My guest today is Dr. Hilary Levey Friedman, Brown University professor and author of the new book Here She Is: The Complicated Reign of the Beauty Pageant in America. I had a chance to read the book and was so eager to discuss it, in particular because of the ways in which public conceptions of beauty pageants overlap with public conceptions of romance. We talk about pageants, history, popular culture, and several surprising elements of … Continue reading 429. Here She Is: Discussing Beauty Pageants and History with Dr. Hilary Levey Friedman
Welcome to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books! Each Friday, I talk with authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians, or combinations thereof, and share the fun and mayhem with you. Frequent topics include romance fiction, the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers, along with a hefty side order of silliness. Plus, we always recommend some books we’re reading and really enjoying.
And speaking of recommendations, are you new to the podcast? Welcome!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, fear not: here are some of our most popular episodes – so far!
And here are our latest episodes so you can join in the fun!
Today Amanda and I are talking with Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet and host of the podcast “Lingthusiasm.” If you like listening to a really smart person with intricate knowledge of what’s going on beneath the mundane, this is an episode for you. We start by fangirling about Courtney Milan and creative use of language in some of her favorite novels, and then we talk about internet language. We also talk about how the … Continue reading 428. The Cheese Plate is a Technology: Because Internet with Gretchen McCulloch
We received an email from Megan, who wanted to know about the possibility of building a rating system for sex in books. TL;DR, we don’t think it’s entirely feasible given how subjective heat levels can be for different readers, but the idea gives us a lot to talk about. We also talk about Prime Day this week, my younger child’s bar mitzvah, which was last weekend, virtually, from our backyard, and different levels of friendship. … Continue reading 427. Mailboxes to Bonetown: Amanda and Sarah Talk Sex Ratings
Today my guest is Martha Wells, author of The Murderbot Diaries, one of my absolutely favorite discoveries this year. My inner thirteen year old barely kept it together as we spoke about Murderbot, romance and science fiction, and what she’s currently obsessed with like I’m obsessed with Murderbot. IMPORTANT NOTE: we take a deep dive into the plot of the four novellas and Network Effect, so if you haven’t read the series, this may spoil … Continue reading 426. All About Murderbot with Martha Wells
My guest this week is Natalie Zina Walschots and we are talking about her book, Hench, which you might have seen my review of – spoiler alert, I LOVED it. We talk about villainy, hench people, working for terrible people in real life and fantasy, humanizing collateral damage, and the utterly exhilarating catharsis of a satisfying revenge. … Music: purple-planet.com
Courtney Milan’s new book The Duke Who Didn’t is out this week, and you had questions! In this conversation, we talk about narrative structure, writing, the impact of conflict, finding joy in the process of creating, and managing the emotional ups and downs of the current hellscape. Special commentary from Pele, and thanks to Amanda, Claudia, Malia, Olivia, Shana, Catherine, Rhode, and Emily for their questions! … Music: purple-planet.com
Today I’m talking with Zoraida Córdova and Dhonielle Clayton, authors, podcasters, and conversational ebullience personified. Zoraida co-edited a new anthology Vampires Never Get Old, and Dhonielle and Zoraida both have stories inside – so we discuss all things vampire. We talk about all the things they’re working on – and there are a LOT of things – and are very honest about business, ambition, needing sleep, podcasting, accountability, and the prospective titles of our autobiographies. … Continue reading 423. Vampires and Spicy Blood with Zoraida Córdova and Dhonielle Clayton
Amanda’s back with your recommendations for romances psychic pining, plus discussions of making graham crackers, macaroni and cheese and soup. Yes, I will share recipes. Basically we intersperse talking about book recs and talking about food and recipes, with a side trip to psychics having sex. Then, remember episode 417 from early August with psychic Carol Cotrell? Amanda made an appointment with her and shares what her experience was like. We talk a little bit … Continue reading 422. More Psychic Pining and Real Psychic Conversations with Amanda!
Ms. Bev is back! Today my guest is the inestimable Beverly Jenkins, which is always a fun conversation. Recently she tweeted about reader letters and reader mail, and she was kind enough to pull some from her archives (of course she keeps all of them!) to read and share with us. There are some that are incredible, and some that are rather shocking. And some might make you a little sniffly, so get a tissue. … Continue reading 421. Love Will Get You Through: Reader Letters To Beverly Jenkins
Alyssa Cole is back on the podcast, this time to talk about the release of When No One is Watching, which is out on September 1. We also talk about her speech at the Chicago North Spring Fling, and hosting online events for Date Night with Loyalty Books. Plus, you’ll hear roosters. Lots of roosters. TW/CW: discussion of racist garbage people, and the awfulness of history for Indigenous and Black Americans. Music: purple-planet.com … Looking … Continue reading 420. When No One Is Watching, with Alyssa Cole
Today my guest is award-winning author Alexis Daria. We talk about a little of everything, including graphic design, art, typography, languages, writing, planning, journaling, and of course, her new book, You Had Me at Hola. We also discuss how writing contemporary romance is changing given, well, the contemporary landscape. … Music: www.purple-planet.com
Amanda and Sarah are back with reader recommendations! We start with Amanda’s current attempts to learn resin art and preservation, our cats, and then: get ready for psychic pining! Leanne is looking for romances with telepathic main couples. I have thoughts on different variations of this trope, on how romance has changed over the years, and, of course, we have a lot of suggestions. We have a LIST, but we want to hear your ideas, … Continue reading 418: Romance Recs with Amanda and Sarah: Psychic Pining!