The Hopeless Romantic

The Hopeless Romantic

Amanda Jean and Austin Chant discuss the ins and outs of LGBTQIA romance. The podcast tackles tips and how-tos for new and established authors, aims to spotlight every letter of the acronym, and hosts interviews with industry professionals.

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    Episode 21: Kill Your (Peter) Darlings

    Co-host Austin Chant's novel Peter Darling was released in February, and Amanda and Austin break down the editing process over many months and three recording sessions. Hear them stress over deadlines, complain about talking whales and Hook's outfits, give props to the Captive Prince trilogy for various inspiration, discuss the versions of the book that weren't, and totally contradict themselves from session to session!

    The episode is an in-depth look at what it takes to bring a novel from first draft to publication. It does contain spoilers for the book.

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    Episode 20: Some Sort of Sad Dragon

    Megan Derr, CEO of Less Than Three Press and a prolific author of high fantasy and spec, covers world building, including where she starts, info dump, winging it, dialog, and languages. She also talks about ace rep, including what she's looking for at LT3 and as an ace reader.

    The group also discusses how Amanda's got a ton of unread books on her Kindle, but Megan's seated atop a mighty hoard of books and definitely has her beat.

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    Episode 19: The Captivating Pacat

    Content warnings: The Captive Prince series contains dark subject matter, including sexual and physical abuse, so please proceed with caution as we briefly discuss some of those elements.

    The Captive Prince started life as a free online serial and became a best seller. Author C.S. Pacat talks process, plotting, her influences as a young queer person, what the 80s covers of the books would look like, Amanda's thing for icy blonds, and the delight that is Yuri on Ice in THR's longest episode to date. (We all had a lot to say about who we romanced in Dragon Age.)

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    Episode 18: Advice for New Authors (Part Two)

    Taking up where [part one][1] left off, Amanda and Austin discuss contracts and what some of their clauses may mean, the rundown on royalty rates and payment schedules, the editing process from start to finish, social media etiquette for beginners, and even how to address your submission email.

    (Pretty obviously, no one at THR is a lawyer, and we can't give you legal and/or tax advice. We're relaying very general info from our personal experiences of working in the queer romance industry. Please seek appropriate professional guidance when it comes to contracts and taxes.)

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    Episode 17: You Only Liver Once

    Content warning: Austin and Amanda are tipsy/drunk in this episode. They also discuss the TV shows Hannibal and Attack on Titan briefly, which feature morbid subject matter. (Amanda's generally a creep, too.)

    It's THR's one-year anniversary! In celebration, Austin and Amanda got drunk and talked about abandoned projects, tried and failed to plot a project, and discussed how Korean dramas are basically just serial romance novels. Lots of inappropriateness was had.

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    Episode 16: Do Ask, Do Tell

    Content warning: There is a brief mention of slurs in the episode.

    Richard Comspon Sater retired from the US Air Force Reserves having served twenty-four years under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." His debut M/M romance novel "Rank" deals with a second lieutenant in the Air Force falling in love with a brigadier general. Richard talks about writing, serving under DADT, how its repeal changed the book, and it's determined that Austin's father is the personification of a soft, old sweater.

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    Episode 15: Advice for New Authors (Part One)

    For anyone new to the queer romance industry or thinking of joining it, this episode, the first of two, is basically a 101. Part one covers what authors need to know prior to submission--everything from defining the genre, HEA vs HFN, the role of editors and betas, author mills, and the community itself. Part two will cover everything authors need to know after submitting their work.

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    Episode 14: Self-Publishing with Jordan L. Hawk

    Author Jordan L. Hawk brings her expertise to the program to talk about her own beginnings in self-publishing, the decisions authors must make in regards to what they can do themselves, and the group discusses the importance of treating publishing as a business.

    There's also a call to action for more queer romance in the historical-specfic genre. Go get writing!

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    Episode 13: Grim Jim

    THR returns from summer hiatus with Jim Grimsley. He's the LAMBDA Literary Award-winning author of "Dream Boy" and "Comfort & Joy." The group discusses the tragic and ambiguous endings Grimsley is known for, the history of publishing's attitude toward queer fiction, and everything from the North Carolina bathroom bill to how your family lies to you.

    Be sure to listen to the bonus content after the credits!

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    Episode 12: Heidi Below the Covers

    Content warning: This episode of THR contains frank discussion of sexual assault, sexual violence, and similarly dark, potentially triggering subject matter.

    Heidi Belleau joins the show and Gets Very Real with THR about her history of writing grimdark fiction and the growing pains of leaving some of that behind. She talks about the perils of using the same penname for drastically different works (romcoms and dark fiction like The Flesh Cartel), what her personal limits are, bringing humor into darker material--and when it's best to pull back.

    Heidi compares the process of growing as an author, in public, to the reality of contemporary teenagers growing up on tumblr. (Anyone with a defunct Livejournal and a long fandom history can probably relate.) Most authors can probably relate to the quandary of growing as an artist in such a public sphere.

    The important and validating realization for Heidi, and maybe for other authors who feel pigeonholed into a darker genre, has been that she can write lighter stories and people will also appreciate them.

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