Episode 13 – Anna Spargo-Ryan

“My first response was really, ‘This is some kind of psychotic break, I’m having a delusion right now that my dream publisher wants to offer me a book deal.’ I felt like that for quite a few weeks, actually.”

But it was not a delusion. Anna Spargo-Ryan‘s debut novel The Paper House was released today by Picador Australia, and it has already gone into reprint. Back in March this year, Anna sat down for a chat with me over Skype (as neither of us leaves the house much), and talked to me about chocolate, realising your goals, and living with “the most unpleasant cat I’ve probably ever had.”

The Paper House is about a woman’s relationship with her mother who has bipolar disorder, and its author has plenty of lived experience with mental illnesses. Anna lives with obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety, depression, and elements of psychosis in the mix. She tells me how “oversharing” on the internet helps her process her experiences and identity issues. We also talk a LOT about chocolate.

A new episode means a new gorgeous sketch portrait by Brisbane artist Erin Michelle. Here’s her portrait of Anna Spargo-Ryan:


Links to things we discussed in this episode:

Sidebar: Today is the final day of ME Awareness Month, so if you haven’t already listened to the previous episode, a special short audio documentary on the state of myalgic encephalomyelitis in Australia, why not take 20 minutes out sometime today to catch up.

This podcast is made possible by the support of my wonderful Patreon patrons. I’d especially like to thank Chris Woods, Ell Ackerman, Katie Rowney, Tegan, kristen bushnell, Alan Vaarwerk, Laura Elvery, Sophie Benjamin, Lauren Piko, Jim Reynolds, Talia F E, David Ryding, Jessica Alice, Heidi, James Colley and Lefa Singleton Norton.

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The songs you hear in this episode are (in order of appearance):

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*I know Disney named the song ‘Part of Your World’ but she says THAT, THAT WORLD. GODDAMMIT.