Writing Podcast Episode 608: Meet Michael Brissenden who chats about his novel ‘Smoke’

Meet Michael Brissenden who chats about his latest novel Smoke. He discusses his research process, where he gets his ideas, how he uses a whiteboard in his writing process and transition from journalism to fiction writing.

You can listen to the episode below, on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or add the podcast RSS feed manually to your favourite podcast app.  

00:00 Introduction and welcome
00:23 Success story: Sarah Speedie
03:40 Nat Newman's writing tips
05:58 Finding beta readers
12:41 Competition: Win Death in the Air by Ram Murali
14:52 Word of the week: Embrocate
17:55 Interview with Michael Brissenden, author of Smoke
23:30 Facing rejection and finding inspiration
24:25 From journalism to fiction writing
25:13 Crafting a nuanced story
26:42 Developing characters and plot
27:36 The writing process and challenges
28:35 Exploring themes in Smoke
32:45 Research and authenticity
34:30 Daily writing routine
36:18 Planning and structuring a novel
41:23 Journalism skills in fiction writing
46:00 Creating a strong female protagonist
51:22 Top writing tips for aspiring authors
53:54 Conclusion and final thoughts

Links mentioned in this episode

Writer in residence: Michael Brissenden

Michael Brissenden is an author and journalist. His first book of fiction – The List was published in 2017. A second thriller – Dead Letters also features the Federal investigator Sidney Allen and was published by Hachette Australia Books in March 2021. His latest novel, Smoke, is out now.

Michael was a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for 35 years. He was posted to Moscow, Brussels and Washington and worked in Canberra for many years in various roles – including as the Political Editor for the daily television current affairs program – The 7.30 Report, as the ABC’s defence and security correspondent and as the presenter of the ‘AM’ Current Affairs program on ABC radio. From 2017 to 2021 he was a reporter with the ABC’s investigative television documentary program – Four Corners.

Follow Michael on Twitter and Instagram.

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This podcast is brought to you by the Australian Writers' Centre and our course Creative Writing Stage 1.

Find out more about your host, Valerie Khoo (@valeriekhoo on Twitter and @valeriekhoo on Instagram).

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