Oodles of Recommendations – BGFP episode 287

This week’s episode kicks off with some news. Jeff will host a live virtual event for Doylestown Bookshop with author Philip William Stover, I started the 100 Stories 100 Day project, and Jeff will be re-releasing Love’s Opening Night.

We recommend some TV and movies we’ve recently enjoyed: new movie Breaking Fast, the Netflix series Gameboys, reality competition show Blown Away, and the documentary The Bee Gees: How to Mend a Broken Heart.

Jeff and I also review some really terrific book – The Beautiful Things Shoppe by Philip William Stover, Rendezvous in Paris by Merry Farmer, Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell, Grumpy Bear by Slade James, and Infinity Son by Adam Silvera.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Audiobook Narrartor Joel Leslie – BGFP episode 252

Jeff and I talk about the super fun High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+. Jeff has more book recommendations from listeners and also gives his review of Alexis Hall’s Boyfriend Material. I review the heartfelt vacation romance, Honeymoon for One by Keira Andrews.

For this first listener favorite episode, we feature Joel Leslie’s appearances on the podcast. He talks about working with Haley Walsh on the Skyler Foxe Mysteries and with Marshall Thornton on Femme. Joel also talks about what it means to him voicing so many LGBTQ+ characters across more than 200 books.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Max Walker, Joel Leslie, Jay Northcote, and Slade James – BGFP Pride Month Bonus episodes

Author Max Walker shares a reading from his new book Hummingbird HeartbreakHe also talks about what Pride means to him.

Audiobook narrator Joel Leslie returns to talk about the work he did on Cat Sebastian’s Hither, Page. He also shares what it’s been like for him to voice so many LGBTQ+ characters in his career.

Author Jay Northcote reads from his holiday book A Boyfriend for Christmas and shares with Pride means to him.

Slade James, host of GayRomance.Show: The MM Author Show, joins us to talk about some classic books for Pride Month. He also shares what Pride means to him.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

A Tale of Expired Produce

This has been a hard year for many, especially those of us who care so deeply about the gay romance subgenre.

The last half of 2019 has been a particularly brutal punch in the face.

There have been plagiarists, authors behaving badly, a morally and ethically bankrupt publisher seemingly hell-bent on destroying everything and everyone it touches.


To be honest, this week I reached my breaking point. I was so full of rage, sorrow and disappointment that I literally threw my hands in the air and asked myself, “What’s the fucking point?”


It seemed everywhere I turned, our little corner of Romancelandia had become a foul, festering garbage dump – a landscape so toxic that any joy I once had for gay romance has been bled dry.


I was done.

Like seriously. Done, DONE.


I was ready to move on to something else, literally anything else that wouldn’t be so heartbreaking.


Chances are that you too have felt this despondency over recent events.

But I’ve had some time to consider the situation and I think I’ve figured out, “What the fucking point” is.


If you’ll humor me, I’d like to use an example.


Say you’re playing in a sandbox, having fun with your toys and your friends, and someone comes along and kicks down the sandcastle you worked so hard to build. You’re first inclination might be to ask “Why? Why would you do that?”

If 2019 has taught me anything, it’s that bad people don’t need a reason. Bad people tear down what other people build up.


“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~ Maya Angelou.


It’s a fool’s game trying to understand these kinds of people. If you’re like me, you’ve felt frustration, sadness, and maybe even a sense of hopelessness at what has gone on in our beloved genre this past year. I’m not going to tell you to move past it, or just get over it, because it’s okay to feel those things.


But here’s what I’ve come to realize this past week.


I do not believe, in my heart of hearts, that a few bad apples spoil the whole barrel.

I believe that our job in the coming year is NOT to ask those apples, “Why are you rotten?” but to toss them away and rejoin the other fresh apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, pears and all the other wonderful fruits and get back to what our genre is all about: creating happiness, spreading joy, and giving hope in these difficult times.


It all comes down to this:

Our genre is a big, beautiful, rainbow-colored fruit salad.

If you’re rotten to the core, get the fuck out of our way.

The rest of us have important work to do.

Reviewing Historicals and Talking YA Steampunk – BGFP episode 198

Jeff and I talk about our upcoming trip to New York City for the Romance Writers of America national conference and reveal that we will be among the presenters at the RITA Awards ceremony on Friday, July 26.

I review the pygmalion-themed historical romance The Masterpiece by Bonnie Dee while Jeff reviews a book Bonnie co-wrote with Summer Devon called The Nobleman and the Spy (I read this one too and totally loved it).

Jeff interviews Michael Vance Gurley about his new YA steampunk novel Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1)Michael discusses the inspiration behind the story, what he did to build the world it takes place in and what he hopes for the trilogy. He also talks about what’s coming up next for him.

Remember, you can listen and subscribe to the podcast anytime at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.