Episode 12

Sketch comedy and owning our mistakes with Hayli Thomson

Hayli Thomson lives in Sydney, Australia, and writes novels about candid characters for anybody who ever watched Jo March leap a fence and longed to be her best friend. Bizarrely, during her teen years, Hayli was afflicted with a 'headache' every third Monday in September, when she was left with no option but to stay home from school and watch her favourite female comedians collect Emmys live on the other side of the world. The Comedienne's Guide to Pride is her debut YA novel.

Our interview begins at  00:17:00

Caitlin recommends: Abbie Chats (pilot episode)

Michelle recommends: The Spy Who Dumped Me (film)

Joint recommendation: Just the Gist of the Salem Witch Trials

We also reminisce about the fact July marks FIVE YEARS since we started this podcast. We've been through multiple house/city/country moves, an engagement, various jobs, hosted three live interviews, interviewed dozens of incredible authors, read countless books, been on three international holidays, experienced the loss of a parent, and gone through three podcast hosts. PHEW!

Because we launched into that reflection with zero preparation we forgot to say a gigantic thank you for listening to and supporting us. Whether you've been with us from the start (omg sorry about the audio quality!) or you've just started listening (hi! welcome!) we love you and we are so grateful. Happy reading and we will be back in your feeds with something a teeny bit different soon! – Michelle & Caitlin x

We're also sharing a trailer this week for our pal Thalia who is launching the Wild Books podcast. It's going to fill the bookish void in your feed while we are on a break!

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Why Hayli set her book in Salem
  • Biphobia and why Hayli wanted to explore Taylor's journey to recognising her own wrongdoings within the novel
  • Hayli's dream trip to see Saturday Night Live filming live in New York
  • Hayli's journey to publication, including landing her book deal in the US first

Books and other things mentioned:

  • This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
  • The Crucible
  • Practical Magic (film)
  • Perfect on Paper and our interview with Sophie Gonzales
  • Bridesmaids (film)
  • Baby Mama (film)
  • Parks and Recreation (series)
  • Mock the Week (TV series)
  • Have I Got News for You (TV series)

Follow Hayli on Instagram @hayli.thomson

The Comedienne's Guide to Pride is available now in Australia and the US.

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 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.