Tara Scott 0:20
Hey everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended! I am Tara Scott and I’m back as always with Kris Bryant.
Hello, everybody. It is sweet sixteen!
Tara Scott 0:31
Ready to go get its license. That’s our podcast. Or have a John Hughes movie made about it.
Tara Scott 0:40
Is he still alive?
Don’t ask me that. I don’t know the answer to it.
Tara Scott 0:44
Well, he’s not making 80s movies anymore now that it’s 2021, so it doesn’t matter.
I don’t think you can probably do a 16-type movie justice anymore. I think it’d be hard. I think it’d be super hard.
Tara Scott 1:00
No, those movies are like Time Capsules too.
They are. They are.
Tara Scott 1:04
So before we get going too far, we just want to give a shout out. There were a couple of people who supported us through Kofi since the last episode that we had. They did it anonymously. So I’m sorry, we can’t thank you by name, but we would if we could. And one of them even left a message saying “Keep up the excellent work, love the chemistry, love the suggestions”. Thank you, you sweet anonymous soul, whoever you are, as well as the other spirit anonymous soul who still sent money as well.
If anybody doesn’t know what Kofi is, it’s like a digital tip jar. And you can use it to support creators like us financially either once or on a recurring basis. We very much appreciate it because it helps pay for things like our hosting and any of the other add ons that we use for running this podcast. So thank you so so much. And if you think that you might want to support us through Kofi, we put a link in the show notes every time and there’s also a link on the website.
Tara Scott 1:55
So Kris, what has been new and awesome in your world?
New and awesome. I went to the movies yesterday. The actual movie theater.
Tara Scott 2:05
Oh, okay. I’m a little jealous. We are not quite there yet. Because even though Neil and I are both fully vaccinated, our kids are not. So we still have to make our choices accordingly. But what did you go see?
I saw Black Widow because why wouldn’t I?
Tara Scott 2:21
We saw it last night.
Oh, so you watched it on Disney? Right?
Tara Scott 2:24
We did. Yeah, we did.
Okay. All right. So what did you think? One out of 10? What’s your rating?
Tara Scott 2:30
I would probably give it a six and a half or seven? I think. I felt like it had a lot of good going for it. But there were just some things that could have been a little better. What about you?
I would give it a 7.5. Seven and a half stars.
Tara Scott 2:48
All right. All right. I think we’re around roughly the same area. What did you love?
Rachel Weiss. I was surprised. I guess I didn’t really know the cast going in. I didn’t know much about it. Because, you know, Scarjo, that’s the whole reason why I went. I’m not gonna lie. And I don’t really know the history of Black Widow. So it was good to learn how she came about. And you know, I don’t want to give a whole lot away. But you know, it was pretty fast paced, action packed, which keeps me awake. I need that. And here’s the deal about the movies. Now, when you go to the movie theater, and you order everything online you can order your snacks, and your drinks and everything ahead of time, and then just go to this little hub, and it has a bag with your name on it and you just pull it and you go, you don’t have to stand in lines. You don’t have to worry about six feet away from people. It’s done. You grab it, and then you go to your seats, and they keep a radius around you where nobody can sit beside you, behind you in front of you. So even though it was opening weekend, but maybe in the theater, there were probably 20 people in the whole theater. Cause I think everybody’s doing what you’re doing and watching it on Disney Plus, or HBO max or whatever.
Tara Scott 4:09
So good. I still liked being able to watch it from the comfort of my basement where I perhaps had had an edible beforehand. That opening scene is real rough when you’re stoned, I gotta say.
I think a lot of the scenes were.
Tara Scott 4:28
Actually that’s true. A lot of scenes were. But I think for me, the thing that I appreciate is that while I think it’s one of the darkest of the Marvel movies, like some of the themes and content there is quite dark. It’s the whole analogy of human trafficking is happening there and I guess what I’m saying is I think they’re making it’s- I guess it is human trafficking. It’s just that we know that this guy has been making assassins and this shouldn’t be a spoiler for anyone who has seen the Avengers movies. So I’m sorry if you haven’t seen them. That came up like more than a decade ago.
And surprise, there’s more than one black widow.
Tara Scott 5:07
Right, right. Oh, no, who didn’t know that. But I also liked how funny it was. Like Florence Pugh’s character is hilarious. She’s so good and Neil checked and according to IMDb, she is in every episode of The Hawkeye series.
Tara Scott 5:30
I can’t wait. I’m very excited to check that out.
Now you do watch it till the very, very, very end.
Tara Scott 5:37
Okay. Just want to make sure. And if you do go see it, if it’s on your queue to watch or to go see, always, always and forever stay till the very, very end of every movie.
Tara Scott 5:51
It’s listener question time. It’s time for listener questions! Yurific asks a question: As you guys know, fanfics have a ton of tags, which are great for searching. Would you all want that for fiction too? Any thoughts?
Tara Scott 6:10
Yes. I mean, it would be great if I could just go out into the world regardless of lesfic or otherwise, and be able to find that. But you know, Kris and I were talking about this, and we have a couple of different ways that you can do this as lesfic readers at least. And so the one that I’m going to plug is that I’m sure a bunch of y’all who are listening, maybe not everybody, but a bunch of you are fans of the old f f romance. And if that’s your jam, head on over to The Lesbian Review, it’s one of the sites that I review at, we have literally dozens and dozens of tags. Do you want to read books that are set in Australia? We have a tag for that. Do you want to know about I suppose the firefighters and I’d like to have one for firefighters, I’m pretty sure that we do we have for like, a ton of professions. We have it sorted by time period. Do you want to know the heat level? They call it sexpectations there, but you can even sort by that. So like, go there. You can find tons of it. We recently added tags for tentacles. I don’t know who was asking for that, you thirsty bitches. Somebody was asking for it.
I have so many questions.
Tara Scott 7:27
Right? I have questions. This is one of those I was like, “Okay, this is a tag we’re adding, enough to think Anna Burke’s books ended up in there. But those are like tentacles that will kill you. This is not like…
Are there any tentacles that are like good tentacles?
Tara Scott 7:45
Listen, I’m not gonna yuck anybody’s yums. And you’re the last person I thought would too.
Like I’m one to talk, I know.
Tara Scott 7:58
Go to The Lesbian Review, you can get all the tags on all the things.
I will say that when I turn in a book, my publishing company, Bold Strokes Books, whenever I turn in a book, I now have to provide keyword searches. I have to provide tags, hash tag, and they give you a list of what to choose from. You know, like big city, and they have like, if you’re looking for Arizona, or California, or butch or femme or whatever, they have a bunch of keywords. And I just did the search too, I did a search for royalty. That’s right. So I did royalty just to see. And sure enough, if you go to BSB, and you type in, you know, hashtag royalty, it pulls up all the royalty books that we have. And so I’m almost certain like all publishing companies do that now. Plus, I mean, whenever any writer does a promotion, whether it’s on Twitter, or Facebook or Instagram, most people do have the hashtags. You know, lesbian romance, lesbian erotica, you know, hometown, I think I had a couple, you know, dogs, you know, for home and things. So I think more and more writers are doing it. And more and more publishing companies are also putting it on their websites to make searching for what you really want to read about, you can have access to it.
Tara Scott 9:14
Yeah, I agree. I don’t know that we’ll ever get to the same level of granularity that you might find on like AO3 or fanfic sites like that, because it’s individuals who are creating their own. And so new ones are coming up all the time. And so it’s like, there are some of the more popular ones that maybe we’ll start seeing come out either in review sites or publisher sites like Coffee Shop, or like One Bed. “Oh, no, there’s only one bed in this place but two of us!” But some of the other ones where you get down into like, are you ever going to be able to search for like, really explicit sex acts? Probably not. But I mean, that’s what friends are for. Ask your friends.
Tara Scott 9:50
Has there been I don’t think there’s been tentacles in sex in a lesbian romance. If there has, you know what, let us know.
Right? There’s got to be some sci fi space monster with tentacles that has cross over into the human. Maybe? I don’t maybe.
Tara Scott 10:15
I don’t know either.
I’m not writing it. I will not write that story.
Tara Scott 10:21
You already did. Yeah, if you do know of any, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send us a tweet, you can send us an Instagram or Facebook DM, whatever you like. And also, we just want to do a follow up to the listener question from last time. So in the last episode, Jamie Hunsacker asked us to talk about the under representation of trans women in lesbian fiction. If you didn’t hear that episode, go back and check it out. Or even if you go to our website and to the page for that episode, that’s been pulled out as a YouTube clip, you can just listen to that if you’d like.
But in that we asked if people could share their recommendations of books like that, and unfortunately, we didn’t get any so again, I’m going to say if you know of any lesbian fiction that really prominently features a trans woman, please please share it with us again, you know, podcast@queerlyrecommended tweet us Instagram us whatever you like. But Jamie actually came back and she shared recommendations of trans women cis women pairings with us. So she noted Roller Girl by Vanessa North, that’s the one that we mentioned, but also Knowing Her by Raquel De Leon. Second Exposure by Chelsea Cameron. April Daniels has a Dreadnought series and then there’s a graphic novel called Cheer Up by Crystal Frazier and so that came through last week and then today, very happily. This morning. I woke up to one more tweet from Jamie that says after I gave you guys my list of lesfic books with trans leads earlier this week, Lilly Seabrook announced she has a book coming out next month with a trans protagonist, which is called Fake It. Jamie says she just finished the ARC. The book is delightful, so I’m gonna say “How about we all go and check out that book? I’m gonna go preorder it personally.”
Tara Scott 11:59
Tara Scott 12:01
Now that The Handmaid’s Tale is done, and you are no longer just dumping cortisol into your body on a weekly basis? What have you been watching or reading?
So I’m still watching Alone, we’re down to five contestants now. I think we’re on like day 24 or so. So five people have made it 24 days in the wild. So that’s going on. And so yesterday, Atypical the final season came out and I binge watched the whole season in one sitting.
Tara Scott 12:34
Because I liked that show. I really like it. And there is queer rap. There’s queer rap.
Tara Scott 12:42
What is the queer rep?
Okay, so let’s start off and I’ll read you a little bit about Atypical. It says “When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self discovery”. So there’s a lot of relationships going on. It’s kind of like Love, Victor, where you have parents having issues and they have issues with each kid. And Sam’s sister Casey comes out as bisexual. So she has a boyfriend at the start of it and then she switches over and she now has a girlfriend. So she comes out, she tells her parents, “I’m bisexual”. And so like, the whole thing is really sweet. She’s concerned, you know, by telling her parents and her Dad’s like, “I don’t care. Just, you know, as long as that person treats you right”. So it’s really sweet. And I’d been on this show, this was the fourth I’m really bad at like, I think it’s the fourth season and final season. I mean, that was it, last night was it. So I cried. I’m not gonna- I’m a crier. I cry.
Tara Scott 13:40
That’s all right.
So I binge watched that. And then your husband talked me into seeing the Fear Street Trilogy on Netflix, where right now it’s, you can see Fear Street 1994, and Fear Street 1978. And it’s full of gory stuff that you probably don’t like.
Tara Scott 14:01
I did not watch the first one. And to be fair to use the word ‘watch’ would not be accurate for what I did with the second one. I was in the room playing Stardew Valley.
There’s no way.
Tara Scott 14:16
And every so often, I would look up and have regrets.
I was going to say, like the first one is gory, but the second one is gory on a whole different level. Like I can’t believe that happened. Like the whole time. Like, I can’t believe that happened. So now I’m invested. You know, I’m like, “Fine, Neil, I’ll go ahead and I’ll watch the final one”. I don’t know what the final year is. But I think it comes out next week. But by the time this airs, all three will be out. So I will have watched all three.
Tara Scott 14:43
He was saying that he thinks it’s the 1600s
Oh, you know what, maybe so because they did like a little preview. Yeah, so that’ll be fun. That’ll be witchy witchy. Yeah, I’m down for that. I’m down for the witchy witchy
Tara Scott 14:58
Yeah he’s super exited for that one too but when I heard what that was about, I was like, “Nope, nope, nope. Bye bye bye.”
So I’m sure I’ll hear from him after it’s over. After it’s all said and done. The trilogy is over. But what about you? What are you? What are you watching? What are you reading?
Tara Scott 15:13
So we are still watching Loki. And the point at which you and I are recording this is between the second last episode and the final episode. And the way they ended that last episode. I just felt like it was really rude to not release the last episode. So you can go straight into it. It’s so good. This is I think, for me, it is my favorite of all of the Marvel series that have been coming out. It’s just it’s so well written. The aesthetic of the show is so interesting. Tom Hiddleston You know what’s funny? I never really got it about Tom Hiddleston when I was the other people that are like, “He’s so hot”. I’m like, “Is he?”
He’s Loki. Is he?
Tara Scott 16:01
Yeah, he’s such a dick. But you get to see so much more of him and who he is. And I just find him so much more interesting now that I’m like, “Oh, yeah, okay, I’m starting to kind of get it”. So it’s like no, truly, truly this is adding to my theory that Thor Ragnarok is the movie for bisexuals, because there’s something for everybody.
Tara Scott 16:22
There’s so much to love in that one movie alone. I mean, you have your Cate Blanchett fans are gonna be happy.
A lot of them.
Right? Tessa Thompson. But then you also have the Mighty Thor himself and his brother. And Idris Elba.
Tara Scott 16:37
There’s something for every queer out there. So yeah, I really like what’s happening with the show. I really like where it’s going. I’m afraid to say anything, because there are quite a few twists within it. There’s some people that might be waiting for it to be done before they start watching it. So I don’t want to share too much. But just It’s so good. Go check it out. In terms of gaming, of course, as I mentioned, I’m still playing Stardew Valley. I started playing it what a month ago?
You got married the last episode you were married to Allison right. Is it Allison?
Tara Scott 17:14
It’s Abigail. I married Abigail. My favorite thing about that was then finding out later that my six year old hates Abigail. Oh, because my two kids also play. And the reason she hates Abigail is that basically the game runs like a calendar year that that happens. There’s the four seasons, and every spring, there’s an Easter egg hunt. And so she’s like, “I hate Abigail so much:. I was like, “What why do you hate her?’ And she’s like, “She always wins the Easter egg hunt”. And I said, “Well, I married her”. And then my kid turned to me and said, “How could you? She’s awful”.
Like who steals eggs from kids?
Tara Scott 17:57
Right? Except another kid? I don’t know. It’s like all the marriage options in the game. Like you’re supposed to be somebody who’s quite young, and everybody else in the game is quite young. And so that’s the one thing I feel a little weird playing. It’s like, “I am a woman in her 40s and I’m-
-playing an eight year old who’s married? Or what? I don’t know.
Tara Scott 18:17
I think it’s more like 18 year olds.
Tara Scott 18:22
No, God, eight year old marrying eight year olds. Barf.
What are you doing?
Tara Scott 18:28
And then you adopt babies? No big deal. Like no.
I was gonna say have you adopted anybody?
Tara Scott 18:33
Yes, we have adopted two babies. There’s a boy and a girl, they’re both toddlers. So I let my oldest kid name the boy. His name is Hunter. And I named the girl Nora, because why not?
Tara Scott 18:50
They’re doing fine. But I looked and so also since the last episode, I had a week off. And so recently, I thought “I wonder how much Stardew Valley I’ve played in the last six weeks”. And it turns out, it was 130 hours.
Oh my gosh. Wow.
Tara Scott 19:08
That’s a lot of hours. I might have a problem. A Stardew Valley problem.
Yeah, that’s more time than I write. That’s amazing.
Tara Scott 19:22
And then in terms of reading, I have begun reading Covenant by Ann McMan, which is the fourth and she says final installment in the Jericho series. And I feel like most lesfic books, people have at least heard of it and hopefully read this series, but just in case not. I think this is one of the more interesting series that I’ve come across because she did a bold thing. And so the first book Jericho is a romance novel, right? So it’s between this like, again, it’s one of those like if you just throw the name Jericho out, you just hear everybody say “I love Maddie and Syd so much”. And it’s like yeah, of course they’re like gorgeous and hilarious, like what’s not to love? And it’s in this like small town in Virginia? Or is it the other Virginia? I don’t understand why there’s two Virginias it doesn’t make sense.
That’s right, you’re Canadian.
Tara Scott 20:13
Exactly. Well, I think it’s supposed to be kind of the Appalachian. Maybe? This is where my Canadian is showing, I don’t know. I don’t really know the geography part of this book. And it doesn’t really matter until it sort of matters later on from like, the politics of the area.
Tara Scott 20:29
But that particular book is it’s like, yeah, it’s like small town quirk, you fall in love with all these weirdos. And then the second book is not a romance. None of the rest of the books are the romances. And I think it’s really interesting for an author to choose to shift genres. And in this case, though, it worked really well. Because like Maddie and Syd, falling in love is a great way to sort of get an introduction to the area and the characters and to kind of fall in love with everybody in the setting. And then the books start to hit you hard, with serious things, talking about immigration, and child abuse, and homophobia and all these things. And so this last installment is excellent. And I’m not 100% sure where it’s going. I think I’m only about a third of the way in. I’m curious to see how everything wraps up. But there’s definitely like, there’s a strong theme of girls and women reckoning with a history of bad dads.
Tara Scott 21:26
And it’s like, what do you do with that, and at the same time, it also feels like, it’s really looking at kind of some of the ugliest parts of what Trump did to America, and especially in places like that, you see a shift in the way some folks in town and it’s like, none of the people that we grow to love as readers. You know, it’s it’s like none of those kind of prominent characters. But the other folks in town, like you just see that attitude shift. The the permission that Trump gave for the quiet part to become loud. And you sort of see that in action in this book. And so there are times when I’m not even sure how to say it. Like, it’s never too hard. Not for me, certainly, I’m a fairly sensitive soul. It might be for some other people depending on their own personal past and where their limits are. But I just wonder how it goes from this like, fraught, tense, anxious place that the book is right now to how it’s going to resolve. That’s what I’m really looking forward to seeing. How does it resolve all of that? How does it wrap up the series?
Right? Don’t read ahead. Don’t read ahead.
Tara Scott 22:32
I haven’t if you can believe. I’ve been tempted to but I haven’t because I always read ahead.
I know that’s why I’m telling you not to. Don’t do it. Don’t ruin it.
Tara Scott 22:41
It’s really hard.
Just skate into it and just, you know, end it with a smile or like cry.
Tara Scott 22:47
Yeah, I’m expecting one or both of those to happen for sure.
Tara Scott 22:53
All right, Kris. What is your official recommendation this week?
Okay. My official recommendation is Under Her Influence by Amanda Radley.
Tara Scott 23:02
Hmm, tell me more. What’s it about?
So I’m gonna read the blurb. “Fraser Park the award winning Scottish nature reserve and theme park means everything to Beth Fraser. She’s more than a little preoccupied saving her family’s legacy and struggling against a board of directors who all seem to hate her. The last person she wants to need is selfie-obsessed, filtered-to-perfection, social media influencer, Gemma Johnson, but she’s got to protect Fraser Park from a corporate takeover and according to her brother, that means boosting their online presence. Gemma might be necessary, but Beth doesn’t have to like her or follow her or whatever it’s called. Gemma Johnson an Insta success with hundreds of thousands of followers is proud of her perfectly curated life. When she’s invited to stay at Fraser Park the trip sounds like a fun adventure for a good cause until she meets Beth, the only woman who sees beneath her sparkly facade and reminds her that not everything is as easy or flawless as it seems. On their path to hashtag true love will Beth and Gemma discovered that reality is even better than illusion”.
Tara Scott 24:09
Will they? Do they?
First of all, I’m not an audiobook kind of girl. Like the only way I’ll listen to one is trapped in a car. And last week, that’s exactly what I was. I was trapped in a car. I drove down to my sister’s lake cabin to work there. It’s in the middle of nowhere. Like the roads? We’re talking like you don’t see people for a really long time. So getting reception for the radio is sketchy. So I was like, “Okay, I’m just gonna listen to an audio book”. So I picked Amanda’s because I know that a lot of people like her books, and also we were book buddies. We had books released at the same time, June 1.
Tara Scott 24:51
I’m like, “You know what, I’m just gonna go ahead and listen to this”. The world knows that I’m a sucker for an accent. And in this book, there are two accents. Like there’s Scottish, and then there’s British and I was in love, and I don’t know, the narrator is Amy Putt, and I don’t know if she did a great job if like, she really nailed the the different accents, but I enjoyed it. 100% I enjoyed it. And I could, you know, she differentiated enough to where I can understand who was talking. Because I know that’s a thing in audio books, it’s real hard to to figure out who’s really talking. And so I was able to slip in and out of the characters without any problem.
So yeah, I went into this book with no character expectations, you know no plot pleads like, “Oh, please, please let this happen”. Nothing like that. I just wanted to chill with the story. And it’s low angst, very low angst, almost zero angst. And Amanda is just a fabulous writer. I mean, she’s kind of like Finn. Their word choice is so perfect. And I can really appreciate that as a writer. For example, and everybody knows what this means. Like Gemma’s talking about how she gets her nosiness from her mom, who is a curtain twitcher. And we all can picture it.
Tara Scott 26:15
I love it. And so you know exactly what she means when she says that. A curtain twitcher. Perfect. It’s perfect. It made me laugh made me laugh. So this is kind of like an age gap romance. We know that Beth is 42. But we don’t know how old Gemma, is at least I didn’t pick up on it. I’m guessing like maybe late 20s, early 30s. And it’s not really an ice queen but Beth is really stoic towards Gemma at first because Gemma’s doing something that Beth doesn’t allow at the park. And so right then they clash at the very beginning there, they clash. But then they don’t clash. It could also be like an enemies lover for that reason. And so the reason why I picked this is because right now I’m editing a book, and I’m also writing a book. So I have so many deadlines. And I just needed something that made me laugh out loud and smile at how well it was written. And so if you don’t like Insta love, this really isn’t the book for you. But if you want to have a pleasant afternoon reading a book, then this is your book. You know exactly what’s going to happen. You know, you learn each character, and you know what’s gonna happen, but the writing is so good that you keep reading. Also, sex is off the page. Amanda writes Fade to Black. So your action is really first base only. Some people are into that, while others prefer like the grand slam, you know, in the book, so
Tara Scott 27:41
Is at least appropriate to the overall tone of the book?
Oh, for sure, for sure.
Tara Scott 27:45
I find that makes a really big difference because I see some readers that are like, “I never want to read about sex and I just skip all the scenes” and I see other readers that are like, “I only want to read books with sex in them”. Whereas to me, I want to know, “Does it fit or not?” Because I’ve read some books where based on the overall tone of the book, and then it gets to the sex scene, which is so explicit. I’m like, “Did this come from a different book?” Because I don’t know how it got into this book or other books where the build up had been such that like it was hinting to this like real good, sex scene that was coming and then it closes the door. And I was like “How dare you ma’am?”
I like reading sex without a doubt. I like writing sex. I like reading sex. Sex is a real thing. It happens in relationships, especially when two characters are getting together that whole excitement and you know, you’re gonna find out about these people and see if they mesh well, you know, so most of the books I’ve read, there’s sex on the page. So the fact that this didn’t, you know, it didn’t deter me from the story. It was just kind of like okay, and I think I knew that going into it that Amanda doesn’t really write sex. Just first base only and I was fine with that because, like I said, her writing is so clever. And the fact that she’s British, she has different ways of saying things which of course, you know, I can appreciate like the curtain twitcher, I mean, I that is the you know, I couldn’t take notes I could write, you know, down quotes that I really liked because I was driving and then audio book but curtain twitcher like made me laugh. Like this is great. My mom is a curtain twitcher!
Tara Scott 29:24
Like seriously, I shout it out earlier, but it makes me think of the Gladys Kravitz character from Bewitched. It always makes me think of her and how she’s like, she’s constantly peeking in, she always sees the magic happening, but nobody else sees it. So she looks like she’s nuts. But like, she’s constantly just perched at that window. Okay, I want to ask a follow up question to something you said because you said something I have never heard an author say before. So we’re gonna go off on a tangent if you’re cool with it.
Tara Scott 29:57
You said that you like to write sex scenes.
Oh, I love it.
Tara Scott 30:00
Because I constantly see authors agonizing on their socials about “Oh, I have to write this bad damn sex scene.” It’s like they’re going down to the coal mine. Why do you like writing them?
I like writing them. Because you’ve spent, you being the writer, you’ve spent so much time with these characters in your head, even when you’re not writing, they’re still there. They’re like having conversations, they’re getting to know each other in my head. And so I’m with them all the time. And so when I finally get to the sex, to the intimate scenes, I want them to have sex, they have been monopolizing my life foir months and I just want them there. They’re there, the chemistry is there, they need this, they want this, so I’m going to help them get this. And I really enjoy being, you know, creative with it, because it’s hard to be creative writing sex on the page all the time. So, you know, plus, everybody’s different, your characters, some are really shy, and they turn out to be like little sex kittens inside the bedroom, which surprised me. Like, I don’t know what’s going to happen, you know, and sometimes they fumble around because they’re not experienced. And so it just really depends on the character. And so if the character wants to go all in, I’m great. You know, I’ve had books where I’ve had like, six sex scenes. And then this, Always, I think, only has one or two. So yeah, it just depends really on the storyline. And it depends on, you know, just the chemistry of the characters.
Tara Scott 31:28
And now that you’ve finally written a book in the third person what do you find is different about writing sex scenes from the first person versus third person perspective?
I think in the first person, you have more of an id response, you know, you can go to that deep place inside to where “I want this, I want to fuck, I want this, I want to taste.” It’s all internal. And I love writing that internal battle, you know, when you’re having sex, because some things you’re thinking and you would never in a million years, say it, because it might not sound sexy at the time, but like, you’re determined to do whatever you’re determined to do. And third person, you’re kind of like, just in the room. So it’s more, to me it’s less emotional writing it in third than it is in first person. So first person sex for me is extremely emotional. Whereas third person is more descriptive.
Tara Scott 32:19
Yeah. All right. Well, thank you for allowing me to have that tangent.
Yeah, I do. I love it. And I just every time I see somebody who like cringes writing sex, I’m like, “How? Why? That is part of life. Why would you cringe at something that’s so beautiful?” It’s such an enjoyable thing to write and experience. And you know, you have different people, you find out how they are during sex, because you’ve like I said, you’ve spent so much time with them.
Tara Scott 32:48
Yeah. I’m all in.
Tara Scott 32:50
Yay. Okay, so what is your big recommendation this week? I’ve monopolize the whole frickin podcast.
Tara Scott 32:58
Oh, no, no. So I hope everybody is ready to hear me talk about this book for the next year and a half because I loved it so much.
I want to say one thing before you say this recommendation. Like Tara was ready on Friday night to do this podcast. I’m like, “It’s Friday night. No.” You were gung-ho. You were so excited about this. I haven’t seen you this excited in a really long time.
Tara Scott 33:28
Yeah, well, it’s my favorite book of 2021. So far. I know there’s still time for other books to come in.
Still time. Still time.
Tara Scott 33:37
I think it might be tough to beat it because it was kind of like somebody said, “You know what? Tara’s had a rough year and a half. I mean, I know everybody has, but how about I just write a book for her?” Which is not what happened. I know that’s not what happened but that’s what it felt like.
Maybe it did.
Tara Scott 33:51
That’s what I felt like when I was reading this book. Oh, my god, you’re almost ready to kill me at this point. So my recommendation is One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. And people who are familiar with this author know that she came out- her first book was a romcom. It was a male male romance called Red, White and Royal Blue, which I have not read. I’ve heard it’s adorable. If it’s anywhere as cute as One Last Stop, I want it and I’ll probably go read it even though I’ve rarely read male male. Jeez, I’m trying to think the last time I read one. It’s been years.
Tara Scott 34:28
Right? That’s awful. Because I’ve been meaning to read Nathan Burgoine’s books, and I even bought one of his books, because he’s so lovely. He’s with Bold Strokes, and he’s so supportive of all the lesfic authors.
Right, for sure.
Tara Scott 34:39
So, anyway if you’re looking for a male male author, that is actually a gay man, go check out Nathan Burgoine. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about him. Go get your queer boy love over there.
Tara Scott 34:50
But we’re talking about One Last Stop, which is about- so it is not in the first person. But it only follows the perspective of one character and that character is Auguste Landry. And we see her as she’s moving to New York City in the present day, and she is used to being kind of a loner. She had a weird childhood, grew up kind of almost as like a Veronica Mars girl detective sort of thing. Because she’s been, while her mom has had a private case, her mom’s brother disappeared in the 1970s. And her mom has been trying to track him down to kind of like an obsessive degree. You can see that it has some negative effects on August because she has a hard time trusting people and forming attachments and all that. But she gets a room, like she’s sharing an apartment with some folks that are looking for a new roommate, who basically just decide, “Oh, no, you are in our family now. That is just how that is happening”. And like everybody in this apartment is queer. It’s so lovely. Across the hall is a drag queen called Annie Depressant, who is this kind of prominent New York queen, and the roommates even help her get a job at Pancake Billy’s House of Pancakes. It’s this pancake place that’s been around since the 1940s. No, it’s been around for 45 years. That’s what it is. It’s not 1945, but it’s been around for 45 years.
Anyway, so she’s like, kind of going through life. And she’s going to finish out her college degree in New York, because she had been in a couple of other places that just didn’t feel quite right. And she gets on the bus one day after, you know, kind of falling and knocking coffee all over herself and all this but she gets on the train and she sees this super hot, butch who’s Chinese and leather jacket, white t-shirt, ripped jeans, Converse like, you know?
Tara Scott 36:54
Sexy, androgynous butch, right? And they kind of make a connection. And then she keeps seeing her on the train. And then she learns that this person’s name is Jane Sue, and that Jane is actually from the 1970s. And she is stuck on that train. And it goes from there.
Stuck on the train. Wow.
Tara Scott 37:17
Yes, they fall in love on the fucking subway of New York City. It is so good. And it’s funny because as I started reading it, I was like, “This is being sold as a rom com. How is that possible?” But then it’s like, it is really humorous. Like there’s a ton of things in there that I think are hilarious, especially in the conversations with the roommates. So at one point, August tells her roommates, kind of the truncated version of what her mom was like and what it was like growing up with her and so then I’m just gonna grab a quote. This is the response from her roommate Mila. “Anyway”, Mila says, turning to open the freezer, “That sucks. I’m your mom now. The rules are no Tarantino movies and bedtime is never.” Like, yeees.
Tara Scott 38:09
Very good. And then there’s another conversation that they’re having together. I mean, Mila is hilarious. She is one of my favorite characters in this book for sure. But they’re having a conversation about August’s feelings for Jane and August has a lot of angst about it because she doesn’t have Jane feels the same way. And so this is a quote from a passage there and it starts as Mila saying, “Maybe you’re meant to be. Love at first sight, it happened to me.” “I don’t accept this as a hypothesis”. Then Milo says “That’s because you’re a Virgo”. Then August says, “I thought you said virginity was a construct?” “A Virgo, you fucking Virgo nightmare. All this you still don’t believe in things? Typical Virgo bullshit”.
Like it’s just hilarious. But at the same time, the other thing that I really love about it in a way that I was perfectly primed to love, is that Jane was a part of the 1970s punk scene. She was like a participant, a spectator, like she wasn’t a musician, but she was definitely going to Max’s Kansas City. She was going to CBGB. Basically, she was going to all these places that I’ve been reading about in the book, Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian I forget her last name. And so I was just like (explosion sound) my brain is exploding. But then also hearing about how like, she went to drag shows. And you know, drag queens are really prominent in this. And so it’s like it took me two massive things that came out of the pandemic, which was like tunneling into the history of punk and RuPaul’s Drag Race and brought it all together in one beautiful book.
But I also love… there’s something really special that happens here, which is like just reminding us that the context of queer people live in now, is not the context that has always been around. And I think especially for younger queers, it’s really hard to forget how much essential work was done in the 1970s. And how difficult it was or to think that like, oh, RuPaul Drag Race is drag. That’s what drag was about. That’s kind of where it all started. It’s like “No, it started way, way before that”. It started even before the 1960s, like drag was a thing in, you know, World War Two there were soldiers who were doing drag shows. There a drag shows even before that, but like, if people want to, I’m going to give a side recommendation, we’ll say this might turn into a full recommendation at some point, but I’d have to rewatch the whole thing. But there is a Netflix documentary called The Queen. And it is from 1967, or 1968. And it is about a drag competition in New York City.
And so if you kind of want to get a little bit of a sense of roughly what Jane might have been able to see, that’s a great documentary to check out to go along with it. So it’s just it’s funny. It’s sweet. The romance is so well done. I love when they finally both kind of admit their feelings together. Because it actually starts with Jane blowing up and saying, “What are we doing here? Because I’ve been using all my best moves. And I have no idea what you think or feel about any of this”. And I just thought like, “How perfect is that?” Because we never get Jane’s perspective. And so I love that moments like that happen to bring her perspective in like she has this real emotional honesty that allows us to still understand what it is that she’s thinking and feeling. And I was never actually unsatisfied by the fact that we don’t get her perspective. I was really okay with it.
And I think that was probably a really wise choice to make with like a contemporary white author writing a lead, who is Chinese American and from the 1970s. Like, how can you authentically bring that in? I don’t know. I’m not saying it’s impossible. And I’m not going to tell like what people should write, although I certainly have opinions. But I think in this way, it ended up being very, very effective, because we get August’s perception of what happens. But we still get to hear how Jane feels and what she thinks and it’s just it’s really, really lovely. And I want nothing but good things for this book. Like if it wins the Lammy next year, I will not be surprised.
Wow. Well, you’re pretty good at like picking- like you pick the winners or the finalists. I mean, you’re like the person I go to like, “Hey, alright”, like a gambler. Like “What should I pick? Give me a number, you know, because I’m gonna trust your numbers”.
Tara Scott 42:59
Yeah, this is like I, I would not be surprised because it’s just so beautifully done. It’s so well done. And I just love the blend of like, really showing that dichotomy of like, queer experience now versus queer experience in the past, while delivering a gorgeous love story that’s full of passion.
I downloaded it.
Tara Scott 43:20
I did because I’m excited. UYou got me so excited over the weekend about it so as soon as I get caught up on my books stuff, then I’ll have time to read again.
Tara Scott 43:30
So I’m gonna get one more quote, because I think it is hilarious. So in that same conversation between Mila and August, when they’re talking about what she feels. Mila asks, “How do you feel when you look at Jane? When you talk to her? When you touch her?” And August says, “I don’t know, like, my heart is gonna come out of my ass and suplex me into the mantle of the earth, I guess.” What’s not to love about that?
Oh, the other thing that I wanted to bring up is that this is also the first time that I’ve read acknowledgments where I want to talk about the acknowledgement. It does two things that are really important and that I just love. And the first one is, I’m so mad that she said it there because as soon as she said it, I was like, “Fuck, I wish I would have thought of that”. But she says, “I love this story, because it’s an unbury,your gays story”. And I just thought, how absolutely perfect because it’s true. Everybody thought Jane was dead. And while her existence is, I’m not actually sure exactly how to put it by the end of the book she’s very much definitely not dead, which is so incredible, because in so much media, I mean, bury your gays is a very real thing. And so to very consciously go against that, I love that. And then at the end, I love that she says to every reader, “I’m one of many, many, but not enough queer voices in fiction. Each of them deserves to be heard, when you close this book, seek out a queer author you’ve never read before and buy their book, don’t begin an end with any one book, there are so many to love and supporting them creates a space for even more queer authors to print their words”.
Tara Scott 45:24
Which is like, especially given that this is a mainstream audience with a mainstream marketing budget, like I’m seeing it everywhere. This book does not need me to talk about it to get people to buy it. But I am so passionate about it, that I’m going to keep doing it.
But I love that she’s using her space to try to encourage that growth. And I just think that that’s so beautiful, and can only benefit the whole sector.
Tara Scott 45:53
Tara Scott 45:55
I wish I could say that’s everything I have to say. That’s all I’m going to say for now. Please be prepared to hear me bring it up at a later day.
As soon as I finish it we’re gonna talk about it again. So I’ll ready. I will be ready.
Tara Scott 46:08
So good. Well, that is all for this episode. Thank you so much for joining us. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please hit that subscribe button wherever you listen to your podcast so you can get notified whenever we release an episode. You don’t want to miss it. We’re gonna do more of those like rambling on about shit that we love, or maybe going into rabbit holes about why Kris like sex scenes. You don’t know. It could happen. Also, if you have a friend that you think would like Queerly Recommended please tell them about it. Word of mouth is the best way to get more people listening to it. So we would love it if you could do that.
Yeah, we’re trying to put more on different social media sites. I started putting a lot of our clips on TikTok. So we have some clips out there yeah. Surprise.
Tara Scott 46:49
How do we find it on TikTok?
Ah, well, what you can do is um, I’m stalling because I’m pulling up my TikTok account. And I’m very slow at it. But I am at lesfic_author and so I post not only like videos about my books, but also I put our clips on there. Our little clips that you see on you know Instagram and not everybody does all you know Facebook or Twitter. Some people, a lot of the younger listeners do a lot of Instagram and TikTok so that’s why I kind of hit it up there but you know, we’re everywhere so just search for queerlyrecommended on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or you could just email us at email@example.com.
Tara Scott 47:35
That’s it. Goodbye, everyone.
Tara Scott 48:18
Yeah, okay, well, before we get going too far, we just want to give a shout out there were a couple of people who lefst. We’re going to start that over again.
Tara Scott 48:27
Because I couldn’t say the word left without an ‘s’ in it.