Scarlett Brade on the Bestseller Experiment | Can You Be Too Young to Write a Novel?

I first heard Scarlett Brade on Nadine Matheson’s excellent podcast The Conversation and immediately got in touch to see if she would come on our podcast. There’s something brilliant about her journey from a six-year-old girl demanding that she’s old enough to read the first Harry Potter, to self-publishing at 23, to having a hit with her thriller The Hive.

I also go on a bit about ‘living a little’ before writing a novel. Apologies if I come across as a crusty old git, but that’s mostly me wincing when I look back at the plays, sketches and half-arsed attempts at novels that I wrote in my youth. I could string a sentence together (just about), but I had nothing to say because I hadn’t really lived yet. It wasn’t till I hit my late 20s/early 30s that I’d experienced love, rejection, grief and existential angst that I felt there was enough gas in the tank to actually write these things convincingly. Of course, your own mileage will vary. I had a perfectly happy childhood with very little trauma, so of course I was a guileless goon (still am to some extent). Anyway, Scarlett is amazing and you’ll definitely be inspired by this week’s episode.

And in the extended version for Academy members and podcast Patrons, me and Mr D discuss if it’s essential to be an author on social media, life pivot moments, the importance of friendship groups and mentors, how to generate hooks and high concepts and much more! You can get all this extra stuff and hundreds of hours of exclusive material by supporting the podcast here.

Where Can You Buy Books During The UK Lockdown?

My book The Crow Folk is out on 4th February. How can you buy it and support indie bookstores?

Here are some links…

Coles Books for a signed copy and signed exclusive art print


Book Depository for free world wide P&P

Support your local bookshop at The Hive and



WH Smith

Oh, all right then… Amazon


Hello folks, Mark, Stay here. It’s January 6th and the UK has gone into lockdown for the third time, third time’s a charm and that means all bookshops are closed. So if you want to buy books… In particular, if you’re going to buy this book. Where can you go? Now, uh…

All sorts of options. All sorts of options. Number one, I would suggest you go to Coles Bookshop in Bicester because they’re selling signed copies of the book with a free signed art print, signed by myself and the artist Harry Goldhawk. Look at that. Marvellous. Look at it. Ooh. That’s port of call number one.

If you’re a if you’re a Waterstones fan or if you never used Waterstones before, try them because they have a wonderful thing. Every time you buy – spend ten pounds – you get a stamp and if you buy books as much as I do, then in no time at all. You get a free book or ten pounds credit. Fantastic. So get it from Waterstones.

If you live overseas, well, The best place… When I say overseas, outside the UK, obviously go to The Book Depository. They have free postage and packing worldwide, which is a wonderful thing. And very often you get free bookmark. Not my bookmark, but you know, a bookmark. Just get it for the bookmark.
And then apparently there’s some online start up called Ammaz? Amzz? It’ll come to me… Anyway you can… Look it up online. Just Google it.
But, yeah, if you’re working in a bookshop, and they’re on furlough now and, you know, help them support them as much as you can. We’re going to need them more than ever.

We interrupt this video to bring you an update on behalf of UK bookshops.
Many still operate on a click and collect or mail order basis during lockdown.
And we’ll be able to get you all the books you can eat.
Also, check the Hive and, an easy way to shop online and support local bookshops.
You’ll find links to these below.
Now back to your regular broadcast from somewhere in Kent

So yeah. I put some links for all this gubbins below.
Where you can get not just my book…
They do all sorts of books, but yes, support your local bookshops.
And, you know, if you can’t get out much, use Amazon.
I know it’s fashionable to hate them, but, you know, if you are housebound or whatever, they’re bloody good at what they do.
So, yes, anyway,
Oh here we go…
Out of the woods.
It’s a metaphor for something, innit
What a wonderful day to go for a walk.
Happy reading. See you again soon.