The podcast begins with a recap of what Jeff’s been up to as he works on various aspects of three Codename: Winger books.
The charity anthology Changing on the Fly: The Second Period, which benefits the You Can Play project, releases on October 4. The anthology features four terrific new stories by Jeff, Heather Lire, V.L. Locey and RJ Scott.
The guys briefly recapped their trip to Sacramento, where they’ll likely move in 2018.
Jeff & Will congratulate Derek & Romaine for winning Best LGBTQ Podcast in the 12th Annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards. They also give a shout out to one of their new favorite podcasts, Talk of the Toon, which recaps Masters of the Universe episodes.
Christina from Christina Bookshelf stops by to talk about her recent focus on debut authors.
Jeff & Will review the Matthew Bourne production of The Red Shoes, which just wrapped up its U.S. premiere in Los Angeles.
Jeff talks to Author Marshall Thornton and voice artist Joel Leslie about their collaboration on the audiobook of Femme, Marshall’s 2016 novel that was nominated as Best Gay Romance at the Lambda Literary Awards. They also discuss what Marshall and Joel have coming up next.
Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, PlayerFM, YouTube and audio file download.
Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.
- Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) by Jeff Adams on Amazon
- Changing on the Fly: The Second Period by Jeff Adams, Heather Lire, V.L. Locey & RJ Scott on Amazon
- Hat Trick by Jeff Adams on Amazon
- International Podcast Day website
- 12th Annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards website
- Derek & Romaine show website
- Talk of the Toon Podcast website
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast on Patreon.com
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast patrons on BGFP website
- Christina from Christina Bookshelf
- Christina’s Bookshelf website
- Letting Go by Moringstar Ashely on Amazon
- Christina’s review of Letting Go by Moringstar Ashely on Christina’s Bookshelf
- Looking In by Michael Bailey on Amazon
- Christina’s review of Looking In by Michael Bailey on Christina’s Bookshelf
- Coffee and Bourbon by Jasper Grey on Amazon
- Christina’s review of Coffee and Bourbon by Jasper Grey on Christina’s Bookshelf
- Damage Control by Lynn Van Dorn on Amazon
- Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes website
- Marshall Thornton & Joel Leslie interview
- Marshall Thornton: website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon
- Joel Leslie: website | Facebook | Twitter | Audible
- Femme by Marshall Thornton & performed by Joel Leslie on Amazon
- Jeff’s review of Femme audiobook in BGFP #93
- Haley Walsh on Amazon
- Foxe Hunt by Haley Walsh & performed by Joel Leslie on Amazon
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli on Amazon
- Night Drop by Marshall Thornton on Amazon
- Boystown series by Marshall Thornton on Amazon
- The Weight of it All by N.R. Walker & performed by Joel Leslie on Amazon
- Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price & performed by Joel Leslie on Amazon
- Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase & performed by Joel Leslie on Amazon
- Little Boy Afraid by Marshall Thornton on Instafreebie
Interview Transcript – Marshall Thornton & Joel Leslie
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Jeff: I’m thrilled to welcome to the podcast, Marshall Thornton and Joel Leslie. Marshall is the author of the popular, ”Boystown” series. He has been a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award five times and won once. His romantic comedy, ”Femme” was a 2016 Lambda finalist for best gay romance. Joel is an audiobook narrator with over 115 titles to his credit. He’s the winner of two AudioFile Earphone awards and was named best narrator of the year 2016 by Sinfully M/M Book Reviews. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational, and empowering GLBT characters with the world. Welcome, Marshall and Joel.
Marshall: Hello, sir.
Joel: Thank you for having us.
Jeff: Oh my pleasure. Glad to have you back, Joel. You’re actually the reason we’re here talking about ”Femme,” which is kind of the focus of what we’re doing today. So when ”Femme” came out in audio this past June, you actually contacted me saying it was like a really honest to goodness, LGBT romance, and it’s a fun treatment of a really important topic, the anti-femme stigma among gay men. Now, I love the book. Of course, Joel, when you recommended it, I had to go, just gobble it up. And it was everything you said it was, and it does touch on… I think it actually does more than the anti-femme stigma, to be honest. And Marshall, tell us where the inspiration for this came from.
Marshall: You know, I guess I’m kind of an internet junkie and I read a lot of news on the internet and I follow a lot of gay magazine stuff. And I was seeing a lot of commentary about this subject and the way that people behave on Grindr and places like that, how they talk about no fats or femmes. And it just occurred to me that making really interesting kind of romantic comedy about opposites attracting. So I guess that was about 2014 that I wrote the first chapter and then I didn’t do anything with it for about a year and a half and kept seeing that same subject coming up. And so every time I would see the subject, I was like, yeah, that actually will make a really good thought. And then in the spring of 2016, I did it, ’16, yeah, last year. I wrote the book in about three months. So.
Jeff: And it is not only the stigma as you call it between Dog and Lionel and them trying to form this romantic relationship. I mean, it goes to the patrons in the bar and the manager of the baseball team and how Lionel reacts when he gets his other job. And why do you think it is that this isn’t really pulled more into a traditional romance and even gay fiction in some ways?
Marshall: Gosh, you know, one of the things that I’ve learned since I wrote the book is that there are actually a lot of M/M books that cover this relationship. They refer to it as an alpha-beta relationship. And so it’s interesting to see people’s reactions because when some people are like, “Wow, this is really interesting,” and then other romance readers are like, “Oh, yeah, I’ve read about five of these.” And I had no idea, you know, because I have read romance books, but I’m not a big romance reader. So it was new to me and I think it’s relatively new in gay fiction. You know, I don’t know a lot of other books like it that you’d call gay fiction. So.
Jeff: Okay. And that makes a lot of sense. We should tell people too, for those who don’t know, you tend to operate more in the mystery thriller kind of rom-com genre.
Marshall: Yeah. I mean, I go back and forth between mysteries and romantic comedies. I don’t really write romance. And I’ve done that for decades. I was doing… And then when I was a film student, I would write a thriller script and then I would write a romance script, romantic comedy script because I liked both genres and I like writing comedy and I like writing mysteries. So I’ve actually just kind of kept that up
Jeff: There’s aspects I think of ”Femme” that touch on romantic comedy.
Jeff: But it does feel more like a traditional romance. And how did you end up going more that route than kind of the comedy side of it? Or was it because of the subject matter?
Marshall: Gosh, you know, my understanding of romance is that you have to have both points of view and most writers will mix that up, whereas I’m used to various scripts back-and-forth between the characters and also in first person, which is not traditional romance. And, you know, that structure is one that I’ve used a couple of times and it’s the same structure that is used for ”About a Boy” by Nick Hornsby, you know, which I would not call a romance. So it’s always been my way of dealing with that audience, you know, who wants to hear about both characters, but you know, that’s as close as I got.
Jeff: So let’s have Joel talk for awhile because the guy who makes his living talking hasn’t gotten to talk much yet. So you initially told me with the other stuff that you gave me that you called this an important romance because here was romantic lead who’s not the alpha male. You’ve recorded 100 books now. I take it, you don’t come across this type very often.
Joel: I don’t think you come across often a character who has a… The alpha-beta thing that Marshall was talking about, I mean, that comes up a lot when you’re narrating, like shift or fiction and stuff like that, you know, when it’s… But what you don’t end up with is an effeminate character who is a dominant personality who is comfortable in their own skin and really kind of functions as a hero in the book. And that’s amazing. I mean, I think what was so is… I mean, I love doing the male-male romance that I do. And, but it is a different animal. And very often in male-male romance, you’re ending up with two, the personalities of basically two alpha males that just happened to kind of come together.
You know, when everyone is very often versatile and that’s kind of, it’s a different sort of thing, but this was really, this really spoke to me as something very true and the character just, I mean, they just jumped off the page and they just kind of like grabbed me. And it felt like something I didn’t get to do very much of. You know, I wish there was a lot more LGBT, like actual LGBT fiction versus male-male romance that was out there in audio. And it doesn’t come across my desk very much. And what I loved about this is this is a true LGBT novel by an amazing, an amazing gay writer. And it is incredibly moving and it’s very romantic and it’s very funny. And it’s a romance, but there’s not like sex every page.
You know, it’s not an erotic romance. It’s sexy, but it’s not like, you know, there’s three sex scenes spread throughout the book and you can sort of anticipate, you know. It was very exciting and very different. And I felt like it was an important…it had a really interesting message and one that I’ve seen people in my life that I care about and friends deal with. You know, I have…one of the people that I thought of immediately is I have a friend who’s this 6-foot-5 guy who actually works at Animal Kingdom at Disney. And he wears like makeup to work every day and has like incredibly fierce eyebrows. And like, he’s not in drag at all. Like he is…it’s very gender fluid, but and he’s a top like a…but, you know, and it’s very interesting that he has people make fun of him all the time on Grindr. Like, you know, “I don’t believe that that’s what you are,” like… And having a friendship with him made me really go, “Wow, I totally, I get who this is,” you know. It hit a personal place for me just because of his friendship. So it was very interesting.
Jeff: And it’s not, to me, like when you told me about this book, what kind of flipped it on its head for me is that while Lionel is femme, he is, I think, the alpha.
Joel: Don’t give it away. Don’t give it away. Don’t give it away. Don’t give it away. But yes, yes he is. Yeah.
Jeff: Well, you kind of alluded to it a little bit, so I don’t think I spoiled that.
Joel: I did. I did. No, that’s true. Marshall may want us to cut that out, but no, that is also really cool. Like there are so many… It’s those people don’t get represented in fiction. And a lot of that because of a lot of that in the male-male romance community, which is mostly what we do is probably because that’s not as strong of an appeal to female readers, which I totally understand. I mean, you know, because that’s a huge part of that market. So this was a very different book and it’s really touched people, like it really has surprised and I’d had people have really strong reactions to it, which is so exciting. I mean it’s beautifully-written, so of course they do, but.
Jeff: And let’s talk a little bit, Oh, go ahead, Marshall.
Marshall: You know, I would describe the book as being analogous a little bit to chick lit more like the relationship between chick lit and romance is kind of what’s going on here. And so, you know, those two genres have huge crossovers, you know. And I think that a lot of M/M readers would really like the book and it is different in the sense that it’s, you know, follows a different path and is much more in the romantic comedy zone and the chick lit zone than a strict romance. Because, and I think that really has to do with…the character growth is much more about personal realization. And this is the way I describe it. For me, the difference between a romantic comedy and a romance is that in a romance love conquers all. In a romantic comedy love is the trophy, love is the reward for learning your lesson. So, I mean, it’s a slight difference, but it…
Joel: That’s really cool. Well, and I’ve had people have very strong reactions to these characters. Marshall and I have talked about this and I had some, you know, one reviewer in particular, who’s a very smart, very good, very prolific reviewer of LGBT fiction. She had like this huge response to Dog and just thought he was basically a douche.
Marshall: Yeah. And he is. You know, I mean, and he does douchey things. I mean, you know, the really interesting thing for me with that is that it never crossed my mind that people would say those things about him. When I wrote the book and looking at those comments which I see every so often, you know, I wonder sometimes if it isn’t what their experience of being in the closet is and how closely they can relate to it, because for me, it was just automatic that, you know, people do incredibly douchey things when they’re struggling to get out of the closet.
Joel: Exactly. It was the same thing with me is it was just kind of more like, you know, smack your head, ugh. Like you felt bad for him. I felt bad for him because it’s just sort of so wild, you know, that kind of curbed your enthusiasm, like, “Oh God, I see it coming,” kind of rather than… But I do think unless you’ve, I think you read this book in a very different way if you’ve had to go through that journey. I think he’s a much more sympathetic character in some ways. And I think, again, something that isn’t really explored much certainly in the books that I’ve come across, that I’ve narrated, that sort of journey.
Jeff: He does have a very interesting journey through the book from where he starts to certainly where he ends. And it’s one of those things, like, there are so many things going on here because there is the romance and there’s Dog’s story and there’s Lionel’s story away from Dog and then there’s the baseball team. What was your process for threading all this together and giving everything kind of the right balance?
Marshall: That’s an interesting question. You know, it reminds me of when I was in… I went to film school at UCLA in screenwriting. One of my instructors said you have to learn all the rules of it and you have to forget them. And at this point, I don’t really think about that stuff very much. And I do, but I don’t, you know what I mean? It’s just like, it’s become very intuitive weaving all of that together and kind of knowing when the mix is right. I do rely a lot on my training in screenwriting because it’s really, it’s a great education and story. We make it all together and it’s just, that’s the job.
Jeff: That’s very true. Are you somebody who like does the elaborate outlines and does the elaborate plotting, or is it, “I’m starting here and I’m gonna end here and I just fill it in as I go?”
Marshall: No. I don’t have the patience for that. I do a little writing for screenwriting. I also just wrote an article on how to write fast. And I do recommend that people outline. Unless someone’s paying you, don’t get too involved with it because nobody’s gonna see it. So what I do is I start to outline, and then I get impatient and I start to write. So I have this incredibly fast, uncomplete outline when I start. And then I get to a certain point in the book and it’s like, okay, I need to stop again and I need to outline the next section so I know where I’m going. But, you know, it’s kind of…it becomes very intuitive after a while and I think I have 17 books out. So you get very used to doing it. Thinking about…
And it’s interesting. You know, sometimes you’ll hear writers talk about, well, the character told me to do this. And I don’t really think of things in those terms, but you’re building a star, you’re building, you’re constructing something. So when you started under the direction, you have to continue in that way. And so whatever you’ve built before, you either have to build on it or go back and change it. So has that answered your question?
Jeff: I think it did. Yeah. How did you two come together for the audio version? Was it as simple as it turned up at ACX one day and you auditioned for it, Joel? Or was it a little more…?
Joel: It was Haley.
Jeff: It was Haley. All right.
Joel: Bizarrely enough, it was Haley, right?
Marshall: Well, actually I did not put this book up on ACX because, you know, it’s my eighth audiobook. And so I knew the kind of auditions I’d get and I just had this cringing thought about all these people sending in terrible reads. And I was listening to Haley’s book, the second ”Skyler Foxe” book. And that’s when I heard Joel and it’s like, I immediately thought, “Oh, well, he can handle all these voices. And you know, it doesn’t sound inauthentic as so many of the narrators on ACX would in this case.” And so I contacted Haley who I’ve met several times when I lived in California and then I contacted Joel through her.
Joel: It was very, it was funny because I was in, when he contacted me, I was in New York at the time for a big audiobook convention that they have and I was already overbooked. And he contacted me and I was like, “Ugh, I’m not sure I can do this.” And I was like…and we went and I think we were…Anyway, we were in New York and I was in the hotel room and I think I read like four pages of it. And I was like, “Oh, shit, I have to do this. There is no possible way I cannot do this.” And Rich was so mad at me because he controls my schedule. And it’s just, it’s, I’m like… I always am like, “Can you just spend the space-time continuum to find me another four days to do…?”
But I just loved it so much straight away and I had to do it. And it was… and I was so thrilled to be asked. It was interesting because he kind of clearly in ”Skylar,” there’s a character called Jamie who’s rather flamboyant. And one challenge I had once Marshall came to me via that route was I really worked hard to make sure they weren’t the same person. I didn’t want them to have the same voice. So that was fun. But again, like duo first person that is audiobook, that’s tough. It’s hard when you’ve got two male voices back and forth, and you’re not using two different narrators, you know, so.
Jeff: So as you were trying not to sound like Jamie, and I could tell you having heard both of the books, you’re nothing like Jamie when you’re Lionel. How did you find Dog’s voice and then the nuances with Lionel to make him not Jamie?
Joel: Lionel is much more, I think Lionel is less of a kid than Jamie is. I think Jamie is kind of inside, a six-year-old. And I think Lionel is… I think Lionel has a lot more survival kind of…jaded is the wrong word, but I think there’s a lot more bite to Lionel just as a survivor and so that helped. And then, you know, I knew once I found the sort of range for Lionel and what that rate of speed was, and that he was a quick thinker and stuff like that, that I needed to kind of find something that would, with my own voice still…you know, Lionel is a little bit kind of like me on like 12 red bull.
Marshall: I don’t think I wanna see you on 12 red bulls, just to say.
Joel: No. It’s so funny. I don’t drink and I’m one of those people that people are like, “Good.” But Dog, I knew I had to go to a lower place vocally. I knew that it would be useful to make him a slightly slower rate of speaking. And he’s kind of not, he’s not dumb, but he does dumb things. I think he’s more…his brain works less quickly than Lionel’s does. And something about his nickname, this is so silly, but I was thinking of the dog in “Up,” the one that’s like, “Hello, squirrel.” And something of, and his name is Dug in “Up.” His name is Dug, which I realized like… But something like about kind of like sort of a puppy that was too big for itself that kind of had giant feet and big floppy ears and didn’t quite know… I think an animal is a lot. And so, yeah, it was just like, I think the first thing that came to mind was kinda like, “Oh, crap.” And like his entire voice came out of, “Oh crap.” You know, because that’s basically what happens to him over and over and over again. So yeah, it was fun. And what’s, so…
Marshall: Yeah, sorry to interrupt. The interesting thing about listening to you talking about this is that a lot of those things are things you do when you’re closet-in, lowering your voice, not wanting to seem too smart because that will draw attention to you. You know, so those are all choices that people make about how they present themselves.
Joel: Yeah, yeah, no.
Jeff: What was it like for you, Marshall, to hear this come to life? Because, of course, you get like the initial chapters and stuff to hear how Joel’s doing and if it works for you and then it goes from there.
Joel: I have to answer that for him first because he was amazing to me because when he contacted me, he said, ”I normally like…” He said, ”I don’t normally like audiobooks that are, you know, acted or performed.” He doesn’t like listening to a movie which anybody who’s listened to any of my stuff knows that’s exactly what I do. Marshall, as a listener, prefers what we kind of call a dead read, which is where the narrator sort of doesn’t get in the driver’s seat. And the narrator is merely a verbal conduit that allows the…that doesn’t, he’s not painting with colors. Do you know what I mean?
Joel: You let the listener do all the work. But Marshall, very cleverly and very generously, knowing that it was dual first person, and therefore knowing that in order for these two very disparate voices to exist, they couldn’t just be read in the same voice. He literally just walked away because I’m answering his question, he just left. But he said to me, “I’m probably not going to necessarily like it personally, but I know it’s what it needs to be and I’m gonna trust you.” And that was amazing. Like that was amazing. So it really meant a lot. So now he can say that he hated it, but I’ve explained why he hates it and that’s fine.
Marshall: I just dumped a glass of water all over everything. And it was nothing to do with what you were saying. I’m just clumsy.
Joel: I made him wet.
Marshall: Now, you know, I’m thrilled with the results. I knew choosing Joel that people would really like it. And, you know, I used to be in theater and I know that what’s in your head seldom happens for a writer and I didn’t even wanna try to get that. And I don’t even know if that would have been a good decision in this case, try to do that. So, I mean, I really happy with the results.
Jeff: Did it change your perception at all of modern-day performed audiobooks or is Joel the exception to the rule?
Marshall: You’d have to, you know, part of the reason that I have those opinions I think is that not all narrators can do voices and sometimes it’s better to just steer them toward simply doing a good storytelling. You know, it’s like, unless you have kind of Jack of all trades, you know, you’re not gonna get a good result. And I have had some experiences where narrators would send me, you know, these characters and I’m like, “No, let’s not do voice.”
Jeff: How has the reaction been between a romance reader who’s, let’s say pick up any of Joel’s audiobook titles because they like what he does and they like the genre he’s working in versus somebody who may come into this book without being a regular reader inside the genre?
Marshall: I think, you know, people identify a lot, I think, with Lionel in various ways. One of the things that…one of the speeches that’s in there, I think is about being an outsider and how everybody’s an outsider at some point. And people really seem to connect with that. And I think, you know, depending on how much experience a reader has had with that, that really can color their read. And certainly, you know, sometimes romance readers really want to read about people they’d like to date and those are not characters I’m particularly good at. I like characters who have a little bit of challenge to them. Some conflict.
So since sometimes, you know, if you’re trying to design characters that, you know, everybody will like, and everybody will wanna go out on a date with, that shaves off a lot of edges. It makes conflict very difficult. And, you know, I have a lot of respect for the romance writers who manage to get those characters, you know, that people love and still make…you know, who still use high conflict. So.
Joel: I had friends that do not read romance really at all as a genre that I was like, “You have to read this book.” Like I had gay friends that I was like, “This book will mean so much to you and it will touch you and it will stay with you. You have to read this.” And I had a bunch of…I’ve had many of my sort of romance listeners love it too. And I think a great thing about it is I hope that in some ways, it makes some of those romance listeners…gives them a little bridge to sort of look at other LGBT fiction that doesn’t necessarily, you know, fall under pure romance like Simon and the Homo Sapien Agenda, which is one of my favorite books like ever. And you know, that, but that’s not ever gonna show up in like an audible romance search engine.
So I think that’s really, really cool. And I mean, I think what’s funny is I’ve had, like I’ve gotten… There’s been reviews that have like…the headline of the review was like, I wanna marry Dog. And there’s been those people that are like, I wanna shoot Dog. So, which I think is the mark of a great character. Do you know what I mean? Like if the character is a cardboard cutout all black and white, then that’s not nearly as interesting as like, you know, we’re all kind of, we’re all not the perfect puzzle piece, you know. You just need to…it’s and I just loved it.
And like really anybody that I think that… What really resonated… I mean, this is, this happens, like this horrible, like way that we treat each other and the kind of like judgements that we make about one another within our own community where you kind of feel like we should sort of like all be on the same side and look after each other and be supportive, you know, like. You know, there’s a website called Douchebags of Grindr that you can go onto and like, look at, but it’s like, this is the way people are.
It’s like, “Oh, I’m straight looking for other straight guy.” No, no, you’re not. No, you’re not. But like it’s very interesting. And like, you know, people do the same thing with African-Americans and with Asians and with, but this weird thing of like people who are comfortable enough to celebrate actually like their gayness really can frighten people. And that’s very…it’s such an interesting thing about us and I think it’s important and it makes people, it certainly makes you think about yourself and like how you adjust yourself when you do anything, you know, what kind of masks we wear.
Marshall: Yeah. You know, we don’t think about that very much. Like gay people, particularly gay men, do a lot of code shifting and it’s so unconscious. Yeah, it’s like in different situations you behave differently. And you see it sometimes in other groups more easily, you know, but it’s definitely there.
Jeff: Do we get to see any more collaborations between you too perhaps at some point down the line?
Joel: I hope so.
Marshall: Maybe. Yeah. I slipped Joel a book. We haven’t talked about it, but I have slipped him something.
Joel: And Joel looks confused, for those who are just on the audio.
Joel: This is what happens… I’m not allowed. I’m not allowed to look at things. Oh my God. Okay. I have to go back now and look at it again. I’m so excited. Yay.
Marshall: Well, and you’re gonna be asking soon what we’re up to. I have a new mystery series, which I’ve slipped Joel which is lighter than the ”Boystown” books. It’s a little more like a cozy. Set in the ’90s in a video store.
Jeff: I saw the cover for this on your website. The book came out like in July, right?
Marshall: No, actually the book came out September 15.
Jeff: Maybe the blog post was delayed in July.
Marshall: You know, I think the…
Jeff: You might’ve cover revealed, and maybe that’s what I saw.
Marshall: And there was a presale for two months. So.
Jeff: Tell us a little bit about that because this will be coming out October 2nd. So that’ll be out for people to go pick up.
Marshall: You know, both of my mystery series take place in places that I used to live. For the ”Boystown” books, I lived in Chicago in the ’80s and use a lot of my memories for that. And this is set in Silver Lake in California, where I lived in the early ’90s. So I gave my character a video store, which is actually really fun to work with as a mystery writer because he has access to a lot of information about people.
Jeff: Indeed. I used to work at a video store and yes, we do know a lot.
Marshall: I may need to send you some questions. But it’s a cozy. So it’s an amateur mystery kind of thing. And then this book, the first book starts on the second day of the L.A. riots, which I remember very well. And I incorporated some of my memories of what that was like. I’m already working on the second one of those, which will probably be out in January. And in the middle, there’s a ”Boystown” books coming out for Christmas.
Jeff: Oh, fantastic. We’ll definitely get people up to tonight, drop in the show notes, so they can go pick that up. I love the cover. I’m like, “That’s a video store. I may have to read that.” Videos from the ’90s when I was doing it too, so.
Marshall: Okay. Well, any corrections you have, send to me personally, don’t put them in the review.
Jeff: Oh, of course. Yeah. I wouldn’t do that at all. How are you adding to your 100-plus titles, Joel? What’s coming down the pike for you in October and November?
Joel: I have been doing a tsunami of titles for N.R. Walker. They all kind of hit at once. I just had the third ”Red Dirt Heart” come out for her and then we have a book called ”Switched” that’s about to come out and then another one that is so great. People that liked ”Femme” will love this book because it’s a similar kind of tone. It’s called ”The Weight of it All.” And it’s amazing. I have my first Jordan Castillo Price book coming up that I’m crazy excited about. It’s called ”Hemovore.” It’s a vampire book. It’s awesome. And another one that should be coming out really soon that meant a lot to me. I campaigned for this book. It’s the first YA, it’s is it Harmony Inc? Is that what the Dreamspinner…? Yeah, it’s their first YA title that they’re putting out on audio.
Jeff: Oh, fantastic.
Joel: And I went to Elizabeth and I was like, ”Please, please, please, we need to get these stories out there. You know, they’re really important for people to have access to and I love this story. Can I do it?” And she said, yes, which was so awesome. And it’s called ”Mad About the Hatter,” it’s Alice’s brother. Ends up in a tryst with the Mad Hatter and it’s adorable and wonderful. And I get to play all the characters in ”Alice in Wonderland.” And it’s written by Dakota Chase, who is also Kiernan Kelly sort of, it’s also Kiernan Kelly. But it’s brilliant and it’s one…it really was a treat. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done just in terms of performance stops. So I’m excited about that.
Jeff: Fantastic. That’s a good agenda that you both have coming up. And what’s the best way for our listeners to keep up with you guys online. I’ll let Marshall go first because I realized, I asked you both like, “Who me, me, me?” I don’t know.
Marshall: You know, actually if they go to InstaFreebie, they can get a free story, a free prequel to the ”Boystown” books and that signs them up for my newsletter.
Joel: And Facebook is probably the best way for me. Or yeah, Twitter is joellesliefro, F-R-O, but Facebook is Joel Leslie Froomkin and I sort of, I’m constantly posting on there about whatever’s coming out and reviews and stuff like that. So that’s a really good way to stay in touch.
Jeff: All right. Fantastic. Well, we’ll link up to all those things plus the books we talked about. And thank you both for coming on and talking about this wonderful book, ”Femme.”
Joel: Thank you. Thank you for having us.
Hi guys, I’ve been lurking for a little while but had to comment on this episode. I listened to Femme, and I was blown away. I never really know how to talk to effeminate guys. Would they be like Graham Norton, all funny for show? Or more like RuePaul, funny but really bitchy? So easy to stereotype people, isn’t it. Joel brought Lionel’s character to live, as if I’d known him for years. It was such a humbling experience. I was forced to confront my own prejudice. Great book, great narrator. It certainly raised the bar for me as a writer! Thanks so much for doing this extended interview 😀