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Season 09

TIP - Click on the authors name for their website.

Holly started her career at the Sunday Times, before moving to the Daily Telegraph. During six years at the Telegraph, she was the Whitehall Editor and jointly ran the investigations team. She then moved to work on the Guardian's investigations team.

Holly has been nominated for a wide range of #journalism prizes, winning awards for her work on stories including MPs’ Expenses at the Telegraph and the Panama Papers at the Guardian.

She has reported from a wide range of countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Libya, Jordan and Lebanon. As well as flying around the world on everything from Lynx helicopters to Air Force One, Holly also worked as an undercover journalist.

In 2008, she was the Laurence Stern Fellow, spending several months working at the Washington Post.


200 episodes of The WCCS with Mario Dell'Olio!

Jane Shemilt is an internationally-acclaimed, best-selling author of psychological suspense novels. Because of very annoying and frustrating technical difficulties, Jane was unable to join the show. Luckily, the brilliant Mario Dell'Olio ( joined and celebrated with me.


We talked about his latest book, Letters From Italy, writing, life, music, and more. There are lots to learn about in this episode, from basic writing tips on how music can influence your creativeness. 

We celebrated 200 episodes of The Writing Community Chat Show. This show has seen 200 plus guests join the live show.


We have heard some amazing life stories, writing journeys, tips and we have all laughed many times on this show. Many beers have been drunk! I can't thank you all enough for your support. I feel so honored to be the host of this show and you all make me feel valued and that the hours put into this show are worth it. Thank you.


The Unmumsy Mum, AKA Sarah Turner.

"What is even more incredible is that Sarah Turner has now had 3 number 1 Sunday Times bestsellers!" 

Sarah Turner, AKA The Unmumsy Mum, used her experiences and struggles as a mother to write a blog. That blog was a success. So many related to Sarahs reality, and many more were inspired by it. Soon after, Sarah started writing a book about motherhood. In 2018, she released The Unmumsy Mum, quoted as "the messy, maddening, hilarious reality; how there is no 'one size fits all' approach; and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing." This book became an instant No.1 Sunday Times bestseller! An achievement many authors can only dream of. What is even more incredible is that Sarah Turner has now had 3 number 1 Sunday Times bestsellers! 

Stepping Up is Sarah's latest release. It dropped in March of this year and as you can see below has received incredible praise, hitting the number 1 spot once again! 


'Written with such love and heart. Sarah has done an exceptional job of marrying her trademark comedy with deep and raw emotion. I loved it!' GIOVANNA FLETCHER


Pier Nirandara is an #author, #filmproducer, and #underwaterphotographer. She began her career as Thailand’s youngest English-writing author of three #1 national bestselling novels, multiple graphic novels, and short stories with more than 200,000 copies sold in multiple languages.

Since then, she has represented literary clients at ICM Partners, served as Director of Development for International Content at Sony’s Columbia Pictures, and most recently as VP of Film & TV at A-Major Media, Hollywood’s first Asian-American driven production company. As literary ambassador for the Bangkok Metropolitan/UNESCO, she has spoken at TEDx events and international book fairs, was shortlisted for the S.E.A. Write’s ASEAN Young Writers Award, and judges for film and writing competitions at USC, UCLA, and the Neilson Hays Library. 

Pier is also a PADI AmbassaDiver™ and the founder of Hollywood Sharks, the industry’s first diving club, and leads expeditions to swim with marine wildlife. An advocate for solo female travel, she has visited over 90 countries across 7 continents. 



Femi Kayode is a Nigerian clinical psychologist, lawyer, essayist, poet and author. Kayode has spent the past twenty years working in advertising and has been the creator and writer of several TV shows that aired on Prime Time. In between, he went to the University of Southern California where he was a Packard Gates Fellow in Film. He was also a University of Washington Gates Fellow in International Health. Kayode has also attended the University of East Anglia, from where he graduated with a crime fiction MA. It was at UEA that ‘Lightseekers,” his debut novel won the UEA/Brown, Little Crime Fiction Award.


'A standout thriller... A stunning murder mystery... The suspense is expertly handled' Independent

'Tense and disturbing' Observer

Selected as a Best Crime Novel of the Month by The Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Guardian, Observer, Financial Times and Irish Times.


How to write inclusively, with #Inclusive AF author Jen O'Ryan. Dr. Jen O’Ryan is a #diversity and inclusion strategist focused on helping people build authentically inclusive and welcoming companies. She brings a unique perspective to organizational change, combining a Ph.D. in Human Behavior with over 20 years of experience in leading global launches of new consumer experiences, products and policy. She is the author of Inclusive AF, a blogger, consultant, and workshop facilitator. 

Inclusive AF:
This book is designed for anyone thinking about Inclusion and Diversity in their business or organization. It provides practical advice on safely and effectively leading culture change. Whether you are one person working with zero budget, or have funding and an enthusiastic team supporting the effort, there is something in here for you.

In Inclusive AF: A Field Guide for Accidental Diversity Experts, Dr. Jen O'Ryan offers a three-part roadmap for anyone implementing inclusion and diversity initiatives in the workplace: how to launch projects from the initial concept to post-delivery activities, lead people through cultural change, and design inclusive programs for #LGBTQ+ individuals (and everyone else).


Lexie Elliott was born in 1976 and grew up in Scotland, at the foot of the Highlands. Her first attempt at a book came in primary school, and featured a horse; sadly, that manuscript has been lost. She attended a local state high school, Dunblane High School, and spent much of her teenaged years reading and swimming. In 1994 she began a Physics degree at University College, Oxford, where she obtained a first; she subsequently obtained a doctorate in Theoretical Physics, also from Oxford University. A keen sportwoman, she represented Oxford University every one of her seven years there in either Swimming or Waterpolo, and usually both. However, she never lost her longheld desire to become a writer and always had a drawer full of private scribblings. ​


After university, Lexie succumbed to the need to climb out of debt and find a job and began work for an investment bank in London, where she remained for 8 years. During that time she also took up triathlon, met her husband (in a swimming pool at 5.30am, but that is another story...), got married and had two gorgeous boys, swam the English Channel solo, ran a few marathons and ultramarathons and tried in vain to carve out enough time to write. After losing her banking job during the Global Financial Crisis, she began work part-time in fund management in the City of London, and writing part-time. Her debut novel, The French Girl, was published in February 2018. In 2021, Lexie decided to take a break from the city and is currently writing full-time. When she's not writing, she can be found running, swimming and juggling family life whilst thinking about writing. Lexie is currently working on her fourth novel. How to Kill Your Best Friend: The breathtakingly twisty 2022 Richard and Judy Book Club pick.


Queer indie and The WCCS have joined forces for the second year running to bring you a virtual show for the Brooklyn Book Festival. It will be an interactive, live-streamed panel regarding the use of story as a tool to illuminate the invisible. Topics will include narrative explorations of death and grief, literary treatments of trauma and tragedy, writing as reflection, and approaches to diversity. This is a free, virtual event that will feature Queer Indie (Qi), the Writing Community Chat Show (WCCS), and additional indie authors. PANELISTS Dr. Mario Dell’Olio, TT Banks, Ash Knight, A.C. Merkel, Halo Scot, Christopher Aggett, Ross Young, Anya Pavelle.


QUEER INDIE BIO Founded in Spring 2020, Queer Indie is a writers’ alliance established to promote queer and ally lit. Qi includes the full spectrum of authors across all genres and identities. Their mission is to create a diverse, inclusive, supportive community of radical acceptance. Every book has a home. Write the rainbow. Founding members include Dr. Mario Dell’Olio, TT Banks, Ash Knight, A.C. Merkel, and Halo Scot.


Chris Aggett was joined by author Kaitlyn Deann and co. As a writer, Kaitlyn hopes to keep a reader turning pages late into the night and give them something to think about long after they finish the last page. Her debut novel, THE WITCHES’ SLEEP, has won the Gold Medal for Readers’ Favorite 2013 Annual Book Contest under the Fiction – Paranormal genre. Book one in her new dystopian fantasy romance series releases March 2023!


Kaitlyn and friends discussed #Worldbuilding and in particular #Fantasy. #Howto build worlds is a question most writers are stumped on .

Be sure to tune in live so you can ask what you want.


GUESTS: Kaitlyn Deann - Elisabeth Wheatley - Xyvah Okoye -


Terry Whenham is the man behind Terrys Tours, the podcast Tales From The Battlefield, and has raised over £60,000 for charity. Terry helps people find their connection between their family tree and the stories of WW1 and beyond. He has completed The ABF Soldiers Charity Frontline Walk many times and continues to support those looking to sign up, and kindly takes people on battlefield tours and shares his expertise. He does all this for free, out of kindness and selflessness. In this episode, we talk about the Frontline Walk, podcasting, books and much more. You can find Terry's website here:

His podcast here:


If you would like to sponsor me for The ABF Soldiers Charity, please use this link:


If you would like to sponsor Terry for the ABF Soldiers Charity, please use this link: #TerryWhenham #Terrystours #veteran


This week we learned about how Kristen Van Nest went from stand-up to writing & directing.


Kristen Van Nest is a comedian, writer, actor, and director based in Los Angeles, CA. She's a House, Team performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade is training with Lesly Kahn, and is a Series Regular on The Chunky Zeta on Amazon Prime.


She started her comedic career in Shanghai doing stand-up and improv.


​Terry Geo wrote and directed his first play at age eleven. At sixteen, he started work in television, writing scripts and becoming the youngest director in the country.

After a short stint in a boyband, Terry went back to #writing, editing two national publications. He toured the world as an actor, moved to London, and in 2017, wrote and directed an award-nominated musical for the London stage.

Terry is the author of two books: Refraction and The Cracked Reflection.

He is currently writing and practicing a live performance for #TheEdinburghFringeFestival which is coming very soon!

Support him and buy his books here:


Stacy Nycole Hawks is the author of Dividing Ridge: the Unsolved Murder of Elva Brannock an NC Literary Map novel & NC Society of Historians award-winning book for Excellence. Dividing Ridge is about a young woman's disappearance & murder along the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1937 in Alleghany County, NC.


Her second novel is titled Devils Ridge & tells the story of a moonshine/rum-running gang leader from rural Appalachia who tries to stay a step ahead of local and federal law enforcement, even if that means setting their world aflame.


Stacy enjoys sharing stories of the mountain community she is proud to call home, & is currently working on her third installment. Stacy is also the host of the brilliant Writing Wall podcast.


Kirsten Miller is an outstanding feminist author in the YA and children’s space, who spent twenty-five years as a strategist in the advertising industry. During that time, she worked for some of the largest agencies in the world. She’s proud to have quit a senior job at one of the most famous ad agencies in America over an ad that’s described in The Change. The Change is her first adult novel. The Change:


The change is coming.... Nessa: the Seeker Jo: the Protector Harriett: the Punisher With newfound powers, the time has come to take matters into their own hands.... After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead—who will only speak to her. On the cusp of 50, Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over—in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis. Jo spent 30 years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw—until she discovers she’s able to channel it. Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply—and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable. So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty…. The time has come to embrace The Change.


The WCCS welcomes back #KristofferPolaha and #AnnaGomez. Their second book in The #FromKonawithLove series. Where the Sun Rises is out on the 11th of October and has already been quoted as "a modern-day Romeo and Juliet." You can find their brand new book here:


The From Kona with Love series depicts multicultural romance, love, loss, and redemption woven into a family saga, set in the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Though interconnected, each installment can be read as a standalone. We will be live talking about how difficult it must be to write with a writing partner that you have never met. How the Fron Kona with Love series came about and what the future holds for it, and anything else that comes up in conversation. If you have questions, be sure to send them to me pre show, and then join us live to put us on the spot! Kristoffer Polaha is an American actor and author. He is known for his starring roles on television as Jason Matthews in North Shore, Nathaniel "Baze" Bazile in Life Unexpected, and Henry Butler in Ringer. Polaha had a minor but notable role as Handsome Man in the superhero film Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) directed by Patty Jenkins. He was also featured in the recent hit movie Jurasic Domination.


Anna Gomez was born and raised in the city of Makati, Philippines before she met and married her best friend who whisked her away to Chicago over twenty years ago. Anna is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life (The Light in the Wound, Christine Brae 2013) and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Since then, Anna has released six more books under her pen name, Christine Brae. In December 2019, her agent convinced her to write one more book. Different model, different subject matter. Clean, contemporary, happy endings. Reluctantly, she decided to give it a try. This time, under her real name, Anna Gomez.




#KristofferPolaha #WhereTheSunRises


Ruth joined the Army in February 1987 as an Analyst in the Intelligence Corps. She predominantly served in B.A.O.R. and Northern Ireland during ‘the troubles’ where she received a commendation from the Prime Minister of the time John Major. Ruth was investigated by the S.I.B. for being a Lesbian (having short hair and playing hockey seemed to be all the evidence needed) and although no evidence was found the whole horrific experience and humiliation forced her into leaving her chosen career after eight years due to the continued pressure she was experiencing. Ruth recently left HM Prison Service, after serving 25 years. During this time, she engaged with and supported veterans including staff and prisoners. She was also the prison lead on #equality, Diversity and Inclusivity setting up focus groups, writing and delivering training programmes to staff and prisoners. Ruth is a member of her local RBL and has also been the branch Chairperson and was involved in the organisation of the annual Poppy Appeal. She is also a member of her local RAFA Association and #veterans Hub. Her motivation for working for ‘Fighting With Pride’ is because she feels that she has come full circle, finally coming ‘home’ back into the ‘military family’ and it is her aim to bring the #lgbtq Veterans back home where they rightly belong. Ruth lives with her wife and two mad spaniels in South Wales. She is a campanologist, surfer, kayaker and volunteers as a tractor driver for her local RNLI station.


You can find out more here:

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