Episode 9

Horror films, acting dynasties and the strange limbo of grief with Danielle Binks

Danielle Binks was one of the very first people to join us on Better Words, but we’ll be honest the sound quality is pretty bad so don’t try to listen! Anyway, our guest has supported the show from the very beginning and is one of the biggest champions of Australian literature for young adults and children. She is a literary agent and editor - the person who helped several of our previous guests secure their publishing deals. In 2017, she edited the first #LoveOzYA anthology of short stories. Her debut middle grade novel, The Year the Maps Changed was  a CBCA Notable Book for Younger Readers 2021 and shortlisted for multiple awards. Today, though, we are discussing her debut young adult novel The Monster of Her Age. 

Our interview starts at 14 minutes. 

Just a note before you begin, this episode does include discussions of abuse in the film and theatre industry as well as grief and loved ones dying. 

Michelle recommends

The Murder Box by Olivia Kiernan

A  gripping psychological thriller about a murder mystery game that's being played IRL. 

*Note: Michelle read a PR copy from Quercus. 

Caitlin recommends

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon

An innovative  and exciting YA where lives collide in a New York City blackout. 

*Note: Caitlin read a PR copy through her role at Harper Collins. 

In this interview, we chat about: 

  • Danielle’s impressive journey from blogger to #LoveOzYA champion, agent, editor and writer
  • How the Barrymore acting clan, old Hollywood and Danielle’s love of horror films inspired The Monster of Her Age
  • Why Danielle wanted to explore the exploitation of children stars through the lens of the horror genre
  • The beauty of Hobart and why it’s the setting for Monster of Her Age
  • The exploration of grief in the book and waiting for a loved one to die
  • Danielle’s journey from agent to publication and her top tips for writers looking to get published

Books and other things mentioned

  • Only Murders in the Building (TV series)
  • The Cleaner (TV series)
  • Floored  by Eleanor Wood, Holly Bourne, Lisa Williamson, Melinda Salisbury, Non Pratt, Sara Barnard and Tanya Byrne
  • Drew Barrymore Confirms Her Grandfather's Corpse Was Stolen for Final Party
  • Just the Gist on Shirley Temple and The Blaire Witch Project (podcast)
  • Judy (film)
  • Meat Market by Juno Dawson
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Conjuring (film)
  • The Exorcist (film)
  • Zodiac (film)
  • It Follows (film)
  • Pan’s Labrynth (film)
  • Devil’s Backbone (film)
  • The Woman in Black (film)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (TV series)
  • Red Dragon (film)
  • Scream (films)
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (film)
  • Bridgewater (podcast)
  • Radio Rental (podcast)
  • Noble Blood (podcast)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Pet Semetary (film)
  • It and It Chapter II (films)
  • Social Queue by Kay Kerr
  • Briar Rolfe (graphic novel coming soon)
  • The Boy From the Mish by Gary Lonesborough
  • Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde (podcast episode)
  • Are You There Budda? by Pip Harry
  • Edge of Thirteen by Nova Wheetman

Follow Danielle on Instagram @dbinks

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

The Monster of Her Age is available now!

Thank you to the team at Hachette Australia for sending us copies of The Monster of Her Age  in preparation for the interview. 

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.