I may have briefly talked about listening to the OTP Podcast last month and I am excited to introduce you all to the ladies running the show! This is definitely a must listen for all of us romance fans and a great place where we can gush about our one true pairings, literary and otherwise. Please give these ladies a warm welcome today and be sure to follow the podcast and listen in!
Can you introduce yourselves and tell me how you got into romance?
Marissa: I’m Marissa Sangiacomo and I’m a marketing manager at St. Martin’s Press where I work on romance and commercial women’s fiction. I’ve loved romance novels ever since I was young and would share books with my mom. The ironic thing is that she would flag the sex scenes with post its and tell me to skip them, which just highlighted them for me. I was really drawn to the romances because I loved fairy tales and it was a natural progression from fairy tales to romance for me.
Erica: I’m Erica Martiano. I’m a senior associate director of marketing for St. Martin’s Press where I work on a variety of women’s fiction, health and wellness, and celebrity nonfiction. But I miss working on romance desperately! I started reading romance as a young girl stealing my mom’s historicals when she wasn’t looking. Where Marissa, you told your mom you were taking her books, I just took them. Sometimes while she was reading them, which would really tick her off. I was also the type of kid that would dog-ear pages, so not only was I taking her romance novels, she would know I took them. But similarly my mom loved her romance books and reading in general. I started with historicals. Dirty historicals, which is probably why I still love dirty romances.
So what is the show about?
Erica: One True Pairing is a podcast about love, romance, and couples. Every other week, we chat about either an individual couple, like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, or about a series or universe, like the Marvel Universe. We also have romance writers, like Laurelin Paige, Kayti McGee and of course, Alexis Daria, on to talk about our favorite romance couples.
Marissa: And we really try to dig deep into these couples–we do a lot of research on the couples and we try to pull out themes. Why do people love this couple? What does our love of them say about society as a whole? We really want to look critically at the couples, with a little bit of gossip thrown in for good measure.
That’s great to hear about! So, I’m interested to hear more about what you are doing for Romance Awareness Month on the show and why?
Marissa: We’ve always been big fans of romance and August is Romance Awareness Month. As a podcast that covers couples of all kinds, what better couples to cover than the ones that started our obsession with love? We want to help our listeners explore the genre if they never have. Our listeners tend to skew more pop culture but we think there’s such an overlap between what we talk about and what they can find in romance.
Erica: And if they have tried reading romance before, we want to help them dig a little deeper and find something they haven’t read before. Step out of their comfort zone and celebrate the variety of stories you can read.
Marissa: So every week in August we are talking with people in every part of the romance community. We have editors and a writer and a publisher and reviewers all coming on the show. We’re asking them questions about their work and they will all be telling us their favorite couple from a romance novel. So definitely stay tuned!
Shifting a little bit, I think an interesting thing the internet has done for romance writing is create these shipping “subcultures” and there’s a lot of the same negative opinions about these communities as there are about romance readers. What are your thoughts here? Do you think these communities are normalizing romance reading/writing or no?
Marissa: I think it’s cool to be a nerd now. I think it’s cool to follow fandoms, be obsessed with them and know everything about them. We see that with movie and TV shows like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. And to be honest, I think it’s always been there for romance, it’s just now we can be even more open about it because everyone else is doing it.
What romance are you reading at the moment and why should we ship the couple?
Erica: I ship the book I just finished reading so hard. It’s Silver Bastard by Joanna Wylde. Becca and Puck are awesome! He saves her from a life of biker prostitution. She slams a pot of hot coffee over someone’s head to protect him in a bar fight. They’re wonderful and I definitely ship them. It’s such a great book.
Marissa: I’m going to go with Tara Sivec because I love her and her new book, Kiss the Girl in the Naughty Princess Club series, is coming out soon. It’s about three ladies who start an at-home stripping business. They are all vaguely like princesses–the main character is named Ariel and she’s with a guy named Eric. So, Ariel and Eric, like The Little Mermaid. It’s so fun and adorable. She also has a mouth like a sailor, so I doubly love her.
What’s coming up for the podcast during Romance Awareness Month? What do we have to look forward to and where can we find you?
Both: We have so much coming up. Like we said earlier, we have an episode dropping every Wednesday in August. You can listen to those on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, or whatever podcast platform your prefer. You can follow us on Twitter @OTP_Pod. We love interacting with our listeners so please do tweet at us!
Thank you so much for coming on and I’ll be sure to listen!
Marissa: Thanks for having us!
Erica: This was so fun!
About the Show
Pop culture, juicy romance and hilarious conversations come together in the recently Cosmopolitan featured One True Pairing podcast! Join Erica Martirano and Marissa Sangiacomo as they talk romance and revisit their favorite couples from across TV, movies, books, and pop culture. From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Ross and Rachel, this roller coaster of bad boys, break-ups, and HEAs (Happily Ever Afters) combines love, feminism, sex, and relationships with the gossip you love.
This week Erica and Marissa have romance author (and RITA winner for Best First Book!) Alexis Daria back on for a full episode. What’s a RITA? Think Oscars, but make it Romance Novels. The crew looks at their faves in all the categories and talk a little bit about what the RITAs mean for the romance community as a whole. Listen here!
Note that the sweeps begins on 7/23 at 12AM and ends on 7/31 at 11:59PM. You can hype it up however you please (you can also use either book bundle image attached in the email), but please do use the following language and link:
You can enter for your chance to win an amazing romance book bundle from One True Pairing here!