A Novel Idea – Documentary

What if there was a way for your thoughts, your words, to be sent into the future, and be understood and appreciated by someone anywhere on the planet…  Would that not make us, in a way, immortal, and give us the power to communicate across time and space?  When we were inquisitive children curled up under the blankets, flashlight in hand, and reading our favourite story – were we not actually inviting the author of that story into our innermost space, to share their thoughts, their stories with us in their words?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, but yet we know his character, Sherlock Holmes – we read Doyle’s words, Doyle’s thoughts… and Holmes, a fictional character of Doyle’s imagination, still gets fan mail to this day… is that not a form of immortality and communication with the author across the ether?

I’m Bella St John – Join us as we venture together to explore the history of those words – in ‘A Novel Idea’.

Season Two – The Author’s Journey

In Season Two of “A Novel Idea” we examine the ‘Author’s Journey’.

Through interviews with authors, both fiction and non-fiction, we explore what made them want to write in the first place, highlights, milestones, processes, tips, unique perspectives, inspirations, and more…

Simply click on the image to go direct to YouTube to watch the interview.

Listen to a podcast of Season One, Episode One (S1-E1) here to get an idea of the program:


Where to watch “A Novel Idea”?

Streaming on the following:

…or CLICK HERE to watch on BingeNetworks…

Season One – The History of the Novel


Episode 1:  The Biology of the Novel 

Episode 2:  Chivalry is Dead 

Episode 3:  Epistolary Novels 

Episode 4:  History that Never Was 

Episode 5:  Romance and Sentiment 

Episode 6:  Social Commentary 

Episode 7:  Science Fiction 

Episode 8:  No Rules Apply

Guest:  Professor Thomas Pavel

Thomas Pavel is Emeritus Professor in Romance Languages, Comparative Literature and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Born in Bucharest, Romania, he earned an MA at the University of Bucharest and a Doctorat 3e cycle at the Université de Paris 3. He taught at the University of Ottawa, University of Québec in Montreal, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Princeton University. A visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris in the Spring terms of 1983 and 1994, he held the International Chair at the Collège de France in 2005-2006 and was a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin in 2010-2011.

His books include Plot and Meaning. The Case of English Renaissance Drama. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985; Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986; The Spell of Language:  Post-structuralism and speculation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001 [1989] and The Lives of the Novel, Princeton University Press, 2013 (recipient of the Perkins Prize for the Best Book in Narrative Studies in 2013, awarded by the International Society for the Study of Narrative).