Episode 4

Break-up revenge, queer friendships and anti-running propaganda with Laura Kay

Laura Kay is a writer and editor. She has an MA in American History from the University of Sheffield, and now lives in London with her wife and cat. In 2018, Laura was selected as one of the 10 PRH WriteNow mentees. She is based in London and The Split is her first novel.

Our interview starts at 20 minutes.

Mini book club: The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough

We both adored this funny and heartwarming queer Indigenous YA novel, set in a rural Australian community, about seventeen-year-old Jackson finding the courage to explore who he is, even if it scares him.

In this interview, we chat about:

  • Laura’s debut novel The Split and why she felt it was important to explore a nuanced relationship breakdown
  • Why Laura wanted to write about a close friendship between a queer woman and a queer man as the central relationship of the novel
  • The character of Ally’s dad and why Laura wanted to explore the relationship between a grown-up daughter and her father, especially when they’re thrown into living together again unexpectedly
  • The Sheffield setting of The Split (and no, Michelle did NOT plan to have so many midlands authors on the podcast)
  • Laura’s experience as a ‘reluctant runner’ and how this was incorporated into the book
  • The road to publication and how a Penguin mentoring program helped Laura get her publishing deal
  • How it’s felt publishing in a pandemic and what Laura will be doing to mark the official hardback release date

 

Books and other things mentioned

  • Memorial by Brian Washington
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
  • In at the Deep End by Kate Davies
  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
  • The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

 

Follow Laura on Instagram @lauraekay

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

The Split is out 18 March in the UK and 30 March in Australia.

Michelle received a PR copy of The Split from Quercus.

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Better Words
Better Words

About your hosts

Profile picture for Caitlin Toohey

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.
Profile picture for Michelle Gately

Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I write words and tell stories for a living as a journalist and marketer. So it makes sense that in my spare time I'm devouring more words and talking about books, right? I've been podcasting since 2017 and now also work in radio. When I'm not thinking about words, I can be found cuddling my pug Percy and dreaming about moving back to England.