Episode 6

Authentic wish fulfilment and green flag romance with Claire Christian

Claire Christian tells stories: she is a writer, theatre maker and facilitator. She has three novels published with Text publishing. Beautiful Mess won the Text Prize in 2016. It’s Been A Pleasure, Noni Blake was released in 2020. She has had the great joy of directing Michelle Law’s smash hit comedy Single Asian Female since 2017. She is a proud member of the Mama’s Boys theatre collective whose hip-hop theatrical explosion Brothers Book Club premiered in 2022. Her Plays Lysa and the Freeborn Dames, Talking to Brick Walls, Hedonism’s Second Album and The Landmine is Me are available through Playlab. Today, we're discussing her third novel, West Side Honey.

Our interview begins at  26:00

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: Friendaholic by Elizabeth Day*

In this memoir meets conversation, Elizabeth Day explores what it means to be a good friend versus being good at friendships (no matter the cost). We both really enjoyed this and loved the way various friendships were explored in the book.

We read copies provided by Harper Collins Australia.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Subverting traditional romance tropes and creating realistic characters
  • Exploring self-love and self-acceptance in West Side Honey
  • How Claire's experiences online dating inspired conversations between characters in the novel (and the dating profiles)
  • How to write great sex scenes – and not get embarrassed when your editor reads them
  • The big changes Claire had to make to her first draft
  • Why Claire chose to explore some dark and deep feelings in what is otherwise a super uplifting book
  • Claire's journey into the arts and theatre world, before her publishing deal
  • Why Claire wanted to show a single mum with a great sex life in Cleo's story

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow Claire @claireandpearl on Instagram

West Side Honey is available now. Thank you to Text Publishing for providing us with copies in preparation for the interview.

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.