Alison Stockham – Why reading aloud helps with structure and pacing

Alison Stockham’s new book is ‘The Cuckoo Sister’. It tells the story of Maggie, who has a seemingly perfect life, only… she’s cracking under the strain of it all. One day, when Maggie walks out on everything, her sister Rose is all too willing to step into her life.

We talk about why she’s half and half between planning and pantsing, also how she overcomes the doubt of good it is, and why every book is brilliant and awful at the same time.

Alison works for the Cambridge Literary Festival, and has worked in documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, and we discuss how much this experience set her up for writing novels. You can hear why reading aloud to her kids helped her understand pacing and structure, also what questions she asks herself to begin, and what to do when the computer screen stares back at you.

We also run through your best books of the year so far.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: