Andi Marquette flies solo this week (safe travels, Lise!) and chats with Christin Baker, CEO/president of tello Films, about the tello holiGAY romcom movie, Season of Love, officially releasing for download off the tello website December 1 (though you can preorder!). The movie has several screenings in the U.S. and another in the UK (London). Andi find out how the project came about, a bit about who’s involved, and what might be next for holiGAY rom-coms from tello.
From the movie’s website:
“Season of Love is a lighthearted rom-com featuring a large ensemble cast of diverse women and their connected love lives during the hectic holiday period just before Christmas through the New Year who discover love truly is the best gift of all. Follow IRIS, MARDOU, LOU, KENNA, JANEY, and SUE as they navigate the busy holiday season of love.”
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.
This week, Andi and Lise chat with F/F fic reviewer extraordinaire Tara Scott, whose reviews you can find at The Lesbian Review, Lambda Literary and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. She also hosts the podcast Les Do Books at the Lesbian Talk Show. We talk a bit of history of F/F fiction, found out what she’s reading and way into these days, and also what she sees as emerging trends in F/F fiction.
Authors who write butch characters well: KD Williamson, Jenny Frame, Nell Stark, Rachel Spangler, Brenda Murphy
Other authors who came up: Radclyffe, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Kat Sebastian, Meghan O’Brien
The LGO crew and Tara also recommend Heather Rose Jones’ podcast, The Lesbian Historic Motif, so if you’re looking to write some F/F historical fiction, check it out.
Lise’s shout-out this week was to Hugo-winning N.K. Jemisn’s collection of short stories, How Long ‘til Black Future Month? Tara’s is for looking forward to reading Tara Muir’s Gideon the 9th, which Andi and Lise love, and Andi’s shout-out is to the fact that she’s currently creating a character for a little DnD!
Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all gods’ creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic fantasy series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Hobbit Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!
Rat Queens is also full of diverse characters (primary and secondary), kickass women, and LGBTQ rep (it won a GLAAD award), including Betty, one of the queens. Great world-building, awesome characterization, strong writing, explorations of relationships and past baggage – Rat Queens is the shizzle. Give this comic a read and re-read!
Shout-outs: Lise recommends Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s books, which are a time traveling historians saga (and Andi will be running out to read) that Taylor insists you NOT call time travel because it’s “about a bunch of disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And Andi is just about done with Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth (Lise’s recommendation), which is mind-blowing and so much awesome – lesbian necromancers who also do some space travel. I mean. Why would you not want to read that? Also, Andi wants a poster of the cover.
Andi and Lise each read a book and then talked about it. The cool part is, they didn’t tell each other which book they decided to read, so it was happy fun discovery time!
Lise read Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth (2019), which is, basically, lesbian necromancers in a gothic space palace with swordplay and intrigue and why the hell wouldn’t you want to read this awesome-ness? Gideon, the MC, is trying to escape a life of paranormal servitude but her childhood nemesis won’t let her leave without yet another service. And that nemesis is the powerful daughter of the 9th House, and in order to succeed in the emperor’s contest of wits and skills, Harrowhark needs her cavalier—Gideon on and her sword. Lise raved about the world-building, characterization, and Muir’s writing style.
Andi read April Daniels’ Dreadnought (Nemesis Book One; 2017), an emotional roller-coaster of a ride starring teen Danny Tozer, who inherits the powers of superhero Dreadnought. In the transfer, the inheritor becomes their true self, and Danny is at last the young woman she has always known she’s been. But she has to deal with her unaccepting parents, coming out at school, figuring out where she fits in the league of superheroes, how her powers work and, on top of all that, the supervillain who murdered the previous Dreadnought. Andi loved the dialogue, the pacing, adventure, and yes, even the gut-wrenching turmoil Danny had to face.
Lise’s shout-out was for the TV series The Good Place, in which a woman ends up in a heaven-like utopia afterlife by mistake, but she then works to change her ways so she can stay. You can catch earlier seasons on Netflix.
Andi and Lise FINALLY got to talk about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse because Lise put off seeing it until recently and then, as Andi suspected, it blew her mind.
Into the Spider-Verse is an animated origin story about Miles Morales, a teen who is, of course, bitten by a radioactive spider and is faced with taking on the mantle of Spider-Man in the wake of his universe’s loss of the previous Spider-Man. He also has to deal with villain Kingpin’s manipulation of the multiverse, which results in several incarnations of Spider-Man (that include two women) entering Miles’ universe. It’s an origin story and a story about found family and mentorship set against ground-breaking animation that includes fabulous characterization, dialogue, humor, anxiety, and sadness. It’s pretty much everything you want in a film, and both Andi and Lise highly recommend it. Good for all ages (but if you have trouble with animation and flashing lights because of a medical condition, maybe check the trailer first).
Andi and Lise get a little personal and talk shop about their respective writing processes. Both write spec fic, though Andi also writes romance and mysteries, and those genres take a different approach. They discuss how they approach different projects, what kind of preparation they do, multitasking different projects or not, outlines or not, and tools of the trade. They also talk about how writing influences how they watch, read, and analyze other creators’ work.
Notebooks (as in actual paper!) both use for project notes/character sketches/plots/timelines: Moleskine Link to a bunch of different notebooks (Andi uses several different kinds, usually plain-covered or something with a skull on the cover…lol)
Andi and Lise both recommend doing NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. 50,000 words in a month is what NNWM is about. Try it! Great community, great fun! NaNoWriMo
Lez Geek Out! is a geek culture podcast that celebrates popular culture with an eye for the woman-loving-woman audience. It focuses mainly on work with lesbian/bi/women-loving-women themes/characters, but sometimes strays into territory where the subtext is strong, and the female characters are stronger.
The covers all forms of media are explored, be they books, movies, TV shows, graphic novels, web-comics, or anything else that fits the bill.