What is an Age Gap Anyway? | #MaropeTakeover with The Maropes

Episode Description

Come LOL and get all the food for thought in the first Marope Takeover, where my mother and aunt share their definition of “age gap” as well their complex feelings and concerns when it comes to age gap romance. Their initial thoughts? Hard pass. It’s a trope that needs nuanced handling to avoid putting readers in all kinds of quandaries, so it gets interesting quick! I don’t know if Mariana Zapata, Carian Cole & Akwaeke Emezi will change their minds…

Are you a fan of the trope? Have you read the books and already have strong feelings?

Show Notes / Episode Transcript

Kate Marope [00:00:01]

This is Kate Marope, and you’re listening to the Path to Print podcast. 

This season, we’re switching it up on the podcast and talking about a trope/relationship dynamic. Tropes are, of course, the bread and butter, the marketing shorthand of romance and publishing, so I decided to take the even seasons of the podcast to break down tropes. 

If you follow me on Twitter, you know one of my favorite things to do is to bring people over to the dark side. And, well, that’s what I call getting my family members into reading romance. 

So, I thought it would be fun to bring you along for that ride as I introduce my infamous Cancer mother and aunt to various tropes in a bid for them to fall in love with them as much as I have. #MaropeTakeovers happen in two parts: initial thoughts, feelings, and vibes at the beginning of the season, and then my family members go ahead and read the 2-4 books I think represent the trope at its finest, and then we come back for debrief in part two.

So join us in the bookish tomfoolery and the family shenanigans sure to go down. Read along, leave us a voice Anchor message, or message on Anchor, with your thoughts and feelings about the trope or the season’s selected books. Hell, invite your family and friends to join in loving on love. You have until July 29 to get your submissions in.

Welcome to the Marope Takeover. 

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Unapologetic & Rooted Characters | #LifeLike with Jadesola James

Episode Description

Nobody writes African characters like my friend, Jadesola James. In this episode, we dive into what experiences she brings to her characters, and redefine what HEAs look like when your characters are unapologetically them. It’s all about creating those experiences that call to a specific intended reader—if you know, you know.

Show Notes / Episode Transcript

Kate Marope (00:00:00):

This is Kate Marope, and you’re listening to the Path to Print podcast. 

This week, we have our second guest episode on a segment I knew I would have to have on the podcast and call life like. Life like episodes are all about looking at writing representation that actually matters. We’ll look at how our cultures define and influence us as creatives, but also show that culture or ethnicity and race is not a monolith. And that everybody has a different way of connecting to it and expressing it.

Me and my guest will talk about our core traditions, customs, and beliefs, as well as point to moments of being, and feeling seen in media and celebrating the things we love most about who we are.

Today, I’m joined by an amazing author and a friend, someone whose romances has given me all the old school woo and charm I’ve been yearning for. Someone who’s not afraid to quietly challenge the status quo on not really having already rooted African or African American characters in romance novels. She loves summer thunderstorms, Barbara Cartland novels, long train rides, hot buttered toast, and copious amounts of cake and tea. She writes glamorous escapist tales designed to sweep you away.

When she isn’t writing, she’s a reference librarian and a scholar of American romance publishing. Her hobbies include collecting vintage romance paperbacks, and fantasy shopping online for summer cottages in the north of England.

Welcome to the podcast, Jadesola James.

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The Opening Character Moment | #ConvosOnCraft with Mary Calmes

Episode Description

It was super hard not to fangirl over THE Mary Calmes y’all! But we definitely went deep into her backlist, talking about nailing those opening character moments and the things you have to keep in mind when you’re writing and revising them.

Watch this Episode

Show Notes / Episode Transcript

Kate Marope (00:00:00):

This is Kate Marope, and you’re listening to Path to Print.

This week, we have our first guest episode on a segment that I like to fondly call Convos on Craft. Convos on Craft episodes are all about peeling back the curtain and getting into the nitty-gritty of how you put together your story from the developmental side of things. Me and my guests will talk about process, book stats, resources, and advice to help you grow into the amazing author I know you already are.

Today, I’m joined by an amazing author. Someone who is an auto-buy and comfort read author for me. Seriously, as soon as I knew this quarter’s topic would be about setups she was the first person I thought of asking to talk about opening your book with iconic character moments.

She believes in romance, happily ever afters, and the faith it takes for her characters to get there. She bleeds coffee, thinks chocolate should be its own food group, and currently lives in Kentucky with a five pound furry ninja that protects her from baby birds, spiders and neighbors’ dogs.

Welcome to the podcast, Mary Calmes.

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The Psychology of Hurt/Comfort Romances

When most people think about romance novels they focus on stories that work toward a HEA or even HFN ending. But recently, Hurt/Comfort (H/C) stories are becoming more and more popular, where the journey to that HEA is painful, torturous, and downright gut-wrenching. These are the epic love stories that make you hurt so bad that you keep on reading in the hopes that the characters will find that HEA, because, Damn it! They deserve it. But what makes this antithesis journey to romance so desirable?

Defining Hurt/Comfort

Hurt/Comfort stories are defined as stories that have one character who has physical/emotional/psychological trauma and another character who heals/nurtures/comforts them through it.

H/C stories go beyond your average alpha male/spunky female couples (or whatever tickles your fancy), in that in there is an intensity and an openness with which the hurt protagonist’s pain and struggle through that pain is explored. It gives the reader an all-access pass in to the character’s world of pain, and their struggle to overcome or deal with that pain.

They showcase how pain is seldom experienced alone. That the ones around us, the ones who care, have a deep-seated desire to comfort and nurture us through the pain. How the nurturing protagonist learns about themselves in comforting the hurt protagonist.

H/C stories are about the reciprocal nature of hurt and comfort, neglect and nurture, and weakness and strength.

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