Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of Dark Mode, an internationally published psychological thriller. Her earlier books are How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, collected fiction and essays, which was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears in the Sydney widely across Australian publications, and she co-hosts James and Ashley Stay at Home, a podcast about writing, creativity and health, and teaches creative writing. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico.
Our interview begins at 18:00
*Please note this book includes graphic descriptions of sexual and physical violence. Our discussions in this interview about true crime and the manosphere may also be triggering*
We've got a Substack publication now! On the last day of the month, we share recommendations for two things we reckon you should read/watch/listen to. The beauty of Substack is you can revisit all our old editions and comment on our episode updates to share your thoughts. Come say hi!
Caitlin recommends: Yellowface by R.F. Kuang*
A scathing exploration of cultural appropriation and publishing. A compelling read you'll race through.
*Caitlin read a copy through her role at Harper Collins Australia
Michelle recommends: Dancing Barefoot by Alice Boyle*
A delightful YA that puts a queer twist on the classic high school romance.
*Michelle read a copy from Text Publishing.
Bonus recommendation: In Search of a Shepherd by Dave Burton
In this interview, we chat about:
- How this fictional thriller was inspired by The Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates and the 'manosphere'
- WTF *is* the dark web?
- Ashley's approach to her online presence and how it influenced the book (and why you need to change your passwords)
- The Black Dahlia and how true crime podcasts inspired Ashley's writing
- The surprising links between Ashley's research into genocide and the manosphere
- The move from memoir and essays into writing and publishing fiction
Books and other things mentioned:
- I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
- Redhanded episode 291: The Silk Road
- Root of Evil (podcast)
- The Somerton Man was finally identified after decades of being a fascinating unsolved mystery (ABC feature)
- Gunpowder (TV series)
- Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce
- Women in Crime (podcast)
Follow @AKalagianBlunt on Instagram
Dark Mode is available now. Thank you to UQP for providing us with copies of the book in preparation for the interview.
Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod