Episode 5

Chaotic comedy and the scam of striving for success with Eleanor Elliott Thomas

Eleanor Elliott Thomas worked for many years as a human rights lawyer before devoting herself full-time to writing. She lives in Melbourne with her partner, two kids, and three cats. Today, we're discussing her debut novel, The Opposite of Success.

Our interview begins at  00.17.00

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: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Finally, we've read one of the most hyped books of 2022, and we loved it. It follows Elizabeth Zott, a scientist who has to fight against the misogyny of 1960s society in her science career and personal life. This is an emotional and clever novel we both highly recommend (along with everyone else).

In this interview, we chat about:

  • How Eleanor settled on the one-day timeframe and dual POV
  • Review culture and how it feels to be on the other side of opinions about work
  • Eleanor's incredibly smooth publishing deal and adjusting expectations after publication
  • How to classify and compare The Opposite of Success in the bookstore
  • Switching to writing after working as a lawyer for 15 years

Books and other things mentioned:

  • Minnie Darke (listen to our interview)
  • Mad Men (TV series)
  • Fleabag (TV series)
  • Motherland (TV series)
  • A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
  • Barbie (film)
  • Strong Female Character by Fern Brady
  • Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason (listen to our interview)

Follow Eleanor and take a look at her Substack.

The Opposite of Success is available now. Thank you to Text Publishing for providing us with copies of the book in preparation for the interview.

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.