Recent Listening: Romance Podcasts and Video Series Reviews
I love podcasts and recently when I found myself completely caught up with Sarah Wendell & Jane Litte's DBSA podcast, I asked myself if there were other romance podcasts worth listening to. I asked folks on twitter for recommendations, and I took advantage of a long car trip to listen to multiple episodes of the recommended shows I had not previously been aware of. The project reminded of old favorites and I discovered a couple new "keeper" podcasts and vlogs.
One old favorite was Felicia Day's Vaginal Fantasy Book Club.
VFBC was actually one of my first entry points into Romance. VFBC is a virtual book club hosted by Day, Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee. They read and discuss genre romance books. They have lots of fun and clearly have a great love for genre romance but are not afraid to skewer elements or conventions that deserve criticism. I listened and read along for the first dozen or so episodes when they first launched. They introduced me to Deanna Raybourn, Nalini Signh & Meljean Brook, and I credit them for helping me transition from Sci-fi & Mystery into Romance genre reading. Their GR groups were my first taste of the wonders of an online romance reading community.
I am not quite sure how I stumbled across Sarah Wendell's & Jane Litte's DBSA (Dear Bitches, Smart Authors) podcast, but it might have been through a mention in another bookish podcast I was listening to at the time (likely Bookrageous). When I found the DBSA I unashamedly I binged listened. Wendell & Litte run two of the biggest romancelandia blogs (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author). Their prominence in the genre gives them a great deal of access. They do a lot interviews & themed discussions. Their interviews with publicists, editors, self-pub and traditionaly published writers served as my introduction to and education about the Romance publishing industry. Their large audience base means they frequently read and respond to listener letters (disclosure: I have had a letter read on the air). Each podcast includes dozens of recommendations for current and backlist titles.
Cardigan Rippers from the Santa Clara County Library is run by a pair of romance loving librarians, Amytha & Sarah (on twitter as @cardiganrippers). A relatively new podcast, they have 10 episodes so far. Listened to two of the most recent, where they focused on just one book they had both read, and discussed the book, the tropes and their rating of it. They had a very good discussion, and I enjoyed listening to it even when it was a book I was unfamiliar with. They end the podcast with a book recommendation for backlist title from each of them, that is somehow connected to the book that was subject of the podcast. They also offer related booklists on the Santa Clara County Library website. I will definitely listen to them again.
Bookish Tarts: This podcast is run by two Australian romance authors, Georgina Penney & Rhyll Biest. They are big romance fans, and I think the intended audience it both romance readers and other authors but at points I felt I was intruding into an author-space by listening. I listened to close four episodes and I might have enjoyed it more if I was familiar with their novels or a regular reader of their blog. Their conversations were spicy and funny and they have strong opinions but the podcasts lacked structure even when they had a particular topic they meant to discuss, and I frequently felt that I was walking into already ongoing conversation.
Romance Coffee Break by Regina Small (@ReginaSmall). Regina is the Executive Editor/Reviews Coordinator at RT Book Reviews. This is a new short form (3 to 5 minutes long) video reviews and commentary about Romance (11 videos since February). The videos were fun, smart and engaging. They have great structure and don't require a long time commitment for great content. I will be adding this to my regular romance listening.
Heart to Heart hosted by Kat Mayo (@bookthingo) is really fun and smart podcast sponsored by a Australian Romance Imprint of Penguin (Destiny Romance). There have been ten episodes so far, most of them interviews with authors and enjoyed each of them. Mayo asks great questions and I enjoyed listening to non-American romance fan perspective. She interviewedthe likes of Nalini Singh, Courtney Milan and Julie Garwood, and Australian authors like CS Pacat & Anna Cowan. She has also done a couple interviews with Romance scholars which were informative and entertaining. Mayo has recently mentioned on twitter than she has received the go-ahead for more podcasts from Destiny and she might also be launching a podcast of her own.
Do you have a favorite podcast (Romance or other) that you love? I'm always looking for something new to listen to.