Artwork for podcast Better Words
Enduring mysteries, serial killers and the dark web with Ashley Kalagian Blunt
Episode 917th May 2023 • Better Words • Michelle Gately & Caitlin Toohey
00:00:00 01:25:47

Share Episode


Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of Dark Mode, an internationally published psychological thriller. Her earlier books are How to Be Australian, a memoir, and My Name Is Revenge, collected fiction and essays, which was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears in the Sydney widely across Australian publications, and she co-hosts James and Ashley Stay at Home, a podcast about writing, creativity and health, and teaches creative writing. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico.

Our interview begins at  18:00

*Please note this book includes graphic descriptions of sexual and physical violence. Our discussions in this interview about true crime and the manosphere may also be triggering*

We've got a Substack publication now! On the last day of the month, we share recommendations for two things we reckon you should read/watch/listen to. The beauty of Substack is you can revisit all our old editions and comment on our episode updates to share your thoughts. Come say hi!

Caitlin recommends: Yellowface by R.F. Kuang*

A scathing exploration of cultural appropriation and publishing. A compelling read you'll race through.

*Caitlin read a copy through her role at Harper Collins Australia

Michelle recommends: Dancing Barefoot by Alice Boyle*

A delightful YA that puts a queer twist on the classic high school romance.

*Michelle read a copy from Text Publishing.

Bonus recommendation: In Search of a Shepherd by Dave Burton

In this interview, we chat about:

  • How this fictional thriller was inspired by The Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates and the 'manosphere'
  • WTF *is* the dark web?
  • Ashley's approach to her online presence and how it influenced the book (and why you need to change your passwords)
  • The Black Dahlia and how true crime podcasts inspired Ashley's writing
  • The surprising links between Ashley's research into genocide and the manosphere
  • The move from memoir and essays into writing and publishing fiction

Books and other things mentioned:

  • I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
  • Redhanded episode 291: The Silk Road
  • Root of Evil (podcast)
  • The Somerton Man was finally identified after decades of being a fascinating unsolved mystery (ABC feature)
  • Gunpowder (TV series)
  • Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce
  • Women in Crime (podcast)

Follow @AKalagianBlunt on Instagram

Dark Mode is available now. Thank you to UQP for providing us with copies of the book in preparation for the interview.

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod



More from YouTube