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Megan Hunter

20 Podcast Episodes

Latest 16 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Megan Hunter, Maternal/Newborn Nurse

Holistic Professionals

Megan Hunter is a wife and mother of five children and a Diamond Wellness Advocate with doTERRA. She received her Bachelors of Science and degree in Nursing from Brigham Young University and worked in the Maternal/Newborn hospital unit in Utah and California. When she first heard about doTERRA essential oils in 2013 she was very skeptical, but after profound experiences that affected her own health and her family, she began researching everything she could find about essential oils and became very excited and impressed with the quality and testing provided by doTERRA. She quickly became comfortable and empowered in using doTERRA essential oils to support her family and naturally began to share with others. When Megan considered the business opportunity, she was preparing to return to nursing to help supplement her family’s income and realized that it fit perfectly with her goals. She has always loved learning about the body and improving wellness, and realized that her passion for empowering and caring for women during childbirth could expand to inspiring and empowering men and women, families as well as other health care professionals to find greater emotional, physical and financial wellness. Megan has become just as passionate about the business opportunity as the oils and has loved partnering with others who were also looking for more purpose, time and financial freedom, more opportunity for personal growth and more fulfilling relationships. She loves her team and what they have created together and loves inspiring them to use the flexibility of their doTERRA business to prioritize what is most important in their life while making a difference in the lives of others.   You can also watch this episode on our Holistic Professionals YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GykvDOJGGRo&list=PLx-u1CKFmwGKAhhmwS5Gv2_uKzMKU0vAr Healthcare and Wellness professionals who would like to earn how you can change our broken system and better serve your patients: https://www.holisticessentials.org/improve-the-care-plan  *Remember to reach back out to the person who invited you to watch this video, as they will be the BEST guide and support on this journey, and will answer any questions you may have.* If you are not currently working with a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and would like to schedule a time to chat: https://calendly.com/holisticessentialsteam/holistic-professionals


4 Oct 2021

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Your Survival Guide to Co-Parenting with a Narcissist or Other High Conflict Person with the CEO of The High Conflict Institute, Megan Hunter on The Divorce & Beyond Podcast #200

The Divorce and Beyond Podcast with Susan Guthrie, Esq.

In this very special 100th episode of Divorce & Beyond, Host Susan Guthrie is joined by the CEO of The High Conflict Institute, Megan Hunter, to help tackle one of the most difficult issues in divorce: trying to co-parent with a narcissist or other high conflict person.   Divorce is hard under the best of circumstances, but for most people, it will come to an end and their lives will smooth out and they will go forward with their lives and even co-parent peacefully for the most part, but then there are the high conflict cases.  The ones where your ex tries to turn the kids against you, drags you back to court every other week and continues to cause chaos and havoc in your life no matter how long ago the divorce was finalized.  How do you survive that High-Conflict Co-Parenting paradigm and more importantly, how do you help your kids through it all? Megan Hunter, the CEO of The High Conflict Institute with Co-Founder, Bill Eddy, is here to help with her book: The High-Conflict Co-Parenting Survival Guide!  Megan shares invaluable advice and practical strategies on ways to manage your anger, stress, fear and worry as you continue to have to maintain a co-parenting relationship with a narcissist or other high conflict person.  Listen to this episode and you WILL have HOPE and a game-plan for the future! As a special offer for this 100th episode, Susan is giving away a copy of Megan's book, The High Conflict Co-Parenting Survival Guide!  Want to enter?  Just send an email to divorceandbeyondpod@gmail.com with a short statement of why you listen to Divorce & Beyond and we will pick a winner in the second week of October! ************************************************ More Information About This Week's Special Guest:  Megan Hunter is The High Conflict Institute's co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Vice President. As an expert on high conflict disputes and complicated relationships, she has facilitated hundreds of seminars across the U.S. and in seven countries. She provides dynamic keynote presentations based on the concept. She has over 13 years of experience as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska. She is the founder and publisher of Unhooked Books and has written five books on high conflict situations and people in dating, in the workplace, in the church, at home.  Contact Megan Hunter: Website www.highconflictinstitute.com www.unhookedmedia.com Social Media Handles @highconflictinstitute - Instagram GET THE BOOK!   "The High-Conflict Co-Parenting Survival Guide" here:  https://amzn.to/39DtwWH ********************** MEET OUR CREATOR AND HOST: SUSAN GUTHRIE®, ESQ., the creator and host of The Divorce and Beyond® Podcast, is nationally recognized as one of the top family law and divorce mediation attorneys in the country.  Susan is a member of the Executive Council of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution and is the Founder of Divorce in a Better Way® which provides a curated selection of resources and information for those facing divorce and other life changes.  Internationally renownded as one of the leading experts in online mediation, Susan created her Learn to Mediate Online® program and has trained more than 18,000 professionals in how to transition their practice online.  Susan recently partnered with legal and mediation legend, Forrest "Woody" Mosten to create the Mosten Guthrie Academy which provides gold standard, fully online training for mediation and collaborative professionals at all stages of their career.   ***************************************************************************** THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR: Thriving in divorce and beyond means not having to worry about the safety of your children when it comes to co-parenting. With alcohol abuse on the rise, many co-parents are turning to the system committed to providing proof, protection, and peace of mind. Soberlink’s alcohol monitoring system is the most convenient, reliable, and reasonable way for a parent to provide evidence that they are not drinking during parenting time. Soberlink’s real-time alerts, facial recognition, and tamper detection ensure the integrity of each test, so you can be confident your kids are with a sober parent. With Soberlink, judges rest assured that your child is safe, attorneys get court-admissible evidence of sobriety, and both parents have empowerment and peace of mind. Pull back the curtain on the mysteries of parenting time and trust The Experts in Remote Alcohol Monitoring Technology™ to keep you informed and your kids safe and secure. To download the addiction and children resource page that I developed with Soberlink, visit www.Soberlink.com/Susan *************************************************************************************************** CHECK OUT THE NEW RESOURCE PAGE ON THE WEBSITE WITH DIVORCE & BEYOND RECOMMENDED READING!   Remember, knowledge is power and we have the books that will help educate you and support you in all areas of divorce including finance, parenting, healing, conflict resolution and MORE!  Check it out now on the website:  www.divorceandbeyondpod.com/beyond-reading *************************************** JOIN US IN THE DIVORCE & BEYOND MEMBERS ONLY COMMUNITY! D & B Members Only will receive a number of benefits including: Ad and Interruption Free Podcast Archive BONUS Members Only Podcast Episodes monthly Downloadable Worksheets, Spreadsheets and Other Forms  Access to the "Ask Susan Anything" Forum where you can ask your questions and learn from the answers to others. AND MUCH MORE - REGISTER NOW! ***************************************************************************** SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE! If you would like to sponsor the show please reach out to us at  divorceandbeyondpod@gmail.com for pricing and details!!! ********************************************************************* Remember to follow Susan Guthrie and THE DIVORCE AND BEYOND PODCAST on social media for updates and inside tips and information: Susan Guthrie on Facebook @susanguthrieesqSusan on Instagram @susanguthrieesqSusan on Twitter @guthrielaw If you want to see the video version of the podcast episodes they are available on The Divorce & Beyond YouTube Channel!  Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE so you don't miss a single episode! Finally, we'd really appreciate it if you would  give us a 5 Star Rating and tell us what you like about the show in a review - your feedback really matters to us!  You can get in touch with Susan at divorceandbeyondpod@gmail.com.  Don't forget to visit the webpage www.divorceandbeyondpod.com and sign up for the free NEWSLETTER to receive a special welcome video from Susan and more!! ***************************************************************************** DISCLAIMER:  THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS AVAILABLE ON THIS PODCAST ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE.  YOU SHOULD CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE WITH RESPECT TO ANY PARTICULAR ISSUE OR PROBLEM


27 Sep 2021

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27. A Conversation with Megan Hunter, CEO of The High Conflict Institute

The Stepmom Diaries Podcast

If you're dealing with a high conflict situation, you NEED this episode! In this episode, Megan Hunter, co-founder of the High Conflict Institute and Conflict Playbook, talks to us about why there's more to high-conflict personalities than meets the eye. And how you, as a stepmom, can deal with them. Megan, along with author and speaker, Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. developed the high-conflict personality theory. She foundedthe Institute after 13 years in policy, legislation, and judicial training with the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska. She is also the founder of Unhooked Books Publishing. Megan has trained professionals across a wide spectrum of professions across the U.S. and 7 countries. She holds an MBA and a B.S. in Business and Economics. She has served as President of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, and the Arizona Family Support Council, and the Nebraska Child Support Enforcement Association. She served 5 years on the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners. She is the author and/or co-author of several books, including: Dating Radar, Hiring Radar, BIFF at Work, and The High Conflict Co-Parenting Survival Guide. She's also a mom of 3, mother-in-law of 2, and stepmom of 5.   Megan is speaking at The Stepmom Summit August 26-28 and you won't want to miss it. Get on the waitlist and grab your ticket HERE. Connect With Megan At: High Conflict Institute Unhooked Books Instagram: @highconflictinstitute


4 Aug 2021

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EP 37: DISNEY MUSIC MANIA ft Megan Hunter


In today's teatime chat I'm joined by Megan Hunter. It's the clash of the lists once again this week as myself and Megan put forward our Top 20  Disney songs of all time. Join us as we compare our thoughts and opinions on the matter. There are some questionable renditions throughout and some disagreements. Let us know your thoughts and tell me what are your top 5 Disney songs of all time! KEEP UP-TEA-DATE by following my socials INSTAGRAM: @quaranteaandbiscuits FACEBOOK: Quarantea & Biscuits TWITTER: @quaranteacup SEND IN YOUR THOUGHTS, OPINIONS AND TOPIC SUGGESTIONS VIA VOICE MESSAGE: https://anchor.fm/daniel-game/message MEGAN'S PLUGS: INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/drmedispa/ ISABELL HOSPICE: https://www.isabelhospice.org.uk/ COVER ART OF PODCAST: ABBIE DEWBREY INSTAGRAM: @abbiedewbreyart


14 Jun 2021

Most Popular

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The High Conflict Divorce: Navigating Volatile Behavior with Megan Hunter

How to Split a Toaster: A divorce podcast about saving your relationships

Ninety percent of divorce conflict can be resolved through dialog and negotiation. But what about that last ten percent? In these situations you might find yourself interacting with partners that have moved from the frustration and grief natural in the divorce process and into what we have come to call high conflict behavior. Our guest today is Megan Hunter, co-founder of the High Conflict Institute, an organization dedicated to this group that engages in high conflict behaviors. What is high conflict behavior in the divorce process? How do you resolve conflict when risk is high and this behavior is potentially dangerous? How do you move toward settlement when any resolution appears to be impossible? Join us today to find out. Links & Notes The High Conflict Institute Guides on Divorce and Co-Parenting in High Conflict Situations


8 Jun 2021

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Megan Hunter - Die Harpyie

SWR2 lesenswert - Literatur

Als Lucy erfährt, dass sie ihr Mann betrügt, entfacht ein gefährliches Spiel aus Rache, Schuld und Vergebung. Die Protagonistin vollzieht eine emanzipatorische Wandlung, aus der es kein Zurück gibt. Ein düsteres Märchen.Rezension von Helen Roth.Aus dem Englischen von Ebba D. DrolshagenC. H. Beck Verlag, 229 Seiten, 22 EuroISBN 978-3-406-76663-3


6 May 2021

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Das perfekte Buch - Die Harpyie von Megan Hunter

Das Perfekte Buch für den Moment - Deutschlandfunk Nova

Kann Rache tatsächlich heilsam sein? Lucy und Jake probieren es aus. Im Roman "Die Harpyie" von Megan Hunter hat Jake seiner Frau Lucy angeboten: Drei Mal zurück böse sein, dann sind wir quitt.


21 Feb 2021

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Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub- Alex Cole & Megan Hunter

GrassRoot Ohio

Carolyn Harding with Alex Cole and Megan Hunter, activist/advocates protecting the Ohio River and supporting communities fighting an ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) permit to allow the Colorado-based Powhatan Salt Co., (New York private equity funded), to drill into natural salt caverns along and under the Ohio River to store highly flammable and explosive natural gas liquids.Alex Cole is a native of Fraziers Bottom WV on the Kanawha River. He has lived his whole life in the Chemical Valley and knows first hand what it is like to live on a river that is polluted beyond repair. Alex now works as a community organizer for The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition fighting the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub, trying to prevent what happened to the Kanawha from happening to the Ohio River, and protect the drinking water source for 5 million people from the petrochemical industry.Here is the link to the letter writing campaign:https://actionnetwork.org/.../tell-the-odnr-to-reject...Megan Hunter is a staff attorney with Earthjustice. Her work focuses on challenging new oil, gas, and petrochemical buildout in the Appalachian Ohio River Valley. Before joining Earthjustice, Megan was staff attorney and outreach director at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services and partner at her own firm, Hunter & Hunter LLC. In this capacity, she worked with communities in Ohio living with the ills of rapidly expanding oil and gas development, proposed petrochemical buildout, and legacy coal and steel mill pollution. She has represented individuals in defending their land and health from pipeline and well pad development, and she successfully litigated a Clean Water Act citizen suit that ended the practice of oil and gas produced water discharge to the Mahoning River. Megan graduated with honors from Vermont Law School, where she served as senior managing editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, and she holds a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Cornell University and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from Barnard College.Here is the link to the letter writing campaign:https://actionnetwork.org/.../tell-the-odnr-to-reject...https://www.concernedohioriverresidents.org OHVEC.orgGrassRoot Ohio, Conversations with everyday people working on important issues, here in Columbus and all around Ohio.Every Friday 5:00pm, EST on 94.1FM & streaming worldwide @ WGRN.org,Sundays at 2:00pm EST on 92.7/98.3 FM and streams @ WCRSFM.org, and Sundays at 4:00pm EST, at 107.1 FM, Wheeling/Moundsville WV on WEJP-LP FM.Contact Us if you would like GrassRoot Ohio on your local station.Check us out and Like us on Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/GrassRootOhio/Check us out on Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/grassroot_ohio/If you miss the Friday broadcast, you can find it here: All shows/podcasts archived at SoundCloud! https://soundcloud.com/user-42674753GrassRoot Ohio is now on Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/.../grassroot-ohio/id1522559085This GrassRoot Ohio interview can also be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAX2t1Z7_qae803BzDF4PtQ/Intro and Exit music for GrassRoot Ohio is "Resilient" by Rising Appalachia: https://youtu.be/tx17RvPMaQ8There's a time to listen and learn, a time to organize and strategize, And a time to Stand Up/ Fight Back!


30 Jan 2021

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EP 25: 2020 REWIND! ft Megan Hunter


For today's teatime chat I'm joined by Megan Hunter. Today we take a look back at some the key moments in a rather crazy year. We chat about some of the highs and lows of 2020 both for ourselves and the world as a whole. So if you can brave it, then please join us as we dip our toes into the madness that was 2020. We then get a fairly cute and cuddly breather in this week's 'TOP 10' follow by another round of 'GUEST ROYALE'. We then get some radar recommendations and a couple of plugs. KEEP UP-TEA-DATE by following my socials: INSTAGRAM: @quaranteaandbiscuits FACEBOOK: Quarantea & Biscuits TWITTER: @quaranteacup If you are enjoying the podcast then please leave a review and share with your friends and family, it means a lot! Thank you for all the ongoing support! SEND IN YOUR THOUGHTS, OPINIONS AND TOPIC SUGGESTIONS VIA VOICE MESSAGE: https://anchor.fm/daniel-game/message MEGAN'S PLUGS: RENES' CUPCAKES INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/renescupcakes/ DCG PHOTOGRAPHY STORE: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DCGPhotographyStore?ref=search_shop_redirect COVER ART OF PODCAST: ABBIE DEWBREY INSTAGRAM: @abbiedewbreyart

1hr 8mins

11 Jan 2021

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Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter in Conversation with Olivia Chapman

Birmingham Lit Fest Presents….

In this week’s episode, authors Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter join Writing West Midlands’ own Olivia Chapman to discuss their latest novels Summerwater and The Harpy. In this podcast, they discuss writing about relationships, creating unnerving fiction and the expectation placed on writers to make sense of the time we are living in.The Birmingham Lit Fest Presents... podcast brings writers and readers together to discuss some of 2020’s best books. Each Thursday across the next few months we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussionsabout writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. Join us each week for exciting and inspiring conversations with new, and familiar, writers from the Midlands and beyond.Take a look at the rest of this year's digital programme on our website: https://www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org/. For more information on Writing West Midlands, visit https://writingwestmidlands.org/Follow the festival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @BhamLitFestCreditsCurator: Shantel Edwards (Festival director)Guest Curator: Kit de WaalProduction: 11C/ Birmingham Podcast Studios for Writing West MidlandsTRANSCRIPTBLF Podcast Transcription, Episode 9: Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter  Kit de Waal Welcome to the Birmingham Lit Fest Presents…podcast series. I’m Kit de Waal and I’ve worked with the  Festival Director, Shantel Edwards, as Guest Curator of this year’s podcast series. Each Thursday across the  next few months we’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast, including wonderful discussions about  writing, poetry, big ideas and social issues. In this week’s episode, authors Sarah Moss and Megan Hunter  join Writing West Midlands’ own Olivia Chapman to discuss their latest novels Summerwater and The  Harpy. Both novels offer a sharply observed and unsettling insight into their character’s intimate  relationships, as well as their interactions with strangers. In this podcast, they discuss writing about  relationships, creating unnerving fiction and the expectation placed on writers to make sense of the time  we are living in. Aston University This episode of the Birmingham Lit Fest Presents… podcast is brought to you in partnership with Aston University. For information about studying English at Aston, and for further information about the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, please see their website – www.aston.ac.uk - and their social media channels (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) @AstonSSH. Olivia Chapman Hello, welcome to Birmingham Literature Festival. Thanks for joining us. I'm Olivia Chapman, I'm one of the  team at the festival. And I'm delighted to be talking to two novelists that I greatly admire today, Sarah Moss  and Megan Hunter. Sarah is going to be talking to us mainly about her seventh novel, which has just been  published this summer and is called Summerwater. It's got a cast of characters who are living, or not living, they're on holiday in a caravan park in Scotland, where it just doesn't stop raining. And it's focused on one  particular day. Megan is going to be talking to us mainly about her second book, The Harpy, which was due  to be out in June and has been delayed to the autumn because of the pandemic. The Harpy is one of the  most unsettling and kind of got-under-my-skin novels that I've read this year, focused around one family and  the relationship between husband and wife when she discovers an infidelity. So, I'm delighted for you to be  joining us, Sarah and Megan. Welcome.  Sarah Moss Thank you.  Megan HunterThank you. Olivia Chapman I wanted to start by asking both of you – but I'm going to start with Megan – about writing relationships,  writing specifically [about] a marital relationship. You both do it exceptionally well, and I very much enjoy  your writing on that particular relationship. But Megan, I wanted to ask you about the dynamic between the  husband and wife in The Harpy. You can tell from the start that they're not happy and it kind of goes further.  How was it getting right under the skin of that relationship? Megan Hunter Well, it was difficult at first and it was a new thing for me, I'd written about relationships before in The End  We Start From but that was written in a very particular way; almost, you could say in the form of a prose  poem. There weren't very many conversations, you know. They weren't really scenes as such. And in this  novel, I really was writing scenes and conversations and actually quite intimate and difficult and conflict driven sort of arguments. So that felt like a very new thing for me. But I, once I sort of got immersed in it,  and I was used to it in the novel – I mean 'enjoyed' isn't really quite the right word – but I certainly became  sort of used to it, became familiar with it and kind of was very engaged by it. But it was hard. I mean, over  the course of however long you write a novel to write about such dark and difficult things for, you know,  years on end, when, you know, you're not necessarily feeling that way yourself. That's quite difficult to keep  re-entering that dark space. Olivia Chapman And Sarah you usually – 'cos this is your seventh novel, and I've read I think all of them – but you do tend to  focus on one family or relatively few characters. Summerwater is unusual in that you have, I think, five or six  different families or different cabins that you're looking at. So, they all have slightly different dynamics, but  you get to know each character and specifically the relationships between them very, very well. How was  that for you to be kind of so deep with so many characters and their very intimate relationships?  Sarah Moss It felt like a very playful book to write. I enjoyed it and I did all of it, I mean, the metaphors I come up with  are to do with dancing, which I think is partly because of the way the narrative passes from one character to  another. Although the themes are quite dark – though not as dark as The Harpy I think – it felt like quite a  kind of, quite a light-footed book to write.  Olivia ChapmanBecause you spent less time with each family?  Sarah Moss I think because I knew that I was only with them for quite a short time. And that close third-person  narration I think is easier for that than first person because you can skip: you don't really have to introduce  each person because you just step into their proximity. Olivia Chapman So that's interesting. So it's more like you're taking a snapshot and then you kind of duck out again? Sarah Moss Yes. I mean, I'd hope something more mobile than a snapshot. But yes, absolutely. You pass through. You  kind of haunt each cabin for a little while, but then you move on. Olivia Chapman Oh, I like that imagery of haunting – the writer haunting a cabin. That's a nice way of putting it. So in my day  job I spend a lot of time working with writers and I always find it amazing the observations that they're able  to make and that they retain, often for a very long time. So, one of the questions – and I'm not a writer  myself, I should say – but one of the things that I'm always fascinated by is how you sort of collect  observations. Some people collect shells and stamps, and writers it seems to me collect observations. Does  that ring true for you, Sarah? Sarah Moss No, it doesn't feel that deliberate. And I've never been one of those writers who needs to write things down  straight away or keep some notes. I mean, I do keep a notebook with me but it's for ideas and patterns  rather than to kind of collect things from lived experience. I trust the patterns to form and I trust myself to  remember what I need to when I need it. I mean, I forget all sorts of things all the time. But I don't feel the  need to document reality as it passes. I don't take many photos. I don't use social media. I have faith in my  interactions with the world to give me what I need. Olivia Chapman That's interesting. And Megan, what about for you?  Megan Hunter Yeah, that's very interesting. I think, no, I don't formally record observations that often in a notebook. I do sometimes – I do carry a notebook. And occasionally I do that: maybe overheard things like conversation,  maybe just a little snippet of dialogue I might write down. But yeah, I think in terms of collecting experience  or memories, I think I've always been amazed by how they resurface while you write. So, when I was writing  The End We Start From, you know, that particularly was a very un-deliberate kind of writing experience. And similarly, in The Harpy, as you're writing a scene, you know, a particular memory or a comparison or, you  know, an observation just comes up when you're sort of in the flow of writing. That's one of the things I love  about writing. But I do take quite a lot of photos but I'm not sure how much they help me to retain  observations exactly. And I do use social media. Again, I'm not sure how helpful that is. But I have found a  notebook helpful at times and by and large it's just that spontaneous kind of overflow of memories while  you're writing that's what I've experienced the most.  Olivia Chapman So, one of the things that I was really struck by with both of your novels is the presence of an unknown  other. So, in The Harpy it is the harpy, the beast who pops up in various kind of interstitial chapters. And in  Summerwater it's the rain and the animals who are affected by the rain and kind of observing what I guess  would be climate change. How deliberate was it to have this sort of external, slightly unknown, slightly  menacing character who was able to observe but who was also able to sometimes influence what was  happening in the story?  Megan Hunter I actually started off with the main narrative, the main story. And then I would say, towards the end of my  first draft, which was a very, I'd not done this before because I'd usually written more editing as I went  along. But I did in this case write a sort of rough first draft, and towards the end of that I just – this sort of  creature, this image, this form just kind of emerged for me very, very strongly, almost viscerally. And as I was  writing those scenes, I felt almost sort of inhabited by this creature. And so, I knew that that was, you know,  strong enough that it, that it needed to be in the novel. And then, and then it was just a gradual process  really, through subsequent drafts of weaving that figure in and of kind of noticing where organically, you  know, there were those touchpoints in the story, and where both narratives could kind of, you know, be in  dialogue and inform one another. And, you know, and it ended up being called The Harpy and that ended up  being completely central. So, I think that was a really important experience for me of how something can  kind of, yeah, sort of organically emerge but then be very deliberately kind of woven back in. Olivia Chapman That's not what I was expecting you to say, so that's very interesting. Thank you. I expected the image of the  harpy to be the starting point. Megan Hunter Ah, yeah. Olivia Chapman Yeah, and I know writers don't always get terribly much say in their book covers but the image on the front  of The Harpy is incredibly striking with the woman with the bird effectively as half of her face. Did you – is  that what you had in your mind? Were you part of that creation at all? Megan Hunter Yes. So actually, when I sent, I mean when I sent the first draft off, it already had a sort of, I sent it with a  cover that was like a woman with wings. I've never done that before. But it was like, from the beginning I  had this very particular visual. I mean when I say a cover, it wasn't a physical thing. It was a Word document  with a picture at the front, which was this sort of sculpture really of a woman with wings. So, I knew. It was  pretty early but yeah; it did come after the sort of betrayal story. And I knew yes visually. It was quite a  visual thing for me as well as a visceral thing. And so, when I saw that cover, and when they sent it to me, it  was amazing, because it felt completely right immediately and quite important in a way to have that sort of  visual, you know, touchpoint in relation to the book. Olivia Chapman And Sarah, with regards to Summerwater and the sort of, there's several menacing factors which kind of all weave into the ending, but the rain and the observations by the animals which are between each of the  stories of each cabin. Again, I'm interested to know how deliberate that was and whether that was always  going to be a very big part of the narrative of this book. Sarah Moss I think as for Megan, it kind of emerged through the first draft. This book was less planned than many of my  others have been; I think, maybe than all of the others have been. And it really was just an experiment to  see what would happen. I mean, I started it not thinking, 'This is the next book', but just, 'I wonder what  happens if I try this?'. So those little interstitial bits came up – it was absolutely, 'Oh, you know, what  happens if I do this? How does it look?' given that I'm thinking about climates and about bodies in weather  and about water cycles. And there's a bit where one of the characters at the beginning running in the rain is  thinking about the water outside her skin and the water inside her skin and the water above her head and  the water under her feet. I'm very interested in that idea of bodies on land in weather as part of land and weather. So, it made sense then to be thinking about the other entities in that landscape; that the humans are not the only beings with stories who are in this place. And I just tried it to see how it went. And I was  quite pleased with it and I kept doing it.  Olivia Chapman I love that idea that even you are, you know, you're seven novels in or this is your seventh novel and you're  still, you're still playing.  Sarah Moss Yeah. Olivia Chapman You go into it without a plan necessarily and you're still playing, and I think there's something glorious  about writing being playful for you.  Sarah Moss I think it's a later discovery for me. I mean, I was an academic before I was a novelist, and my early novels  were definitely planned and researched quite earnestly. I mean, I was never a great planner even as an  academic but by my standards planned and researched earnestly. And as I've gone on, I think it's partly the  confidence of middle age as well – I'm quite interested in the idea of midlife as I enter it or progress through  it. There's something about being mid-career, midlife, having a certain, a certain amount behind me that  makes me feel much more confident about play and experiment than I used to. Olivia Chapman So that brings me on to a question that I've wanted to ask because it strikes me that women writers are  referred to as women writers and it's something I detest, and try avidly not to do, although I'll admit that  every so often I do it by accident. But the women that you write, both of you, in these novels are the ones  who hold the households together. They're the ones who are – especially the ones with kids in the case of  Sarah, that not all of your characters have children that they're looking after – but the mothers are, they're  holding the household together: they're planning the meals, they're working out who needs new shoes,  they're thinking about cleaning, they're, you know, they're holding the household together, and they  support – their existence allows for the rest of the family to exist at all. And I find that interesting when you  are both mothers and writers and have other responsibilities be they, you know, family or careers or  whatever. Is that deliberate, first of all? But also, is that a reflection on what you see around you where the  mothers are the ones who are holding it all together, whilst doing what it seems much more than anyone  else? Megan, I wonder if maybe you can answer that one first?Megan Hunter Sure, yeah. I mean, I think that is very much my experience in terms of what I've observed around me. It's  not necessarily really particularly my own experience within my marriage. But I would say that I do, yeah, I  do notice that kind of over and over again, really. And I think it's quite interesting the extent to which, you  know, in many ways things have changed hugely. And in another way, there's the well, the often discussed, you know, mental load, and what that sort of consists of. And I think that's very difficult to kind of, to get  away from actually, even if you are in a more sort of equal partnership. And then many people are not in  equal partnerships either, you know. Women still do a much greater proportion of housework, you know – every time they do those surveys, and that's what comes out. And I think it's interesting that, well,  'interesting' in inverted commas in lockdown, obviously, that, you know, there's been a lot of stories  emerging, and studies about the fact that women are bearing the brunt of the home education and the  housework in that situation, even if both parents work. So yes, it's probably something I could sort of  soapbox about for a while. But I was just, I was very interested in that and I suppose I was, yeah, playing a  bit in the novel with slightly, perhaps slightly satirising that and perhaps slightly, you know, delving into the  sort of depths of, you know, pushing it to quite an extreme with Lucy, sort of, you know, obsessive children's  party planning and, you know, things of that nature where, you know, fairly trivial things actually end up  sort of taking over her mind in a way that, you know, she wouldn't necessarily choose and yet she is  choosing. But then is she, you know? And just exploring really the complications of that position. Sarah Moss Hmm, I'll join Megan on her soapbox. I think that, I mean, I agree with everything she's said really and I  don't have a lot add to that. I've written previously in The Tidal Zone, with a man as the housekeeper, the  cook, the one responsible for the kids. Which was interesting to write and also quite interesting to publicise  and the reaction to that book was intriguing. I think there's also a narrative element about that mental load,  because it's very hard to share. I mean, I too live in a relationship where things feel pretty equal most of the  time. But we do that partly by having a pretty rigid division of who's responsible for what because the story  of what's in the fridge is mine, really: I do the food shopping, I do the cooking, I know who's eating what, I  know how much milk we're getting through in a particular week – which depends on who's growing on that  particular week. There's a kind of narrative of that which is hard to share with any other narrative. And my  husband will have the story of the laundry, which is who's done which sports in that week, and what the  weather's been like, and how fast things have been able to dry, and if somebody had a nosebleed or fell  over in the mud, or whatever it is. But I think these things are intriguing to write about exactly because of  that, because there's a running story, which isn't always at all interesting in real life – you can make it  interesting when you write about it. But the story of the laundry and what's in the fridge is also the story of what's happening for that particular family at that particular time. Olivia Chapman Yes, and I think for both of you actually, that's what I really loved with both novels was that I felt – even if  you only see them for quite brief moments – I felt like I was in that character's head. And it is that running  narrative that both of you do so well, which allows you to get into that character's head, I wanted to ask you  both about revenge. Now this is particularly germane to The Harpy. As I say it's one of the books that I  found the most unsettling and raced through when we read it as a bound proof back at the start of the year.  But the issue of revenge is obviously key to The Harpy and I don't want to give too much away for those  who haven't read it. But there is an infidelity and an agreement is made between the couple that revenge  will be exacted by the hurt party. And it's quite sudden and it's quite explicit, and it's quite, I found it quite  shocking. And Sarah in Summerwater the revenge is maybe more oblique, but it's certainly, there's a cruelty  there and there's a sort of building tension of how this might unfold. So, I'm going to start with Megan but  the almost literal pound of flesh that is demanded by Lucy, how did that come about? And how comfortable  was it to be writing that? Megan Hunter Yeah, I wouldn't say it was comfortable at all. I, yeah, I think I just, I became very interested in thinking  through issues of sort of betrayal, forgiveness and a certain kind of fairytale patterning and sort of almost  mythical patterning that to be sort of imposed on everyday life, which is obviously much more sort of  shapeless and amorphous and not something where, you know, people usually have these sorts of  agreements. And I just, yeah, I just became sort of fascinated, almost, almost kind of against my will – I  mean, obviously not against my will – but I was, sort of kept thinking, 'Am I really gonna write a book about  this: this doesn't seem very sort of me somehow, you know?' I wrote this very sort of, well, I mean I say it's  my cheerful book, my first book, but obviously it's about a dystopia so it's not that cheerful, but it's a very,  it's quite a warm book about love between a mother and a child. And this book felt much, much darker. So I  kind of, I felt myself almost sort of drawn into writing it. And yeah, at times it was very uncomfortable. But I  sort of sensed that it was necessary for me to just, to keep going with that, and to not turn away from, you  know, that which yeah, I found dark and difficult – and to kind of, and to push through that as a writer. And I  mean I'm pleased that I did but yeah, it wasn't comfortable and it didn't always feel like necessarily the  most natural subject choice. But, and I think, you know, when I told people about it, friends or family they  always looked quite surprised. But, I think it's just such a fascinating story to me. And then, you know,  hopefully to other people. Yeah, it just intrigued me to come from that premise. Olivia ChapmanSarah, the menace that kind of comes to a head towards the end of the novel is more subtle in Summerwater but it's equally as threatening, and it all revolves around a family who are unknown to  everyone else – they're from somewhere else. I don't think from, my memory, they're never explicitly, we  don't explicitly know where they're from. But their child is subject to an incident of bullying, and then  there's kind of all kinds of rhetoric around how the rest of the residents on this caravan park are feeling  towards them. How were you trying to portray that building up of tension? And was it as simple as you want  to create an issue and you want to say something about this issue, and the feelings that these people have  will all come to a head in a rather big way? Sarah Moss No, it wasn't that planned. I'm clearly going to keep saying that all the way through, 'this book was not  planned at all'. I was thinking when Megan was talking that the idea of revenge comes from a fantasy of  justice, an idea that things can be set right or that wrong can be undone or redressed in some way, and  that's … And Megan you said it, it works against the model of real life, and I think that, that's really true because it's about, it's about narrative structure and the idea that there might be a satisfying ending, which  of course, in real life, there isn't – I mean, there are ends but there are almost never endings. And I think in  Summerwater it wasn't about choosing characters who were trying to bring about particular states, it was  about the shape of the narrative itself; that the shape of story demands justice or injustice, depending on  whether it's comedy or tragedy. So those are really the only options that you have. I mean, there isn't, you  can't write a story which has neither, well, it's very difficult to write a story that has neither a just nor an  unjust ending. Because narrative itself demands that you do that, or not even demand, but simply does it.  And as I was writing, actually I wasn't sure when I was writing the first draft until quite late whether I was  going towards a comedic or a tragic ending. One of the points of conflict is a household on this holiday park  who have loud parties late at night, mysteriously, because it's quite remote and it's not clear who's getting  to the parties or where from. And I think the way you respond to your neighbours having fun is such a  fundamental question about community and individuality. Do you want to make it stop or do you take a  bottle and go round? And that's really the question that everybody on the caravan park has to address in  the end as this noise becomes intolerable, as you can't ignore it anymore. And some of them take a bottle  and go round and some of them want to make it stop. But those are really the only two options at that  point, and I think the book could have gone either way.  Olivia Chapman That's fascinating to me that you didn't know whether it was going to be one ending or the other right up until you were actually writing it. It's interesting you use the example of the neighbours and what the  neighbours are up to. Of course, we're recording this at the end of the summer. We are in some form of lockdown still; things have not gone back to normal. And obviously, we've all gone through months of  various stages of lockdown. I would love to know how you as writers have found lockdown? Sarah, I wonder  if I can start with you? How has this lockdown been for you as a writer? Sarah Moss Extraordinarily difficult in ways that I feel very ashamed of. I thought I should have been absolutely fine in  lockdown – we're financially pretty secure, my livelihood is not at risk, everybody in my house gets on  pretty well, nobody needs to fear anybody else, you know there was always going to be enough food.  Really, we had no problems whatsoever. You know I check my privilege and it's there every single time. But I  found it really hard, particularly at the beginning. And I think for me that was partly that lockdown freaked  me out a lot more than COVID freaked me out. And I've been thinking about this. I mean, it's not that I think  lockdown is wrong. I'm absolutely not a Trump-supporting mask-refuser. I mean, clearly, it was necessary  and clearly it was the only thing to do, even though it was a terrible thing to do. But I think quite a lot about  social breakdown and about authoritarian government, and I have a Jewish refugee background. And the  moment when it becomes the law that you may not send your children to school, and you may not leave  your house except under very strict conditions, is a moment when all the ancestral voices in my head go off.  And it took me a while to realise that that was what was happening because I was very lonely in my fear of  lockdown when everybody else was much more scared of COVID – which is, of course, reasonable: COVID is  much more frightening than lockdown. And that didn't help me write at all. I mean, I wasn't really in a  waiting phase at the time anyway. But that, the fear and the sense that my own immediate environment was fundamentally transformed by something I couldn't see was not helpful for me in any way. And I was  thinking about this also in relation to what you said about the question about motherhood and  responsibility for the house. I think that for a lot of women the house is not the place where you do your  thinking or where you have your professional life, I think for probably for most adults, but particularly for  women, the house is a place of work. And it's a place that demands endless, repetitive, not very interesting  labour; and the more people are in it, the more of that labour there is, and the less space there is for the  people who are responsible for that labour to do any thinking or making or reading or reflecting. So, yeah, I  mean, I look around houses and I see work that hasn't been done and it should be done, not necessarily by me but certainly by me or somebody else and that doesn’t help me write. Olivia Chapman Megan, how have you found lockdown, both as a writer and I suppose just kind of as someone who was,  well, you were due to be published in June, and it got delayed until this autumn. So how has it been? Megan Hunter Yes. I mean, I feel like it's had very different sort of distinct phases for me really, and it feels like, you know,  in one sense obviously no time at all, and in another sense, it feels like it's been, I don't know, years and  years. I mean, I was ill actually. So, I had I think suspected COVID at the beginning of lockdown for quite a  number of weeks. And so that kind of really determined my initial experience of it. So, all the time when  everything was so quiet and there were no cars on the road, I was just in bed. So, I was kind of out of it for  the first bit. And then I sort of emerged and was kind of happy to be, you know, in the sunshine and just  sitting in the garden and things like that. And then I was quite happy to be writing for a while and kind of  writing in calm and quiet without, in a sense, that pressure and that exposure of publication. And it seemed  like the right thing to postpone because obviously there were no bookshops open at that point. I think with  the book coming out now I feel quite keenly a series of sort of senses of loss, you know, loss, and a sense of  not really being caught up somehow still to what's happened; and to what has been lost. You know, I think  there's a remote part of book publishing which is the same. So, you know, you write your book on your  own, somebody reads it on their own, and things like, you know, social media, it's all taking place at a  distance. So that's familiar. But that's always been sort of countered by yeah, the more physical encounters, the journeys. And as Sarah was saying, I think as a woman and as a mother, it's been quite important for me  to go away actually, often. You know, I go to London, I see people, I go to events and I'm a different person, I  sort of escape for a while. That's all completely stopped. And so, I do feel, yeah, a sort of a soreness about  that and a difficulty, which I guess we're all going through. And the kind of, the quiet writing period of  lockdown feels distant. And I don't know, I've been in my life quite reliant on working in libraries and cafes,  similarly to Sarah mentioned about being out of the house. And so, you know, I'm thinking how I can  incorporate some of that sense into my writing life going forward. I mean, in a sense I can't, but I'm thinking  about maybe going to a friend of a friend's house once a week, using their spare room or, you know. I mean,  I'm very lucky, I have a, I actually have a writing place in the garden. But there's something about actually  getting away entirely and having that headspace, which I think is really quite important for me.  Olivia Chapman That then brings me on to what might well be my last question. But the question is around the  responsibility or the maybe responsibility's the wrong word, the reliance the rest of us have on writers to  document and interpret things like, frankly, this chaotic, crazy year that we're still in the middle of, and  whether you feel that responsibility, whether that feels like a burden or something that you actually  embrace? So that's the first part of the question. And the second one is: how do you write? How are you  finding the space or time or structure to write both at the moment and I suppose more generally? Megan,  I’ll maybe start with you. You mentioned you've got a writing space in the garden, but it sounds like you've  got to the stage where actually you want something different now, you've had enough of that and you need  a physical change of space?Megan Hunter Yeah, I mean, I'll still mainly be here, and I do love it and it's got its own, you know, advantages over being in  a library, for example. But I think it's just that balance between, you know – I work, I work with students a  bit at the university as well and that's all now gone online. So it's, you know, it's having a balance in one's  life between being in a room on one's own and being out and about. So I think it's that, I think it's, yeah,  finding that balance. And in terms of how I write, I mean, we have a very strict sort of week. My husband  and I share the writing room at the moment because he works from home, and so we have a very strict  timetable in Google Calendar. And, you know, that is how I write because we are, we just pass the baton  really like relay runners pretty much all day, every day, and that's, yeah, that's how we do it. There was another part of your question about responsibility of writing about the present moment. Initially, when  everything first happened, I was writing quite a lot of, I wrote something about being ill. And I've written  things about, I've written stories, which kind of have an illness theme or, you know, pandemic theme, but  I'm not, I feel like it's good to let, if possible, to leave a bit of, usually, for most writers, it's good to leave a  bit of time. And kind of, you know, it's okay to write those things at the time. I mean, it's good and it's, if  you're a writer, then you write, and that's how often you process things and make sense of them. But I think  it's good to then leave them and then come back to them and sort of see how they fare because when  everything's happening, I mean, like any piece of writing, you know, you just have to let it sit for a while,  don't you? And so, if you're trying to respond to the immediate moment, and perhaps publish in the  immediate moment in response to that moment, I think that, you know, that can be difficult because  writing needs, it needs time and space to become clear, I think. At least my writing does. Olivia Chapman Sarah, how do you feel? Sarah Moss I agree with Megan. Absolutely the point about needing to leave it, and I mean, I had COVID as well early in  March. So right kind of, slightly before and right at the beginning of lockdown, and then trailing on for  weeks afterwards. And during those weeks I was writing. I mean, there were a surprising number of editors  asking novelists to write things about COVID and I kept thinking, 'Why don't you go find an epidemiologist?  You know, what can I do with it? I don't know anything about this'. But those pieces all had to be binned as I  went along because I was writing too much in the moment and too much with the strength of my own  reactions, and without even the perspective that I have now, let alone that we will all come to in the  months and years to come. I mean, there were exceptions, but I think broadly, that kind of writing is  probably more like journalism than fiction. So, I'm not, I mean, I started a project in lockdown, which I think I'm probably not going to continue. And I'm now thinking about something else. But neither of those are  pandemic writing projects. I'm sure we'll all have a lot to say about this for a very long time, but I feel much  more called to try to make something beautiful that somebody can enjoy during hard times rather than  make something about hard times. Olivia Chapman  So for you it's more about creating something which can have either a contrast or a bit of an escapist  element to it? Sarah Moss That's how I feel at the moment. I mean, I'm certainly not claiming that that's the role of literature in life or  anything so general. For me just, I mean I've been saying this for a while that I want to try to make the book  that you take with you when you get under the table because the bombs are falling and that book was not  going to be a book about bombs, ever. Olivia Chapman Yes, that’s a very, very true statement. I'm delighted to have spoken to you both. Thank you both. I am very  much excited by these novels. I'm excited to know what you're writing next. I will be the first person  begging a bound proof from your publisher as and when the next books come out. Sarah Moss's novel is  called Summerwater. It's published now. And Megan Hunter's novel is called The Harpy. Thank you both for  joining us at Birmingham Literature Festival. Sarah Moss Thank you.  Megan Hunter Thank you. Outro message Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Birmingham Lit Fest presents…podcast. If you enjoyed  this episode, we’d love for you to tell us about it – leave us a review or a rating and find us on Instagram,  Twitter and Facebook @bhamlitfest. You can download our latest podcast episodes, every Thursday, from  all the places you would normally get your podcasts and find transcripts of our episodes in the shownotes  and on our website at www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org . Details about our full programme can also be  found on our website. Until then, happy reading!The Birmingham Lit Fest Presents... podcast is curated by Shantel Edwards and produced by 11C and  Birmingham Podcast Studios for Writing West Midlands.


19 Nov 2020