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The Bigger Picture – Marcus Brigstocke

16 Jul
Marcus Brigstocke  Wednesday 13th March 2013 @ Photography Studio © Copyright Huw Jennings

Marcus Brigstocke Wednesday 13th March 2013 @ Photography Studio © Copyright Huw Jennings

Comedian and satirist Marcus Brigstocke has become a member of the British comedy establishment after a career that has traversed radio, television, film, theatre and print.

BBC Radio 4 has become somewhat of a second home to Marcus with regular appearances on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, The Now Show, Just A Minute and Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off.  A satirical comic who frequently tackles the big issues, Marcus’ book God Collar, based on his award-winning Edinburgh show took a scathing look at modern faith.  Marcus speaks to Paul Blezard about life after atheism.

Marcus Brigstocke joins Paul Belzard at the Hay Literary Festival 2013 to talk about his new satirical show The Brig Society and writing his new stand-up show, provisionally titled Je M’accuse ( I am Marcus), which will see the wreckage of his personal life laid out before live audiences.

Browse Marcus Brigstocke audio

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Interview with Alom Shaha

31 Jan

Alom Shaha- The Young Athiest's Handbook AudiobookAlom Shaha’s book ‘The Young Atheist’s Handbook‘ is a must for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. We spoke to the author about his book, the audiobook and future plans.

What made you decide to write The young Atheist’s Handbook?

I’m a Physics teacher, so it might seem a bit odd that I’ve written a book about atheism, but the idea for the book came from  the discussions I’ve had with my students about life, God, the universe and everything. It’s my way of putting down all the answers to their questions in the kind of detail I don’t have time for, and which might not be appropriate, in my Physics lessons. I wanted to write a book which conveyed some of the key ideas of atheism whilst also emphasizing the very personal nature of belief. I hope the inclusion of a personal narrative (which was my agent’s idea) makes it more readable than, say, some of the other texts out there that cover the same material about religion and faith.

Were you inspired by any other writers when writing the book?

All my writing is inspired by all the books I’ve loved. I wanted to write a book that people could connect to in the way that I have connected to books I love – a book that elicited a response from the reader along the lines of “I’ve thought or felt that too”; a book that achieved that marvellous thing that books can do of letting you know that you’re not alone. In terms of the ideas in the book, I’ve quoted a lot of other writers in the book ranging from ancient thinkers like Epicurus through to modern day intellectuals like Kenan Malik.

How did you find recording the audiobook?

I had a lovely time recording the audiobook. I had a wonderful director who made me feel completely at ease and made the entire experience hugely enjoyable. I also learnt that “Alma Mater” has two acceptable pronunciations.

Have you or do you plan to have any other books published?

I have an idea for a second book and have started writing bits of it. It will be very different to The Young Atheist’s Handbook in style but may touch on some of the same themes of belief, science and love, because those are the things I’m interested in.

Were you surprised how well received The Young Atheist’s Handbook was?

It has been wonderful to have had such a positive response from readers. Even now, more than 6 months after the UK publication, I regularly receive messages from people telling me how much they liked the book. I’m also delighted that many schools seem to be using it as part of their Religious Studies lessons and with the British Humanist Association’s campaign to raise enough money to send a copy to every secondary school in England and Wales.

 

Listen to a sample of The Young Athiest’s Handbook below and buy the audiobook from AudioGO.

Interview with G.L.Twynham

5 Nov

The ThirteenthThe Thirteenth by G.L. Twynham, read by Katy Carmichael is available to download from AudioGO. We spoke to the author about the book, the audiobook and writing.

Summarise the series of books:

“It’s a science fiction fantasy based on a British female superhero. It’s all about her adventures and how she becomes who she’s meant to be and who she meets along the way.”

How did you get into writing them?

“I read Harry Potter and I thought I can do that. It’s a bit like saying I can drive a car like Michael Schumacher. It just set me thinking that I would like to write something and I had an idea that I hadn’t experienced as a youngster because I wanted a female superhero and they were all male, apart from Wonder Woman and she was really drawn for men. So I wanted a superhero for my daughter.

Which other books really inspired you?

H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine was a huge inspiration for me because it just made me think how can somebody live before there’s even a car and imagine another world with a time machine? I’m a huge Stephen King fan. Not that I write horror, but he got me into reading. I was about 26 when I became a real reader and he was the one who set me off.

How has being self-published and self-represented benefited you and what are the drawbacks?

It makes it a lot harder. In some ways it’s great because I’m a control freak. I like the fact that I chose the cover, I chose the wording and I can choose anything I want. But I miss a support group. There’s nobody out there to support me in that sense. For example Waterstones sell my book and they’re  100% supportive of me but a lot of the time they struggle to actually get them because they’re so difficult to get hold of, whereas if I was with a publisher, there would be hundreds of copies stacked up in supermarkets. So in that sense you work constantly, 24 hours a day, every day of the week and have to be completely committed to doing that to be a good self-published author.

Things I would do differently: I would have asked for more advice in the beginning. I just ploughed through and did things ten times until I got it right. Whereas now I can help other self-published authors because if they ask me a question I can give them the answer. Would I want a publisher now? Absolutely. I’d jump at the opportunity. I didn’t choose to be self-published, I just thought it was another way to get attention, and if my books were good enough and people liked them, then eventually, a publisher would notice me, which they are now, just after three years and three books down the line.

How would you describe your fans?

Wonderful. Crazy. They’re just brilliant. They’re like family and because a lot of them are very young and I have an eleven year old daughter, I had that instant understanding and connection with them and they do crazy things like posting pictures when they’ve drawn all the symbols on their arms and hands. They’re mad about the books and they’re mad about the characters and I love that. They’re so passionate and I take a lot of time to speak to them on Facebook and Twitter . They’re the best fans in the world.

Katy Carmichael and GL Twynham

Reader Katy Carmichael (Left) and author G.L Twynham (Right)

How do you feel about the audio version?

I’m so excited. I think it’s a huge honour that you’ve chosen my books, with all the millions of books that could be chosen. The children I’ve spoken to have said to me “I’ve got all the books, but I have to have the audio.” They’re going to have to have them as well. A lot of kids and parents have said they’ll listen to it on a car journey. There’s nothing inappropriate in it so it’s going to be an amazing adventure for people to have when they’re going on their own adventures.

Kate Winslet reads Mr Gum

21 Sep

Kate Winslet reads Mr Gum

We recently released a new series of Mr Gum audiobooks read by Kate Winslet. So far, we’ve released 4 of Andy Stanton’s hugely popular Children’s books, read by the Hollywood actress. We spoke to Andy about the Mr Gum series and asked him what it was like to hear that Kate Winslet wanted to read his books.

“It was pretty surreal, I was half-asleep when my agent rang to tell me that Kate Winslet’s American agent had been in touch. ‘Why’s that then?’ I slurred. ‘Oh… oh, right, Kate wants to what? Do the audiobooks? Really? Really really?’ It seemed unlikely, to say the least. And it just kept on getting more and more unlikely.”

As Andy puts it, Kate “has the voice of an angel dipped in honey dipped in kittens’ tears, and her narration is a thing of beauty – it has authority and warmth and clarity.”

Read the full interview with Andy Stanton, author of Mr Gum.

Kerry Wilkinson Interview

16 Aug

Kerry Wilkinson self-published Locked in, the first of his Jessica Daniel crime fiction novels in 2011 and saw it rise to the top of the UK’s Kindle charts. It has now sold over 100,000 copies and the first three books in the series have been purchased over quarter of a million times between them.

AudioGO will soon be producing audiobooks of what will eventually be all six Jessica Daniel books, with the first of these, Locked In to be released in November 2012. We recently spoke to Kerry about his Jessica Daniel series, writing and audiobooks. Watch the interview videos below.

About the Jessica Daniel Books

About Writing

Jessica Daniel Audiobooks

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