Episode 4

Asexual pride and publishing as a teenager with Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman is a formidable young writer.  Alice's first book was published when she was just 19. Now at 25, our guest has already published four celebrated novels and written and illustrated a much loved graphic novel series. Alice's latest novel, Loveless, is a celebration of friendship and coming out as asexual and aromantic.

Interview starts at 12 minutes.

Mini-book club: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Confession: We haven't read many graphic novels before! We love Heartstopper. It is the PERFECT queer love story.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Why we need more books that explore post-high school experiences in YA
  • The writing process for Loveless and why it was Alice’s most challenging novel yet
  • The pressure of success and how it affects the writing process
  • Alice’s experience on the aromantic and asexual spectrum and why she wanted to explore this in Loveless
  • Why Alice’s novels focus on the importance of friendship (and why we need more books about friendship)
  • A brief interlude about how Caitlin and Michelle met
  • How Alice got published while she was still a teenager (and the advice she would give her younger self)

Books & other things mentioned

  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins
  • Pumpkin Heads  by Rainbow Rowell (illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks)
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Follow Alice on Instagram @aliceoseman. Loveless is available now in Australia and the UK. Novella This Winter is published in paperback in the UK on October 15. 

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

Please note that Caitlin's job at HarperCollins Publishers did not affect our decision to invite Alice to be a guest, we're delighted to have her and hope you enjoy this episode.

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.