It’s episode 69, y’all—and that means we’re getting steamy. Author Jasmine Guillory joins us for a look at the world of romance novels: why they’re important, what people get wrong about them, and what it’s really like to write them for a living.
Jasmine is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Date, The Proposal, and a new book, The Wedding Party, which just came out in July. Her hugely popular romance novels have earned fans from Reese Withersppoon to Roxane Gay to, well, us!
We loved hearing Jasmine talk about why she centers black women in her books, how she writes about bodies in inclusive ways, and why romance novels aren’t guilty pleasures—but rather a sweet (and sexy!) comfort in tough times.
People of color have always embraced stories that weren’t about us, so we have known that everybody else out there can do it… These are stories that everybody wants to see.
—Jasmine Guillory, author of The Wedding Party
We chat about:
- Jasmine’s latest book, The Wedding Party. It’s about Maddie and Theo, who share a best friend and a mutual hatred—till they end up in the same wedding party, and keep “accidentally sleeping together.”
- Why so many of us (ahem, Sara) are biased against romance novels. “There’s so much misogyny out there in the world, both external and internalized, that people kind of think that books that treat women as whole people...there must be something wrong with them.”
- How pizza and tacos are central to a steamy plot. “I want more women especially to stop thinking of foods as ‘bad’ or ‘good’—to stop thinking of themselves as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ based on what they eat that day.”
- Why Jasmine’s sex scenes get super-sexy—without focusing on characters’ body parts. “I wanted them to feel like no matter what they looked like in comparison to the character, there are certain things about your body that will still attract people.”
- Writing consent into the storyline. “If you’re writing a story where a heterosexual relationship is at the center of it, the power dynamics between the two people are important and you have to analyze that.”