The latest podcast sees Ali taking a break from all things festive in Edinburgh to talk to Doug Johnstone about his latest novel The Jump. In doing so they discover it’s not an easy book to talk about without giving away spoilers, but just about manage to avoid it. Their conversation touches on ‘domestic noir’, the need for serious research, why family dramas resonate the most, the importance of reading, and suggest that the real work of the writer is often in the edit.
Johnstone is one of the best thriller writers around, with a style which is deliberately lean and plot driven. The Jump, as with most of his novels, grabs you from page one and won’t let you go until the final full stop. It’s a deliberate and considered approach to writing and as such it’s fascinating to hear about the process he goes through.
For anyone interested in the realities of writing as well as the craft it’s worth staying to the end as he offers valuable insight to his life as a writer and the lessons he has learned along the way. It’s our third podcast with Doug and he’s always a pleasure to talk to, but this one felt particularly rewarding as there is no doubt that The Jump has been a challenging book to write, and has made him consider carefully how he now approaches each new novel, and why some are more draining propositions than others.
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We’ll be back soon with someone else, we just don’t know who as yet…