Episode 1

Writing romance and escapist fiction with Laura Jane Williams

Laura Jane Williams is an incredibly talented storyteller who has written columns for numerous magazines, published two non-fiction books and has just celebrated the release of her second fiction novel. Her debut fiction Our Stop was a smash hit in the UK summer in 2019 and The Love Square is set to be just as popular, having been described as “clever, hilarious and a total unbridled joy to read".

We've refreshed the podcast format a tiny bit to include just one recommendation for each of us in the introduction. But if you want to skip straight to our interview, it starts at 13 minutes. 

Caitlin recommends

You Were Made for Me by Jenna Guillaume

“If Frankenstein was a Young Adult rom-com”

Michelle recommends

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Oseman

“This is like tea and scones and jam and cream British comfort, but with a slight edge which I love”

*Note: Michelle listened to the audiobook of this novel as part of the publicity tour for Penguin. 

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Why The Love Square is set in the Derbyshire countryside after Our Stop’s ‘love letter to London’
  • The influence of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Maddening Crowd
  • The human need for love and connection and the mistaken belief in romantic love ‘completing’ women
  • The experience of writing the first draft of another novel during UK lockdown
  • Making the transition from writing non-fiction
  • Digital detoxes and reconsidering how much of ourselves we share online
  • A tiny sneak peek at The Lucky Escape (coming 2021)

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow Laura on Instagram @laurajaneauthor.  The Love Square is available now in the UK and Australia. 

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

Please note that Caitlin's job at HarperCollins Publishers did not affect our decision to invite Laura to be a guest, we're delighted to have her and hope you enjoy this episode.

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.