Episode 120: Romance and Lesfic

Romance, Representation, and Publishing 

Andi and Lise discuss what’s known as the lesbian fiction publishing industry (as distinguished from “mainstream” publishers that publish LGBTQ+ fiction) and the role of books that feature romance as a main plot in the industry. They unpack the scarcity of genre fiction in lesbian fiction that isn’t romance-driven (but may include romance as a subplot) and discuss the pros and cons of being defined by a particular genre. They’re excited to see more books that include asexual, trans, and non-binary characters in romance, but they’d like to see more characters like that in genre fiction that may or may not have a romantic sub-plot. 

Links of interest: 

About Naiad Press 

Obituary/bio of Barbara Grier, one of the founders of Naiad 

Lise MacTague’s list of publications 

Andi Marquette’s list of publications 

A small list of lesbian fiction publishing houses: Bold Strokes Books, Bella Books, Bedazzled Ink Publishing, Bywater Books, Dirt Road Books, Flashpoint Publications, Launch Point Press, Sapphire Books Publishing, Ylva Publishing 

Shout-outs: Lise got an electric bike for her birthday, and she’s super-stoked about how it makes riding uphill so much easier! Highly recommend! Andi just finished the first in Tasha Suri’s Burning Kingdoms series, The Jasmine Throne, which features two female protagonists thrown together in extremely difficult circumstances. Gorgeously written, political intrigue, excellent world-building, and F/F rep.

Episode 114: Writing outside Your Lane

This week Andi and Lise discuss the old writing adage of “writing what you know” and how that is or is not problematic. They delve into “writing outside your lane” and writing characters who aren’t like you, and being responsible about doing that and why it’s important, and why you need to think about the lens through which you view the larger society. There are no easy answers, but the conversations are important. 

Writers on “writing what you know” 

Mo Black on writing diverse characters 

Alexander Chee at Vulture on how to unlearn everything: “When it comes to writing ‘other,’ what questions are we not asking?” 

Writing the Other — Resources 

Shout-outs: Lise shouted out horror novel The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher in which a woman, freshly divorced ends up living in her uncle’s house and discovers a portal to other worlds haunted by scary things. Andi is shouting out working on getting her stress levels under control and also, she would like to shout-out Lise for doing the editing on the audiofiles! GO, Lise!!!!! 

Episode 100: Celebrating Queer Culture with Dana Piccoli

Andi and Lise are SO EXCITED to be celebrating their 100th episode with author, entertainment writer, speaker, pop culture critic, podcaster, social media maven and awesome-sauce person Dana Piccoli. In this episode, Dana breaks down some of the potential trends in queer media (yay! Queer filmfests online!), what she’s been watching/engaging in (SPOILERS), how COVID has affected media and how it might affect it going forward. Andi, Lise, and Dana also discuss the lesbian fiction industry and what it means that mainstream publishing has started publishing more F/F (and other LGBTQ fiction) stories. 

Shout-outs: Dana has been listening to a lot of singer/songwriter Katie Pruitt. Lise has been watching lots of Adventure Time, which has a queer storyline that she didn’t realize was there. Andi shouted out Masterpiece Theater’s new-ish mystery series, Miss Scarlet and the Duke

Find Dana: 

Queer Media Matters 

Danapiccoli.com 

Twitter 

Episode 98: Beyond Romance in Lesfic with KD Williamson

Andi and Lise were joined by author KD Williamson to talk about lesbian fiction aka “lesfic.” Why does it seem to be predominantly defined by storylines that feature romance — F/F — that usually involve sexual consummation, whether it’s fade to black or depicted as part of the storyline? Why aren’t there other genres represented as much as romance under the lesfic umbrella? After all, being LGBTQ+ involves a lot more than romance and sex. Andi, Lise, and KD ponder. 

Shout-outs: Lise is not pleased about this, but getting it done will be great – fixing up the bathroom! For her part, KD has been doing some of her gaming. She’s got Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on the Xbox and Ni no Kuni on the Nintendo Switch AND the PS5! Meanwhile, Andi sucked it up and just bought a PS4. The first 3 games she got are Uncharted: Lost LegacyHorizon Zero Dawn,  and Wolfenstein II: New Colossus

Episode 95: Writing in the Time of COVID

Andi and Lise talk about how to create/write during a time of intense upheaval – in this case, a pandemic. How can writers incorporate it? Do they? Should they? How do you incorporate global traumatic events into, e.g., romance? How can you ensure that you are accurately capturing the experiences of people from different backgrounds who are also experiencing the pandemic? Also, Andi coins the term “panfic” though probably somebody out there has already done it. LOL 

Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends two novellas by Vietnamese author Nghi Vo. The novellas are 1 and 2 in the Singing Hills Cycle and include “The Empress of Salt and Fortune” and “When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain.” Queer rep, interesting POV approach. Andi has started watching season 2 of the CW’s Nancy Drew take and so far, she’s enjoying it. The new approach takes on Nancy Drew with paranormal twists. You can find the first season on Amazon Prime

Episode 75: Writing Book Series

This week, Andi and Lise talk writing (since they’re writers and all). Specifically, the pitfalls and fun stuff in writing series. Both have series they’ve written or are writing and they break down some of the things they think about or have thought about as they’re writing different kinds of series in different genres. Like, you know, character continuity, plot arcs, world-building, other stuff…like that.

Shout-outs!
Lise recommends the animated series Gravity Falls, available on Disney Plus (and also Hulu) while Andi binged Picard, on CBS All Access. Find info about Lise’s series at her website, lisemactague.com. Find out more about Andi’s at andimarquette.com.

On writing series:
Notion Press: How to Write a Great Book Series
Now Novel: How to Write a Series, 10 Tips
Just Writerly Things: How to Write a Series

Episode 66: DnD Character Creation

Andi and Lise talk about character-building (literally) for Dungeons and Dragons. Or, more to the point, Andi had Lise talk about all the things in that regard because Andi is a total D&D novice and is working on building her very first character. They also discuss different approaches to developing D&D characters and how it differs from developing characters for writing projects. They also talk about how characters in D&D are affected by the world-building the Dungeon Master develops, but also how things can change during play.

More resources:
D&D website
D&D character-building
Official character sheets
Types of characters
Character species

Lise’s shout-out: Epic fantasy tale The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Includes at least 2 queer relationship situations.

Andi’s: The CW’s Nancy Drew reboot. Gritty, a little dark, with murder and paranormal elements intertwined. Includes lots of kickass women and at least one F/F dating situation.

Episode 44: NaNoWriMo

Andi and Lise discuss the annual giant writing event, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which participants hammer out a short novel of 50,000 words over the course of November. They tell you what it is, how it works, what some strategies might be to help you approach your NaNo writing project, offer their own experiences doing it, and remind you not to freak out.

If you’re a novice writer, NaNo is a great way to see what the professional writing life is like, because it requires you to write every day if you want to hit that 50,000-word mark by the end of the month. It also provides structure and a writing community, which is really valuable because you need critique to help you grow as a writer.

There other types of writing events, too:

Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo)

National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

And this week, Lise recommends the medical mystery/weirdness podcast Sawbones while Andi implores people to please watch the CW series Legends of Tomorrow.

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