Better Words

The winding road to publication with Carly Findlay

An episode of Better Words

By Better Words
Started by two book bloggers who also happen to be best friends, Better Words is a podcast about books. We'll be having bookish discussions as well as talking to some amazing authors, bloggers and generally awesome people. Grab yourself a cup of tea and join Caitlin and Michelle for Better Words!
Available on 7 platforms
Fairy tales and folklore with Kate Forsyth
It's our first LIVE episode! So, we've decided to keep it simple and just present to you our interview with the incredible Kate Forsyth at CapriCon Rockhampton 2019. We discuss how a childhood trauma shaped her passion for reading, the origins of fairytales and the magic of retellings, the productivity of writing for a living, and ideas and inspiration.  Join our Facebook group to continue the conversation.
43:18
April 21, 2019
An Underdog’s dream with Tobias Madden
We're discussing office sitcoms, British TV dramas and astrology all before being joined by Tobias Madden. He is a man of many, many talents! We chat all about Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories, the bookish community, musicals and changing careers.  Follow us on Instagram and please leave a rating or review. Thanks for listening!
58:36
April 2, 2019
Revisiting our yesterday with Karen Sepulveda
This week we're discussing Kinky Boots, Harry Potter movies, Underdog short stories, plus an exciting announcement. Our guest is Karyn Sepulveda, author of Letters to My Yesterday, chatting about uncovering the extraordinary stories of ordinary women, writing 'apprenticeships' and the classification of women's writing.  Follow us on Instagram. Thanks to Ventura Books for providing a copy of Letters to My Yesterday for this episode. 
54:30
March 20, 2019
Body positive and pop culture obsessed with Jenna Guillaume
To celebrate the release of What I Like About Me, we welcome author and journalist Jenna Guillaume. We discuss her journey to publication, the wonderful character of Maisie, rom coms, Dirty Dancing, body positivity and more. Michelle and Caitlin also discuss the Oscars, catching up on movies and the Jonas Brothers.
1:05:06
March 5, 2019
Life shaped by words with Angela Meyer
This week we're discussing binge-worthy crime dramas (The Cry and Dirty John), sitcoms (Derry Girls and New Girl), and our brand new Facebook group. Our guest is Angela Meyer, author of genre bending novel A Superior Spectre. We're talking about choosing to abandon the 'safe' writing path, why words are so important and the creative anxiety so many writers experience. 
1:00:45
February 19, 2019
The winding road to publication with Carly Findlay
This week we're talking about that New Yorker article, You, and Mary Queen of Scots. We're also thrilled to be joined by our friend Carly Findlay, whose memoir Say Hello is now on shelves. She's discussing the long editing process, the cover design, and what she wasn't expecting after publication.  If you enjoyed this episode, we recommend you also listen to Carly chatting to Zara and Michelle from Shameless. Find them in your podcast app.  For shownotes and more information about this podcast, head to our website. 
1:05:09
February 5, 2019
The universal language with Cristy Burne
Welcome to our first interview of 2019. This week we're delighted to welcome Cristy Burne: science writer and educator, with a swag of children's adventure novels to her name. She's also the author of Zeroes and Ones: The geeks, heroes and hackers who changed history. We're chatting about our fear of science, how we can help children become more literate in the universal language, and the inspiring forgotten women of science and engineering. 
1:00:33
January 23, 2019
I know what you read last summer
Before we kick off the podcast properly in 2019, we're back to discuss what we read and watched over the Christmas/New Year break. 
37:06
January 15, 2019
That's a wrap on 2018
Listen in as we discuss and gush all of our favourite things in 2018. From books, movies, TV shows and podcasts to other fabulous things that happened in between. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
1:06:44
December 18, 2018
Finding your place with Zoya Patel
We've had a heatwave, fires, storms and a stand up show. That's just our intro! In this wonderful chat with Aussie writer Zoya Patel, we discuss feminism, equality, her migrant experience and fangirl over Mama and Papa Patel. If you've ever felt like you don't belong, this episode and book is for you.
1:12:53
December 4, 2018
Women in power with Jane Caro
Jane Caro is an Australian writer and social commentator. We we're very excited to chat to her about her young adult trilogy about Queen Elizabeth I, discussing her research, writing and women in history. Listen also as we wrap up Crimes of Grindelwald!
1:00:59
November 20, 2018
Ideal timing with Karen Foxlee
This week, author Karen Foxlee is talking to us about her writing process, creativity and the timing of ideas. Caitlin and Michelle are also discussing Bohemian Rhapsody and the brilliance of the new Queen bio-pic.
58:26
November 7, 2018
'You're a collector, Harry!' with Peter Kenneth
You think your Harry Potter collection is big? Step aside, because Peter Kenneth's magical library of roughly 1300 Harry Potter editions will take your breath away. In this episode, we chat to Peter about all things Potter from falling in love with Hogwarts to becoming an expert on JK Rowling signatures and the best covers of the series. Grab your wand and join us for a spellbinding interview!
1:01:58
October 28, 2018
Scarred not scared with Michelle Elman
Michelle Elman is an all-round fabulous woman. She's spoken at TEDx and has built a powerful social media following after the #scarrednotscared tag went viral. Her memoir Am I Ugly? is a moving journey through multiple surgeries and the way they've shaped her body confidence. Michelle explains how she learned to love her body and how you can too. Listen up pod squad, it's time to share the love.
1:11:17
October 10, 2018
Tropical vibes with Fiona Bell
Queensland might be hot, but the gorgeous landscape makes up for it. Fiona Bell joins us to chat about her debut, Waterhole! We discuss writing, publishing, inspiration, English in high schools and what it's like to have your novel taught in the next classroom.
50:50
September 25, 2018
Australian Reading Hour with Danielle Binks
This week we're joined by editor and agent Danielle Binks for a special minisode celebrating Australian Reading Hour - as if the BW squad needed an excuse to set aside some reading time, right?! Listen for some great recommendations from Danielle including new releases to keep an eye on.
25:25
September 20, 2018
Bookish life with Lucy from The Literary Edit
Named London Book Fair's Book Blogger of the Year, Lucy is pretty accomplished. She chats to us about moving internationally, her love for Sydney and rebranding her blog as The Literary Edit! Michelle and Caitlin also give a quick wrap up of their weekend at Brisbane Writers Festival.
1:15:42
September 11, 2018
Forces of nature with Sally Piper
This week Sally Piper joins us to talk about how her love of nature and the Australian bush influenced her latest novel, The Geography of Friendship. We're also discussing how Sally's previous career as a nurse helps her writing in the most unlikely ways, and the pressure of winning literary awards.
50:41
August 28, 2018
A quick update
Hi everyone, we just have a quick update for you this week. From now on, we'll be doing fortnightly episodes. Thanks! - Caitlin & Michelle
07:49
August 21, 2018
How to change your life with Lisa Stephenson
This week we are joined by Lisa Stephenson whose debut book Read Me First will help you find a new path to success, however you define it. In what is probably our most inspirational interview to date, Lisa walks us through how she wrote Read Me First after building a successful life coaching career and shares with us the simple ways we can all start to make changes in our daily lives to take us where we want to be.
55:38
August 14, 2018
Words spilling out with Nikki McWatters
This week's guest is a writer, mother and former rock groupie. She’s done every job from TV acting to legal counselling to check-out chick and cleaner. We're chatting to Nikki all about her ideas, writing and the difference between writing fiction and non-fiction. There's something for everybody in this episode!
46:45
August 7, 2018
Happy 1st Birthday Better Words
We have been doing this for a whole year! Thank you so much for listening and for supporting us over the past year. For our first birthday, we're throwing it back to our first episode and having a Harry Potter party! We're chatting Fantastic Beasts, ships, 20th anniversaries and playing a game of would you rather.
39:58
July 31, 2018
Bookshop antics with Mischa from Better Read Than Dead
Dream of working in a bookshop? Us too! This week we're joined by Mischa from Better Read Than Dead, an iconic store in Sydney's Newtown. We're discussing the weird things customers say, how much of a difference awards and adaptations actually make and how booksellers balance their budgets when they're surrounded by the things they love.
46:30
July 24, 2018
Becoming an Instagram guru with Sarah Taviani
Want to build a bookstagram feed which will stop people scrolling and get them double tapping? Insta guru Sarah Taviani is joining us for a special workshop covering all elements of improving your feed including photography, content, and account management. Get some pen and paper - you'll want to take notes!
1:23:27
July 17, 2018
When ideologies clash with Randa Abdel-Fattah
Michelle is back from her holiday! But that's not the most exciting thing! 'Does My Head Look Big In This?' and 'When Michael Met Mina' author Randa Abdel-Fattah joins us for an amazing discussion. Michelle and Caitlin say 'wow' a lot and just soak up everything Randa says.
54:59
July 10, 2018
Lush histories with Julian Leatherdale
'Palace of Tears' and 'The Opal Dragonfly' author Julian Leatherdale is the first male guest of Better Words! We're discussing theatre, documentaries, historical fiction, writing and publishing. There's something for everybody in this episode.
1:00:06
July 3, 2018
It's a mid year gush fest
This year is going by so fast! Join us for a full on GUSH fest of everything we've loved in the first half of 2018. We're talking tv shows, movies, music, podcasts and of course, books. Also, there's another update from Michelle and Jack on their Irish adventure.
41:21
June 26, 2018
We're very jealous of The YA Room
This week we're joined by Sarah and Alex of Melbourne's young adult book club, The YA Room. Chatting all about how they got started, hosting book launches and events, to the first YA Day! Hopefully next year we can attend, but until then, listen to our chat (and find out our dream dinner guests!)
50:13
June 19, 2018
You're a marshmallow, Veronica Mars
Like Kristen Bell? Teenage detectives? Feminist, progressive and sassy TV shows? If you answered 'yes' and haven't watched Veronica Mars then you should! Our discussion about the sassy woman herself will either make you want to watch or rewatch the TV series and movie. Plus enjoy a clip from Michelle and Jack from Dublin!
1:14:15
June 12, 2018
Book ninjas unite with Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus
Want to spread the bookish love? Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus are Melbourne's own book ninjas and their mission to add a little literature to everyone's day has become a national success. This week they're joining us to talk about Book on the Rain and their brand new YA debut based on the venture.
54:15
June 5, 2018
Spilling the tea (part 2)
This week we are spilling the tea on the latest bookish news and discussing whether creators should leave their characters alone, how many editions of Harry Potter we'll buy and whether 'Netflix for books' is a good idea. Listen on Apple Podcast, Overcast, CastBox, Stitcher or Libsyn.
50:59
May 29, 2018
Keep calm and read on with The Brit Lit Podcast
If you’ve still got a royal wedding hangover, this episode is the perfect antidote as we speak to Claire from the Brit Lit Podcast. But it’s not all about British booms as Claire shares her unique journey to crowdfunded publication and we chat about the strangeness of moving from England to America.
1:00:51
May 22, 2018
I LoveYA Girl
This week you get to hear us catch up on our hectic lives including plenty of beef, cults and live podcasts. We're also sharing mini interviews from LoveYA Day in Brisbane with Steph Bowe, Cath Crowley and Paula Weston.
53:45
May 15, 2018
What's in the box with The YA Chronicles
This week we're talking books and business with the women who've been posting goodies across Australia for nearly two years. Each box is lovingly prepared and, as we learn in this episode, hand-packed by Alison and Rebecca who spoke to us as they prepared their much-anticipated Obsidio boxes for shipping.
45:08
May 8, 2018
Behind the books
This week Caitlin and Michelle are sharing the stories behind some of their books! We have souvenirs, gifts and books we came across randomly. All the books on every bookshelf have a story, and we're sharing some of ours in this episode.
39:46
May 1, 2018
Let's talk about sex, baby with Gabrielle Reid
What if you made a decision you couldn't take back? This week, Caitlin and Michelle are joined by author Gabrielle Reid to chat about her debut, 'The Things We Can't Undo'. Listen in to our discussion about writing with teens in mind and how important starting conversations is. Please note we had some connection problems while recording so some moments may be hard to hear.
53:20
April 24, 2018
Is the book better: Part 2
Have you seen that movie? Read the book? Which do you prefer? Comparing books to their adaptations is something we all do. This week, Caitlin and Michelle chat about some more recent adaptions from YA contemporaries to dramatic mini series'.
52:30
April 17, 2018
Weaving the tale with Lauren Chater
Have you ever stumbled upon a strange fact and wanted to know more? This week Lauren Chater shares the story behind her beautiful historical fiction debut, sparked by a book about Estonia lace weaving. Lauren, who also has a talent for delicately decorated book-themed cookies, shares some insights from the kitchen with us as well.
50:52
April 10, 2018
The life changing art of reading slumps
Sometimes you just feel a little...off. This week we discuss motivation: finding it, keeping it, and building on it. We talk reading and reviewing slumps and some ways to kick them to the curb.
53:47
April 3, 2018
From screen to page with Fiona Wood
She's well known as the award winning author of four novels, but Fiona Wood had a successful screenwriting career before turning her hand at books. This week, we discuss what goes on behind the scenes and off the set, as well as how three friends write a novel.
49:02
March 27, 2018
Gilbert Blythe Fan Club
Join us as we walk through the White Way of Delight to discuss the delightful Anne (with an 'e'), a character that shaped our childhood. We will be talking about the Cuthberts, bosom friendships and, of course, the only boy whose head we'd ever want to break a slate over. There's no one quite like Anne Shirley.
51:36
March 20, 2018
Write what you want to read with Jessica Walton
How do you create a better understanding of the many diverse lives we're living without representation in the stories we're told from childhood? Faced with a disappointing lack of diverse picture books, Jessica Walton crowdfunded and published her own story about gender identity. In this episode, we discuss diversity in publishing and how it can be improved.
1:02:00
March 13, 2018
Creatures of (reading) habit
Bookmarks or dog-earing? Favourite reading spots and whether we listen to audiobooks. This week we're chatting about our sometimes strange reading habits and attempting to explain why we read the way we do.
1:03:53
March 6, 2018
You don't need a plan with Kate O'Donnell
What are you going to do after high school? The dreaded question for anyone without a five-year plan. But Kate O'Donnell explains why it's okay not to have a plan post-graduation, the dilemmas faced by teens growing up in rural and regional areas and how passion guided her career choices.
58:31
February 27, 2018
Stranger than fiction
Truth is stranger than fiction, or so they say. We're diving into true stories this week to share what we love about them, what gets us hooked and some of our favourite non-fiction reads, including plenty of girl power (of course).
59:40
February 20, 2018
Write your dream career with Adele Walsh
Can blogging lead you to a new career? Adele Walsh did just that, transforming her hobby into a career she loves. She shares her tips for people wanting to do the same and discusses the importance of teen-only spaces in the bookish community. Get ready to be inspired!
1:04:36
February 13, 2018
Spilling the tea
Okay babes, listen up. We’re spilling the tea on the latest news including the future of indie bookstores, whether the ‘Gram is ruining art, why book awards are so important and why we’re riled up about the next Fantastic Beasts movie.
1:05:24
February 6, 2018
Standing up and speaking out with Carly Findlay
This week we’re joined by blogger, speaker and appearance activist Carly Findlay. She’s discussing the mammoth task of memoir writing, ableism and the positive and negative impacts of speaking out online.
1:06:25
January 30, 2018
Reviews: In the hands of the reader
How and why do we review and what happens when we didn’t love the book? This week we chat reviews (the good, the bad and the indifferent) and the relationships between authors and readers. Remember folks, be kind.
1:03:27
January 23, 2018
Staying #relevant with Gabrielle Williams
This week we’re chatting social media and digital lives with Gabrielle Williams, author of My Life as a Hashtag. She talks us through her writing process as well sharing some special details about her latest project.
1:08:25
January 16, 2018
Better Words and All That Jazz
This week we are taking you on stage to share our favourite musical moments. We’re a little bit naughty as we talk about those summer nights and singin’ in the rain in an episode where anything goes.
57:28
January 9, 2018
Oh the places you'll go with Tamsien from Babbling Books
Travel is the only thing that makes you richer and this week we’re joined by Tamsien West from Babbling Books, a reader with a wealth of adventures to share. We’re talking about journeys, journaling and the secret to Instagram success. Bon voyage!
1:10:12
January 2, 2018
That's a wrap on 2017
The year is coming to a close! This week, Caitlin and Michelle chat all about their fave books, movies, tv shows and other things they loved about 2017. A lot happened this year, and we're already busy planning the next one.
53:58
December 26, 2017
Uncomfortable conversations with Grace Latter
Sex, bodies, scars and recording the highs and lows of your life online. Nothing is off limits this week as Michelle and Caitlin are joined by the darling Grace Latter. Of course, we’re also talking books and blogging. Settle in with a coffee and meet your new girl crush.
1:16:00
December 19, 2017
A LoveOzYA Friendship: Minisode
During December, The YA Room is celebrating LoveOzYA during the whole month! We're thrilled to be involved, airing our first minisode. Discussing our favourite LoveOzYA friendships, glad for any excuse to talk about Aussie books and authors!
14:06
December 18, 2017
All we want for Christmas is books
It's the most wonderful time of the year.. This week, Michelle and Caitlin are chatting all about Christmas. Discussing their fave holiday movies, TV specials, music and books. Do you prefer Elf or The Grinch? Pop Christmas music or the classic carols? Join us and prepare for the festive season.
57:29
December 12, 2017
Write, write again with Margot McGovern
We all know if you get knocked down, you get back up again and it couldn't be more true in the publishing industry. This week, writing and blogging boss babe Margot McGovern explains the story and process behind getting her debut YA novel published. Get writing, people!
58:30
December 5, 2017
Must read book of the year with Tonile from My Cup and Chaucer
This week we get a sneak peek behind the scenes of our favourite book store and a taste of the publishing industry. We’re joined by Tonile Wortley from Hachette to talk about the books we don’t even know we want to read yet. Get those Christmas wishlists ready!
57:01
November 28, 2017
Keep calm and London, baby!
This week Michelle is telling us all (including Caitlin) about her trip to the UK! There is stories about adorable dogs, tea, Harry Potter, The Beatles and all that British goodness. Listen in and get ready to book your next holiday!
1:25:29
November 21, 2017
A Court of Best Friends with Indy from TapsLifeAndBooks
This week Caitlin and Michelle are joined by their IRL bestie, Indy of TapsLifeAndBooks! We're chatting about series versus stand alones, our fave series, booktube and sharing some friendship stories! If you're a Cassandra Clare or Sarah J. Maas fan you're in for a treat!
44:36
November 14, 2017
Double Trouble with Sarah and Emma from Bottled Books
Michelle and Caitlin are joined by a dynamic sister duo this week, Sarah and Emma from Bottled Books! They've just launched their bookish nail polish business (we can't wait for ours to arrive). We are all obsessed with musicals, nail polish and books so we hope you enjoy!
55:54
November 7, 2017
Newt Scamander Fan Club
Are you a Tina or Queenie? Do you prefer bowtruckles or nifflers? This week, it's all about the costumes, characters and creatures! We're talking all about magizoology after watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
59:44
October 31, 2017
Bronte is my bae with Lucy Powrie
Can you name a book from the first line? Are you more into classics or contemporary? Join Caitlin and Michelle as they chat to Lucy Powrie. She's a blogger, Youtuber and host of #UKYAchat at only 17! Get ready to be amazed and inspired by our first international guest!
50:17
October 24, 2017
All you need is love (books)
We don't have many vices, but books are our weakness. This week we talk all about our growing book collections (including our two little obsessions, can you guess what they are?). Pull up a book stack and join us!
1:11:29
October 17, 2017
Killing your darlings with Caroline Graham
We're obsessed with podcasts, social networks and the media in general. This week, Caitlin and Michelle talk to Bond University Lecturer Caroline Graham about the theory of creative writing and her experience working on a textbook and a novel!
1:04:53
October 10, 2017
Cause of death: crushed by books
Ah the never ending TBR list... This week the girls are talking about how they decide what to read and when, their Goodreads habits and how one day you'll find them crushed by piles of books.
1:01:35
October 3, 2017
Reading hope with Pip Harry
Books can save anyone if they're the right ones, and that's exactly what Caitlin and Michelle are discussing when they chat with Pip Harry about her beautiful, touching new novel Because of You.
59:31
September 28, 2017
Staying sexy and getting kinky in Brisbane
We couldn't keep the holiday joy to ourselves... so we're sharing it with all of you! In Brisbane we were all about staying sexy (and not getting murdered), bursting into song and being dangerous women with zero chill.
1:09:49
September 19, 2017
Nailing It with Amanda from The Bookish Manicurist
... Ready for it? The girls are talking Taylor Swift, holiday reads and girly movies. A perfect match for our chat with Amanda, The Bookish Manicurist. Along with an amazing blog and YouTube channel, this weeks guest has nails to envy!
58:57
September 10, 2017
Ravish me, Rafael
Blogging, booktubing, bookstagramming... what does it all mean?! Caitlin and Michelle sit down with a cuppa to discuss how writing about books online has changed their lives (and their bookshelves). It's time to hit publish!
1:00:44
September 5, 2017
Handmade love with Kate from Lillytales
There's no need to resort to dog-earing those pages (the horror!) with the sweet handmade bookmarks sold by Nook and Burrow, co-created by Lillytales blogger and booktuber Kate. Find out how Kate turned her hobby into a business and how scents are decided, plus the usual bookish banter. Because, we like talking.
1:06:23
August 29, 2017
Is the book better?
Is the book always better? Or are there times when the best way to tell a story is on the screen? Michelle and Caitlin chat film and television adaptations, popcorn at the ready.
52:07
August 22, 2017
Elementary, mate with Ellie Marney
Is self-publishing really elementary, my dear listeners? Ellie Marney, author of the award-winning Every series, an Aussie Sherlock Holmes retelling, joins Caitlin and Michelle to explain how she took the leap into self-publishing her brand spanking new spin-off No Limits. Have your deerstalker at the ready!
53:37
August 15, 2017
Gone Bush with Anna Daniels
Wide streets, wider skies and... fibreglass bulls? Rocky's own Anna Daniels joins Caitlin and Michelle as they talk about storytelling in regional areas, with a whole lot of love for their own hometown. Pack up the swags, it's time to hit the road.
1:11:09
August 10, 2017
Recognisable hair with Danielle Binks
Saddle up your kangaroo, take a bite of your Vegemite sandwich and grab a glass of Milo to join Caitlin and Michelle chatting to writing wonder woman Danielle Binks. The #LoveOzYA anthology editor talks sharing our culture and positive change in publishing. ‘Straya mate.
1:02:05
August 8, 2017
Is Molly short for Margret?
Turns out, Molly is a nickname for Margret. Join Caitlin and Michelle as they talk about some of their favourite childhood books and their difference reading experiences while growing up.
36:39
August 3, 2017
Getting hungry and finding your 'why' with Gabrielle Tozer
Are you ready to be inspired? Today Michelle and Caitlin chat to boss babe Gabrielle Tozer. She’s a journalist, copywriter, author, Bachie fanatic and lover of Hawaiian pizza. Gabrielle dishes the dirt on intern life and passes on some career wisdom as this week’s special guest. Gabrielle Tozer is the author of The Intern, Faking It, Remind Me How This Ends and Peas and Quiet (illustrated by Sue deGennaro). She was also published in Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology.
1:01:13
August 3, 2017
Departing from Platform 9 3/4
Welcome to Better Words! For our very first episode, we are departing from Platform 9 and 3/4 for a Harry Potter Party! Happy birthday to Harry and J.K. Rowling, let’s kick off our podcast!
45:16
August 3, 2017
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