Trope: Fake Relationship
About: Jen Chau Fontan is a mom, wife and management coach/nerd who obsessively reads books, writes, builds community, crochets and has dance parties with her three year old in her spare time. She is very excited to have added feminist romance writing to her repertoire.
Trope: Secret Baby
About: Olivia Hamilton is a recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School and is currently working as a chaplain at a children's hospital. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her sweetie Molly, their three-legged dog, Mingus, and fluffy cat, Judy. Olivia has never read a romance novel, but thinks a lot about what makes relationships work, and how to love, get loved on, and keep it flirty-funky-fresh in this sometimes soul-crushing world.
Trope: Secret Baby
About: Molly is a nurse practitioner who provides medical care to queer and transgender young people in the Midwest. She thinks that bodies are magical and learning about how kidneys work solidified her belief in God. She lives with a menagerie of mammals including her partner Olivia. Her language of love is tasks and she brings a piping hot cup of coffee to Olivia every morning before she gets out of bed. This might not be considered romance exactly but she thinks its a good start.
Trope: Marriage of Convenience
About: Elizabeth A. Yemane is an unemployed Harvard graduate from the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her family. While her parents are not ecstatic about her career trajectory, her cat, Duke, is overjoyed by her presence. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in Statistics and Global Health, which she hopes to somehow spin into a career in television production. Elizabeth is curious and eager to see how it all pans out.
Trope: Reunited Lovers
About: Sejal H. Patel is a public interest attorney and writer. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two wonderful daughters. She has never written in the romance genre but spent her childhood watching Bollywood films with her family and believing that people fall in love in song and dance in real life.
Trope: Updated Fairy Tale
About: Bryce Gilfillian is a pop culture obsessive working in higher ed and a Texan in exile to New England. He can most likely be found either curled up on a couch reading or baking something that he can force his friends to eat. He's excited to work through his own issues with romance in front of the listening public.
Trope: Enemies to Lovers
About: Ariana Nedelman is an independent audio producer. She is, in fact, the producer of this podcast. She is an avid consumer of old movies, and listens to a lot of Louis Armstrong. Before starting this podcast she had never read a romance novel.
Trope: Friends to Lovers
About: Brigid Goggin is a Jewish educator in Boston. She lives with her boyfriend Tyler and the best cats in the world. Her obsession with romance stories started at a young age with Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from the TV movie version of Anne of Green Gables. She's never written fiction before, but is excited to get one step closer to her dream of being Jo March from Little Women when she grows up.
Trope: Love at First Sight
About: Suzanne has been writing since she was 4-years old (starting on her parents’ living room walls). She has written and produced several plays that have been performed in multiple venues across the country. She is presently in the process of adapting her most recent production, “30 is the New 13”, for film with her partner, Max Kinchen. An LA native, Suzanne earned a Master's degree in writing from USC. She lives with her husband, David, and their adorable Shepard/Princess mix; Rookie.
Trope: Mistaken Identities
About: Marissa Martinelli is an editorial assistant at Slate, where she writes for the magazine's culture blog, Brow Beat. She hopes that romance as a genre will soon be taken more seriously within literary circles, just like her other great loves, fantasy and science fiction.
Trope: Widowed Virgin
About: Liz Aeschlimann is a Jewish chaplain who tries to spend as much of her days as possible asking college students what matters most to them. She loves swimming in ponds, hosting Shabbat dinner, and puppets. Liz is excited to face her stubborn prudish streak and fear of failure alongside her wife, Rachie, who is working on a mystery novel starring an intrepid lesbian rabbi. She splits her time between Somerville, MA and the Hudson Valley.
Meet Our Guests
Meet Our Team
Host & Producer
Vanessa is from like, the Valley. She has her BA in English Literature and wants to be the first millionaire who got rich exploiting her English degree. She will donate all of her millions to a dog related charity. Her Romance pseudonym is Lorelai Mason. She is the co-host of the podcast gem, Harry Potter & the Sacred Text. You can find her in sweatpants.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code. Ms. Quinn is one of only sixteen members of Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 29 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
Brigid is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She has her BA in Applied Anthropology from Hendrix College and her MTS from Harvard Divinity School. She currently works as Assistant Director of Education at Temple Israel of Boston. In addition to managing program operations, she teaches teenagers about the Holocaust through film, literature, and pop culture. Her current class is titled "Harry Potter and the Holocaust" and she is the co-author of the article "Should ‘Harry Potter’ Be Included in the Canon of Holocaust Literature?".
Ariana is from Santa Monica, California. She has her BA in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago, and decided to leave Harvard Divinity School to make this podcast. No pressure, y'all. Her research interests are Internet-mediated identities, cultural memory, and the phenomenology of illness. She produces the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and is working on another show called When We All Get to Heaven, which tells the story of how a LGBTQ Christian congregation responded to the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1980s and 90s San Francisco. Ariana has never written a romance novel, but if she did, her pseudonym would be Colonel Mustard. She currently has blue hair.
Julia was born and raised in Massachusetts. She graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Statistics, and now does research at Harvard Business School on diversity and entrepreneurship. Her interests include: working against the social construct that you need measuring cups to bake, maintaining a healthy relationship with french fries, and amassing stacks of library books on her floor. She has lost the yellow glasses pictured in the photo to the left, so if you find them, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their whereabouts.