Episode 8

Ghostwriting, ego and art with Liam Pieper

Liam Pieper is an author and ABIA-winning ghostwriter. The first was a memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of the Year, shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award. His second was the Penguin Special Mistakes Were Made, a collection of funny true stories. He was co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Award, winner of the 2015 Geoff Dean Short Story Prize, the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague, and the 2018 National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellow for Australian Writing. His novels are The Toymaker, Sweetness and Light and Appreciation, which is the book we're chatting about today.

Our interview begins at  22.00

We've got a Substack publication now! On the last day of the month, we share recommendations for two things we reckon you should read/watch/listen to. The beauty of Substack is you can revisit all our old editions and comment on our episode updates to share your thoughts. Come say hi!

Mini book club: Grown Ups and My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes

Well, there's been a huge gap in our reading: we've not read much/any Marian Keyes. So we thought we'd tackle some recent releases. Caitlin discusses Grown Ups (the only MK Michelle has read) while Michelle chats about the brand new My Favourite Mistake. Our overall verdict: Marian Keyes undoubtedly has it, the knack for writing genuinely funny, compelling and yet emotional novels. And we can't wait to read more!

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Art as a commodity and the way this is explored in the book
  • The ideas and events in Liam's own life that culminated in Appreciation
  • Turning a critical eye on the publishing industry as part of Ollie's redemption arc
  • Inside the world of a ghostwriter
  • How Liam became a ghostwriter and his publishing journey

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow @liampieperwrites on Instagram

Appreciation is available in Australia now.

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod

About the Podcast

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Better Words

About your hosts

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Caitlin Toohey

Hi, I'm Caitlin! I've been on bookstagram since 2016, a podcaster since 2017, and worked in publishing since 2019. So books and reading are my entire life. When I'm not reading, I like listening to Taylor Swift, watching sitcoms, and generally being a theatre kid.
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Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I'm an Aussie living in the UK, working as a bookseller at Waterstones. I'm obsessed with storytelling in all its forms – I spend as much time watching TV or listening to podcasts as I do reading. Other hobbies include bouldering, hiking and generally obsessing about my pug Percy.