No author interview this week, but instead you lucky peeps get an interview with the dual masterminds behind the fantastic ‘The Tiny Bookcase‘ Podcast.

Now into their second season (at the time of writing this!) the duo of Ben and Nico have been performing a somewhat unique series of author interviews of members of Twitter’s #WritingCommunity.

Here’s the concept…The two hosts give the interviewee a prompt. It can be a word or a phrase. Both Ben, Nico and the guest for that week then write a short story (no more than 1500 words) that plays to that prompt. When the show is then recorded each person reads out their short story, and then a discussion is had.

It’s a neat and novel concept, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.  Yay, me!

If you want to hear my episode (and indeed then link to others) then click on the logo below…

They’ve had a litany of AWESOME guests on the show, including Anna Mocikat, Halo Scot, Tom Marlowe, Chris Beckett, and many many more.  And they show no sign of stopping. So hop onto the TIny Bookcase train and get some book-based entertainment for your ears.

Now without further ado…

First, things first… In the logo above, who is Ben and who is Nico?

Ben on the left with the big bears, Nico on the right with the big hair!

Big Bears?

He has like half a dozen enormous bears he tamed in the wild, using only his cunning and his musk!

Is the musk something we could bottle? I’m thinking this could be an excellent business venture! Who wouldn’t want a trained bear army?

I wouldn’t go as far as army, only Ivor can use a gun and that’s from the before times…

Talking of the ‘before times’, let’s get a little background on you both as hosts. Where are you guys from and how did you meet?

Ben is currently in Cambridge, Nico in Wycombe (though nether of us grew up in these places!).
We met at university, longer ago now than we would like to admit.

I’ve had the privilege of being a guest on your show, and gotta say… LOVE the concept. Can you explain where the idea for this podcast came from? And how did you arrive at the ‘keyphrase’ – ‘3 short-story’ format?

It actually started, as many good ideas do, on a night out in the pub. Nico had written a story and, a few drinks in he read it to us. E all had a good time and Nico went away cogitating the vague start of a concept. A few months later Nico asked Ben if he fancied giving it a go as a podcast and the rest just came into place through trying it out!

It’s clear from being on the podcast with you, that you both have a real love for the written word. Where does this come from?

Being the kind of kids who love to read, and then letting adulthood sneak up on you so that you’re an adult who loves to read.

I was blown away by both your short stories, and listening to your previous shows it’s obvious you have both imagination and a serious amount of talent for storytelling. What’s more, both of your stories were really different. What are your influences?

Ben and Nico share a few book loves but the key differences show. Ben has a lot of Robin Hobb and Joe Abercrombie in his style, while Nico is a Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett type. We both love all of those authors though, so we keep each other entertained!

Have you guys ever collaborated on a writing project? Or would you want to?

We haven’t! Well not really, we play a lot of tabletop roleplaying games together, so we are used to weaving stories as a team, but as for the written word… who knows? Maybe we should.

Count me as someone who definitely thinks you should!!
What’s the aim for the podcast moving forwards? Were do you see The Tiny Bookcase five years from now?

Is world domination too far? Jokes aside we just want to see it grow, to meet authors who inspire us and to keep telling stories. Five years from now it would be cool to maybe do some live shows, or to be interviewing the greats!

You’ve had some fantastic guests on your show so far. Are there any coming up that you want to name drop so that we can keep our eyes and ears open for them?

Omar el Akkad is coming up soon and he was fascinating, and so incredibly talented, definitely one to watch out for!

Last question, what book is at the top of both of your respective ‘To Be Read’ piles right now?

For Ben, Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coatzee, for Nico The Fen Witch of Goosefeather Split, by Benjamin Langley.

Thanks, guys!

For all of those of you who want to hear more from The Tiny Bookcase, click on the links below.

The Tiny Book Case Links

Spread the word. Share this post!


  1. alynn

    That was pretty cool. I am going to check these guys out (and listen to your interview). I’ll be honest, I haven’t ever heard of these guys or this podcast. I’m excited to have something new to listen to.

  2. Acro

    What a clever idea for a podcast! I enjoy listening to podcasts during my work commute and this one is right up my alley. I’m going to add it to my subscription list. It will make traffic more bearable this afternoon.

    • Jon Ford

      Oh, you definitely should. Halo Scot was interviewed the week before me, and Anna Mocikat the week after, both of whom are good chums on Twitter and DEFINITELY worth a listen.

  3. Jim H

    It’s a little too late in the day now to listen, but I will tomorrow. I love the premise. The episode lengths are perfect. Thank you for the heads up, and yes, yours will be the first one I listen to. 🙂

    • Jon Ford

      It’s a fun show. AND Nico and Ben have just published a book of their first season! YAY! So if you prefer to read their stories, rather than listen you can go buy their book on Amazon. The link is below. You may need to C&P it as the hyperlinks don’t work in comments I don’t think. 🙁

  4. Liz

    I see this idea catching on with more people doing it. I for one always wanted to know what goes through the mind of a writer, and this sounds like it’s right up that alley.

    Thanks for sharing it Jon!

  5. Jim

    You want to know what goes on in the mind of a writer, do you? Be careful what you wish for Liz. It ain’t pretty. LOL.
    A person can learn a lot about writing and about people in general with podcasts like this.

    • Jon Ford

      True dat! LOL
      The thing with Writers is that their imagination is always firing. We’re always thinking of new things, stirring the pot of ideas. It’s a fun place to be, but also messy and dangerous! LOL
      Especially if you’re in Halo Scot’s head (go see my review and deep dive on my Blogs page for her book ‘Edge of the Breach’

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.