Episode 4

'Dumb bitch lit' and situationships with Genevieve Novak

Genevieve Novak is a writer from all over, but who now lives in Melbourne on Wurundjeri land. She writes romantic comedies, women’s fiction, and columns for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald that make men on Twitter very upset. Her first novel, No Hard Feelings, was released in 2021, and her second novel, Crushing, is out now.

Genevieve's corgi Victor also joins us and you'll hear him in a few places.

Our interview begins at  20:00

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: Janice Hallett's The Appeal and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels

Janice Hallett's mystery novels feel truly fresh and unique. They're always in the style of 'found documents', a collection of emails, texts, briefings and other documents.

Both are intriguing and totally gripping novels that you can get swept up in over the course of a few hours.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Why Genevieve calls her books 'dumb bitch lit' and why the main characters of both her novels make kinda infuriating decisions
  • How Marie's past relationships are represented in Crushing and how she needs to rebuild her sense of self outside these men
  • Genevieve's writing process and whether the character or plot comes first
  • The ugly reality of jealousy in friendships and between siblings
  • The overwhelm/strangeness of building modern relationships over text and apps
  • How we value ambition and career 'success' and how it's explored in the novel
  • Striking the right balance between observations, wit and humour in writing
  • Genevieve's journey to publication with her debut, No Hard Feelings

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow Genevieve @genevieve.nvk

Crushing is available now. Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for providing copies of the book in preparation for the interview.

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod

Please note that we choose podcast guests independently of Caitlin's job at HarperCollins Publishers. Although her job does help put us in touch with authors, we choose our guests based on what we've enjoyed reading and think you'd find interesting.

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 going to aerial classes.
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Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I write words and tell stories for a living as a journalist and marketer. So it makes sense that I'm devouring more words and talking about books in my spare time, right? I'm also an Aussie living in the UK. When I'm not thinking about words, I can be found cuddling my pug Percy, climbing or going on walks in the English countryside.