Behind the Spine interview
Diana Janney on poetry, philosophy and fractured souls.

“What a great idea if, through this grieving process both of them could heal – could come to understand the other through the vehicle of poetry” – Diana Janney

Poetry and philosophy bring together two fractured souls, 12 year old Rufus Ellerton whose parents have died, and his grandfather Horatio who’s now tasked with raising him.

Diana Janney’s latest novel is a beautiful, musical piece of writing, which weaves poetry and philosophical musings into the prose. A Man of Understanding follows the story of Rufus (Blue) as he moves to a finca in Majorca with his grandfather.

Hear as Diana explores her motivations for writing a novel like this, in this way. How her musical background inspires her writing style – even if she doesn’t realise it. And what kind of writer Diana is, gardener or architect.

‘I found it so profound, so moving…This book should be on everybody’s shelves…It’s extremely powerful, really is’ – Mark Heywood, inkjockey

Interview on Writer’s Routine podcast

Diana Janney is busy. She is a doer. She’s worked as a barrister, a model, published two successful novels through the last 20 years, and has a new one out.

A Man of Understanding was named runner up for The People’s Book Prize 2023. It tells the story of Horatio Hennessy, his orphaned grandson, and their journey together. It explores trauma which Diana has experienced, and she’s used it as a way of understanding what it all means.

We discuss her love of philosophy and poetry, and how that seeps into the novel. Also, you can hear why she can write anywhere, how much of a skeleton she likes for her story, and why she likes to give herself time off to let an idea form.


Diana was interviewed on A Novel Evening podcast, talking in depth about her life and latest novel A Man of Understanding, and describing her ideal novel evening, who the literary guests would be, and what they would discuss. 18th September 2023.




Diana appeared on the Off the Shelf podcast, talking about her latest book A Man of Understanding and her five favourite novels of all time, on 21st August  2023.




13th May 2023 BBC Radio London. Listen to Diana’s interview with LionHeart on his show, discussing her novel A Man of Understanding, and reading from her book.



5th April 2023 LitHub: KEEN ON podcast, a NOW.TV chat show with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers. Why Philosophy Matters: Diana Janney on the philosophical foundations of her fiction.

Listen to Diana Janney talk about her  novel A Man of Understanding on Radio Kent’s Dominic King show, 31 January 2023.


The Book Show, Talk Radio Europe Interview

A Man of Understanding book launch video

Meet the Author video

Diana’s launch of The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose in Portugal

Listen to Diana’s Clube da Leitura podcast interview in Portugal

Article in Time Out

Article in The Hill

Interview in The Scotsman