I've been on a huge podcast kick lately, listening to anything I can get my hands (ears?) on, and devouring romance podcasts like I devour romance novels. It's a great way to get a feel for what's new and exciting in the romance world, to discover new books and authors, and just to listen in on conversations about all of these things that I'm into!
There's such a wealth of useful information and discussion on podcasts, and I wanted to share some of my favourites. Whether you’re an aspiring romance author who wants to learn more about the industry or you’re a veteran who just wants to keep up with what’s new in Romancelandia, these podcasts – and the smart, awesome ladies who host them – have you covered.
I’m a big fan of the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog (who isn’t?) and their podcast is a gem. Sarah Wendell is always so excited to talk romance, she has awesome guests and topics, and she’s never afraid to discuss the tough subjects (and gives a warning for it if it’s potentially trigger-y). I also love that there’s a transcript for every episode – accessible and time-saving!
Jenny and Sarah hooked me from the first episode and ticked all the boxes for me: smart, funny, unabashedly feminist, great stories, and the perfect voices for a romance podcast. Come for the insightful interviews with big names in romance, stay for the sexytimes reading at the end.
You can tell Erin and Melody, the hosts of Heaving Bosoms, are best friends just from the warmth and ease of conversation. Listening to them review romance novels is like sitting around a table with your besties, squeeing about the good parts and shit-talking the WTF parts.
This one is still pretty new, but it’s one that aspiring romance writers should be listening to. Lots of commiseration about how tough the industry is and great advice about how to write, query, and develop a career in romance. The podcast and accompanying website are run by a number of romance writers at various stages in their careers, from currently querying to agented to published.
This Bookriot podcast is also very new (just two episodes in as of this writing), but they’re not shy about immediately jumping into the big topics – they tackle consent in romance in their second episode. I also really liked that they talk about how Romancelandia is a wonderful place but can be intimidating as hell to navigate, and that they’ll be a guide through it.
While not strictly a romance podcast, Bonnets at Dawn is a fascinating, entertaining look at the works of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters – and other 19th-century female writers – and how their popularity and influence continue into the 21st century. Pride & Prejudice is basically the ur-text for modern Regency romances, and the power of the Brontës on the genre is also undeniable. Knowing the stories behind these sources for the inspiration, tropes, and archetypes used in modern romance is key to understanding how the genre works and how to play with or subvert these old ideas. Lauren and Hannah, the hosts, are charming and engaging, and their enthusiasm is infectious.