About This Podcast


On Hot & Bothered, we encourage people to write Romance novels as a sacred practice.

In the wake of Trump's election, Vanessa found herself drawn over and over again to one joyful thing: Romance novels. 

It became such an obsession that she starting writing one. It was so fun. But the most fun part of it were the conversations she found herself having with friends about her Romance novel: "Wait! Why wouldn't she just choose Gary over Andrew anyway?!" or: "remind me why she can't just be with Andrew?" 

Vanessa wanted to share the wealth and so asked some of her best friends to join in by writing Romance novels of their very own. Conversations about pirates and pseudonyms abounded. Feminist arguments about the ethics of a teacher/student fantasy went on for weeks. And the idea for this podcast was born.

Each episode, we follow the experience of one of Vanessa's friends who is writing their very first romance novel. We've asked every writer to pick a romance novel trope to center their novel around. Vanessa Zoltan, co-host of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, interviews the writer/friend at different stages of their process, checking in about their experience writing, and their experience sharing their writing with others.

Vanessa and Julia Quinn,  Vanessa's favorite Romance novelist, discuss the tropes and what it takes to write a Romance novel. Academics in Women Studies, Queer Studies, English, and experts from the Romance novel industry weigh in on big picture questions.

We want to demonstrate that anyone can write a Romance novel. We want to encourage women to find joy and stretch their imaginations. We want to find meaning in the mundane, treat the secular as a sacred, and build communities of supportive and creative friends.