Episode 3

Dating advice, queer rom-coms and writing for an American audience with Sophie Gonzales

Sophie Gonzales is a young adult author who lives in Melbourne. When she isn’t writing, she can be found ice skating, performing in musical theatre, and practising the piano. Today we’re talking about her brand new contemporary novel, Perfect on Paper.

Our interview starts at 11 minutes. 

Michelle recommends: 

No Shame by Tom Allen

“A brilliant comedic memoir. Anyone who has felt socially awkward or out of place will find this very touching”

Caitlin recommends:


“If you haven’t watched it and you like superheroes and TV, give it a crack.”

In this interview, we talk about:

  • The dating advice that forms part of the Perfect on Paper plot (and Sophie’s own interest in relationships/dating advice as a teenager)
  • Biphobia and why Sophie wanted to explore this through Darcy’s character and dating journey
  • Why Sophie decided to pursue publication in the US first and why her novels have not been set in Australia including diversions on The Nutbush Dance (that every Aussie just knows),  Sophie’s research trip to the US and Aussie slang
  • Sophie’s love for musicals and her queer re-imagining of Grease in Only Mostly Devastated
  • The process of co-writing a novel, If This Gets Out, due out later this year including the weirdness of writing romantic scenes

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow Abigail on Instagram @sgonzalesauthor

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

Perfect on Paper is out NOW in Australia, the UK and the US. 

We both received copies of Perfect on Paper for review from Hachette. 

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'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.