An Yu, writer of 'Braised Pork' - Hyped debut author on discovering characters, trying to tame creativity, and nocturnal Beijing.

An Yu has just released her debut, 'Braised Pork'. It's tipped to be one of the literary debuts of the year, was acquired in a 7 way auction, and tells the story of nocturnal Beijing. It focuses on Jia Jia, who returns home to find her husband dead in the bathtub. Next to him is an image that she won't ever forget. It's an exploration of myth-making, loss and her journey to find herself.

We talk about why she writes in her second language, why this story took time to develop and how her characters twisted and turned along the way. Also, there's an interesting balance in here about taming her creativity. She's in the throes of writing her second novel now, and hearing how she tackles that, and how many words she's trying to get down a week is unique, and almost a world away from other authors we've had on the show.

Also, we try and finally bust the myth of why some people pants, and others plot!

If you can, please do support us on



See for privacy and opt-out information.

More from Writer's Routine

  1. 54:44Jasper Fforde, author of 'The Constant Rabbit' - Surrealist satire writer talks about narrative dares, the creative sandbox and finding the right words.Jul 10, 2020
  2. 44:02Peter James, author of 'Find Them Dead' - Prolific bestseller talks creating the perfect writing day, narrative charts and ruthless editing.Jul 02, 2020
  3. 36:38Chris Whitaker, author of 'We Begin at the End' - Crime writer talks American Noir, finding the plot through characters, and winning the 'New Blood Dagger Award'Jun 25, 2020
  4. 44:32Round Table - Crime writers Merilyn Davies, Rebecca Bradley and Neil Lancaster talk about the joy of editing, planning for a series, and creativity during lockdown.Jun 22, 2020
  5. 47:47Rachel Abbott, writer of 'The Murder Game' - Mega Kindle Bestseller talks about knowing her characters visually, the joys of editing, and making a business plan.Jun 19, 2020
  6. 47:06Anthony McGowan, author of 'Lark' - Carnegie Medal Winning writer discusses picking the next project, working in two spaces, and writing place over plot.Jun 11, 2020
  7. 51:21David Baldacci, author of 'Walk the Wire' - Prolific bestseller talks about being on the lookout for ideas, publishing two books a year, and picking characters for stories.Jun 05, 2020
  8. 49:01James Swallow, author of 'Rogue' - Thriller writer talks telling stories across genre, the ideal writing day, and writing for video games.May 29, 2020
  9. 46:50Adele Parks, author of 'Just My Luck' - Prolific writer talks having a strict routine, why she's always asking questions, and about her 20th book in 20 years.May 22, 2020
  10. 34:31Nicola Gill, author of 'The Neighbours' - Debut writer talks genre, crafting a plot around characters, and getting started early.May 15, 2020