Martina Cole, Jack Wolf and Irving Finkel interviews

In this edition of Book Talk, Ryan Van Winkle talks modern day crime with Martina Cole, 18th century science with Jack Wolf, and ancient Memopotamian stories with Irving Finkel.

Martina Cole is a legendary British crime writer. She's the author of 21 books, including her most recent novel The Good Life.

Cole discusses her background, how she stays up-to-date with the changing criminal world and her attraction to writing about criminals and prison life rather than from the police perspective: "I prefer writing from the perspective of the criminal, I think they're much more exciting people to write about... You know in my book who's bad and who's not."

As one of the most borrowed - and stolen! - authors in prison libraries, Cole also discusses her work in prisons and why she's encouraging prisoners to escape (with a book!)

As one of the most borrowed - and stolen! - authors in prison libraries, Cole also discusses her work in prisons and why she's encouraging prisoners to escape (with a book!)

Jack Wolf, whose debut novel The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones, takes us back to 1750, a time where medieval superstition was on the way out and modern rationalist thinking on the way in. Wolf's protagonist, Tristan Hart, is a conflicted man caught between science and superstition.

Wolf talks about conveying the mental pain of the character and also how he coped with writing a novel while keeping the language of the book as authentic as possible. "You just write. It becomes as instinctive as speaking the language I speak now".

Finally, Ryan talks to Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum in London whose book The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood looks at the origins of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark.

After deciphering a cuneiform tablet brought into the British Museum, Finkel discovered that it was the beginning of the flood story. While the story of Noah in the Bible is a universally known narrative, the tablet demonstrates that the ancient Mesopotamians knew a very similar story 1000 years before the Bible came into being.

Finkel discusses the strong literary link and striking similarities between the stories and his theory about how the Babylonian story developed into the biblical version that we know today.

Podcast contents
00:00 - 00:58 Introduction
00:58 - 10:22 Martina Cole
10:22 - 20:18 Jack Wolf
20:18 - 30:00 Irving Finkel

Discover more
The Six Book Challenge
Follow Martina Cole on Twitter @martinacole
Find out more about the Babylonian mind from Irving Finkel (YouTube)

Filed In: Book Talk Tags: book talk, interviews