Episode 10

Fancying your friend, writing with heart, and publishing prejudice with Matt Cain

Matt Cain is an author, broadcaster and former journalist. He was Channel 4’s first Culture Editor, Editor in Chief of Attitude magazine and currently a presenter for Virgin Radio Pride UK. He grew up in Bolton in England’s north and now lives in London. Today, we’re discussing his upcoming novel, One Love

Our interview begins at  28.00

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!

Caitlin recommends: You Could Be So Pretty by Holly Bourne*

Holly Bourne's latest YA novel takes the pressures of social media and society and notches it up in an intense dystopian exploration of feminism.

Thank you to Usborne Books for sending copies for review.

Michelle recommends: Weyward by Emilia Hart

A gripping and emotional story of three generations of women told through alternating timelines.

We don't often share interviews ahead of publication, but if you're in the UK and would like to pre-order a signed copy, you can do so through Gay's the Word or Gay Pride Shop.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Why One Love is a slight departure from Matt's previous two novels
  • Exploring class, straight-passing privilege and intersectionality through main characters Danny and Guy
  • Encouraging and allowing people to change their minds
  • Body image in the queer community
  • Crowdfunding Matt's novel The Madonna of Bolton and overcoming prejudice in publishing
  • Layton Williams, who recorded the audiobook for Albert Entwhistle, and Nikita on Strictly Come Dancing 2023 and breaking barriers for future generations

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow @mattcainwriter on Instagram

One Love is available from January 18, 2024. Thank you to Headline Publishing Group for providing us copies of the book in preparation for the interview.

Matt will also be publishing a short novel for Quick Reads in April for World Book Night.

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 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.