Rippling Pages: Interviews with Writers

Great writers making waves with the word, all in conversation on the Rippling Pages Podcast.

Keep up to date here, via Twitter, or the Rippling Pages Podcast Instagram Page.

Episodes listed below.

Series One: Finding Room

In Series One, we reflect on ‘Finding Room’. Some of the writers I speak to discuss literal journeys to find a room to write in and space they can call their own.

Other writers reflect on how a ‘room’ can be a state of mind and a set of limits, and how understanding these limits has eventually set them free of formal literary and psychological restrictions to write.

In one instance, I speak to a writer who has set a whole novel in one single room.

Episode 7: Neil Griffiths on Trauma

“I was wrestling with what certain states of being feel like as negatives.”

Novelist and publisher, Neil Griffiths, joined me to discuss his essay, ‘Madness as Such’, which is featured 
in Trauma: Writing About Art and Mental Health (Dodo Ink).

Neil talks candidly about his essay which reflects on his experiences of depression. Indeed, if you are affected by any 
of the themes discussed in today’s episode, I’ve reserved this episode’s Rippling Points for a couple of links to charities.

The Samaritans 

Reference Points:


Neil’s Novels:
As a God Might Be (Dodo Ink)
Saving Caravaggio (Penguin)
Betrayal in Naples (Penguin)

Clair-Louise Bennett – Pond
Charles Dickens – Bleak House
Fyodor Doestoyevsky – Crime and Punishment
Mathias Énard – Zone
Eimear McBride – A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

Isobel Wohl – Cold New Climate – the inaugural novel of Neil’s publishing company, Weatherglass Books


Francis Spufford


Neil’s Review of Francis Spufford’s True Stories and Other Essays on Review 31


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Episode 6: Olja Knežević and Catherine the Great and the Small

‘Where there is conflict, there is always a path to literature…Freedom is an important topic for me.’

What a pleasure to talk to the Montenegrin writer, Olja Knežević about her trans-generational novel, Catherine the Great and the Small (Istros Books). The novel is translated by Paula Gordon and Ellen Elias-Bursać

Rippling Points:

  • Lessons from writing in and about a civil war
  • Why don’t we write about grandmothers more?


Reference Points


I also wrote a review of Olja’s novel for The Brixton Review of Books.

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Follow the Rippling Pages on Instagram – @rippling_pages

Episode 5: Jen Calleja on Time and Goblins

‘I want the story the story to be as disorientating for the reader as it is for me…I’m not trying to offer an answer or a safe and complete world…’


The incredibly talented Jen Calleja joins the RP Pod to talk about her short story collection, I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For (Prototype Publishing), and Goblins (Rough Trade Books), a personal exploration of ‘goblinery.’

Rippling Points:

  • That’s all we’ve got time for: setting ‘temporal parameters’ for writing a story
  • Is it really the way it is? Working with and against lessons learned in youth


Buy GOBLINS here

Reference Points

Books and Writers



Ideal lockdown literary listening. 

Follow Liam on Twitter – @liamhbishop
Follow the Rippling Pages on Instagram – @rippling_pages

Episode 4: Katharina Volckmer and The Appointment

‘It felt liberating to find that voice and put it on paper…Some restrictions can be creative.’

Hello! Katharina Volckmer talks about her debut novel, The Appointment (Fitzcarraldo Editions), a TLS ‘Book of the Year 2020’, and one critics have called ‘a darkly funny untangling of national and sexual identity’ (The Guardian).

And what a great way to kick off our ‘Finding Room’ series with a novel set entirely in one room…

Rippling Points

  • Can the restrictions of writing in a language which isn’t your ‘mother tongue’ ultimately set you free?
  • How a ‘silent’ character can be a ‘loud’ presence.



Reference Points

Books and Writers

Thomas Bernhard – The Old Masters

Siri Hustvedt – The Blindfold

Franz Kafka

Ottessa Moshfegh

Philip Roth – Portnoy’s Complaint


Katharina in conversation with RL Goldberg for the Paris Review

Katharina on ‘that strange German silence’ that persists over the Holocaust for the Guardian

Ideal lockdown literary listening. 


The below episodes are a series of pilot episodes from summer 2020. Started as a response to literary events migrating online, I launched an ‘Interviews with Writers’ series to promote and discuss great writing.

For a flavour of the Rippling Pages Podcast, these are a great way to start.

Episode 3: Katherine Horrex and the ‘Rooms’ of Poetry

‘I do believe that we’re all travellers of a fashion. For the poetic process I personally need a sense of freedom in order to write, and I like to feel free’

Katherine Horrex’s debut collection is published by Carcanet. Her poems have been featured in journals such as the Manchester Review, PN Review, and the TLS.

We talk about how ‘Growlery’, a term taken from Charles Dickens’s Bleak House came to represent a space for Katherine in which she could write her poems.

Then, as her poems weave through contemporary Britain, Katherine talks about the challenges of writing – or not writing – about Brexit, before discussing how she reflects on place as a ‘psychogeographical’ concept.

Episode 2: Thomas Chadwick and the ‘byproducts’ of writing

Things don’t always turn out how you intended them to, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Thomas Chadwick discusses his approaches to creating his first collection of short stories, Above the Fat (Splice: 2019).

Thomas’s stories have been shortlisted for prizes such as the Galley Beggar and the White Review short story prize. Above the Fat was also selected by the Republic of Consciousness Prize as it’s Book of the Month selection for April 2019.

His writing has been described as having wit and a capacity for understatement that can also instil a feeling of devastation.

We talked about the ‘byproducts’ of people’s lives, but how this idea lends itself to Thomas’s writing process. We also talked about the what we ‘inherit’ and the idea of hauntings as a less than spooky concept.

Thomas also reads from ‘Birch’, a story in Above the Fat.

Listen to the second episode with Thomas Chadwick as he discusses Above the Fat (Splice)

Episode 1: Gaia Holmes and writing about resistance

‘I didn’t feel like I was living my own life. I was in the world of Newbury and trees.’

Gaia Holmes talks about her story, ‘198 Method of NVDA’, which features in Comma Press’s Resist Anthology.

She, along with other writers, writes about significant moments of protests in British history and each story is accompanied with an essay by a historian. Gaia chose to focus on the Newbury bypass protests of 1996.

We also discussed her poetry and, in particular, work from her most recent collection, Where the Road Runs Out, also published by Comma. Grief, the environment, and the art of Gaia’s craft were all discussed in the interview featuring readings of both her story and poetry.

Listen to the first episode here

© Liam Bishop, 2021. All rights reserved.