Tim Smedley, author of 'Clearing the Air' - Sustainability writer on making non-fiction accessible, plotting travels and the perfect first chapter.

Tim Smedley is a journalist who has worked for the FT, Guardian, New Scientist and many more. A few years ago, he was so disgusted at the levels of pollutants in the air around London where he lived - he moved. He also resolved to find out more about what was causing it, and to read a book on what could be done. He found out such a book didn't exist - it was up to him to write one.


With just a year to get everything done, he chatted to some of the world's foremost experts on air pollution, travelled to countries with examples of what can be done about this and how we can do better, and packaged it all into a book - Clearing the Air: The Beginning and the End of Air Pollution. It's been shortlisted for the 'Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize', and we talk about how that's affected his writing.


Also we talk about how hard it is to plan and plot a non-fiction novel, the structure of the story and why making it personal solved every problem.


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