I am beyond thrilled to finally announce that I co-host a bookish podcast, Read Smut, and it will be premiering this Friday, May 15!
On this podcast, my co-hosts Meg, Faith, and I read and review Romance and Erotica novels. We are joined by our illustrious sound engineer and editor, Kelsey, who has never read romance.
We started this journey at the end of 2018 when Meg, who has been reading romance for many years, asked Faith, Kelsey, and I to start a romance novel podcast with her. Although I wasn’t a romance reader at the time, as a lover of books I excitedly agreed to join the project. I did and still do mostly read fantasy, usually YA, but I was ready to try diving into another genre that so many other readers adore.
Before the podcast, I will admit that I didn’t have the most favorable impression of romance novels. My only real interaction with any kind of smut writing had been in one Hermione/Draco fanfiction and two cringe-worthy novels my friends and I passed around in high school; a Pride and Prejudice retelling and another book about a group of horny teenage boys and their crushes (I’m not even sure the latter qualifies as a romance novel…). I saw romance novels as lust-filled stories lacking any real substance, and dismissed them as something I wasn’t interested in reading. But when I started reading books for the podcast, I realized just how wrong I was and wished I’d started reading romance a long time ago. Unfortunately, the misconception I had of romance is one many readers, or just people in general, have of the genre, and so I hope our honest and enthusiastic discussions on the podcast will help change those minds.
Romance encompasses so many other genres; whether you typically read fantasy, mystery, thriller, scifi, contemporary, or historical novels, you will find elements of your preferred genre among the many subgenres of romance. The tropes and archetypes you love will still be there, mixed with some classic romance tropes and usually concluding in a happily ever after, or HEA. Moreover, there’s room for everyone on the smut scale; some romance novels contain little to no sex, where sex happens off-page or doesn’t happen at all, while the smuttiest erotica books overflow with steamy sex scenes. So far I’ve read books from across the spectrum, and I’ve enjoyed each one of them in different but unique ways. If, like me, you’ve had negative thoughts about the romance genre, I would encourage you to give it a try. I’d say there’s a very good chance you’ll like what you find.
In 2018 and 2019, Meg, Faith, and I read enough books and recorded enough content to fill ten podcast episodes..We did our best to incorporate as many subgenres of romance as possible, from regency to paranormal to motorcycle gang dramas. Along the way, we’ve learned which books work for us and which books don’t, and we also invited guests to join our discussions in a few episodes. However, throughout 2019 we encountered a variety of both positive and negative setbacks in our lives that caused us to push the podcast release date a few times. Even when put on hold, the podcast was always at the backs of our minds; we just weren’t sure when we’d be able to share it. I will also say that during this in-between time, I wound up reading a few romance books outside of our podcast reading list, and guess what? I still do, which goes to show how much this experience has piqued my interest in and love of romance novels.
Finally, in April 2020 we decided we shouldn’t wait any longer to release the podcast, and what better time to hunker down and work on some editing and strategizing than during the Coronavirus lockdown? It has brought us excitement and helped us feel connected during this difficult time, and we hope others will find joy in it, too.
Since several of our episodes were recorded months ago, you won’t hear us reference Coronavirus because of course, at the time, the existence of such a pandemic had never even crossed our minds. We also discuss a few events in 2019 that have now passed, including Meg’s wedding! We hope listeners will be patient with us and use those episodes to reminisce about the good old days in a pre-corona world.
As we continue reading and recording episodes in 2020, we’re hoping to incorporate more subgenres, voices, and representation into our lineup. We would love to hear our listeners’ thoughts, questions, and book recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we launch on Friday, please check out our schedule and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @readsmutpodcast. You can also find us on Goodreads. We can’t wait to connect with you and hope you’ll join us on our journey through romance and erotica!