Episode 7

Adult work experience and lessons from a marathon with Michelle Upton

Michelle Upton writes short stories and novels examining our darkest fears and illuminating hope and possibility. Born in Birmingham, Michelle emigrated to Australia in 2006 and is proud to call herself Australian. Michelle has a Bachelor (Hons) degree in Literature with Psychology, and before having children, she was a primary school teacher. Her debut novel, Terms of Inheritance, was shortlisted for the HarperCollins Australia 2021 Banjo Prize. She lives in Brisbane with her family. Today, we're discussing her second novel, Emergency Exit Only.

Our interview begins at  22.00

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Mini book club: The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donohue

We loved this book so much. It's a character-driven contemporary novel about two best friends with a secret and the way one year influences their lives.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Life-changing experiences and finding a new career or passion as an adult
  • Pushing out of your comfort zone in the name of research
  • How Michelle went from primary school teacher to author
  • What running a marathon taught Michelle about writing

Books and other things mentioned:

  • Sentimental Garbage podcast
  • Chicago (film)
  • Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
  • Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen
  • Home Stretch by Graham Norton
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Follow @michelleuptontheauthor on Instagram

Emergency Exit Only is available now. Thank you to HarperCollins 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'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.