Hungerford winner and author of Invisible Boys, Holden Sheppard, is the new host of the Fremantle Press podcast series

Is plot really the uncool cousin no-one wants to associate with? Should aspiring writers abstain from sex in favour of taking a large dictionary to bed? And how do you transform the experience of grief into the positive act of creation? As host of the 2019 Fremantle Press podcast series, Holden Sheppard gets to grips with all these questions and more.

Holden, who won the City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award for his soon-to-be-published novel, Invisible Boys, said he was stoked when asked to be this year’s host.

Holden said, ‘I’ve basically not let any of the authors leave the studio until they spill their secrets on their writing process and what they’d recommend to other writers. I’ve been blown away by how generous and insightful all the authors have been so far – I reckon aspiring writers in particular will learn a lot from this series, while everyone else will walk away with a towering to-read pile after hearing these authors talk. I’ve had the fringe benefit of gleaning the wisdom for myself, too, since I’m right in the middle of the editing process with one manuscript while also writing my next novel. Bonus, right?’

To date, Holden has interviewed five authors representing a range of adult genres: Marcella Polain, Driving into the Sun (literary fiction); Dave Warner, River of Salt (crime fiction); Anne-Louise Willoughby, Nora Heysen: A Portrait (art biography); plus the poets Nandi Chinna, The Future Keepers and Caitlin Maling, Fish Song. These are rounded out by Jessica Gateley’s interview with David Whish-Wilson, The Coves (historical fiction) and Tiffany Ko’s interview with Amanda Curtin, Kathleen O’Connor of Paris (art biography).

Holden said, ‘My first interview was with Marcella Polain, who actually taught me as an undergrad student at Edith Cowan University, so that was an awesome full-circle kind of moment – and her new novel is really a masterclass of writing all on its own. One of the coolest moments came when I was grilling Dave Warner about the ending of River of Salt (which is a hell of a twist) and suddenly realised what an amazing resource he was, so I started asking a whole bunch of questions that helped me work out the ending to my current work in progress. I feel like I kind of owe Dave a beer now.’

The Fremantle Press podcast series is available wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts or on our website at



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