Episode 9

Writing a book about grief that isn't sad with Lauren Draper

Lauren Draper is a Melbourne-based writer and marketing professional. She is a graduate of RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program and now works in children’s publishing—she loves nothing more than a story infused with magic, hijinks and a touch of nostalgia. The Museum of Broken Things, her debut novel, was acquired after it was shortlisted for the 2020 Text Prize. Her work has also been longlisted in the 2019 Richell Prize and has appeared in various non-fiction publications. She grew up in Western Australia, mostly on land but often in water. She now lives in Melbourne with a struggling coffee machine and moderately behaved golden retriever.

Our interview begins at  00:15:40

Caitlin recommends: Friends: a musical parody

Caitlin enjoyed this satirical musical romp through all 10 seasons of Friends.

Michelle recommends: a trio of podcasts

  • Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV
  • Bi People Pride Month special from Bad People
  • Redhanded: Episode 248 – R Kelly: The Pied Piper of R&B

In this interview, we chat about:

  • The medical artefact that inspired part of the storyline
  • Bringing Nana Blackwell to life even though she dies before the book begins
  • Exploring Reece's grief through the novel and dealing with grief in real life
  • The sibling relationships at the heart of the novel
  • Why Lauren wanted to "write a book about grief that wasn't sad"
  • Lauren's journey into working in publishing and getting her book deal

Books and other things mentioned:

  • Shameless podcast
  • Bi by Dr Julia Shaw
  • You're Wrong About (episodes on Toya Harding)
  • The Wellcome Collection in London
  • Recreating the book cover with a rescued chair for Instagram
  • Younger (TV series)

Follow Lauren on Instagram @laurendraperwrites

The Museum of Broken Things is out now! Thanks to Text Publishing for providing us with copies of the book to prepare 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.