Episode 10

Arthurian legend meets queer YA romance with Lex Croucher

Lex Croucher grew up in Surrey, reading a lot of books and making friends with strangers on the internet, and now lives in London with an elderly cat. With a background in social media, Lex now writes historical-ish rom-coms for adults (Reputation, Infamous) and historical fantasy rom-coms for teenagers. We're discussing their debut YA novel, Gwen and Art Are Not in Love.

Our interview begins at  34:00

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: Fish Out of Water

We are going full spoilers with this book because we found it quite problematic and wanted to fully discuss our thoughts.

The blurb makes it sound like swimmer Finn may be questioning his sexuality, but the book takes a dark turn into emotional abuse and coercive control with no thorough questioning representation and a problematic ending.

*We read copies provided by Text Publishing for review.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • What is 'authentic historical fiction'? Why Gwen and Art is a blend of fantasy and history
  • The difference between writing Regency romance and Gwen and Art
  • Cover art to drool over – including a special edition proof with scratch-off gold foil heart
  • Why Lex sought comfort in reading and writing queer YA during London lockdowns
  • An overview of Trouble – which basically asks 'what if Maria in Sound of Music was coming to the house with nefarious intentions'
  • The beauty of 'unlikeable' protagonists
  • The madness of having two books released within months of each other
  • Lex's journey to publication (both non-fiction and fiction) and what it takes to make money as an author

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow @lexcanroar on Instagram

Gwen and Art Are Not in Love is available in Australia and the UK now. Trouble will be released in July.

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.