On Better Words this week: Leanne Yong
The debut YA author talks Malaysian culture, gaming and how she became an escape room designer.
The podcast returns for Season 10 – this doesn’t mean we’re a decade old since we release two seasons a year, but we’re chuffed to reach double digits.
We feel like we’ve hit our stride in terms of choosing books to feature, structuring conversations and organising things behind the scenes, so we hope that combines to create an enjoyable and enlightening audio experience for you, too.
Our first guest is Leanne Yong, an Asian-Australian author of Singaporean and Malaysian heritage.
Her debut YA novel, Two Can Play That Game, is a delightful rom-com where two gamers are pitted against each other to secure exclusive tickets to an event with their favourite developers.
🎧 Listen to the episode at the link below or search ‘Better Words’ in your podcast player 🎧
Things we talked about
Leanne's love for gaming and why she didn't actually expect to write about it
Why Leanne 'aged down' protagonist Sam from graduating uni to post-high school to secure a book deal
Exploring cultural expectations, Malaysian food and supportive Asian parents
The real games that inspired the novel's games – and how to keep gaming scenes interesting for the reader
Leanne's journey to publication (including the many manuscripts she wrote along the way)
How Leanne became an escape room designer
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Before we chat with our featured author, we always share some other recommendations. This week, it was a recommendation from each of us.
Caitlin recommends: Jennette McCurdy at All About Women 2023
We wouldn't usually recommend an event that's passed, but for a limited time, you can rent the live stream of this conversation between Jennette McCurdy and our fave Rosie Waterland. Off the back of that, Caitlin recommends I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy and Rosie Waterland's two books, The Anti-Cool Girl and Every Lie I've Ever Told.
Michelle recommends: Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
This is a twisty thriller of the best kind, exploring the little moments that lead up to life-changing events. Perfect for non-thriller readers and guaranteed to keep you up past your bedtime.
- Caitlin & Michelle
🎧 Search ‘Better Words’ in your favourite podcast player to get new episodes as soon as they’re live. We’ll be back with another episode next Wednesday! 🎧