Episode 5

Public speaking clubs and the process of writing a novel with Katherine Collette

Katherine Collette is a novelist, podcaster and engineer living in Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Helpline, was published in the US, UK, Germany and Italy. Her second novel The Competition was published in February 2022. She also co-hosts the writing podcast The First Time.

Our interview begins at  00:12:20

P.S listen out for who next week's guest is!

Caitlin recommends: Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

An emotional and moving YA verse novel about cyberbullying and periods.

Michelle recommends: The No-Show by Beth O'Leary

A brilliant, fun and heartfelt contemporary novel about three women and the man who stood them up. (We've previously interviewed Beth, listen to that here)

In this interview, we chat about:

  • The joy (and curiosity) of Toastmasters and how this inspired the novel
  • Katherine's experience with the club and visiting the international Toastmasters conference
  • Wrangling the book's structure and choosing the perspectives to write from (there's a lot of killing your darlings here!)
  • Katherine's co-hosted podcast, The First Time
  • The mystery of publishing a book
  • The surprises of publishing for the second time
  • Katherine's work in engineering and the combination of working in both industries
  • How Katherine wrote her first book in between work and parenting

Books and other things mentioned:

Follow Katherine at @katherinecollettewriter and The First Time Podcast @thefirsttimepod

The Competition is available now. Thanks to Text Publishing for sending us copies of the book in preparation for this 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.