Podcast - Season 1

Book Realities Podcast



Date Published

Season 2


Chelsea Banning

Join special guest, author Chelsea Banning in conversation about her Arthurian fantasy novel, Of Crowns & Legends, her writing style, her love of Renaissance and Medieval fairs (Renfaire) and how a book signing with 2 people in attendance became a viral moment on Twitter that catapulted her into being a full-time writer.

6 April 2023 (WA Time)

Mark Fryday – Episode 14

Join musician, songwriter, author, writer of musicals and poet, Mark Fryday, in conversation with Ian as they discuss a love of words, a knack for inventing beer names, how to plan (or not) your book, the beauty and attraction of the British Pub and the propensity of repressed feelings and emotions within Great British (and further afield) society! All that and a few serious reflections on RUOK and CALM.

For further information on Mark – visit: https://markfryday.com/

30th March 2023
Author Angeline King

Angeline King – Episode 13

Angeline King is (​from September 2020 to September 2023) the Writer in Residence of Ulster University whilst completing a PhD in creative writing. A multi-talented fiction and non-fiction writer she has a passion for story-telling and a love of language, in many guises. Join Angeline and Ian in conversation about Ulster Scots, the business of writing, why she used to write in the mornings, how walking and thinking is essential for her creative processes and an overview of the many and varied projects Angeline has been involved with.

23rd March 2023

Gabriella Lang – Episode 12

Join author Gabriella Lang in conversation about her memoir Food and Freedom, her love of Russian history and how, on 17 July 1998, she found herself at the interment of the last of the Romanov Czars, Emperor Nicholas II, his family, Dr Botkin and their three faithful servants in St Petersburg´s Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral.

16th March 2023
Author Sana Turnock

Sana Turnock – Episode 11

Join Ian in conversation with author, podcaster, motivational speaker and business woman, Sana Turnock. Sana has been described as honest, enthusiastic and someone who dares to be different in her approach. In this episode of Book Realities she discusses why she wrote the Courage Journal and also how she is dealing with a recent medical revelation in her life. You can follow Sana at : https://courageunravelled.com/about/

9th March 2023

V M Knox – Episode 10

Join Publishers Weekly ‘Starred Review’ author, V M Knox in conversation with Ian Hooper as they discuss why she was mistrustful of indie publishing initially, her operatic background, her love of all things to do with code breaking and cryptography, and how that led to a very short-sighted teenager asking her, “Did you used to do that in World War II?”…. 

2nd March 2023

Mark Anthony – Episode 9

A special pre-launch interview with Mark Anthony, author of the Fantasy trilogy, LIT and specifically the second book in the series, Ascent. Discover more at https://bookreality.com/project/mark-anthony/

23rd February 2023
Author Dean P. R. Buswell

Dean Buswell – Episode 8

Join Ian in conversation with Dean P.R. Buswell, author of the Urban Fantasy novel, The Order of Elysium. Influenced by Nordic and many other myths and legends, Dean has woven these into a stunning lore of his own.

16th February 2023

Lee Gaitan – Episode 7

Join Ian Hooper in discussion with Lee Gaitan, a contributor to the Book Reality anthology, Forgiveness is the Hardest Thing.

In 2020, US-based author, Rica Keenum, suggested the possibility of an anthology based on the topic of Forgiveness.

One of the authors who submitted a piece for the anthology was, Lee Gaitan. An award-winning author of four books, including the Amazon #1 Bestseller My Pineapples Went to Houston, First Edition, and Lite Whines and Laughter, which garnered three international book awards and for which she was named a First Place Winner for Georgia Independent Author of the Year. She has authored chapters in several bestselling books and award-winning anthologies. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Erma Bombeck Humor Writers’ Workshop, The Good Men Project, Mothers Always Write, Enchanted Conversations, and Bella Grace among others. Her blog entries have earned a first-place win and honorable mention from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and she is a winner of the Nickie’s Prize Writing Competition. Her 2021 release, My Pineapples Went to Houston, Second Edition, has already won two awards.

9th February 2023
Author Josh Barry

Josh Barry – Episode 6

An interview with author Josh Barry exploring his fascination with all things “light entertainment” and his remarkable book, Beyond the Title, a collection of celebrity interviews.

2nd February 2023
Editor Alix Kwan

Alix Kwan – Episode 5

An interview with editor, Alix Kwan, exploring what she does, how she was trained and how she works in collaboration with authors to refine and polish their manuscripts.

26th January 2023

Robert C Littlewood – Episode 4

An accomplished classical singer, Robert C Littlewood was born in Catford in the Borough of Lewisham, London. He emigrated to Australia with his family arriving in 1964 initially in Perth, Western Australia.

With a deep and abiding love for the genres of science fiction and fantasy, he decided, like one of his literary heroes, CS Lewis, that he wanted to write the kind of novel he would like to read himself. Hiving completed the first two books, Deviance and Convergence in ‘The Balance Wars’ trilogy, he is currently working on Book 3 Equilibrium.

19th January 2023
Barbara Ann

Barbara Ann Quinlan – Episode 3 

Barbara Ann Quinlan was, by her own admission, the archetype “wild child” in her teens and early adulthood. Romantically linked to Zohar Argov, widely known in Israel as ‘The king of Mizrahi music’, she also rubbed shoulders with Elizabeth Taylor, Rod Steiger and many more of Hollywood’s elite.

With a life story as remarkable as hers, there’s a good reason it took three volumes to document it. The Love Seeker trilogy is a tour de force of a force of nature.

12th January 2023

Peter Shearing – Episode 2

Join Royal Australian Navy veteran, Peter as he discusses his debut novel, Glacier, an historical fiction novel set in and around the Mediterranean and the island of Malta.


12th January 2023
Author Murray Ernest Hall

Murray Hall – Episode 1

Kicking off our 2nd series of Book Realities – interviews with independent authors, where we discuss their books, their writing methods and what inspired them to be writers in the first place, is a second chat with author, Murray Hall,

A former Commonwealth Games double silver medalist in cycling, Murray brought his first book out in 2018, a non-fiction account of his great-grandfather’s experiences in the First World War. Now though, he is back with his first fiction novel, Unlikely Barons, set in Western Australia’s “wild west”. The Kimberley town of Broome in the 1990’s.

Join him and host, Ian Hooper in discussion about this fictional (but set on so much fact) book of crime capers and the most unlikely criminal barons you’ll ever meet.

12th January 2023

Season 1


Book Realities Series Trailer

Aug 18th 2022


How Anja Mujic turned her book dream into a book reality:

The first in our Book Realities series of interviews with independent authors, where we discuss their books, their writing methods and what inspired them to be writers in the first place. In this episode we meet Anja Mujic, a Yugoslav/Australian dancer, musician, yoga teacher and writer based everywhere and nowhere all at once. After a steady unravelling of words commissioned for various performances, publications and platforms, she released her first book; love letters to places… A collection of poetry inspired by her passion for travelling, in the world and on life’s journey.


Aug 20th 2022
Author Murray Ernest Hall


Murray Hall:

In this episode we meet Murray Hall, who was, by his own admission, an average student who muddled through thirteen years of schooling whilst maintaining his primary passion of riding a push bike. At eighteen years of age he packed a bag and his bike and went to Europe where, “all the best bike riders were”.

A wonderful career in the sport of Cycling followed. Riding professionally for sixteen years, he competed at the highest levels of the European Circuit, winning a prestigious championship of Berlin and on two occasions was crowned British National Champion. A multiple Australian Champion, he represented his country on many occasions including in 1974, when he was a double Commonwealth Games’ Silver Medalist.

The sport allowed him to travel the world extensively and he was based out of Belgium and Denmark for long periods. It was during his time in Belgium, living in and around the major battlefields of the First World War, that he also developed an interest in the life of a forebear, Many years later, following the death of Murray’s mum, he discovered a raft of paperwork detailing the life and times of this same forebear, his Great Uncle Ernest Alfred Hall. His 5-year mission to uncover the details behind the paperwork resulted in, Walk a War in My Shoes. The Story of an ANZAC on the Western Front.


Aug 20th 2022


EB Converse:

In this episode we meet EB Converse, (Elizabeth).

An author who is always searching for the silver lining—even when writing tough topics and painful truths. That, paired with her unique ability to find the high ground, gives her work an incredible perspective and a fresh twist. She’s a lifetime creative writer of multiple genres and disciplines and has an education in the arts and culture. She’s an NGO founder/director of an arts and cultural organization.

Living in sunny Southern California with her husband, along with her human neighbors she lives on a mountain side and shares the land with a mother bear, her two cubs and a deer family. When she’s not writing, EB enjoys walking and yoga (but not at the same time), traveling, creating art and engaging in thoughtful conversations.

Rosedust, her debut novel, is a modern, multi-cultural romance. As family ties and family lies twist and turn towards their climax, the life of a mother and a daughter will parallel through generations. Ultimately, the dust of the past must be swept away, the present reckoned with and the future… well it must be paid for.


Aug 20th 2022


Rob Horne

In this episode we meet Robert Horne, an avid reader of fiction since childhood when he started on the classic novels his mother put in their bookshelves.

With a BA under his arm, he worked at many different jobs before spending sixteen years as a senior secondary teacher in English and Classical Studies. His first visit to south east Asia in 2008 developed within him a burning interest to write about that area.

His articles have appeared in the Sydney Review of Books, Mekong Review and journals of the Universities of Barcelona and New Delhi. He is the prize-winning author of two books of short stories and completed a Master of Arts in 2012, and in 2017 a Doctor of Creative Arts in Creative Writing. He is now a freelance editor of academic writing, as well as an interested gardener and grower of organic vegies. But it is the flame of fiction writing that still burns most strongly in him.

His novel, Made in Cambodia is a story set in the midst of the upheavals of a developing nation forcing its way into the 21st Century. Ex-Khmer Rouge cadres must live among their former victims, modernism challenges millennia-old spirit beliefs, and young women, who yesterday were destined to remain the centre of village life, today must leave to be factory workers or medical students. It may not be enough that two people are right for each other, the world must be right for them.

Robert was also a long list selection of the ARA Historical Novel Prize, for The Glass Harpoon.


Aug 29th 2022
Author Kerriann Speers


Kerriann Speers:

In this episode we meet Kerriann Speers, a writer and poet whose short story, The Muse and The Murderer, won Writing Magazine’s Historical Fiction competition. Her work was shortlisted for the TU Dublin short story competition as well as longlisted for the Bath Short Story Award. She has published poems in anthologies, North Star and We Are Not Shadows. A member of Flowerfield Writers Group, Portstewart and Women Aloud NI, Kerriann lives on the north coast of Ireland where her soon-to-be- published short story collection is set.


Sep 5th 2022


Jim Shields:

In this episode we meet Jim Shields. Born and raised in Larne, Northern Ireland, Jim was formerly Emeritus Professor of Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Ulster, retiring from his academic career in 2004. A passionate and lifelong supporter of the arts he was a relative latecomer to creative writing, but once started he has striven to make up for lost time. Seasons of Affection is his third published collection of short stories. He has no intention of it being his last.

Jim, still living in Larne with his Annette, (where they regularly entertain their five children and five grandchildren) is joined in conversation with Ian Hooper, a fellow-Larne native, although now living in Australia. Together they discuss, Seasons of Affection, and how it explores the cares, life’s and loves of his hometown’s inhabitants across the generations. These are the people you could meet on any day in any town. But the folk within this collection of stories all live in the author’s home town. A small, ordinary town inhabited by ordinary people, busy with the everyday task of living.

Yet within the stories that span a century or more, is a central thread of caring; for partners and children, for wider family and friends. For the town itself; its heritage and history. Each of the characters is also searching for friendship, independence, affection, love and self-respect. As the seasons in the natural world transition in colour and personality, so too do the ordinary people in this ordinary town, revealing their hidden needs and their hidden selves in the pursuit of happiness. From tales set within the pandemic, as young and old feel their way through a dramatically changing world bedeviled by fake news, to tales from the Victorian era, it seems that the season may pass, but our affections remain true.


Sep 14th 2022


Helene Smith:

In this episode we meet Helene Smith, a much-loved children’s author whose many titles are equally enthralling for adults.

After a short nursing career, Helene married a school teacher and raised a large family, whilst all the time writing ‘covertly’ as a young mother – short fiction, private journal writing and poetry, honing her craft through TAFE correspondence courses. After studying Education and English and obtaining a degree as a mature student at Edith Cowan University in Bunbury, Western Australia, she wrote her first book; Operation Clancy (1994) inspired by a wish to produce an ‘easy to read’ thriller for reluctant older readers.

Since then, the sheer joy of invention and a fascination with the writing process has kept Helene in there. An experienced presenter and writer/facilitator in schools, community centres and institutions for adult learners she delights in sharing the writing process with others.

Her latest book, Aberash – A Mysterious Land Downunder, is a thrilling adventure of fantasy and magic, yet grounded in the real world of relationships that we all must live in.


Sep 21st 2022


I C Lawrance:

In this episode we meet Ian C Lawrance, a native of Wollongong in NSW.

On finishing school he completed a Medical degree at Sydney University and went on to complete a PhD in Molecular Medicine at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. From there he undertook at Post-doctoral fellowship in the USA before returning to Australia and moving to Perth where he continued his basic Science and Clinical research as a Professor at the University of Western Australia. Currently an Adjunct Professor, he continues his research work having published over 120 peer-reviewed research papers and a number of book chapters. With four children and as yet no grandchildren, outside of his medical discipline, Ian is involved in the arts as an ambassador to STRUT Dance, plays the Alto Sax and learnt vocal technique for several years. He even considered pursuing a Musical Theatre career.

As an avid Fantasy and Science fiction reader as a teenager he loved the way new worlds could be created and populated by the imagination. He also loved the classics, particularly Jane Austen and the way she wrote in such beautiful melodic waves of prose. Having talked about writing a fantasy novel for over 30 years it has finally come to fruition. He wanted to try to write it in a way that was a little bit different to the standard fantasy novel and so here is the result, his debut novel the first of a three part series, Blood Influence Vol 1.


Sep 26th 2022


Celia Straus and Tina Salvesen:

In this episode we meet illustrator Tina Salvesen and author, Celia Straus.

Both multi-award winners in their own disciplines, artist Tina Salvesen and writer, Celia Straus have been friends for a long time. During the Covid pandemic they decided to collaborate (over long-distance) to produce the first in a children’s illustrated series called the BoBo and Iris Series.

BoBo is an orphaned baby elephant who lives in a Sanctuary in Kenya. His new best friend, Iris, a wise and whimsical Egret, teaches him how to survive and thrive in his new elephant family. The books are intended to explore the life skills learned by elementary schoolers, as well as themes of endangered African wildlife.

A portion of proceeds from this series is donated to global charities dedicated to saving elephants and other endangered species.


Oct 3rd 2022


Lee-Ann Khoh:

In this episode we meet, Lee-Ann Khoh a self-confessed socially awkward butterfly who prefers writing to talking but has been known to sing in front of an audience on occasion. Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, she studied journalism at Curtin University before deciding she was better at making up her own stories. She is now a library technician who fantasises about the day someone asks if there are any Lee-Ann Khoh books in the library.

If you meet Lee-Ann, she probably won’t say much, but you can read some of her thoughts at leeannkhoh.com.

Her first novel, Black and Blue is a Black is a contemporary coming-of-age story about mental health, the power of music and trying to find a place in the world.


Oct 10th 2022


Tricia Trevaskis:

In this episode we meet Tricia Trevaskis, who was born into a family of six girls in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. After gaining her teaching qualifications at Geelong Teacher’s College, she worked as a primary school teacher while continuing to study for her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Creative Writing. Leaving Geelong, aged 25, she and her husband lived in various towns in regional Victoria and NSW, before heading with their family to Western Australia, in 2002.

Despite a brief foray into journalism, she always maintained her passion for teaching. With four children and five grandchildren, she lives with her husband, Greg in Bunbury, WA, close to the ocean and not too far from the golf course. Having nurtured the draft of a manuscript for a considerable amount of time, in late 2021, Tricia dusted it off and updated it. Her resultant novel, The Wildcards is a sports fiction tale of two brothers, whose chance introduction to tennis surprises them when they discover an aptitude and untapped skills.

Their new obsession leads to dreams of a tennis future, but they are late starters in a game where some prodigies have been playing since kindergarten. How much are the brothers prepared to sacrifice and will they ever manage to close the gap on those who have been playing for years?

In the era of major sponsors and all time Grand-Slam Champions, can a couple of Aussie wildcard teenagers really make a breakthrough in the world of tennis?


Oct 17th 2022
Author Wanda Penalver Bevan


Wanda Penalver Bevan:

In this, the penultimate episode of season 1, we meet poet, Wanda Penalver Bevan. Born in Ithaca, New York, as early as elementary school, she was involved in activities that had a focus on writing; from winning the “Very Best Writing” award for penmanship in the first grade, to editor of the school newspaper in the 12th grade. In between, she recalls being asked by her ninth-grade teacher to write a stage adaptation of O. Henry’s 1905 short story, “The Gift of the Magi”, which became the school play that year.

When Wanda received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, many were surprised that she hadn’t studied at the university’s Medill School of Journalism. However, after high school, she had decided her interest in writing was second to her passion for theatre, which ultimately became her major.

Following college, Wanda moved to Los Angeles, where she had a mildly successful career in acting for stage and TV. She’s also worked as a legal assistant, event specialist, and hotel industry professional. Throughout these career changes, Wanda continued to write.

In addition to two screenplays, she’s the songwriter of Little Girl, a tribute to the youngest victim of the 2011 Tucson shooting, and her poem America’s Child is on display at the Oklahoma City National Memorial honoring those who lost their lives in the Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995. In 2016, she published her first novel, Their Souls Met in Wishton.

Wanda lives in Phoenix, Arizona, after residing three decades in southern California, whose ocean shores will always have a piece of her heart. She loves to travel, and doesn’t fully trust anyone who doesn’t like animals. Greater than any gift she’s received in life, are her three daughters, and she hopes to become just like them when she grows up.

Her anthology, A Slow Dance in Memoriam, contains poems that provide windows to the author’s deeply personal experience of emotions influenced by the things in life we all encounter at some point or another. Including poems written throughout the past four decades, the style combines prose and free verse, and reflect the musings of a woman from young adulthood through maturity.


Oct 24th 2022


“Hallowe’en Special” Mark Anthony and the Urban Horror book, LIT:

A Halloween special to mark the final instalment in Season 1 of our Book Realities series of interviews with independent authors, where we discuss their books, their writing methods and what inspired them to be writers in the first place.

In this last episode we meet Mark Anthony, author of the supernatural thriller series, LIT. Completing the first instalment whilst working as a registered nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mark described the time as, “Tension ran the globe. Everyone felt it. If I was going to write something unsettling, the atmosphere was right.”

With a talent for writing strong characters and creating macabre realities for them to live in; LIT is a psychological horror that collides two worlds with raw, eerie and terrifying consequences. When your anger literally raises hell, how do you live?

Mark is currently completing the second instalment and hopes to continue producing stories that captivate the reader with fully realised characters and original storylines.


Oct 31st 2022

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