Cover image of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read
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Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #198 in Books category

Arts
Books
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Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at SB-TB.com, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

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Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at SB-TB.com, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

iTunes Ratings

262 Ratings
Average Ratings
228
22
5
3
4

I ADORE this podcast!

By frilindsay - Sep 04 2019
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Listening to this podcast feels like hanging out with my smarter, sillier, better-humored older sisters and I adore it so much!! I have been a romance novel fan for as long as I can remember so this podcast is like coming home. Thank the pod god for it!

Amazing podcast!!

By twinhck - Apr 02 2018
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Such a thoughtful and amazing podcast!!

iTunes Ratings

262 Ratings
Average Ratings
228
22
5
3
4

I ADORE this podcast!

By frilindsay - Sep 04 2019
Read more
Listening to this podcast feels like hanging out with my smarter, sillier, better-humored older sisters and I adore it so much!! I have been a romance novel fan for as long as I can remember so this podcast is like coming home. Thank the pod god for it!

Amazing podcast!!

By twinhck - Apr 02 2018
Read more
Such a thoughtful and amazing podcast!!

Listen to:

Cover image of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read

Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at SB-TB.com, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

273. Sex Toys, Self Love, and Erotic Romance: A Very Bawdy Podcast with Thien-Kim Lam

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Grab your earbuds for this one. Nancy C suggested this interview in the comments to a recent episodes, and I’d been eager to set one up as well because, well, several reasons. Today I’m talking with Thien-Kim Lam, founder and owner of the Bawdy Bookworms subscription box service, which pairs erotic romance with sex toys and accessories. Thien-Kim recently attended a trade show all about sex toys in Vermont, and brought samples and new products to show me. So while we’re talking about sex positivity, toys, accessories, and general bawdiness, we also do some show and tell. Do not worry, I have pictures! You don’t want to miss the unicorn part. There are a number of unintentional puns, a lot of discussion of misinformation about sexuality and intimacy, and a lot of toys to talk about.

Nov 17 2017

1hr 29mins

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342. Stories are Everything: Learning about Narratology with Arkady Martine

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The suggestion for this guest came from EC Spurlock - thank you, thank you!

Today I’m speaking with Arkady Martine, also known as Dr. AnnaLinden Weller. As Arkady Martine, she’s a science fiction and fantasy writer, and as Dr. Weller, she’s a Byzantine scholar, a narratologist, and also a city planner. There was a tense moment where I almost scrapped the whole interview to ask about city planning, but no, we’re going to talk about narratology!

Arkady recently wrote an essay on Tor.com that introduced me to narratology as a field, and I emailed to ask if she’d be willing to talk more about the subject on a podcast. So if you haven’t heard of narratology - which, essentially, is the study of how a story works - buckle up because it’s nerdy deep dive time. I brought enough snacks for everyone.

We talk about:

Terminology used by narratologists, and how it differs from terms readers use.

How cognitive narratology explores a very cool question: “How does the brain respond to experiencing narratives?”

The rules of world building and the meaning of “story world.”

The multiple meanings of the term “News Stories” and the powerful impossibility of getting someone to change the way they understand the world.

And of course we talk about what she’s reading - and her upcoming science fiction novel, A Memory Called Empire.

Key concept from this episode? Everything is a narrative. Everything is a story - and we can learn a lot from understanding why and how a story works.

Mar 15 2019

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375. Beautiful Friendships: Live at One More Page Books with Christina Lauren

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[bookaside slug="twice-in-a-blue-moon"] From the DC stop on their book tour to promote Twice in a Blue Moon, I’m in conversation with Christina Lauren at One More Page Books in Alexandria, VA! I recorded this on 23 October in front of a live and most excellent audience, and I had questions both from my brain and from the community on SBTB, too. We talk about their newest book, the themes therein (no spoilers, I promise!) and about writing, productivity, travel hacks, caring for their creative selves, and their professional and personal friendship.

Thanks to Kristin Dwyer of LeoPR, and Amber, Patricia, Rebecca and Anna from One More Page Books.

And thanks to Margaret, Hannah, Elle, Soni Wolf, Nicolette, Nan de Plume, Zoe and Kareni for the questions!

Nov 01 2019

1hr 11mins

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313. Tracking Changes: An Interview with Bowling Green Browne Pop Culture Library Archivist Steve Ammidown

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In this episode, I’m chatting with Steve Ammidown, who is the Manuscripts and Outreach Archivist at the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green.

We talk about what Steve’s job means, what he does, and what the Browne Popular Culture Library has within its collection. Board games, liquor decanters, promotional items, pogs, pins, cookbooks, marketing ephemera, books, and many, many other cool things live in the Pop Culture Library. We discuss some of the most interesting parts of the collection (Fanzines? Yup) and the parts he’s developing currently.

March 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the library, so they’re also looking at what more they can do in the future, including focusing on their romance collection, which is hella substantial. (That’s an official library term, btw.)

We also discuss the challenges of being an archivist in a digital age, and how the idea of a manuscript collection is changing with all the changes in the way in which we write. We also talk about the library’s RWA collection, their category romance collection, their manuscript and papers archive from about 45 different romance writers, and, obviously, their romance genre collection as well. Plus, Steve tells us about romances he’s reading, and his impressions of the genre as someone who discovered it as an adult.

In one of the library’s recent tweets, Steve quoted Elizabeth Designer, who said, “It is a feminist act to preserve stuff that women have done and written.” I entirely agree, and would love to visit this library someday. So let’s take a road trip, shall we?

Aug 24 2018

1hr 11mins

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281. Alyssa Cole and Alisha Rai: Romance and the Resistance from Politics and Prose

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Hooray! Thanks to Politics and Prose on the Wharf, I have the audio of the November 29, 2017, panel with Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole. We talk about their favorite scenes in one another’s books, and which character is an homage to Alisha’s dating life (heads up for the Alisha Rai Dating Story Fans, we have a great one in here). We also discuss joy, romance, and the ambition of happiness as elements of resistance, how to persevere with happiness when things around you are bleak, and what happens when you Google “sexy grilled cheese sandwiches.”

Jan 12 2018

1hr 13mins

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364. Love, Romance, and Beautiful Friendships: Melody and Erin from Heaving Bosoms Podcast

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Today I’m chatting with Erin and Melody from the Heaving Bosoms Podcast and it is so much fun. There is so much laughing.

Does the dog bark? Yes.

Are they each other’s biggest fans? Absolutely.

Is this delightful? Totally.

Don’t miss the part where they reveal the secret ingredient to everything.

TW/CW: at about 35 minutes in, there's a discussion of old skool romances, and in particular a Johanna Lindsey viking romance with some on-page assault.

Aug 16 2019

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354. Six Books Amanda’s Excited About, and Other Stories from BEA 2019

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Amanda was at Book Expo America 2019, and she has books to recommend, titles to squee about, and a definite predilection for candles and reading cover blurbs, too.

We talk about her impressions of this year’s BEA, who it’s for, and how it’s changed over her time working in various parts of publishing. We also talk about how much Amanda likes reading blurbs on the covers of new books.

We talk about so many upcoming releases that aren’t available yet, so we’re very sorry in advance. Key terms to listen for: “claustrophobic thriller” and “snakes are having a moment.”

Plus we talk about what Amanda’s reading right now.

CW/TW: Amanda tells some stories about wrangling snakes in her childhood - so if you’re not on board with snake discussion, heads up at 39 minutes in, when Amanda mentions snake stores, you might want to skip ahead about a minute total.

So, what about you? Would you want to attend BEA? Do you like meetings? Do you read blurbs from other writers on the covers of books? I'm curious!

Jun 06 2019

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248. Our Live Show at RT Part I: Robin Bradford and Janna MacGregor

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It’s our live show, recorded Friday, May 5, 2017, at the Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in Atlanta! We had wine, snacks, and a room full of somewhat tired and entirely awesome podcast fans, and I’m so excited to share the audio with you! We start with a conversation with Robin Bradford, known on Twitter as @Tuphlos, and we talk about trends we hear about and trends she witnesses as a librarian. We also discuss types of swag, compose our perfect catnip book, and take recommendation requests. Then I introduce a friend of mine, Janna McGregor, the debut author of The Bad Luck Bride, which came out the Tuesday of RT, May 2. Funny enough, when she came up for a quick Q&A, one of the readers in the audience had already read her book and recommended it to everyone.

May 26 2017

50mins

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332. The Bitches Look Ahead to 2019

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Happy New Year!

Sarah, Amanda, Elyse, RedHeadedGirl, and Carrie gather for the second part of our end of year episodes: looking ahead to 2019! We talk about what we want to see in our reading, and what we are looking forward to most: books, comics, tv shows, and more. Among the things we mention in our wishlist: catharsis, humor, hopefulness, smuggling, glorious sci fi romance, alpha women, and warriors.

Then we talk about what books we are most excited about in 2019 - prepare for a LOT of book mentions and the possibility of more titles added to your TBR. We’re sorry...sort of. Don’t worry - all the books will be in the show notes.

What about you? What books are you looking forward to most? What’s on your wishlist?

Jan 04 2019

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271. Dating as a Romance Author: A Conversation with Alisha Rai

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In this episode, I sit down for cake and podcasting with Alisha Rai. In a prior interview in episode 229, we talked a lot about dating and romance - both the concept and the genre. In this episode, we take a deeper look at dating as a romance author. We discuss seducing men with dad jokes, and why so many guys are into telling you they’re kinky in their third or fourth text. We also cover the identification of romance heroes and villains in real life people, the upside and downside of being a romance writer in the dating world, and they were is really, truly, no such thing as “leagues.” Plus, Alisha shares a truly lovely story of a good date.

So many listeners contacted me to let me know how much they enjoyed hearing Alisha talk about the intricacies of modern dating from the point of view of someone who is fluent in the romance genre. I’m so pleased to bring you a follow up interview!

Trigger warning: mention of Trump and his comments on sexual assault at 36:45.

Nov 03 2017

1hr 18mins

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285. Labyrinth, Girl Scout Cookies, and Good Book Noise: An Interview with S. Jae-Jones

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Amanda and I interview S. Jae-Jones, also known as JJ, about pretty much everything. Ready to learn? JJ was kind enough to answer all our nosy questions and our conversation was a LOT of fun. We cover a bunch of topics, including:

How being an editorial assistant prepared her for a career as an author - and what secret knowledge (not really secret) she shares with fellow writers.

How Labyrinth, Phantom of the Opera, the myth of Hades and Persephone, The Magic Flute, fanfic communities, and fandom terms influence her writing.

How she navigates the issue of sexxytimes in YA with her own writing.

And, in a key portion of this interview, we discuss the parameters of identifying Which Girl Scout Cookie Are You? Spoiler alert: Amanda has very strong opinions about peanut butter, Girl Scout cookies, and oatmeal.

JJ also discusses bi-polar characters, writing mental illness, writing with mental illness, making Cho Chang the heroine of a magical world, and how head canons help her with feelings of isolation.

This interview goes everywhere, and sometimes the audio is a little muddy, for which I apologize. But fear not! We have an extra-strength collection of recommendations from JJ, complete with Good Book Noise®, creepy stories, and books that are hard to describe but should be required reading. Heads up: she likes to read books specifically looking for the romances, so this is a tasty recommendation list indeed.

Feb 09 2018

1hr 25mins

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233. Nerdy Deep Dives and Adaptations for Reading with Learning Disabilities

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Sarah chats with a romance fan named Elizabeth who is a self described avid reader with several learning disabilities. We starting by talking about podcasts because that’s not meta at all, and talk a little about taking deep nerdy dives into things you love, and about meeting internet friends in real life. Then Elizabeth talks about her experience with several learning disabilities, including dyslexia and dysgraphia. We talk about how reading dialogue can be tricky when the characters’ conversation is written in dialect, how different brains read, what accommodations were made for her in high school, and how she has adapted technology for reading and enjoying romances.

Feb 10 2017

1hr 2mins

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304. “You Have a Type and it Might be Mullets” – Sarah, Amanda, and Elyse are VERY Silly About Books and Villainy

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like when we hang out in a room together, well, this episode is for you. And if you need a lot of silly laughter, this is definitely the episode for you.

While we were at Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in May, we recorded two podcasts, which I should not ever do again because it makes the editing quite a challenge. This is Part one, which is Incredibly Silly.

We recorded after dinner one night, s o we’re Sleepy and Goofy (and perhaps also Doc and Dopey - I’m definitely Dopey). We talk about books we are interested in or have seen at RT, and then we get really silly. Our discussion includes:

1. Why does Amanda have a weakness for Val Kilmer?

2. How does Amanda rank the Hemsworths in order of physical density?

3. How does Amanda rank the Real Housewives franchises in terms of quality?

4. How bad of a style icon was Anita Blake?

5. How many Alfreds were there in the Batman film franchise?

6. What fanfics are Elyse and Amanda’s favorite?

7. Which Backstreet Boy was Amanda and Elyse’s favorite?

8. Can Amanda and Elyse find a villain hero that interests me? (Spoiler alert: nope).

This is what happens when Sarah, Amanda, and Elyse get really silly, and stop making sense. And given that this has been A Rough Week, we hope you enjoy our completely bubbly, goofy, discussion.

Jun 22 2018

1hr 13mins

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258. Mindfulness, Meditation, and Writing: An Interview with Eva Leigh and Nico Rosso

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At RWA in Orlando, I did a series of interviews, and I’m so excited to share them. In this episode, I talk with Zoe Archer aka Eva Leigh and Nico Rosso about mindfulness. They did a workshop at RWA about mindfulness and writing, and I wanted to ask about the connections between them.

We start with a gift of a scarf I found that looks like it’s patterned with a feminine napkin - with wings. It’s ghastly, and because we’ve traded pictures of unintentional yoni on clothing and purses, it had to belong to her.

Then we talk about their mindfulness workshop. They explain the way they employ mindfulness, what it means for them, how to define and explain it, and how it relates to their jobs as writers. We also talk about managing anxiety and depression, so please be aware that we do talk about managing symptoms of mental illness and the reaction to triggers, but not the triggers themselves specifically. We also talk about self-compassion and developing the habit of being kind to yourself, writing habits, and the way one's writing process can change.

Aug 04 2017

1hr 2mins

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322. Breaking Up with Damaging Conventions in Romance: A Conversation with Kate Cuthbert

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Today I’m chatting with Kate Cuthbert. Until very recently, Kate was the Managing Editor of Escape Publishing, Harlequin Australia. This was recorded while she still worked in that position. She’s recently accepted a new position as the Program Manager at Writers Victoria, the Victoria Australia state-wide professional organization for writers. Congrats!

Kate recently gave a keynote speech at Romance Writers of Australia that received a lot of attention after it was posted online. She addressed the tropes that are damaging, toxic, and regressive, and explained that maybe it’s time we broke up with them.

I read her speech online, but because speeches are meant to be heard, I asked her if she’d both talk about the development of her speech, and read it again for you all.

It’s very thought provoking and affectionate while being critical and I think attentive to what the genre says to readers. She talks about dubious consent, making deliberate choices about writing, and what our defaults in tropes, character type, and cliche really mean, or actually say beneath the familiarity.

We also talk about hot fox characters (because reasons), and of course she recommends a book that’s been passed around the office to everyone who’s had a rough day. Stay tuned for that, for sure.

Oct 26 2018

1hr 6mins

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312. Unruly Women, Camouflaging Misogyny, and Controlling Our Narratives: An Interview with Anne Helen Petersen

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The paperback edition of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women came out on August 7th, and I had the opportunity to ask author Anne Helen Peterson about the book, and about her work on celebrity, the narrative of image, and how women are seizing control of their own stories.

Her book is about unruly women who disrupt the world around them in unique and powerful ways, and our conversation is about how women continue to disrupt. We talk about political unruliness, celebrity unruliness, and the way young women are challenging the questions they are asked and refusing to tolerate behavior they don’t like is inspiring to us.

We also discuss the labor of constantly reframing the narratives around us to highlight the misogyny and sexism that inform them. Anne Helen says some truly incredible and thought provoking things about hiding and cloaking the ideology of misogyny - definitely the highlight of the interview for me. We also touch on what she’s working on now, including political coverage of the midterm elections from her base in Montana, and her interest in writing about country music.

Aug 17 2018

58mins

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253. Roam If You Want To: An Interview with Sara Ramsey

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A little bit ago, I interviewed world traveling author Sara Ramsey. She’s been traveling the globe while writing and living in different locations. We talk about her stay in Ubud, Indonesia, and in London, where she was at the time of this recording. She discusses her own experience and how she researched and planned for a location-independent digital life. We talk about experiencing a place intimately and as authentically as possible, and how travel changes the traveler and the place where you are. She also shares advice and recommendations, and of course, what she’s been reading.

Jun 30 2017

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318. Sharp Academics and Paranormal Romance: An Interview with Kelly Baker, PhD, and Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD

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Today I’m talking with two nifty academics, so get ready to maybe take notes. I’m talking with Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, sociology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Kelly Baker, PhD, who studies racist politics, sexism in the academy, white supremacy, and zombies.

Both are writers, and both are major fans of paranormal romance. They snuck paranormal romances to read during grad school, they hid their love of romances, and dealt with being shunned and shamed for loving the genre.

We talk about how reading fills in gaps in knowledge about culture and history, and we also discuss: 

- How romance and genre fiction broadened their understanding of worlds outside their own

- Their take on anyone who can or tries to remove the politics from anything - including historical romance

- The idea that history can somehow not be political (?!)

- The ways that romance, specifically fantasy and paranormal romance, interrogates race, society, gender, and colonialism - and the ways that it does not

- The politics of escape fantasy in different romance genres

- The politics of who is permitted to get angry in a written world

Plus we take a hilarious deep critical dive into Dr. Cottom’s love of Hallmark movies - and how they are talked about as “unpolitical” as well. She talks, after some prodding, about how she reads Hallmark films. Here’s a hint: they’re alarmingly similar to a very specific romance genre, and it’s not contemporary. Get ready to have your mind blown and also laugh a lot, too.

Sep 28 2018

1hr 9mins

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367. The Vagina Bible, Shoes, and Other Essentials: A Conversation with Dr. Jen Gunter

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Today I’m chatting with Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible, and host of the new CBC show Jensplaining. Yes, it’s a Canadian show, and yes, I’m jealous. 

We talk about debunking junk science, and how pervasive bad information is about vaginas and vulvas. We talk about vagina pain, caring for trans patients, and sources for good information. And we take a long detour through shoes, because obviously. Priorities.

Key point from this episode: “Misinformation and disinformation about your body is the opposite of feminism.”

TW/ CW:
At about 12:00 there is mention of child death.

And at about 27:00 there's a detailed discussion of fat shaming , mental health shaming, and junk science messaging in Marianne Williamson’s books.

Sep 06 2019

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255. Finding Community in the Things You Love: Elyse Interviews Super Karen from the Knit One, Geek Two Podcast

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Elyse and Sarah interview Super Karen, librarian, knitter, romance reader, and co-host of the Knit One, Geek Two Podcast. We talk about childhood fandoms, and the fandoms we love currently, like geek culture, knitting, and romance. We discuss gate keeping, internal snobbery, and the welcoming joy of finding people who love what you love, and are eager to talk with you about it. We also talk about Rhinebeck, and there’s some mild geeking out about knitting, knitting things that are geeky, and geeky knitting. Plus, we learn what Rhinebeck sweaters and cosplay might have in common.

Jul 14 2017

1hr 2mins

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381. Our Favorite Books of the Year, Part One: Lara, Tara, Carrie S and Charlotte

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In the next few episodes, you’ll hear from the SBTB reviewing team as we talk about our favorite books of the year. Lara joins us from South Africa to tell us about the books, fiction and nonfiction, that she read this year that made her feel good about herself. Tara joins us from Calgary, Canada, to talk about romances she read that changed her perspective - and taught her some history of lesbian pulp fiction. Carrie S. revisits zombie horror she adored and books that helped her get out of bed to fight the good fight, and Charlotte talks about revisiting her reading over the past year and how many books she loved.

I hope you enjoy this reading recap, and that you share with us your favorite books that you read in the past year, too!

Right now, for a limited time, you can get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month. That’s more than half off the regular price. Choose 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals absolutely free. Visit audible.com/TRASHYBOOKS or text TRASHYBOOKS to 500-500.

Dec 13 2019

1hr 4mins

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380. Tropes and Good Books are Eternal: A Snortlaugh with Angela James

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Today my guest is Editor and Digital Grandmaster Angela James. Angie and I have known each other for a long honking time - over 14 years, we think. So in between snort laughing and talking about friendship, we talk about her new editorial venture and business following the elimination of her position at Carina Press. If you’re curious about editing and how that process works, get ready to learn all the things.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Dec 06 2019

1hr 12mins

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379. Dystopian Futures, Burnout, and More with Alyssa Cole

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If you’re queuing up podcasts for travel journeys, I hope you’ll add this one, as it’s immediately one of my favorites. Alyssa Cole and I start off talking about her Audible Original, The AI Who Loved Me, which releases December 3, 2019, and the many things she put in her imaginary near future that are now coming true. We also talk a lot about burnout, the costs of working too much, gentrification, her upcoming action-thriller-romantic-comedy, and overcoming hesitation to promote your own work. There are some thoughtful, weighty topics in this episode, but we also laugh so much, and I hope this conversation is as uplifting and inspiring for you as it was for me.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Nov 29 2019

1hr 13mins

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378. Owning Your Anger and Being Yourself: Live from East City Books with Andie J. Christopher

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Recorded on a cold, cold evening on 13 November 2019, live from East City Books: my conversation with Andie J. Christopher about Not the Girl You Marry. We talk about the book (obviously - but I promise no spoilers) and about gender-updates of familiar stories and tropes. We discuss what exactly should happen to the term, “unlikeable heroine,” and what stories we want to read. How many times will we mention Chris Evans? Take a guess! And, if you’re interested, you can take a drink with every mention.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Nov 22 2019

1hr 5mins

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377. Finding the Story: A Conversation with Kennedy Ryan

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Recorded during release week for The Kingmaker, her latest book, we are going behind the scenes with Kennedy Ryan to talk about the development of the cover art for her All the King’s Men duology, and the work the image does to represent the books inside. Ryan is also a journalist - since she was 17! - and we talk about how her experience with conducting interviews has influenced her research and her writing process. And of course, we talk about her latest books, which are releasing back to back.

TW/CW: Mention of domestic violence, and the Ray Rice video, at 14:54-15:20.

...

Special note: Use coupon code "TRASHYBOOKS" for $10 off your first box at www.fabfitfun.com!

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Nov 15 2019

1hr

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376. A Conspiracy of Deadline Cakes: Live at Loyalty Books with Sherry Thomas!

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[bookaside slug="the-art-of-theft"]Two live recordings, back to back! This week, I’m in conversation with Sherry Thomas, author of the Charlotte Holmes series. I recorded this on Friday, 25 October, 2019, at the Loyalty Bookstore in Washington DC. As usual, I had questions from my nosy brain and from the SBTB community - and in the middle we have crashing cups, a spontaneous reading from the author, and a special additional guest: audiobook narrator Kate Reading came to the event to meet Sherry, and the poor woman sat next to me so I asked her a question, too.

Thank you to Hannah and Diana from Loyalty Bookstore, to Tara O’Connor from Penguin RandomHouse, and to Jazzlet, Sarah Drew, Shari, Anonymous, and Aarya for questions!

My favorite parts:

07:26-07:52 - What seeing her books in print is like for Sherry

50:41-50:56 - What we admire about Mrs. Watson

51:27-51:56 - What Mrs. Watson learns about herself in this book

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

You can subscribe to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you catch your favorite shows!

Nov 08 2019

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375. Beautiful Friendships: Live at One More Page Books with Christina Lauren

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[bookaside slug="twice-in-a-blue-moon"] From the DC stop on their book tour to promote Twice in a Blue Moon, I’m in conversation with Christina Lauren at One More Page Books in Alexandria, VA! I recorded this on 23 October in front of a live and most excellent audience, and I had questions both from my brain and from the community on SBTB, too. We talk about their newest book, the themes therein (no spoilers, I promise!) and about writing, productivity, travel hacks, caring for their creative selves, and their professional and personal friendship.

Thanks to Kristin Dwyer of LeoPR, and Amber, Patricia, Rebecca and Anna from One More Page Books.

And thanks to Margaret, Hannah, Elle, Soni Wolf, Nicolette, Nan de Plume, Zoe and Kareni for the questions!

Nov 01 2019

1hr 11mins

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374. Artisanal Podcasting Under the Big Gay Umbrella: A Conversation with Jeff Adams and Will Knauss

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Today I’m chatting with Jeff Adams and Will Knauss from the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, and the Big Gay Author Podcast.

We talk about, big surprise, podcasting, about writing, and then we celebrate together that we were both featured in Oprah Magazine online in an article, "21 of the Best Book Podcasts to Listen to When You're Not Reading," written by McKenzie Jean-Philippe.

Special thanks to Melonie Johnson for sharing her recording setup with me so I could create my own.

And, big news! Smart Podcast Trashy Books is part of the Frolic Podcast Network, a collection of some of the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining podcasts  - including The Big Gay Fiction Podcast, too! You can find more outstanding podcasts to subscribe to at Frolic.media/podcasts!

Oct 25 2019

57mins

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373. Being Purveyors of Hope: Diversity, Education, Inclusion, and Romance with Consultant Sunny Lee-Goodman

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This week my guest is DEI Consultant and Romance Fan Sunny Lee-Goodman. You might recall her name from my recent conversation with Dowager RWA President HelenKay Dimon. Sunny is the DEI - Diversity, Education, and Inclusion Consultant working with RWA, and her experience in this field is incredible. In our conversation we talk about tolerance, owning the possibility that you might be wrong, and how to be aware of your own point of view. I ask a lot of questions about the nature of her work, and how individuals and companies can evolve and expand to be more inclusive. Then we talk a whole lot about romance and romance recommendations.

Special appearance from Wilbur, who wanted to add his own vocal stylings to the episode.

Oct 18 2019

1hr 9mins

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372. Hanging Out in the Ws with Sarah and JN Welsh

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[bookaside slug="in-tune"] I have sat next to author JN Welsh at book signings - Ws! It’s where the A/C is! - and we’ve had the best conversations. I thought you might like to listen in!

What do we talk about in this episode?

Attending DJ school and how her love of music found its way into her writing
Her work as an adjunct professor of American Sign Language
The importance of showing, not telling, in every aspect
When did our feelings about phone calls change so much?
Plus Jen has advice on meditating and caring for yourself, every part of yourself.

Find JN Welsh at her website, JNWelsh.com!

Oct 11 2019

1hr 6mins

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371. Amanda and AJ Have Major Book Hangover from Gideon the Ninth

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I’m chatting today with Amanda and AJ. AJ is one of our new reviewers, and AJ and Amanda both are obsessed with Gideon the Ninth. They both have book hangover. There might be Halloween costumes in the planning stages inspired by this book. They are dying to talk about someone with it. So, we connected and recorded their conversation, and tried to answer a lot of questions. What genre is this book? Who were their favorite characters? Why did it give them both some epic levels of book hangover?

What’s Gideon the Ninth? It came out September 10, it hit the NYT, and the tagline was “lesbian necromancers in space.” Folks who read it seem to be obsessed.

Here’s the cover copy:

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

WARNING: we spoil the heck out of Gideon the Ninth, FEED, Harry Potter, and, in a moment of great scandal, talk about where we bailed on the Potter series.

Oct 04 2019

1hr 11mins

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370. RWA, The RITAs, and the Future: A Conversation with Dowager RWA President HelenKay Dimon

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Today I’m chatting with RWA Past President HelenKay Dimon, whose term as president ended on 31 August 2019. We talk about the past year in RWA, the RITAs and the continued evolution of the contest, and the binary of “fix it” or “burn it all down.”

We also talk about the changes in this year’s RITA contest, and the board’s work on earning trust, fixing many things, and rethinking everything. We also talk about her career as a romantic suspense writer, and all the different flavors contained in that sub-genre. And we attempt to predict the future of romance fiction, and making the umbrella wider.

Sep 27 2019

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369. It Never Stops Being Magical: History, Books, and Romance with Olivia Waite

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[bookaside="the-ladys-guide-to-celestial-mechanics"] Today I’m chatting with Olivia Waite about everything. We talk about being romance nerds, lost historical details, the hidden arts of embroidery and sewing, textile porn romances, and making a home. We squee about tv shows we love, books we adore, and we talk about what she’s working on now, both in her column at Seattle Review of Books and in her romance fiction.

Do we take a side trip to Finnish declensions? Sure, why not? 

Special Note! Use coupon code " TRASHYBOOKS " for $10 off your first box at www.fabfitfun.com!

Sep 20 2019

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368. Writing, Worrying, and Being in Carol Danvers’ Head: A Conversation with Liza Palmer

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Today I’m talking with Liza Palmer about the re-release of her first book, Conversations with the Fat Girl, and her newest novel, The Nobodies. We talk about writing, 4am anxiety, and writing Carol Danvers for the YA novels - and reading the script for the movie early (OMG).

Our conversation and her new book, The Nobodies, is a little bit about being uncomfortable and learning new skills: if you’re doing it right, as you level up it gets harder, not easier.

We talk about failing, and about feeling lost, in terms that might sound like depression or remind you of it, so if that’s something that’s not ideal for you right now, it’s okay to skip ahead to the next episode on your playlist.

The Nobodies is on sale now as of 10 September, so if you’re curious, you can get yourself a copy.

Sep 13 2019

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367. The Vagina Bible, Shoes, and Other Essentials: A Conversation with Dr. Jen Gunter

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Today I’m chatting with Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible, and host of the new CBC show Jensplaining. Yes, it’s a Canadian show, and yes, I’m jealous. 

We talk about debunking junk science, and how pervasive bad information is about vaginas and vulvas. We talk about vagina pain, caring for trans patients, and sources for good information. And we take a long detour through shoes, because obviously. Priorities.

Key point from this episode: “Misinformation and disinformation about your body is the opposite of feminism.”

TW/ CW:
At about 12:00 there is mention of child death.

And at about 27:00 there's a detailed discussion of fat shaming , mental health shaming, and junk science messaging in Marianne Williamson’s books.

Sep 06 2019

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366. Amanda and The Blacksmith Queen

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[book aside="the-blacksmith-queen"] If you like when we hang out and chat about books and everything else, this episode is for you. We talk about our cats waking us up, and Amanda GEEKS OUT about The Blacksmith Queen by GA Aiken.

We talk about video games we want, what books we’re excited about in September, and how I organize my reading because I’m nerdy about workflow. At about 50 minutes in, heads up: we take a side detour into talking about death, mortuary practice, cemeteries, and funerals, too. But mostly: squee. HOLY COW squee.

Special note: Use coupon code "TRASHYBOOKS" for $10 off your first box at www.fabfitfun.com!

Aug 30 2019

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365. Sunrise, Sunset, and Behind the Scenes in Publishing: Hanging out with Abby Zidle

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Abby Zidle and I had a candid chat at RWA in July, and we talked about everything. Abby is Associate Director of Marketing for Gallery Books, and is also a Senior Editor, as she worked in editorial for many many years. We talk about what’s changing in publishing and what’s changed over her career - from the process of writing and selling a book to the places you find that book in a store, or not.

What’s up with mass market? Trade? What does she love most about working in romance publishing. We are taking a 35,000-foot view here, and there’s a lot to discuss.

My favorite moment: “Your books and your life are so intertwined.”

Aug 23 2019

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364. Love, Romance, and Beautiful Friendships: Melody and Erin from Heaving Bosoms Podcast

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Today I’m chatting with Erin and Melody from the Heaving Bosoms Podcast and it is so much fun. There is so much laughing.

Does the dog bark? Yes.

Are they each other’s biggest fans? Absolutely.

Is this delightful? Totally.

Don’t miss the part where they reveal the secret ingredient to everything.

TW/CW: at about 35 minutes in, there's a discussion of old skool romances, and in particular a Johanna Lindsey viking romance with some on-page assault.

Aug 16 2019

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363. Seeing People In Front of Your Eyeballs: Aarya, Amanda, and Sarah at RWA 2019

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On Friday, July 26 at RWA Nationals in New York, Aarya, Amanda and I sat down to talk about the conference thus far. This was my 11th RWA, and Amanda and Aarya’s first, so I was very curious about their impressions. We talk about meeting online friends, the fangirl moments we experience during the conference, and how much we hate those elevators.

We’ve got ghost stories, toilet stories, and key questions. Such as, "What’s on a romance reader’s bucket list? What is it with cats and the corners of laptops? And what were Amanda and I reading at RWA, and on the train home?"

Aug 09 2019

1hr 11mins

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362. Live from The Strand: Romance Game Night!

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Did you miss Romance Game Night at the Strand on July 25? Fear not! We have audio, courtesy of the fine folks at The Strand! So you can listen in as Helena Hunting, Lauren Layne, Melonie Johnson, Alisha Rai, and Sonali Dev as we play Romance Bingo, Never Have I Ever, and Would You Rather?

Special, effusive thanks to everyone behind the scenes who made this evening possible:

Sabir Sultan, Cynthia Grey, Natalie Tsay, Marissa Sangiacomo, Jennie Conway, Naureen Nashid, DJ Desmyter, Megan Harrington, Kelly Klein, and extra massive and effusive thanks to Sean P, who recorded all this fine, fine audio.

Aug 02 2019

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