What do you get when you put two criminal masterminds together? David Whish-Wilson and Pol Koutsakis talking books! In this fascinating episode, the pair discuss the hero – or antihero – in Pol’s two books, Athenian Blues and Baby Blue. Stratos Gazis, an ‘ethical hitman’, has a moral code that controls his choices and leads to intrigue. David’s PI Frank Swann is in a similar boat, falling into the thick of criminal dealings when all he wants is a simple, happy life as a family man.
The authors discuss how the prevailing sense of place in their novels is an integral part of their writing – Athens during the financial crisis for Pol, and Perth, Western Australia, for David. Then they go international to discuss their experiences of working with European publishing houses. Pol shares the intricacies of translating his own work into English and David talks about the German translation of one of his books.
This episode is produced by Fremantle Press for Love to Read Local. To listen to more episodes, subscribe to the Fremantle Press Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
About Love to Read Local by Writing WA
Love to Read Local is a statewide, online celebration of Western Australian stories, books and writers. While we remain at a social distance in the physical world, let’s get socially closer in the digital world. Visit the Love to Read Local website to connect with other readers, tell us which local books you love to read and perhaps inspire others to read those books too!
About this week’s guests, David Whish-Wilson and Pol Koutsakis
David Whish-Wilson was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, but grew up in Singapore, Victoria and Western Australia. He left Australia aged 18 to live for a decade in Europe, Africa and Asia. He is the author of The Summons, The Coves and three crime novels in the Frank Swann series – Line of Sight, Zero at the Bone and Old Scores – with the fourth, Shore Leave, to be released in November 2020. His non-fiction book, Perth, part of the NewSouth Books city series, was shortlisted for a WA Premier’s Book Award. David lives in Fremantle and coordinates the creative writing program at Curtin University.
Books by David Whish-Wilson
Derby (with Sean Gorman, Fremantle Press)
Line of Sight (Penguin)
Old Scores (Fremantle Press)
Perth (New South Publishing)
Shore Leave (coming soon, Fremantle Press November 2020)
The Coves (Fremantle Press)
The Summons (Random House)
True West (Fremantle Press)
Zero at the Bone (Penguin)
David online: davidwhish-wilson.com
Pol (Polychronis) Koutsakis writes novels, plays and screenplays. He was born in Chania, Greece, and in 2016, moved to Perth with his family. Pol's first novel Athenian Blues was published by Bitter Lemon Press in 2017 in the UK, USA and Australia. Baby Blue, the second novel in the Stratos Gazis series was published in 2018. Pol won the National Award for best Young Adult novel in Greece in 2016 for his novel Just One Breath. The same novel won the best YA novel of the year award in the literary magazine's "The Reader" annual awards.
Books (in translation) by Pol Koutsakis
Athenian Blues (Bitter Lemon Press)
Baby Blue (Bitter Lemon Press)
Pol online: polkoutsakis.com
Pol on socials: @polkou on Twitter
Love to Read Local recommendations and books discussed
Mysteries of Cinema by Adrian Martin (UWA Publishing)
Cormac Reilly series by Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins)
I Shot the Devil by Ruth McIver (Hachette)
Red Can Origami by Madelaine Dickie (Fremantle Press)
Sense of Place: A Response to an Environment, the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia by George Seddon (University of Western Australia Press)
Shadow Lines by Stephen Kinnane (Fremantle Press)
The People of Perth: A Social History of Western Australia's Capital City by Tom Stannage (Perth City Council)
Music: ‘Letter to a Daughter of St George’, from the Meat Lunch EP: Songs from Floaters. Written by Alan Fyfe. Performed by Trevor Bentley (guitar and vocals – @trevormb) and Chris Parkinson (harmonica). Produced by Blake Carnaby of Nuglife studios with impresario work by Benjamin P. Newton.
Producer: Claire Miller
Mastered and edited by: Aidan d’Adhemar
Sponsor: This show was made possible with a grant from the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund