at the A.R.R. A conference , Melbourne 2017.


Edition Ten :Tracey Spicer  – ‘The Good Girl Stripped Bare ‘; Mary-Lou Stephens –‘ Sex,Drugs and Meditation’ and Suzanne Leal – ‘The Teacher’s Secret’


Well this week’s edition is certainly topical! Here is Tracey Spicer with her explosive expose of the misogyny in the media industry ( who’d have thought?!) and Mary-Lou Stephens tells all about  being bullied at the ABC and Suzanne Leal weighs in with a fictional novel of life in the education department.

Featured music tracks:‘Change’ –Jodi Martin; ‘Some say I got Devil ‘ –Inge Liljestrom

Recorded at Sydney Writers Festival 2017, Byron writers Festival 2015, Sydney Writers Festival 2017


Edition Nine: Sebastian Smee –‘ The Art of rivalry’ and Ashleigh Wilson –‘Brett Whiteley –Art, Life and the other thing.’



Two fascinating books on artists’s lives. In ‘The Art of Rivalry’, Sebastian Smee shows us how the relationships between artists can influence what we see in our museums, and how art movements have evolved by artists interacting and competing with each other.Ashleigh Wilson delves ever deeper into Brett Whiteley’s tumultuous  life to reveal the man  behind the artist in  “Brett Whiteley- Art, Life and the other Thing”..Featured music tracks: “Talk About Love” –My Friend the Chocolate Cake, “All the colours’  by Neil and Tim Finn

Recorded at Sydney Writers Festival 2017


Edition eight: David Leser “To Begin to Know – walking in the shadows of my Father”, Nikki Gemmel ” After”.



David Leser reads from his memoir ‘To Begin to Know- in the shadows of my father’, in which he attempts to understand the forces that shaped his father’s childhood and their subsequent relationship. Nikki Gemmel  reads from ‘After‘, an astonishing examination of the aftermath of her mother’s suicide. ( This  interview and read deals with the subject of assisted dying .)

Featured Music track : “Undertow” by Cye Wood

Recorded at Sydney Writers Festival  2016 and Byron writers Festival  2017 respectively.


 Edition Seven: Charlie Veron,–‘ A Life Underwater’, Peter Doherty ‘ ‘The Knowledge Wars’ and Tim Flannery –‘Atmosphere of Hope’




Charlie Veron ‘ the father of coral’, recounts “the view from my coffin” as he imagines looking back, Peter Doherty tells you how to sort climate fact from climate fiction, and Tim Flannery says don’t give up on the planet just yet.

Featured  music track : ” Falling” by Miriam Lieberman

Recorded at Byron Writers Festival 2017 and Sydney writers Festival 2016 respectively.


Edition six :Sophie Hardcastle ‘ Breathing Underwater’ and Mark Smith ‘The Road to Winter’


Sophie Hardcastle  reads from her haunting novel ‘Breathing Underwater‘ and Mark Smith reads from a dystopian future in ‘The Road to Winter’. Both authors have ocean themes running through their work.  Good for surfers of any age!

Featured music tracks : ” Underwater” by Domini Forster and ” Seals at Play” by Riley Lee

Recorded at the Somerset Festival of Literature 2017


Edition five : -Rajith Savanadasa “Ruins’ and Sohila Sanjani ‘Scattered Pearls’


I loved listening to Sohila Sanjani reading her memoir with her beautiful Persian accent, and Rajith  was very informative about Sri Lankan mythology in his interview. Two interesting new australians ( although they have been here a while!)

Featured  music track: ” Alunud” by CODA

Recorded at the Byron writers Festival 2016


Edition four: L.A Larkin reads ‘Devour’ and Michael Robotham tells us all about ‘The  Secrets She Keeps’.


Two crime writers with twist – for Larkin it is skulduggery regarding protecting the earth’s environment, for Robotham it is the psychological profile of the criminal mind. 

Featured Music Track : “Riddle and Rhyme” by Abbie Cardwell

Robotham recorded at Byron writers Festival 2017


Edition three: Richard Roxburgh with ‘Artie and the Grime Wave’ and Tristan Bancks with ‘My Life and other Stuff I made  up’


Two actors writing funny kids  books, naturally they have to read all the characters in different  voices  as well! Richard also did the illustrations for his book so here he is holding one up to the camera!


Featured music track : “Round the Twist” by Tin Pan Orange

Recorded at the Byron Writers Festival 2017


 Edition two : Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist – ‘Two Steps Forward’.

Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

Hear  husband and wife writing team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist combining forces to read the characters they wrote for ‘Two Steps Forward’.


 Featured music track : The ‘River of Remembrance” by Lucinda Peters

Recorded at the Sydney writers Festival 2017 in Graeme and Anne’s hotel room ( as the media room was too noisy!)


Edition One  :NARRATIVES LIBRARY NATIONAL PODCAST – Hannah Kent ‘The Good People’ & Robert Drewe ‘Whipbird’

The lovely Hanna Kent reads from her latest novel ‘The Good People‘ ( with a smashing Irish Accent!) and Robert Drewe muses on family reunions in ‘Whipbird’.



Featured Music track: ‘Rebel Song’ by Shane Howard and  Irish dance by Cathie O’Sullivan

Recorded at Byron Writers Festival 2017






So stay tuned for more wonderful stories and reads from our hundreds of authors and beautiful music from Australian artists!

Karena at the desk in Studio 1 Bay FM 99.9 Byron Bay Australia




authors in their own words