July 6, 2022

Up late with Charlie Beauvoir

Up late with Charlie Beauvoir

Charlie Beauvoir is on this week’s Steam Seat and it’s another epic conversation. When Charlie considered writing romance, they wanted to write emotionally aware men and strong women as well as add to the queer romance canon. Charlie shares with me about working as a phone sex operator, how their job in security was just like Stephanie Plumb, how they wanted to re-write the romantic hero, and writing sensitively and accurately about trauma. Plus, I read a super steamy scene from their debut novel Captivating.


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Elle 0:00
Charlie Beauvoir grew up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest and left for grand adventure at grand adventure is not grand adventures. I'm like them that I'm a mess today, left for grand adventures to Seattle where they now live with their partner and young child. This city is where they worked as an undercover security agent, a phone sex operator, we'll be talking about that. A veterinary technician and more Charlie has traveled and loved and grieved. They have a passion for writing feminist and queer romance and feel thrilled to be adding to these sub genres. And I'm thrilled that you said yes to joining me on Steve scenes. Charlie, thank you so much for being here.

Charlie 0:38
Well, thank you. I'm so glad you invited me. I've listened to your podcast. And I like how you dig deep with people and just really ask some good questions. So I'm looking forward to this.

Elle 0:52
Oh, thank you. Thank you. I try to sometimes I'm like, Oh, my God, that's such a stupid question. Especially like, you know, sometimes, like the questions feel a little bit stale. Like the first one. I'm about to ask you. When did you realize you wanted to become a writer? Like, I feel like everybody asks that of authors, right. Like, when did you decide you want it to be that when you grew up? But I think that it's, I think that it's an important question to ask. So it's like the question I always lead with.

Charlie 1:18
Yeah, kind of gets the conversation going. You get a little bit of history and an understanding of the person that makes total sense.

Elle 1:23
Yeah. So when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Charlie 1:27
Well gosh, you know, it kind of was a roundabout way that I kind of came to it. I used to be an insomniac, I had a lot of insomnia issues. And so I would write a book in my head.

Elle 1:42
Oh, my God. insomniacs unite. Me too. Me too. Me too. Okay. Go ahead. Yeah. So you do, I'd lay in bed and I make up stories.

Charlie 1:50
Yes, yes. And then, you know, like, when you're going in your day to day life, and you're just like, bored out of your mind. Like, I would pretend like I was in a story, and it would get really elaborate. But I never thought that that was something that I would be good at, or something that I wanted to do. So. I was in graduate school, about two years in and I realized that most of my life, I've been managing and helping people understand their emotions. And I was like, Is this actually what I want to do? Or just something I'm good at? And so I left? Especially because of like the hazing process and academia. I don't know. Like, I went to

Elle 2:33
school, I went to grad school. It's how, yes, how?

Charlie 2:38
Yes, I completely agree. I don't necessary. But yeah,

Elle 2:43
I get I went through, I went through a program that was actually PhD track, but you didn't need to have a master's to go in. But like they wouldn't give you even though I was in arts, like they wouldn't give you an MFA because they wanted the terminal degree to be the PhD right. And when I say terminal, I'm unit and like the the I mean, it in the terminal dead sense. It because that's what grad school will do to you. And it was and so I, I got my master's and I ran because I was just like, this is awful. What were you in school for?

Charlie 3:15
Counseling Psychology. I was going to be a therapist, essentially. Yeah. So I am, I ended up leaving. And I realized that what I really enjoyed about grad school was writing my papers about social issues and things. And so I wrote this book that I'd had in my head for a really long time, and hated it and threw it away. And then wrote this book.

Elle 3:41
And this is your second book.

Charlie 3:43
Yeah, it's there was so much history wrapped up in it, like years of growing up, and I just as I was reading it, I was like, this is not where I'm at now. And it just doesn't fit. So I had to let that one go.

Elle 4:02
Okay, all right. Was it romance? Or was it something completely different?

Charlie 4:07
I didn't know what it was going to be. It was definitely a romance element to it. But it was actually kind of unethical. I had to let it go. Okay. Okay, I just leave it

Elle 4:24
there. Did you know that you wanted to write romance? Or did you or was this something you kind of stumbled on?

Charlie 4:32
You know, actually, I was trying to figure out like, what market would be the most that had the biggest holes. And I did my research and saw that romance was a really big one. And I was huge into reading romance when I was younger. And I remember walking away feeling dissatisfied from some of the books that I read. And I think it was struggling with you know, Not to get political but like, patriarchal reflections in the writing because most of it was from the 80s in the 90s. So, unpack all this,

Elle 5:15
I'm fine. I'm totally good with totally good what down with the patriarchy conversations on this?

Charlie 5:23
And so I just I thought, You know what, actually, I can fill a hole and have some protagonists, like emotionally aware male leads, I can have like, strong female leads, but also everybody is vulnerable. And then of course, you know, I want to I want to branch out into like, queer romance as well. So that's the third book in this series is going to send her some lesbian actually in a bisexual. So

Elle 5:52
that's excellent. Because I feel like okay, so caught, there's so much to talk about. Okay. I feel like with, with pure romance, we get a lot of, mmm, we don't get a lot of FF war. You know, I'm actually speaking to the next episode that comes out actually is I'm talking to a non binary romance writer, which was super fascinating. Because she's not she needs stop, I'm sorry, they.

Charlie 6:23
I'm actually non binary, you're talking to one right now.

Elle 6:27
Going so hard with pronouns. And I fuck it up all the time. And I get so frustrated with myself. They are. It's what happens when you're old. They they write non binary romance. And so I was curious if you were going to write non binary romance or you're writing or you're going to be writing more like FF or?

Charlie 6:50
You know, I think I kind of want to do all of them. I was thinking a trans. I've got a couple of characters that are developing in my head, actually wrote a blog post about writing on non binary characters. Because one of my writer friends was really struggling with it.

Elle 7:07
Why didn't see that when I was doing my research? I clearly didn't research very well tell me. Can you? Can we dig into that a little bit?

Charlie 7:15
Of course. Yeah. I think the hardest part and I think that it's the same with like sex scenes, is that it's really hard to sort of just go with it and put it out there, like you want to do it. Right. So that comes up when writing non binary people, you don't want to offend anybody. Right. Right. And I think that, I think that was the most challenging thing is that if you have the character in your mind, as a gendered individual who identifies as non binary, it really trips you up. Like, if that makes sense. Yeah, yeah. So, um, I think that when you truly do not know, the gender of the individual, using gender neutral pronouns is, is a lot easier. Because like, if I was talking about my friend, Chris, you wouldn't know if they were male or female. And so if you were going to ask me a question about them, then you would use gender neutral pronouns.

Elle 8:09
You know, that's super true. You know, I mean, I think, I don't know, I always think about it, like with my kid, like, like, she's got such a leg up on on me late, because she has been brought up in this and sort of, like, you know, I was brought up 80s and early 90s. And to talk about problematic we can talk about all those problematic TV shows and books and movies that were, yeah, you know, and so and so it is this sort of, you know, we were always taught that there's, like, your male female, like, there's, you know, there's determination there with, with your sexuality and with sex, and so and so it's like, I have to kind of like reprocess with with things because it's like, No, you were taught that, but that's actually wrong.

Charlie 8:59
is a part of your identity. For sure. Like, yeah, I don't identify as the female. Like, I understand what the rules are, I know how to operate. I know, you know, all these things. Like, my child is going through the same thing, like strongly identifying as his male self. And I'm kind of like, there are people out there who are in between, it just doesn't make sense in his young mind. You know? Yeah. How was that? Good?

Elle 9:24
How old are you? If you don't mind me asking is your son. He's five. Oh. Best age.

Charlie 9:35
super bright. Curious.

Elle 9:38
Mike. My kid is heading off to college in a couple of months. So like, take these moments and just hang on to them tight because they go so fast.

Charlie 9:49
Actually, I also have an 18 year old stepson.

Elle 9:53
Oh, so you know, yeah. You know, then okay. Yeah, you know, you know, you know, so yeah,

Charlie 9:59
we're going through Your toddler and teen at the same time. You know,

Elle 10:03
good luck with that.

Charlie 10:06
During the pandemic

Elle 10:11
Oh my God, that's the worst. Okay, jumping back into the fuck the patriarchy conversation. Yeah. You You know, your bio is your passion for writing feminist romance. And I would love to sort of like drill down a little bit. What does that mean to you? What is what is that? What does feminist romance look like?

Charlie 10:33
Well, I think in a way, it's sort of a redundant thing, like women writing books and selling them is feminist on in and of itself. Right. You know? So, um, you know, having a career and supporting yourself and things like that. Um, but I think when it comes to writing feminist romance, it's like what I was saying before, like, one of the questions you have asked us, what's the first romance novel I read? Yeah. That was captivated or captive Bride by Joanna Lindsay. Okay. And horrible. It's horrible. I mean, I loved it. You know what I mean? It I was really torn because I was developing this feminist identity. And I didn't understand like, why am I getting aroused by this horrible thing that is happening, you know?

Elle 11:25
Yeah. How old were you when you read this? Do you remember?

Charlie 11:29
I'm 12 or 13? I think,

Elle 11:33
okay. Yeah, you're young. But it was great. Because I know some people, some authors, I get on here. And they're like, Well, I think it was like a I was definitely too young to be reading it.

Charlie 11:45
Wow. Yeah, no, I didn't have my sort of like literary awakening until I was like, 11. And then I read A Wrinkle in Time. understood the fourth dimension, and my whole brain exploded. And I was like, Oh, my God, reading is amazing. Yeah.

Elle 12:11
And then you started grabbing, like every book that you could, and you ended up with Captain.

Charlie 12:17
voracious reader is actually a neighbor friend had like a huge collection of romance novels. And so I would go over to her house, and I would just pick whatever I wanted. So, oh, that's kind

Elle 12:29
of excellent. Now, what made you pick up captive? Right? Do you remember?

Charlie 12:33
You know, I was fascinated with kidnapping and, and all of that. And I think a lot of it comes down to like, purity culture, and that, if you're, if you're not willingly wanting it, then it's okay. So a lot of rape type things and things like that happened, that I was sort of drawn to, because I knew I was a sexual person. And I couldn't recognize what was going on, you know, right. Couldn't figure it out at me.

Elle 13:05
So, okay, that's really kind of cool. I mean, I love having these, these sort of these conversations around. You know, because I think any sort of, I mean, I don't you know, this, I'm gonna open this out, beyond women, but I think sort of like, any kind of non white sis hat male sex, or sexuality or sensuality. Like, I think putting that on the page is so subversive, the act of just putting that on the page and talking about it is so subversive, because we've kind of our culture is praises that sort of alpha male, right? And, and so and so to put something else, I think, on the page and say, this, this, this desire is beautiful, and this desire is okay. And this desire is all of these wonderful things. Like I always feel like just the act of doing that is such a subversion.

Charlie 14:09
Yeah, very much. Yeah, you know, that when I think about it, like when I was working as a phone sex operator, a lot of the clients just wanted to talk and think about the patriarchy and, and the expectation that men are supposed to be strong and, and take care of themselves. And they're actually incredibly lonely, you know, and so it doesn't serve anyone. But the one thing that I really learned when I was doing that was to say yes to the moment so sometimes someone I get a cold call, and I wouldn't know what it was going to be about. And this person would say that they were into this thing, and I think they were kidding, because it was so out there. But I didn't want I didn't want them to feel bad about what they were interested in. So I would say yes to the moment Right, right. We would just go with it. And sometimes those were my best calls. You know? So

Elle 15:06
how did you end up doing contact? This is like a wide ranging, wide ranging conversation. I didn't try doing that.

Charlie 15:14
I was in the kink community for a while. And I had a friend who had her own business, she had been in the industry working for men, and she branched out, created her own business. And so she had me write a character. And I sent it to her. And we had a couple of practice calls. And it was great. I loved working for her because she was like, if you have anybody who don't enjoy talking to let me know, you won't ever have to talk to them again.

Elle 15:42
Oh, that's amazing, actually, to create, like a safe space. So you actually created a persona? It did. Yes. That's kind of neat. I like I never knew I never knew about that. I had a friend that did online. Like back before online was a thing. And like, like, seriously, it was like before 1994 Like it was, I was in college. And he he was doing this sort of like online sex, chit chats, I guess. I guess they were chats. And I think it was like Playboy, or penthouse. It was like one of their forums. And, and it was, I mean, it was really wild, but I don't think he ever, you know, I mean, obviously, he had a persona of being a woman, but I don't think that he actually like, you know, created a character. And you know, what I mean? Like to, to sort of talk to these people. But that was, yeah, that was definitely, like one of the takeaways with with a lot of the men and I assume that they're what men you don't really have any way of knowing. When you're, you know, when it's online, there was a real sense of loneliness there. Yeah. You know, yeah. And unable to lack of connection.

Charlie 16:55
Yeah. Which is why I feel like writing emotionally intelligent men is so important so that women, maybe when they're reading it, consider that there's another option out there instead of this cold, detached, male protagonist. There's someone there that that actually is self aware. And, you know, like the main, lucky in the book I just wrote is very much that way. Like, he provides a safe space. And he's just very open about where he's at. Because the male Berman, Maddie, she gets sexually assaulted in the beginning. So, yeah,

Elle 17:31
yeah. Which we're gonna talk about that when I get to the scene, because I kind of really love the way that you handled. You handled that within the intimate scene. So I thought that that was really, that was really kind of amazing.

Charlie 17:43
Yeah, I definitely, yeah.

Elle 17:46
This book that you wrote is romantic suspense. You and You are an undercover. You've had such a cool background for a writer, like all of this makes sense. Undercover security agent. Okay. So, like, what was this? What didn't you say?

Charlie 18:05
So, um, I mean, it. Okay, so I went in with my friend was working as a security guard. And I went in, and they had me fill out an application, right? So okay. And then they said, Here's your cuffs and your badge, and you're gonna meet this person, and then you're gonna go catch shoplifters. And I was like, Okay. I showed up, I had no training, had no idea what was going on. And I like, tried to arrest someone who had not actually stolen anything, once. It's so I had to, like, develop these rules, these things that I had to see in order in order to make an arrest. So I basically trained myself, essentially. And it was very much like Stephanie Plum. And that was so accurate. Oh, my God.

I know, I've had knives pulled on me. I've been bitten. Oh, like, all sorts of things. Like it's been insane.

Elle 19:11
Oh, do you still do that as your day job?

Charlie 19:13
Oh, gosh, no. Oh no, you know, what was hard was that I was I was arresting people who were just trying to make it in the world. Yeah. And it was just, it was really hard. I didn't feel like one that I was making a difference and two that I was helping anybody. Right. So I ended up I ended up leaving.

Elle 19:35
I'm kind of like mind blown that like, you're in this position where you are given handcuffs and kind of not the fun kind, right? And they're like, go out there and arrest people. But that's like, that's your training. They actually don't train you what to like, what does it look like when somebody shoplifting?

Charlie 19:54
Yeah, I mean, I had someone there who was like, Okay, go walk around, but I also have a black belt. I'm a black belt in Taekwondo. So I had some understanding of what was going to happen. Although Taekwondo is a self defense, it's not like a, like a an aggressive kind of thing. Like chasing someone down is trying to get away from you. Like, it doesn't really come into play.

Elle 20:20
Right? But still even just the act of like, who am I looking? Like? What? Like, what is the tip off of somebody? Is that someone is shoplifting or about to shoplift? It's how do I know, I need to get like, No wonder no wonder people that no wonder like, security guards are just not that good at their jobs.

Charlie 20:37
I know. It's so true. No. So for me initially, I was typecasting essentially. And that I didn't get very many arrests. But when I started paying attention to behavior, I really developed a good instinct for catching shoplifters, and actually was one of the top performing LPS in the company. And I was like, one of three women out of like 20, or 40 Men, like between 20 and 40 men. So it was like,

Elle 21:11
so that's so funny, but it's a job that you are so ambivalent about. Right?

Charlie 21:16
Yeah. But you know that the other thing too, is that with, like, how I said earlier about managing other people's emotions and things like that, that kind of empathy really helps in that job, because you have an understanding of the person, the people coming in, like, I could just tell from the way someone was behaving, that something was gonna go down.

Elle 21:38
Right. Yeah, man. So how did that sort of inform the romantic suspense that you're writing?

Charlie 21:47
Well, definitely. I mean, like, I've had to testify in court, I've had to write legal documents and things like that. I've talked to so many police officers. So I have kind of an understanding of that. And, and there's something addicting to the adrenaline. Oh, so I feel like including that kind of high, fast paced intensity just sort of comes naturally. When I'm writing. Right,

Elle 22:13
so Okay, so to jump back for a quick second thumb. So this is a series that you're writing. Yeah. Okay, cool. And so is it. And it's all romantic suspense?

Charlie 22:26
Yeah. So, um, it's all based in this town called Cape Wrath. And it's mostly the characters from that area.

Elle 22:36
Okay. Okay, cool. And so Book One is captivating. Are you done with books, too? Are you working on Book Two? Where are you with that?

Charlie 22:44
I'm about two thirds done with it. And then I've got to do a couple of edits and send it out to my editor. But yeah, I'm thinking June, it'll be ready.

Elle 22:54
Oh, oh, that's soon. Actually when you sort of think like, think about it. That's really cool. So, um, so I know, you said you wrote your first book, and that, you know, and you're like, Nope, okay, put that away. And And now you've written your, your actual first book, like the one that's actually out in the world. And what was that like for you releasing?

Charlie 23:19
Um, it was, it was nerve racking. You know, how it is, like, you've written your first book, right? Like, figuring out how the industry works, what you need to do, how you're gonna get it done. And I think your first book, you're kind of wrestling with a lot of demons, you know, like imposter syndrome and things like that. Your first

Elle 23:40
second book, your fifth book? Yes. Yeah.

Charlie 23:46
When I also have like, a theory developing that your first book is actually the the main female characters a reflection of the author more so than any other character will probably be. And so putting yourself out there in that regard, too, is really nerve racking. So Oh, that's

Elle 24:04
interesting. Why do you think that,

Charlie 24:07
um, you know, a couple of my author friends, I've read their books, and I'm like, I see them, I see them reflected in that. And I also think, sort of like, you write what you know, and you know, yourself well write like trying to think of developing a character and all the complexities of that personality can be really daunting. So if you write someone similar to someone you know, or where yourself it's easier

Elle 24:33
Yeah, it's sort of interesting because I did start to kind of think about, like, where with my characters and and I think that what I've done with them is I kind of have pulled little bits of myself from certain ages, that sort of mirror the characters so like with my first rock star book like she is a teen night teen like she's still like, you know, late teens, right? still a kid, and sort of like, what was I like back then, you know, and I was full of fire, you know, and I was just like, you know, and I was just like wanting to, like, grab the world by the balls and like, you know, and that's who she is, right? And then you're kind of looking at, you know, her, then her a slightly older sister who becomes a little bit more introverted. And that's kind of where I went going into my 20s. Like, it's just sort of interesting to kind of look at the personality, like, just the little bits of personality that for me, that I've kind of put into my characters, and it also makes me go, wow, you've really lived a lot. Yeah. You know, so I think that there is some like, there is definitely some truth there for sure. And some insight into like me the author.

Charlie 25:47
Yeah. I mean, it's what's the quote that you understand, stand the world as you are, not as it is, you know, that everything you understand and feel and think is from your own perspective, right. So that's when you're gonna know intimately.

Elle 26:05
Right? Right. So I mean, I don't want to be like, so tell me about your character.

Charlie 26:11
I know, now that it's out there, you guys are gonna be like, Oh, this is Charlie.

Elle 26:16
So tell me, what is your character? No. Wonder I do wonder because, uh, you know, I mean, we talked about this a little bit, kind of in the green room, virtual green room. And the idea that like, when you're doing these things, these this creative thing, whether it's writing a book, or like, you know, podcasting or, you know, even just showing up on tick tock, tick tock. You're there. You're kind of opening yourself up to criticism. And that's hard. That's hard, you know?

Charlie 26:49
Yeah, definitely. I mean, when I was going to school, as a counselor, I had to get very honest, clear feedback about what my sessions with clients were and how I was affecting them. And that was, that was like an ego hit. Like, drag yourself through the mud kind of thing, because you have to really look deep, and understand what's going on. And so it's kind of the same, like the feedback that you get from people is obviously filtered through them, and their perception of things, but also, they're seeing things that you can't see in yourself, right, because I'm living in my own little world. So I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate the feedback without taking it personally. Really art, you know,

Elle 27:37
yeah, it there, there does need to be a level of detachment that on the one hand, I kind of feel like I've been pretty good at hanging on to like, I think that at this point, now I can take the valuable criticism, like where somebody says, Well, I kind of felt this way about the character, and then I'll go, okay, fair point, I'll keep an eye out for that. You know that I don't do that in the next book, right. But then you get the most recent one, I would have loved this book, except for all the profanity. I'm like, Oh, my God, you're getting Rockstar romance? What do you think you're gonna get? But that's not useful. more about her than it did about me?

Charlie 28:20
Or my characters? Yeah. I mean, I've read it several, like so many reviews, right? And the people like, when people don't like a book, it's because they feel like the character was behaving stupidly, you know, right. It's like, well, that's not how you would act in that situation. But this isn't a separate individual that's been created, you know,

Elle 28:40
right. So well, you know, so I kind of didn't want to talk about this until I got to like, the, the part in your book. But I don't know, like, you know, I think maybe we're gonna kind of get, we're gonna skip around and go to that right now. Because, because I think that this does bring up a really interesting point that I definitely wanted to talk about. So. So we are going to go to captivating for a moment. And I'm just going to read, like the very beginning of your steamy scene that you sent me. Because I thought that I just absolutely loved this. And this is kind of going to be part of what we're talking about. Are we rushing? Think so. Have you ever had anybody read your book to you know,

Charlie 29:27
I can't. I can't go back and read it either. Because every time I do, I'm like, oh my god, I should have done that better.

Elle 29:33
Right. It's so hard. It's so hard when I got my my first book made into audio book. They're like, Okay, now you have to listen to it and edit it. I'm like, no.

It's good, though. It's really wonderful. But so just, it's okay. Okay. Maddie slowly leaned down and gently grazed her lips over his. He kissed her back gently, her stomach fluttered and her chest swelled Her head was spinning, her senses came alive. It was clear they both liked each other as a hardness developed between his legs pressing upwards. Maddies body responded and she slowly ground her hips into his moaning lucky deep in the casts and his fingers dug into her hips. Maddie froze. arousal and terror were at war inside her terror one out, she was transported to the forest yet again, an animal like grunt, fingers digging into her hips. The tip of interaction pressed at her opening, the bulge between them was no longer exciting. Maddie began hyperventilating her body preparing to run, Lucky stopped at once he moved, so she was sitting on her own again, he silently grasped both hands, both her hands and has read, come back to me, Maddie, his deep baritone slowly penetrated the terror once more. And just after I read that, I was like, I probably should have said content warning, but I will be sure to put that in the description of this episode. You have a character that's dealing with sexual assault in my last book, I had a character who was a sexual assault survivor and about to like she basically press charges. And this person, this man that assaulted her is about to go on trial. And I was like, really struck? Because I'll tell you what, that was a hard book to write. Yeah,

Charlie 31:23
definitely. You know, especially if, I mean, I've experienced sexual assault. That's why it was so easy for me to provide. But also for the the rest of the day, and probably a couple of days after writing certain scenes, I had to take a big break and sort of take care of myself.

Elle 31:42
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that it's it's something that's hard to avoid. In our, in our culture, for sure. I also think that they're, you know, I felt just such a big responsibility. I mean, I hate to say to get it, right. And I think this is kind of the problem with that sort of, I had a big responsibility to get it, right, because people respond to trauma in very different ways. So I know that like, you know, the scene that I was writing, where it's the first scene where they're going to get intimate as her first time after the assault. And, you know, my editor got to that point. And she was like, Well, I don't understand. Why would why why is this happening? why would why did she Why did she freeze? And why is his reaction this? And I was like, really?

Charlie 32:42
Sure, yeah. Well, I don't think I don't think I'm writing those scenes for those. For those individuals. I'm writing it for the people who have lived it. Right. You know, I there's this sort of trope where in books where there's sexual assault that's happened is that the woman has healed through the sex with with the male partner. And, and what I really wanted for Maddie was that she resolved it on her own Yes, for the sex happened. Right. And the rest of the scene is her basically taking back her sexuality. You know? So, yeah, there's definitely going to be people that don't understand it. And, you know, there was I was watching a documentary about a girl in Utah who got kidnapped, and she was talking about how nobody, everybody was telling her what she should have done and what they would have done. And she was like, You didn't live it? You don't understand?

Elle 33:38
Yeah, yeah, the Monday morning quarterbacks, right? Well, if that were me, I would have done this thing. And it's like, no, really, you probably would have been cowering in the corner, like the rest of us, like really? No, like, you know, like, like, you don't know how you really have no idea how you're going to respond to trauma until you are in the trauma, right?

Charlie 33:57
And completely dependent on your past and the way that you've been told how to deal with trauma, right. But I think when after I was assaulted, I convinced myself that I had not been raped. And so but my body was still behaving as though I was still having like PTSD. And so I racially took everything I could find about rape, like, all the romance novels, all the books, like trying to decide on is this what my experience was? Is this accurately? What's what's happening?

Elle 34:35
Do you feel that that was? I mean, who's to say, Do you feel like that helped you?

Charlie 34:42
Yeah, well, yeah, I do. Because afterwards, when I got therapy, and I process through your thing, I realized I was seeing myself mirrored in that and that actually helped me to work through the trauma. Yeah, because I was like, no, actually, that That's why I was relating to this material. And so like, when I was writing the scene, I was thinking about a girl who is trying to understand it, reading it, and I wanted to like, I don't know, give them guidance without being like, without lecturing them, you know, just saying, like, this is what it can look like. And this is what happens in your mind while it's going on. You know, and afterwards. So,

Elle 35:27
yeah, yeah. And I also think the importance of having the partner that is going to be there and give whatever aftercare or care in general that might be necessary to sort of say, It's okay. You know, and give and also give the person the space to feel the things. Right, yeah. And to process the process through it itself, because that was the other thing that my editor didn't understand, like, Well, why why is the why is bas rejecting her, and I'm like, Bas is not rejecting her. He's letting her take the time she needs. Like he's giving her it. He's like, he's giving that to her, instead of like, crawling up her ass and being like, because what was what was?

Charlie 36:14
Right. Yeah, I mean, that's what you do. When you love someone, right? You, you look at what they need, and you respond accordingly. Like it, you can't tell someone how to process what's going on. And you don't have to understand you don't have to have been through what they've been through in order to give them that space.

Elle 36:32
Right. You just have to be a tune. Right? And you just have to be attuned to like, just be attuned, and like listening. Yeah, I mean, yeah, it was that that was probably, for me, I think the most frustrating part was to actually have to, because there was the self doubt creeping in, like, am I? Like, it was like, Well, I know, I'm not wrong here. You know, like, I know that this is like how a character is going to respond to this this particular situation? And, you know, but sort of being told that no, that's not it was really hard. And it was really hard for me to say actually, no, to trust myself and say, Actually, no, that is it.

Charlie 37:16
I was gonna say, your gut was probably telling you no, this is right. Like, I can't make it work in my mind. That it's not right.

Elle 37:24
Yeah. Yeah. And to have somebody outside being like, that's not. And so and, you know, and then of course, like, yeah, the Okay, my, not only is that moment, right, but am I handling this right, for, you know, for people that are reading this, and it's like, Ben, I know, like with the reviews that have come in, like a huge relief, that that people are sort of like readers are saying, this was really well handled, because it is so hard. It is such a hard thing to write about.

Charlie 37:49
It is, but it's so important, because there's so many women who've been through this, who tried to understand and rebuild their sexuality and a lot of them do with romance. Yeah, you know, yeah, so having a space for them as I think important,

Elle 38:05
so important. I took I took a sex and intimacy coach training course through sciatica Institute in San Francisco. And that was really sort of very fascinating to look at, you know, look at fantasy and how so much of our so much of sex is actually about healing trauma. And, and how it can actually be a really safe space to kind of, you know, play through whatever trauma like work through whatever trauma you have through sex play, which is that important.

Charlie 38:45
Yeah, that realization when I was doing phone sex was so important, because based on what the fantasy is, you understand what the shame they're trying to work through it? Yes. And the more the more rigid. The fantasy is, the less work they've done on what's going on. And so what I would do is when when a caller would tell me what they were into, I would automatically know what it is what their need was, on a deep level, and we would start exploring that. And then I would broaden it and and they started to realize like, what is the need? They're meeting like, what is the shame? What was the memory? And so in a way,

Elle 39:30
you were doing terapy therapy.

Charlie 39:35
When you decide to go to school. Doing sex work, you're doing therapy? I think there's one in the same. I don't know that. You could say they're different.

Elle 39:51
No, I think I know I actually know quite a number of sex workers and every and all of them are actually doing some form of therapy for sure. And In the work that they're doing, which is kind of amazing, you know, but yeah, I mean, I think that I kind of assumed that you had already gone through school at that point.

Charlie 40:11
No, no, this was prior. Yeah, you

Elle 40:15
really did have just kind of like, an affinity towards

Charlie 40:19
that. No. And I think it comes through in my writing a lot too. Like, I kind of feel like I'm counseling my writers in a way or my readers in a way. So

Elle 40:29
probably important. Right. And that, I think, also is the mark of a really great book is that you do kind of like work out some of that, right?

Charlie 40:37
Yeah. Well, you want your character to grow. Yeah. Yeah. And, and you do kind of have to do the therapy with them. Yeah.

Elle 40:45
So I'm curious, because I have a feeling that like, I know the answer to this question. But I'm very curious what it would be when you had to sit down and write your Okay, so, let me let me back up for sale. Was there a section in your very first book, the one we throw away?

Charlie 41:00
Um, yes.

Elle 41:03
What was it like reading that?

Charlie 41:06
Um, it was really rough, because I wanted to. I wanted to be really good at it. And so I was in my head a lot about it, like, thinking through the scene. Okay. And I think also, I didn't, I didn't take it there. You know what I mean? Like, I held back a lot, because I was I didn't want to offend anybody if they were to read this story. And, and so, yeah, I just feel like that book was just horrible. I don't even want to talk about it. No, we can.

Elle 41:39
But with Okay, so then, when you move to this book that we can talk about, and you're doing the sex scene, like, Did something change there? Or were you still slightly like, I don't know about writing this because I honestly thought you were gonna say it was no problem.

Charlie 41:55
Now, you know, I was reading the ice barbarian series. And I know, it's got a very feminist theme to it, actually, um, but I she was just going for it. And I was thinking about when I was doing phone sex, like, the part of saying, yes, it's saying the things that could go very wrong. You know what I mean? So, and just following your instincts, and so this, this thing was a lot easier to write when I

Elle 42:27
got, okay. Okay. Because I was kind of curious, because I honestly thought you're gonna be like, yeah, no problem. And I was gonna be like, Damn jealous. But

Charlie 42:37
oh, no, it's always a struggle, because sex is intimate, right? Like, how do you put that on a page? Like, yeah,

Elle 42:45
yeah, I totally, I totally still like, like, I'm now at this point, my work in progress right now where they're gonna have sex. And I'm this, like, I guess tomorrow, I'm writing it. And then I'll like, figure out like, a couple 1000 words more, so I have to get to it. And then I'm like, Okay, tomorrow, you gotta write up. Because it's hard. And I know, it's gonna slow me down. And, you know,

Charlie 43:12
I kind of when I'm writing, I just naturally go into the sex and like, it just feels like the right time. And then I go back later and edit it, you know, profusely. But it's just like I don't know, sex scenes are definitely challenging. But But I think that if you put yourself in the moment, and you're writing the story you want like, it just comes more easily. I don't know how to describe it.

Elle 43:43
I mean, for for you just sort of process wise, do you sort of, cuz this is kind of like, what I do is, is I kind of write the choreography out first, and then go back and and layer things into it. Do you? Is that how you work it? Or are you sort of doing it all at once? Right?

Charlie 44:01
Yeah, I'm doing it all at once. Because when I write it's a movie in my head, I'm already planning out and I'm just writing what I'm seeing. And so that's, that's kind of what happens. Like I, I'm thinking about, like, the first time I had, you know, actual sex and I was just like, how nervous you are, and you're just like, the feelings and the thoughts. It just seems to come pretty. It flows. Okay, you know, okay, so, yeah,

Elle 44:29
yeah, cuz for me, I sort of I just replay that movie over and over as I sort of work through Okay, first, we're going to get one because, you know, you don't want to have seven hands. You only need everybody only has two. I mean, I guess you could have seven depending on how many people are involved in the scene.

Charlie 44:44
But yeah, you'd like I don't want him his left hand to be on her shoulder and also on her hip at the same time.

Elle 44:52
So there's kind of like practical considerations, but then at the same time, I also feel like sometimes like to go back and lay or like, okay, so Oh, now we've got the choreography down now what would they be feeling? Like? What would this person be feeling in this instance? That that would cause them to move this way? Right? Yeah, you know, and then obviously things will change. It's just for me, it's sort of like a lot of layering and rewriting.

Charlie 45:17
Yeah, I definitely hear like a very methodical way in which you approach it. And it's fascinating to me to hear, like, different process people's different processes.

Elle 45:26
Yeah. Like, I love the ones that can just like, you can just, like go in and be like, just writing it. I like to do that.

Charlie 45:34
Because it's because I'm just writing what I'm seeing, like, it's just a movie. You know, like, you're, it's sort of the same concept of like, when we were talking about non binary characters, like, when, when in your head, they're a female, but they identify as non binary gets in the way. So when you're, when you're picturing this scene in your head, the hands are where they're supposed to be. You know what I mean? Like, it doesn't get as mixed up and confusing.

Elle 46:02
Okay, I can see that. I can totally see that. They're very cool. I meant to read this little bit at the end. Like, what before we sort of like got off track about going back to how Maddie sort of freezes in that instance, because she's sort of like the, you know, having moving towards this intimate relationship with lucky she has this reaction from being assaulted, and they stop and then there was this bit of moment here that I just want to read. Eventually her her flight reflex calmed down, the adrenaline left her limbs and the tension started to build between them again. Relaxation shifted to urging, pulling back she gazed at him, he didn't move his pupils were dilated his manhood was hard, and his jaw muscles repelled from his restraint. He was utterly still staring at her. He made no moves towards her question on his face. In Bolden, Maddie shyly asked, Can we try this again? God? So my question was, How did you know that it was time for them to kind of give it a go, it was time for her to kind of she was she felt ready. Like on the one hand, like you want to give the readers what they want, which is usually the intimate scenes. But then I was kind of like, wondering, you know, this moment, like, how does it weigh on the character? How does it you know, like, I just was kind of curious how you how you were like, Okay, no, she can do this. She's up, she can do this. Because my character actually had to go away. Like, it was like they weren't doing it.

Charlie 47:44
There is this when you have a cathartic emotional release, there's this like, energy that gets that can be redirected into sexuality, right? Like, and this is something I've experienced in the kink world, like, with my partner, it's just like, there's sometimes when you when, even when we've talked about the sexual assault, all of a sudden, it's like, oh, my gosh, I have to have sex.

Elle 48:15
Because I see.

Charlie 48:17
There's an intimacy that is developed with someone who supports you. Well, it's through an emotional response. And, and you just want to feel closer, like, you just want to feel that intimacy. And before that he was holding her. Yeah, like giving her that space. And so it just naturally converted into sexual energy.

Elle 48:37
I feel like I know, I had a missed opportunity in my book. But

Charlie 48:44
I think also she was, there was about to be, you know, the, the, she was about to kick in. And so I had to get it going. I had to have that level of intimacy too.

Elle 48:57
Quick, we gotta get around before she gets kidnapped. There was a practicality to this.

Charlie 49:05
Yeah, I mean, it was timing in my outline, but it was also finding it on an emotional level. So you, you do work from an outline? Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's, that's just comes from college writing.

Elle 49:17
All right. Yeah. Now my mom, I'm a total pants or even through grad school, I passed my papers. Really? Yeah. No wonder. I didn't really have a great academic career.

Charlie 49:29
You know, my papers. I had to develop an outline because they wanted an abstract and that's essentially what your abstract is, is an outline. So I had to like consider, what am I going to write? What am I going to cover and how am I going to conclude it? So I already had an outline that I just operated from.

Elle 49:47
interested? Yeah, no, we didn't do abstracts. We were like, yeah, no, we were like lit credit people. You know, so it was kind of like, okay, we were just sort of like, you know, moaning about Mr. Darcy, or whatever the hell it was. My professors said that for my first it was my very first class of graduate school. It was like, Well, you know, we just shuffle ship from one side of the room to the other. Okay, but you know what he was absolutely right.

Charlie 50:18
It almost speaks to like the incestuous nature of academia and that everybody references everybody. And it's like, hard to find that original thought,

Elle 50:27
you know? Yes, yes. Yes. Because like, I swear, all of my papers were like, citations of somebody else's work.

Charlie 50:33
Yes. Yeah. You basically just summarizing other people and putting it together to kind of have a new sort of way of looking at it. Yes.

Elle 50:44
Yeah. Yeah. Weird. Academia is weird. I know. And then I don't know how those people could like, like, Okay, I don't know if this if this went? Well, you again, you want to, like, it sounds like a slightly more practical program or psychology. But I could be wrong. But when I was, when I was in grad school, Foucault was sort of like the reigning champ of everybody. And so, you know, you'd sort of be reading all his God, what now I can't even remember the name of his books. But like, you know, that the one where it was like about prison and talking about that, and I was like, well, if we're all supposed to be borrowing from each other, how can you even have like an original work like Foucault, which was wholly original, it was just like him, blah, blah, blah, is, you know, his theory, because that seemed to be not allowed.

Charlie 51:37
And I think what happens is, then people go out, and they do research. I mean, like, not in the literary world, but well, you know, what, actually know that I think about it, like, psychology informs everything. And people's understanding of humanity comes from that. And so there's like, there's studies, and, you know, like, longitudinal studies, and like, you know, there's there's research where I forget what it's called, actually, it's on, where instead of just doing an experiment, you actually record what is going on for a person like in an anthropological sense, right. And so like, you get that new information, and you could write something new. I think it's a sort of the same thing in academia, like someone will, will research something and it'll sort of changed the theory on it, and then you can take it and extrapolate from it.

Elle 52:30
So yeah, I don't know that he actually did do that. Foucault actually, it did. Like, I think he just looks sort of had this idea and was like, I think this and he wrote, like,

Charlie 52:43
I don't know that he went to like prisons and like, studied, like, what was going? Oh, no, no, I didn't imagine that he did. It maybe it also is writing the things that are not socially acceptable, you know, like, like, pushing the envelope and talking about things that are human nature, but everybody designs is not like, you know, the whole Facebook culture of putting on this persona, you know, those people are living a life and have things going on that they're just not talking about. Right.

Elle 53:18
Right. Okay, anyway, I want to keep reading. Okay, this is gonna be a long bit. So, you know, settle on. How are you doing with all this too, by the way, okay. Oh, the very first oh my god, this was what I was reading urban fantasy. And I went on this podcast, and she was like, Okay, so now you have to read for 20 minutes. I was like, Excuse me. And she was like, oh, yeah, you need to read your book for 20 minutes. It was like the first chapter or something like that. I was like, Are you fucking kidding me? I wanted to die. So they're reading my book, you know, and like, oh, I don't want to read my book. That's terrifying. So when I was coming up with this concept, I was like, and then I could have to read and I was like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. I appreciate that. I

Charlie 54:06
thought I was gonna have to read it. I was like, no,

Elle 54:09
no, no, no, no, I will do the reading. They can squirm. They can sit there and squirm, they can zone out whatever but I will not make them read their own work that

Charlie 54:18
it is nice to hear. That was like the little stichtse You know, sex bomb thing that you do with your voice? So I'm like, okay, you know, it's not too bad.

Elle 54:27
We do a sex bomb thing with my voice. That's awesome.

Charlie 54:30
Yeah, it's probably did with Fonseca.

Elle 54:35
Is there good money there?

Charlie 54:37
Yeah, I didn't tell her a minute. Like

Elle 54:40
I was doing pretty good. Whoa. And that was I'm assuming not like yesterday, so like, it probably went up. Although it's still a thing. I feel like with only fans and stuff, like probably not.

Charlie 54:53
Yeah, you know, I would talk to clients or potential clients and they'd be like, Why would I come to you for this when I can get any But he did do it for free. And I was like, well, because I'm a professional, and I'm not going to judge you and it's going to be all about you. But yeah, phone sex is definitely fallen off of what people want there's a quality to not seeing the person that is more intimate.

Elle 55:18
Anything that they want to be right in their in your, in your head, like you can build the fantasy, whatever,

Charlie 55:24
directly into your ear, you know? Yeah.

Elle 55:27
Yeah. I mean, there is something really intimate with voice. And I always say that with podcasting. Like it's one of the most intimate forms of like, communication. Like if you're listening to me on a regular basis, you actually really feel like you know, me and I think more so than if you see me on TV, or like video, which I think is really kind of cool. It is there is something about just voice that is super intimate.

Charlie 55:50
Yeah, maybe it forces listening. Like really listen, hearing each other.

Elle 55:55
Yeah, yeah, I think so. That could be okay. Anyway, I'm gonna keep reading. Yeah. She looked her lips and they parted ever so slightly. She leaned in and kissed him again, gently. Her tongue flicked out just a little. They've rolled. So Lucky's back was pressed against the headboard and Maddie straddled his narrow hips once more. She felt his body shaking under her she intensified the kiss. He responded in kind and the tension grew. He wrapped his muscles arm around her back and pressed her whole body to his. His spicy cologne fills her senses his warmth, his strength, he growled again, he's stilled and pulled back confusion. Why was he stopping? Did he not want this? Man he felt her face rather than his eyes were shot. He held her and held her in his arms length and took some studying breaths. He was trying to calm down. She felt his heartbeat slow and he nodded. He buried his face in her bosom his arms tightened underneath through her head back and passion. She reacted as if it were a dance and she led instinctively, he followed her lead responding panting his hand reached up to caress her. Maddy stilled his hand, threaded her fingers in his unpin them against the headboard on either side of his head. She leaned forward showing him her increased desire with a more intense kiss. Letting Go and leaning back she crossed her arms at her hips and pulled the t shirt off. She might have gotten distracted by the chill, but he was there again bringing the heat. He lifted her supple breasts from her bra and suckled on her hardened nipple ever so gently, Maddie reared forward into his mouth and moaned to her shock. Light orgasm ran through her body in a wave. She was rocking back and forth on his lap, hands grasping his hair. When she relaxed, he chuckled and moved to kiss her passionately. She melted into it and felt his hand sliding down her body. His calluses were rough and his hands radiated heat. His fingers slid under her waistband and found her swollen body, she moaned again, he explored her delicate, yet sensitive anatomy. He watched her body react and learned the details of her desire. shiver. I love this, and I loved actually, that you showed that you don't need penetration to orgasm. And I don't think we see enough of this.

Charlie 58:22
Yeah, I mean, it's, um, you know, the new research about what the clitoris looks like, is coming out, you know, like, it was not in medical journals for a long time. But

Elle 58:34
because why would it be? Yes.

Charlie 58:37
It's not just the little clitoral head that you see. Like, there. It's huge. Like,

Elle 58:43
it's all system. It's all nerve system. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Charlie 58:46
And it is, it can be difficult for a lot of people to orgasm from penetration. Yeah, you know, yeah. So,

Elle 58:56
and there are just actually, so so many different ways to climax to just in terms of what like, you know, like some people that say, are paralyzed and don't have sensation below the waist, right? You can, there are actually other ways to bring people to orgasm. You know, and I don't want to sort of, like get too much into this, because they really don't remember, like the science behind it from what we learned in my classes. But there is but there is a way to turn other parts of your body into erogenous zones that I think is really fascinating. And I think that it's so cool to sort of like actually bring our characters to this point without actually having any penetrations.

Charlie 59:40
Well, and if you think about it, too, after you have an orgasm, that's when you get wet, right? And so, how it would be difficult to wet during penetration before you've had an orgasm. So orgasming before would make sex much more pleasurable when it came to penetration. just from an anatomy standpoint, but also going back to your point, like, the brain is like the biggest sexual orgasm or organ, right? Like, it's just like you can you can have you can become aroused just from thoughts without lunch, you know?

Elle 1:00:19
Right. Right. Right You can't I think it can you bring yourself to orgasm just thinking about certain things like you like you can actually climax, right? I mean, are you proud of me? I don't know. You in the ground. So tell me about your non penetrating.

Charlie 1:00:44
If you think about in the kink world, there's a lot of people that focus on certain things. And there is a whole sub genre of people that are just very much into orgasm without touch. You

Elle 1:00:54
know, I think that's so cool. Yeah, I think that's so cool that you can orgasm without touch. That's amazing.

Charlie 1:01:02
That's absolutely want to practice is not easy.

Elle 1:01:07
Sometimes orgasm will touch can be hard. So yeah. So yeah, I can imagine it's very difficult. But I love I love the idea that. Yeah, that's Tantra. Right? I was confused what Tantra is, that is tantric sex right?

Charlie 1:01:21
It could you know, when you were talking about using other body parts, this is an erogenous zone that is also Tantra. So that is that is Yeah.

Elle 1:01:30
Okay. All right. I can never remember what it is. Exactly. So that's why I was like, Okay, last little bit and I'll put, then we can stop. But you don't have to listen anymore. Return your hand downwards. she grasped at his hardness or had fell back in pleasure. The sound of his mom and her hips continued grinding into his slowly she took him out and held the rock hard tip at the ready for expression was intense as she engulfed him. She felt every solid curve of his erection inside her. She felt so powerful as she focused only on her desire. The selfish act was honest. Her enthusiasm was like white light as her eyes radiated power and intensity, her wet pressure and folding him made him moan desperately, he started moving and her body responded. The eye contact was intense, and her genuine pleading eyes only fueled his passion. He wants to she peaked and she pulsed intensely. He wrapped his arms around her waist and held her to him in a vise grip is released was fast and hard. His arms were shaking as the pulsing sent Maddie over the edge again. I love that. Absolutely love. The selfish act was honest, that I just I was like, okay, that's brilliant. That's just Yeah,

Charlie 1:02:48
that's the thing. When you have sex with another person, you're essentially objectifying them and focusing on your own pleasures. So, you know, and then you have to like you switch back to focusing on them and yes, re seeing what's going on. So yeah, sex is in and of itself a kind of selfish act.

Elle 1:03:05
You know, but we're never told that. You know, and I think that, I think,

Charlie 1:03:11
male pleasure. Definitely. Yeah, I

Elle 1:03:14
think that it's sort of like, we're never told that it's okay to be selfish and bad. And that's what the whole thing is. Yeah. You know, so So just, you know, just just ride the wave. Yeah. It hasn't been of giggling unless podcasts. So we're just

Charlie 1:03:38
when I was a phone, sex operator, I giggled all the time. So I incorporated it into my personality, like my character, because that was just how I responded to everything.

Elle 1:03:47
That's see that's the thing. Like, I'm like, I would totally giggle. Like, I totally go through it. But I guess if you can make it part of your character, then that works. Right.

Charlie 1:03:57
Yeah, she was kind of young and, and submissive, you know, so it was like, Oh, my gosh, he you know, kind of thing.

Elle 1:04:09
Oh, my God. Amazing. Amazing. So I didn't ask you because we kind of did this kind of like reverse. I'm curious about the intimate scene. Why did you pick this particular one?

Charlie 1:04:21
Well, honestly, it was the only one in the book, but

Elle 1:04:24
you only have one intimate scene in the whole book.

Charlie 1:04:27
I do. Oh, well, you know, I know. I was kind of surprised. There was just a lot to cover. When they got back together. It just didn't feel right. And so I just I just did the one. There's there's she masturbates earlier in the book. So there's there's some stuff like that, but yeah, that was the only one.

Elle 1:04:51
Oh, okay. So at what point did this come in the book?

Charlie 1:04:54
This is almost exactly at the halfway mark.

Elle 1:04:57
Okay. All right. Cool. Yeah, yeah. So It's kind of slow burning. It sounds like yeah, slow burn there. Yeah.

Charlie 1:05:05
Yeah, you know, my editor and I talked about it a little bit too. And she was just sort of like the first write through, didn't focus enough on on working through the trauma. Exactly. So I ended up spending a lot more time. I guess, in a more cerebral place about it. So yeah, it definitely did not center a lot of sex. But the second book I'm writing has a lot of sex streams right now. Well, these characters demand it, you know what I mean? Like?

Elle 1:05:45
So is this, this isn't a continuation of their story. Now, you've got new characters that are going to be in the next book, right?

Charlie 1:05:51
Yeah. It's actually two characters that you meet in the first book. But the big underlying theme is the organized crime. So that's sort of what connects them that NK breath.

Elle 1:06:04
Cool. Awesome. And so the second book, we're, you're targeting sort of like a June release. Yeah. Cool. And what's the title of that one?

Charlie 1:06:14
You have a feeling? Yeah.

Elle 1:06:17
I love it. Cool. So where can people find you on line? For sure. Where do you like to hang out most?

Charlie 1:06:25
Um, I hang out on Instagram a lot. Because it's really how I connected with authors a lot. I tried Facebook, it just didn't seem like the right group of folks. But, um, and then. And then I have my website. I'm on Goodreads a lot. reviewing books.

Elle 1:06:45
Okay, you're on Goodreads, okay. I cannot to go on Goodreads. But

Charlie 1:06:53
can I ask why?

Elle 1:06:55
You know, it's just it I find it a little overwhelming and kind of terrifying. And some of the reviews?

Charlie 1:07:03
Oh, I know. I know.

Elle 1:07:05
And I'm not even just talking about like my reviews, like Blake, sometimes there's like, snark persists. So okay. I don't want to call out Felicia Day, but I'm going to call out Felicia Day. Love as an app, like after performer. Like I just love her. And then I was reading an urban fantasy. And she was kind of like really big in that sort of sci fi world, right? Yeah. Yeah. So she started getting really active on Goodreads. And she started getting really mean about like, authors and books that she didn't like, and like, I felt like unbelieving. And I was just like, I think that really turned me off. And I was kind of upset because like I said, like, I was a total fangirl over Felicia Day. Yeah. Well, and the thing is doing a project like the guild, I felt like she might be a little bit more sympathetic to other creators. Yeah, you know, because that was kind of an indie. Like, the guild was an indie project. It was like, total Bootstrap, like, right? Am I remembering it correctly? It was

Charlie 1:08:18
no, yeah, yeah, definitely. Low production kind of stuff.

Elle 1:08:21
Yeah. So you kind of feel like she, like Felicia came up from that kind of world. And, and, and lived in that world and explored and had fun in that world. So I kind of felt like, my ex, my expectation was, she would be a bit more generous, or at least not just downright, like, and what and because she, she was really snarky like that. It then gave her fans the permission to sort of jump on that bandwagon and start beating up on whatever the book or author was. And that's when I saw that I just kind of like, walked away. And I was like, I don't need that in my life.

Charlie 1:08:59
You know, when I see stuff like that, I feel like the people who are being snarky that, that it's about them that there's some ego involved in centering themselves and their review instead of focusing on the book. And that's a reason why I don't ever put out bad views. I only review the books I liked. If I didn't like it, I won't review it. Yeah. Yeah. Because if I don't know, like, I want people who want to find that book. Like, I want to help point them there with my reviews. Right? Like, you know, and if I liked it, that it's easy to write about, but I definitely I don't think I could write anything bad about someone else's writing. Yeah. I guess. I don't know. Like I said, you're putting yourself out there. You know what I mean? And the more you write the better you get at it, so why would you discourage someone?

Elle 1:09:49
Exactly. I guess you know, I mean, I should I shouldn't even say like, I only like review books that I like because then people are like, you read my book and you didn't review it because I'm actually really bad at keeping up with stuff like that. I don't want to be like, oh shit, doesn't mean I didn't like your book, I swear it just like it's just really hard for me like I have a hard time keeping up. And I also have like this weird imposter syndrome, where I'm like, Oh, who am I? To say, like, who am I to write this? But who am I to write a review? You know, I mean, that's sort of like, so where I go, I'm like, Who am I to do this thing?

Charlie 1:10:26
Yeah, no, I definitely understand that. And at the same time, you're the audience, and you have an inside view of what it's like to be an author. But I think if if I were to, like, have someone asked me to read their book, and I didn't like it, I would tell them face to face instead of writing review about it.

Elle 1:10:41
Right, you know, right. So, yeah, yeah. So that's why that's why I'm like I I'm very sort of like, about, I'm always like, Oh, God, what kind of like, put my hands over my eyes and peek through the fingers. Go on. I think I

Charlie 1:10:59
did it. Mostly because Amazon owns Good Reads. And so what I'm hoping to do is increase my book sales. You know?

Elle 1:11:10
Do you know all the kids are on tick tock?

Charlie 1:11:14
I know, I just I don't know. Yeah, that's a that's a difficult space. I love watching authors, like tests. Bailey is hilarious on there. But

Elle 1:11:25
ya know, how they deliver. Like, I'm always like, how do you like, I mean, I know how you do it. But like, I'm always like, I'm in awe of people that can go on there and just be goofy and funny. And I think that that's so cool.

Charlie 1:11:36
Yeah, I think. Yeah, it's, there's a level of authenticity. I think that's involved in some performance. Right, you know, and I'm just, I don't know, I guess I'm not confident enough for it.

Elle 1:11:50
I think that's what it is. Because I'm definitely like, if you met me in real life, you'd be like, okay, goofball, like, I'm definitely like, not, you know, I mean, but so I'm like, I should thrive on Tik Tok. However, I do think that there is a level of self consciousness for me like being like to go out there and video and oh my god, and my house is always a mess. And you're gonna see the big, like, dust and the dishes laundry that needs to be put away.

Charlie 1:12:16
But you know what, when you're watching on Tik Tok, and someone's like, forgive me, I'm not wearing makeup. It's like, whatever. Come on, tell me your content. Like, you know what I mean? You don't really care. I never wear makeup on tick tock, because that's the only thing I like about tick tock. I'm like they do filters that don't. That's awesome. Yeah, that's true. A lot less work.

Elle 1:12:44
Charlie, thank you so much for being here. I'm going to have links to all of the online internet places in the show notes so people can click on those very easily. They don't have to scramble for pens. But yeah, thank you so much for doing this. It was really great to meet you. Yeah,

Charlie 1:13:01
it was so great talking. And I think we kind of went all over the place but, but it was definitely it was great. It's fun to talk about, you know, yeah.

Elle 1:13:14
Yeah, it is. So let's hook up again when the next book comes out.

Charlie 1:13:17
Okay, well do awesome.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai