117. Amy Spalding
This is a show about individual experience and personal identity. There may be times when folks use identifying words or phrases. That don't feel right to you. That's part of what we're exploring here. Please listen with an open heart and as always I welcome your plate engage feedback and I encourage you to continue the conversation in your own life and with your own community welcome to Hey Queiroz Cami meet here coming to you from outside at Beautiful Griffith Observatory here in Los Angeles. I wanted to wish you all a happy holiday holiday season. I am going to be taking a couple of weeks off upcoming to enjoy myself. Live my life and play some best of the a year episodes before we ride on into twenty twenty but today's episode is brand new. It is a chat with writer and all around. Business Person Amy spalding. You'll hear more more in a moment. I really love this chat and I hope that Y'all continue to join me in the New Year. No no no careless we introduce yourself. I always have guessed introduce themselves. Yes yes I'm amy spalding. I am a writer. Performer activists saying activists. I've got several of the pins that you're wearing which ones one I can't wait to hear this tangent perreault one great one and then I also have the one that's The six feet under the hearse and then I also so have I've also got the I think. Also the mixed emotions anyway. This is just the part of the podcast. Were a point at things you're wearing. I like having a visual thing on audio show. The audience can imagine what I'm talking about How are you doing today? I'm pretty good I feel like slightly delirious. I do feel slightly delirious. I can't tell them supposed to do with myself right now. It's like the mid did the section between the holidays if your offer on I don't know are we done or not done so I feel so where do we just not stop and we go right through through straight through and take no time one day jobs and entertainment so it's FIC season. Yes actually when you talk to me about your day job also on the table Yes it is. It's it's technically. I mean we don't know each other but it's how we've come in contact Zach for. Yes yeah a little bit about that. I work at an AD agency. I do media planning which is just like the Excel spreadsheet part of marketing. So not the really not like the DON draper part. It's was his name Harry Crane. That was the madman. That's my man person So it's a lot of. Hey you should run ads on this place or you should run ads on this place. I run the digital department. So I'm the one who says like put this this much money on facebook beyond Fandango but also get queer movies and I get to say you should run ads on Cameron's podcast. That is so nice of you because you ran as my headphones are doing something terrible. Nineteen yeah feel free to is that better. I was literally a so much stress for nothing that you are delightful already. This is great. I like compliments yes I you helped get some ads for your name identity. Show my favorite movie we ever got to market. Wow really cool. That is actually really cool. It was a great first of all I just loved it. I got to see it super early and that was exciting. 'cause you know sometimes you get to see those things things like know about it as everyone else's discovering and I I love that feeling and working in Indie film. We don't always get real budgets. We get like I have a dollar. Could you put this on television division. We're like no so we actually had a budget for this and critics liked it and people liked it and like every week we got to do more fun stuff and it was a really. It was a really fun experience. But it's also nice for me because you know they're like gay men like this movie. Where should we be like? Let's let's pull this out a bit. Let's talk about the queer community and were they actually are getting media and where you can reach people I mean that's that is exactly what I was gonNA say. Is You know I loved. You actually wrote me and said you know here's who I am and my pass and then I have like this new book coming out in a at first of all great because I do when people pitch themselves I do read and go and think like yeah I think this is a great fit and I love You know specifically not just that you have this awesome creative work that you do but also so. I don't think we've had anybody here who works. I don't listen to that at least one. I know it'd be known on that person. Sure yeah so it feels like this is one of those fields where Especially right now when it feels like for the first first time ever queer folks are being considered as having like any money to spend it all in like a cool like Joe the queer audience. Life say we're in. Yeah it's been it's been nice because I guess that's absolutely true but I think a lot of people on a straight people are like all right. So what do what a gay he people like and a lot of times. They're like well. There's those papers in West Hollywood. That's how you get the audience. How old you think the gay audiences and stops yes of saying Gates Queer? Like I'm always. I know a lot of people in my office. Find me very exhausting and killjoy. Because I'll just be like actually we don't use that word anymore. I think we should use this word instead but it also that I feel like we're in the right place when we advertise and the audience benefits the client benefits the film benefits that. Yeah that's that's exactly what I I was. What I was thinking too was that this is an area where it matters so much once so once more like emerging as this potentially a viable community you know like for other people to feel like in your middle aged? Someone's like Oh do you might be part of a potentially viable community and so it does matter. WHO's making the decisions about what money to spend and all that and You know I think it is I. Also I hear you saying that word killjoy. In like fucking know that experience you know. I certainly know that in my own career. When you're the person person who has the right word to say and you're like how do I bring the room down and make everyone give me that? Look like yes you will have to be. You're also not even actually bringing the room now. It's it's really the you know the thing that you the way you ended. What you just said is really how I think we need to shift our own minds and other but but but further than much more than US other people shift their minds? which is you know this is not these are not like this is stuff that slows us down right? This is stuff that actually she makes a better product this stuff that makes them a more successful as campaign. This is stuff that makes you like a better doctor. You know I feel like this like I'm exhausted Austin by all this correction. It's like no this is like you're gonNA make. This would be a more successful movie aimed if the money's aimed in the right place so within like the next thing comes in and I'm not sitting in the room someone else's like away. I think we do these podcast. Like here's the thing I can say that they see lecture. You know I see like my coworkers. Sometimes being like Oh yeah we can do that. I'm like what I'm happy I wanted thing and also I feel like I'm fortunate as I'm sure you feel I'm at the position in my life where I could be the personal room. I'm to make some noise not like an assistant sitting in the corner. WHO's like? Oh I could get yelled at her fired for like two annoying. You know that's not going to happen to me so I might this while. Use it to be even annoy someone for like a moment. So where did when you were thinking about you know and I I so appreciate you know considering us in this podcast but when you're thinking about where we're where are queer people right now. What what do you say at work? Wolf like to your one thing I say about. I've literally every marginalized group is. I mean they're on the all the places advert wasn't so it's the thing of like where do you black people internet. I'm like we'll facebook. You know it's wherever wherever it's not some weird black Internet also so funny because it's one of those situations where because social media is self selecting we choose who you follow that. I think it's very easy. You know. If you're away a person say hypothetically perhaps if anybody was to like OPT into you. Follow this this number of people and it does seem like a very white place a few forget that you are actually the person creating all of us. Yes so yeah I push a lot more for you you. I mean I'll get into like real gross digital marketing stuff just like let's just do data targeting to find these people wherever they're spending time and then I think there's certain places you WanNa give someone a heads up like I worked on this movie. I think we we also advertise on this podcast. This is not just feels like a weird thing like well. Here's all the things I advertised but these are old movies whenever it's interesting also good. I'm I'm glad I worked on a phone. Call heartbeat loud. which yes we advertise on this podcast and and we didn't even know you were doing a Q.? And A. or something magical the experience of but that was like that movie did not seem queer on its surface. It was like a father daughter movie and those can be tricky. 'cause you WanNa give I mike. We need to give the people a heads up and we need to do it in a way that feels legit and to me like being on your podcast was like well. This is a real place where the community spending time so free for to hear your voice reading the copy to talk about this film. It's like we know what we're talking about. We know where the community is actually going versus just like I don't know like hey. Hey Queer people. Here's a movie actually. I also really appreciate what you're saying about giving people a heads up because I did feel like you know the way that that movie was Yeah the way that it was packaged. which was based on? The central relationship is a father daughter relationship I actually went to. I hosted that screening. Because I know the director okay And I didn't know going in that it was queer like I just even at work screening it and I was like I've got other stuff to do weight. It was gonNA kiss so it was like such a pleasant experience watching it and then The cast it was there there were so kind and gracious and it awesome Nice. It was attorneys find and it does feel like for me as a person like I seek out movies. Yes S. like above and beyond content right. Now if sometimes if someone doesn't give me a little like I remember when one day at a time the reboot came out. I kept getting text next from friends that are like have you watched it yet have you. Why is everyone bothering me about this? And then I watch. Os Square. Yeah it is. I think it's really important to have the heads up. I totally agree. Yeah so if I give you that I can do that in my job and also again make the films more successful. I'm not just trying to like you know what I mean. I'm not just trying to like. Hey where people. You're cool but you're just going to ruin a movie now. What else is really funny and interesting? Is that sometimes a movie that is also pitched as very queer has a lot of other stuff in. Here's an ex a recent example that I'm thinking about disobedience that movie actually has like a central relationship that is Hetero normative right and so it's it's just interesting. I think as a career person trying to figure out as we're sort of this viable I'm not saying I wish I hadn't seen disobedience river. I just started watching it. But based on like Take salacious at works the salacious gossip and there is some great stuff in there and then there's also like like. Oh this is like a whole other thing right. Actually like doesn't speak to me as much agree so anyway I think it's no because taking me out but then you're gonNA trick me. I'm trying to for anyone. Listen I'm not doing any tricker that being said yes I it whether or not I felt tricked into watching disobedience on that Delta Flight I was happy to see the two Rachel spit into each other's morals. I will go on the record saying that. They kept it on the flight. Actually maybe I didn't review. I watched it again on the plane. Not having having seen different place because now I don't remember if that existed on the plane I just know what keeps coming up of like like y taken out like look. I don't mean to be like I'm the boss of all things but maybe six years ago I tweeted about how Carol had been edited for content. And I wasn't even this is like I had like just got into Elliott was meant television yet. I had very low hours but my friend Trish Bendix who is as a journalist like re tweeted this thing and then she worked at the time at MTV and she wrote about it at MTV and then that got picked up at a bunch of other places and literally really it was like. I was on a flight. I said like they edited Carol. So there's no kisses on it by the time I landed on my phone back on. I don't even think like phone. Internet existed. Why like like by the time I it was it was like the the Weinstein Company way back in the day to issue a statement? Holy Shit good work. Yeah did you get back and Carol for us. I just feel like you never know where things are gonNA go. It's really true and you can have like such a small platform but if you have people who know you who have much larger was thanks can blow up real fast. Yeah that's exactly right okay. So I'm going to talk a little bit about you. have an this is like this is like deja update job like this is like a four hour Mean to didn't really mean to do this. What happened was I moved here? I was always going to be a writer but I have very very mid Western. Parents is brought up lake. Yeah you can do whatever you want. If you're paying your bills and you have insurance. Why do you have some in western? Oh I I'm from the Midwest where outside of Saint Louis maybe you said that even in your email but I don't I mean I don't think I'm from Saint Louis Louis. You're not my like opening line couple of midwestern guys together. Are you folks stolen. Saint Louis. My father has passed away so technically he is and my mother moved here after he died. Oh really yeah she loves it here. When was that heat I three years ago. She moved here two years ago after she sold the house. Well first of all. I'm sorry for your loss. It is all right. He was sick for a long time so it was appropriate. Yeah this is the best way I can put put that anyone who's had along the oldest in the family knows what I'm talking about. Yeah was that for a large part of your life because a decent chunk of when I lived a lot of after I'd moved away which is also very hard because just every time you come home. There's a person who is sicker than the last time you saw them. Who cannot travel to see? You who who doesn't really isn't a lot of pain so they can't really understand what your life is to some degree including like having this job that waits you make the movies now you market them. No you make the the AD. No you pick where the ads in what so I have to say. I mean I'm so impressed with you actually. I think that's really amazing that you were able to figure out what you wanted to do that. Thing with that family situation going on and then you know and then go back and see your family. I just think that's sounds really hard. It was really hard and it's it's easy to talk about now. Is this thing that happened in. This cohesive arc literally every time I go home for Christmas I'd be like Oh my God what am I doing I should just move back here. What is my stupid marketing life in? La I could right here. It's fine and then my mom would be like what you have deliver. Please go back to California. Wow so your mom was like affirming firming you choosing yourself. How did you give yourself permission to do that? I think it was that. I think I'm lucky that I had a lot of people in my life. who were like? What are you going to really be able to help if you're there aren't you still going to have a job and do other stuff and also it's your data slake you're not gonNA to get better from multiple sclerosis like if you're like in proximity that's not like how the disease works like? Oh if your daughter's with one hundred miles your symptoms and flake doesn't work that way you uh-huh I mean it's just that it's just all that therapy should of having to like be honest and rational with yourself and it's still it's still sometimes I'm like is it terrible. I didn't live there. I'm like no it's not. You're fine but yeah well I mean I think what you just said is something that you know. I know I struggle with with my own family. Only I think a lot of people struggle with as we move into this Well first of all as squareness so often means we relocate doesn't always night often us and then also as we move into this generation of folks who tend to be more Just geographically mobile within like maybe our parents generation. It's one reason my mom's actually. She's been very honest with me. One reason she's so supportive is that it didn't literally never occurred to her that if you don't like where you live if you could just move while which I think is I mean. I don't want to generalize a real midwestern thing to think and a real thing of her generation. Yeah absolutely well I mean and in the Mid West. If you don't if you don't like where you live you moved to Chicago which is why when you're from Chicago. People are literally like I don't get it. There aren't even other cities then S.. Yeah this is this is the biggest one I remember people kept asking me like what if he moved to La. And you hate it. I was like I'll just move back or go somewhere else like it. It's not permanent annette. Yeah but people were really like kind of like weird about it. Well I mean yeah I get that when you move to your. It's a little different. It's not here's what just like with your a comic. It's it's very strange like when I started literally like day one right. I've done like half an. I'm like in the middle of my first set at an open mic comedic. Excuse me I have a question. Are you moving to New York. It's just a question that's on everybody's lips. I think partially because folks do it so so often I think people will get fearful of being left behind But you know like for folks It was heartbreaking game that I that I moved and I also think they were like truly proud of me and really excited about it right. I am from place. I've even said this before on the podcast. I'm from a place. Where at the end of my block? Some kid I grew up with. I mean there were like forty whatever but some kids. I grew up with bought their parents house tore it down. Saved the bricks rebuilt their own house with the saved bricks and that is that those are people who are like we fucking. We'd like they don't per ourselves ourselves. Those are people who are who felt that they were creating their own story and I totally get that. I just mean it's like but I can't even relate to it. Yes that's not a you. Maybe you may be rearranged the bring to my class reunion. We had like a sixteen year class reunion. which I still don't fully understand but you had a what sixteen year class yup up here? You have a fifteen nope. Apparently they forgot so they were like. Let's do it now. Did you ever ten. So there's dispiriting calls on this some people including myself say no some people say yes there or four people there and it was very bad music. Another question was there a five now. I know what you're telling me is that it is maybe true that your first I high school reunion was organized. Was Your sixteen year old school correct. We laugh a lot. It's so weird and I remember. I just switched to my current job at the time and so I had to say like Oh could I next week. I've agreed to go to my class reunion. And is that okay like I know I just started. Can I take a day off. And they're like yes at your ten. I'm like known what they're trying to be. I don't really care about my age but you know they're trying to be nice so I can sit your her fifteen. I'm like no they're like it's not your twenty. I'm like no it's my. It's my sixteen just also like when you're ready sort of trying to be like. Oh I promise. I'm from the Metro. Ask but I'm not from a weird backward place anyway. At the Sixteenth Class are union. Yes I couldn't believe how many people just like lived there like lived like you know right where we grew up on my oh. I thought we're all really itching to get very far away from this place and it turned out so not many of us so Saint Louis did not work for you. You know what's funny is. I was like an hour outside of Saint Louis. It was a much smaller town. Saint Louis is the cooler than where I grew up and now when I go back I feel like it's even cooler but I never felt very supported as a creative person. Listen I felt like any time I wanNA right. People were like. Yeah but what else do you want to do. Whereas like I would visit l. a. and talk about writing great good for you and everyone understood? Stood you still had to make money. But there wasn't that constantly well what do you do in this real. We all had dreams come on just share. Yeah what about an hour outside of Saint Louis. Is that very white. It's so white because the other thing is that like there's like a I don't know if it's like a full ring but there there are a lot of black folks right outside of Saint Louis C.. So you're lived like it's like there's like a city ring of black folks through that yes and then people herbs live and in fact back for racial reasons racial racist reasons the city and the county are divided so like Saint Louis City a super black and Saint Louis County a super widened suburban. Yes it is it is a place. I've been to many times that I feel in Chicago. It's not like they're like. Oh some places racism but it but it's like it's especially pre. It's palpable there. Yeah it's really it's it's a weird place especially you know. I'm lucky. My parents are really progressive and really urged us to take advantage of. There's diversity in this city and you don't have to just like only know about white people and White Art etc but you know once I was sixteen and drive. I was spending every you know every week and driving into the city to like go to the store where they sold like manic panic doc martens and all that and people would be like. Oh my God. I can't believe you drove in the city like did you see a black person. I'm like yeah I saw some black people are like doc. What what I feel like you know? That's that's that's similar to where I'm from well. Chicago's a very uh-huh racially segregated town. Yeah haven't spent a ton of time there because we have our drive baseball teams. That's true one is like for for for white people. Although I didn't realize that was for like Latin Axon and black folks I mean yes there are fans that crossover right right but you know it is that is the It's called the audience. The crowd willow interesting look different right in those two stadiums And I think like you know. That's that's speaks to the experience in so many cities but it's that's true of my hometown and I think it's something that's like you also love worm from and we really definitely should notice this. Yes exactly go back now. Now and I'm like Oh there's so many cool things like especially I also think when you know you wanNA leave you judge your city in a very specific way because I was always ready to like I was like one foot out the door. I think since since I was like fifteen or sixteen which is funny because then it took me like ten more years to actually get together and move. But I've always been someone who's like I'm getting out of here as soon as I can. I'm moving and now when I go back to visit them. I was actually a lot of history. Here's a lot to look at. Actually I told act. Yeah Yeah I mean I also just think I was real brady. I think it makes you feel powerful to be like the Brady wanted to be like. I'm better than this well. Yeah I may not be actually it turns out maybe a lot of it was real cool. That is I think that's also that can also I mean in my experience that can also be like a side effective not not feeling accepted so sure don't feel accepted by the things around. I haven't felt accepted by the things around me than a great Goto is like doc. You know what I actually don't even like these things Ashley that's like such a good knee-jerk well necessary protection. You're young young creative and queer. I think there's a a lot about sort of a typical suburban setting. That's just not gonNA fit you but you may not realize it's for any of those reasons a lot of maybe like is ever one. I'm I'm feeling I'm so normal. That's that's well you know what's funny is like my folks are from the suburbs and my folks live live in the suburbs. I'm from the suburbs from outside Chicago. And I that is like culturally a part of me and yeah. We both grew up like Super Catholic to rate Super Catholic. Yeah and it's you know there's some stuff off their that like the like. I thought I thought that I was GONNA. Then it's just the pendulum swing of trying to figure out where fit like I moved to the city and I lived like on one of the busiest streets in Chicago like my bedroom on the first floor. And it's like there's you know cars driving driving. My bed is mostly impediment for the cars that are driving past. Yeah and Now I feel like I've sort sort of settled somewhere in the middle where it's like okay. Well I don't have to be you know it's there's maybe something about me wondering you know trying to like needing to accept myself if I'm like I feel uncomfortable comfortable here. So I'll totally change my surroundings and that will solve it. Yeah Oh I feel like every time that I start lake for a while I could tell forgot like real itchy to move I was like so. What's what's going on here because probably moving is not the easiest solution for what's happening in a lot of times? I'll just be like do you need a new job or are you bored with what you're writing. TV to maybe take glass. 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Go Buy some for yourself. Treat yourself to fifteen percent off or for a friend and do it today so talk talk to me about your writing career. Sure and as a follow up question how you can have a writing career if you have a a writing. Queer Hyphen have a writing queer career. Yeah for Queer career. I hope this is literally just the rest of the episodes. Trying to figure out a Portmanteau. Anyway Way How you can have that if you have a full-time job radio great here? We go so I always wanted to write books since I I was a kid. I was always trying to write books at a certain point. I want to say about fifteen years ago I was like. Hey maybe should find out like really what books are and how you get published because I would like wipe the length of a book but it would just be like a bunch of stuff that happened. It was not like I mean you've written things you know there has to be like an exciting. It's been unlike some exposition and it has to build to something it has to conclude and be exciting and not just like Oh these people saw each other again and then there's some other stuff happened and then and now it's the end so I was. I moved out here. I have a marketing degree because I decided I was going to. How flake if I had to have a way to make money I wanted it to be interesting and someone wants told me? A marketing degree was really like helpful. That you can always get a job because people either did marketing or needed marketing and literally. Sometimes when you're young and someone tells you something you're like great great. Check that off the list. I'm going to be a marketing major and so I thought it would be more interesting to be an entertainment marketing person link work on TV or film so I moved out out here. I got an assistant job at dreamworks right away like I had like the easiest. La Transition of people whereas like. It's so hard I'm like I mean. I believe that it was very easy for for me. I don't know what happened and I was an assistant when you're an assistant you're so bored you're not using your brain you're doing a lot of dislike picking up a call and transferring it and making sure mail goes certain people so my brain was like teaming and I was just like Every night going to go home and get up in the morning and right and it was so so happy to do it and I kept talk about it but in the meantime my career just like going because like when you become an assistant eventually someone promote you and then you maybe get laid off for different reasons so then you have to get a better job and you WanNa make more money because you want like a less shitty apartment and then all of a sudden you are the senior manager of a digital department and you're like this was supposed to be what I did in the background while I was a famous writer. So what's happened is I've become like fancy in the wrong place. Maybe it never. It was not like a plan so once I was like about my first book deal seven seven and a half years ago almost eight. I got a book deal and Only God. I'm going to be a writer and it was a real. Small publisher is very little money. And I remember where my boss was like. There's always a place for you here. I have friends who are writers. A lot of them still need have jobs. We support you and so I I will say I'm very fortunate because I have a day job. That's like we think it's so cool that you're a writer. They Brag about it too late clients come in with like a film adaptation of like a book and they're like we have an author in the building. Go get her yes tell them about good reads. I'm like they probably nobody but okay so I'm really supported and I think that's a big part of it. I will say the part. That's hard now as my brain is not like board all day. I'm actually lake dealing with clients and you know being in meetings when I get home and I feel real like soft and squishy and my brain and so it's a Mu- it's much more. I have to treat it like another job. I have to carve out time like I'm going to sit in a coffee shop I'm GonNa Right I'M GONNA use if I'm slow at work I'M GONNA carve out my lunch break to I'll eat a burrito while I'm also typing about like a cute young adult seem so I I really We'll also you could just say no. Oh to this or we could edit it out okay. I'm curious if you would. I'm I have no. I have no idea if this is too personal. All you can just set your own okay. I'm curious if you would because I don't think we actually talk about this very much as humans. You got your first book deal you. Don't you like are assuming unknown author at the right time. You're talking about little money would you. Are you comfortable saying how much money yes and I promise you. You OUGHTA be shocked because it was. I do not think I will be shocked. It was two hundred dollars. I am shot. Yeah no it was such a small press and they were basically like we don't give advances in my agent. It was like you have to give her something. And so the me two hundred dollars and I was like I had a ready like I'd like had an essay published once. That was more money. I had once gotten gotten to kill fee because our project I'd been involved with got cancelled and they paid me. Seven hundred and fifty dollars kill fee is when they don't run your thing right and ready to the word and not run. Yeah Yes yes and so I was like I know people might thought you were contract killer. Oh Yeah I wanted. I believe for seven hundred fifty dollars that was when I murdered. I have pat phrase around casually before I should start just falling not necessarily marketing environment. People I think some people here but you're right. Maybe the general public that sounds terrifying. They're like oh so she got paid to murder. Someone and at seven hundred fifty dollars is her mouth yes. I was really like wait so I made more money. Being stopped writing and writing. No it was really small. I really appreciate you sharing that because I don't think that we have realistic. Listrik no understand like I really saw. Oh I'm going to get a book deal and I'm going to get a house I'm GonNa just everything's going to change. And then you know by the time agent takes a fee and my taxes are. It's like well it's like an x like probably the celebration meal I had on getting a book deal was the price of that book and even if it is is like something that seems on paper to be more substantial. I think that is also you know. Just just wrote my first book and -gratulations thank you and that is something that you know. It's like when if you could do the Per Hour Analysis. Would you lose your mind because because even if it's a thing that feels more reasonable like the like you get the thing you go. Oh this is reasonable for if I was writing this today like if if this was my pay for like if you if you had gotten two hundred dollars and it was like and it's for your lunch break Ya like. Wow you know what a steel no. Because it's a lot of of work. I'm on my six book now. Most of them have done with larger pub. All of them have been with larger publishers on that. And even so like you like you you get the first installment like two years before the ball comes out your agents taken apart. There's no taxes being processed on it yet and then you get usually like sometimes you get done a third when you turn it in and then you get someone it comes out and these payments on their own kind of sad. Yeah even if you get way more than two hundred dollars yes exactly I. I think I think it's just an interesting thing like especially when you're like somebody from a marginalized community it's like we want more more queer stories to be more realistic. We want them to feel better. That two hundred dollar book was heterosexual. So okay that actually does. I mean I wrote it. There's heterosexual people in it. I think it's no that doesn't mean I think what I'm talking about is like when we when we are talking about breaking into into an industry. I'm mentioning all this because it really does matter like to support queer books and things like that because because the those authors are like people are taking chances on US basically legler taking chances for. Nobody's making any money. Yeah my first book came out a two thousand eighteen and I went with smaller publisher again because it kind of felt like the bigger publishers are a little nervous about it. I got a lot of like you. Don't get rejections that are like you get rejections that are like I'm not sure it's relatable for readers which means gay and that book was also fat and I think that was a lot for people at wonder like this girl is gay and fat and she's just fine with all of like. I felt like that reaction was was in the like unspoken taxed of of not relatable. It's also my guess. Maybe they're just like we hate your writing. There's all you never know. Can you talk to me about the book you have coming out. Yes soon yeah mine. My a new book is called. We used to be friends. It's about friendship break up because I think friendship. Breakup are terrible and soul destroying and we don't I think as a society. We're pretty good about shepherding people through a romantic breakup like they're sort of like a script for it like let's do you need a drink. Do you need ice cream or chocolate doc. Let's listen to this song and for Roma friend breakup. I feel like Oh. This is a bummer. Anyway and and I'm like I just had a fight with someone who I've known for fifteen years who I thought I would know for the rest of my life. Who's my person when I do have a romantic break-up or anything thing else and now they're not at my life let's to me? That's huge and so I really wanted to write a book about girls going through that and how really hard it can be but I also also in two points of view because I also like I don't usually think there's like a villain and a good guy and I think like it's just really hard to be a human and then when you're trying to be human in another person's trying to be a human it doesn't doesn't always line up very well especially my books that senior year of high school. And when you're getting ready to see what's next in life where you're heading and also maybe releasing priorities are different. Who even are you so yeah? It's what I'm I wrote. I'm writing about. I really love that and I totally agree with you. That the uh-huh you know that the that really don't talk about how like Frederick breakup also even just like shifting groups of France really like that's something that going through a divorce I did not really early anticipate is that it affects your circles of friends in a massive way. I didn't know that I that is I am. I'm not divorced but I've had friends divorce and it's weird sometimes because you're like hard for. Can I talk to that person. Now the answer is no never. I'm just GonNa it's complicated really complicated and Especially in the rural world where everything is collapsed in on itself. Yeah like a star scooting back into a black hole getting closer and closer together but in this in this specific book There is a straight character and acquire care. There is a straight character an AQUAR- character and my character does rely. She's bisexual very early in the book. So Oh I did not set out to write another I was like I wrote one book and that was a hard sell. Keep this straight and that did not I. Don't I think all the books are going to be. We're now moving forward. I had such a joyous experience rating aquar- book and reader feedback was like nothing I've ever had before and going to do like visits where I meet like Queer teams. It's it's Oh my God it's the best thing in my life so Also I really WANNA write books. It's really fun. So yeah there's a queer romance in it so so I'm like this book. Sounds so sad. Because it's like this friend break-up they're like one girls like recovering from her. MOM died a couple years ago once going through a parent's divorce and I'm like no but also there's a lot of romance. There's a lot of kissing and some real dumb jokes. I promise it's still like all the things you've come to know and Love Obama we. But here's something I want to ask I wonder if that has been asked before. How do you how do you rate straight people? How the fuck do you know how to write eight from straight perspective? I will say you know what's really funny. Is I feel like my first queer book was like super like people liked it more. I was like. Oh maybe 'cause 'cause like I'm by I like guys also even though a lot of people are like why am I know that's a woman asked me if it was like a phase I was like no. I'm like forty some adult woman as an adult woman asking if she's Phasing College I'm like no it's now and she's like why I'm like. It's a valid Janati. Leave me anyways. Valid it is really funny. 'cause like looking back on it. I'm like Oh yeah even though I think one thing I personally wrestled with which I've had the same exact same conversation with a lot of other women. Is that for a long time. I was sort of like well first. First of all. It took me a long time to realize I was by because I think society is very weird about bisexuality and when I was growing up I feel I feel like and people people are GonNa hear this and be my age. It'd be like that's not how I heard about it. I'm like just for me the way I heard about sexuality. It was like a thing for like Coleslaw people and has just like an awkward lake person person who liked to read a lot and stay indoors like well. That's for like people who got into fun stuff clearly not me. I think actually that I I would say that that. Like stereotype still exists. I think it's still does and I was not seeing like examples. I mean you barely saw. I don't know if I saw many examples at all in in pop culture in the early nineties definitely not cool bisexual people that I could relate to so for a long time. It's just like well. I think it's pretty normal to light girls a little. But you're totally straight and of course then I got older. It was like that's literally just bisexuality. Yeah it's more than a little but I think a lot of a lot of people my age winter that to some degree. There's a lot of sort of like what hearing that. Oh if you're gay it's like it's not it's not choice. You feel this no matter. What and I'm like? Well if you'll it sometimes. So what does that make me like. It was very confusing so I think in my head I was I was like well. I know it's like to be straight straight 'cause I know what it's like to be attracted to guys so I can write but I'm like but that's not right. You have this so I don't no no to some degree I'm like. I don't know people like those books. We're person wrote them why we'll say we're inundated with heterosexual culture all over. So I think I I can do a good. I also do feel that like all the all the boys in my book that like love interest or just like you know these soft little lake musical theater loving. Thank you know volunteering. Like just these very delicate soft little boys and I'm like I just don't get why people don't Love My love interest. I'm like no 'cause I'm learning wording different maybe slight lake the gender of it all is snow. Rogo do you want him to do 'em reading conversations with friends by Celine. I've heard really good things about it. It's it's definitely it is very well written. And there's a very well written like straight male character in it And it is like funny to me to read it or because it's like right I I I I I really am like this. I think this is is a man you know but like it's just because it's very it's like a book that has a lot of Sex in it and it also is about relationships right and I think strikes strikes me as like pretty realistic. You know as opposed to something like going to see a movie where it's like. It's all heightened I mean it's still still a heightened version of some but it seems it seems closer to reality and so it's very interesting to like I don't consume straight media all the time consuming. It's funny to read something that you're like. Oh this this is really yeah true. But then I'm like but I might be. How do I out? Yeah Yeah it's funny. There's there's you you I will give you this advice as your first book is about to come out. Shinri all your user refuse it will just lead you down. But there's an user review on Amazon John of my fourth book which is well they're lesbian moms. Which Queer MOMS which I like but the you know it's a boy girl romance and someone left a review that was like I really just kept hoping she would fall for her rival instead? WHO's a girl and I was like? Oh no I accidentally. I made this book where I'm like. Yeah I probably did that on accident. I'm sorry that's really funny. Lake queered up my own book. Just like in the background background and no one caught it except some lovely Amazon user. Thank you person. Well Yeah I mean I mean our our identity. We cannot see outside of our own lens doesn't mean we can't. We can't use our imagination. Yeah and we do research and stuff but it just is like we're just are who we are. Yeah and I honestly think had I had. I mean we're all trying to understand ourselves better all trying trying to. I assume trying to understand identity better etc and I think for so long I did. I did think of bisexuality half straight thing and I was like I can. I can write these these romances and I'm like no I'm all lake. This is not what bisexuality is but I think that's a constant conversation. I think doc I'm also lucky that a lot of US started having these conversations at the same time and it's made me understand myself better but it's also just made me much more comfortable about out how I write things and how I don't and yeah half. This book is straight but that characters so not like so many other ways. She's like the site the introverted awful like quiet like waiting to say something person and so I already had to lake. That was so much harder for meter straightness. Sure as such good boyfriend so I was like I call for him. It's fine that's true. Yeah I mean you know now I think I don't know actually I would be curious to hear from listeners. I feel like my i. I know a lot of people who are who seem to Blake B. So in self acceptance that. I don't actually know what it's like out there in the like if your listeners love to hear because I feel like the messaging that I was getting was like bisexuality all these a stop on the road to town like it was it was actually part of a a time line like it wasn't just it was like between things but that it was part of a progression progression and I think a lot of that is When folks really felt like they couldn't come out at all bisexuality and specifically fairly men was a great way of testing the waters riding? Like I'm by. I have a boyfriend but that's not who I am exactly you know. And so I think we've evolved past that but I don't know I still you know it's funny. A friend of mine WHO's about the same age said back in the nineties. You're a gay straight or lying was how you retreated and I think that's so true and I saw and I was. I mean it was confusing to me because I'm like I know how I feel but I'm being told this other thing and I mean luckily I think there's just a lot of really amazing by people making a lot of noise out there and being like this is what identity is. It doesn't have to be this one thing or this other thing and it's certainly not made up right and I just think having you know living in Los Angeles if I think it's I mean it's almost like somebody was joking. Like how many do I have. That aren't queer like just so many. You know I feel like I've chosen family of friends. Many of whom are Queer. And when we when you can have these he's like conversations face to face them out loud and talk through a lot of like why used to think this and then I did this and then I learned this it just I think a lot of it is really much clearer for a lot of us. Thought no matter what your identity is when you can talk to other people and you're like okay cool so it's definitely not that. That sounds a lot like that. Yeah I mean that is yeah. That's one hundred percent true and it's also it's like that thing of not that but not that I'm also thinking about the lake. I mean maybe this is like back. Maybe this is too offensive for me to actually talk about but I I might say it anyway which is do you know what I'm talking about? If I'm talking about that one drop of Yes yes so like that is some very racist thinking. Yeah that did exist and still dies exists in this country about like. If you're not like purely white. If you had like one drop of I I think it was specifically for of black for I think it was but I also first of all just want to comment on how people really understood how like babies work. which is that? There's like A. There's like a certain you're feeling or July having them together feeling the you're feeling baby with blood and you had you you pick eavesdrop on his drop But but it's still think that we talk about like we still talk about racial identity that way erasing erasing biracial folks. We still talk about sexuality that way a racing a really interesting recently. which was that we we tend to buy we? I mean society. I don't mean US work right but society tends to define sexuality by relationships with men. So if you're uh a man who has sex with men you're gay even if you also have sex with women your or I should say attracted to. I don't WanNa make it about you. Know Many married married people who don't many monogamous people who are not out having sex with other genders who are still making that clear to people but then if a woman is mainly attracted to women also attracted to men. It's like oh well she must be by straight and just doing it for attention because clearly the man is the important thing to define the spy and a friends into this a few weeks ago and I cannot stop thinking about it sure I mean I guess that makes sense like do you think and this is what I'm like. Are you suggesting that as a culture we sent her meal weird like limb to go out on gives me give me twelve examples when this true I mean I literally had someone say to me. They were like Oh this person. I know this person. We both knew she's married to a man I and I found out she was getting married again to a woman. And he's like I guess she's gained now as like or bisexuality exists and he's like yeah. Yeah Yeah I'm like I a a bisexual person I'm saying. This is what it looks like. Yeah and yet. It's still was just as like well gay now Mike and so what what is it like. Here's a question that I so a lot of times when I've had guests on who identified as by. I'm just realizing as we're talking about this. They have mostly been actors or people like who worked in a creative fuel right there show creator or something. It's like folks who maybe don't have to do you a ton of like have like a standard group of CO workers that riot. Pr Department so when you're at your office are you out to your co workers as like Queer. Are you out to them. Specifically as by Lino any of this information about I don't think so for a long time and then when my last book came out entertainment weekly Dot Com to story about it and about me and about like T. The subplot was about the Best Burger in Los Angeles so I like taste tested burgers with Journalist and it was amazing and my boss I think was proud of it so he put it on our company blog and I was like all right there we go. Oh and I mean. I wear this jacket and how this haircut every day but yeah I definitely. I was at a company Party earlier this year late last year and one of my coworkers. He said like I'm the only one of the company and I said well I'm by and he's like what he's an older man so maybe he doesn't. I just feel like I looked pretty not straight but yeah I mean we have some signifier was going on but I'm also like oh I probably have some signifier Other people who require my age not necessarily a sixty something year old man. Pat Is funny so yeah so I think I am and then I was just I also felt like everyone was really nice about it and so I was like Oh cool. I'm just GONNA 'cause I was like when I had the queer book coming out I was like Oh we're gonNA have to have a bunch of weird conversations. No it was actually very. I mean it's Los Angeles. It's the entertainment industry. Sorry I'm fortunate that way. Yeah I think I was just imagining like in a more corporate setting the idea of like going to some holiday party with your boyfriend and then like you know two two years lived off your girlfriend and how strange that would be for. 'em Sure they're our listeners that this is our experience because I just don't think that these conversations are happening like in a way. Where're you're say? Corporate America understands how to roll with this Alec and I'm sure if that happened there would still be plenty of people behind my back being like what's going on with amy You Ain't talk about his minor backs no not you not just you okay so I want to know how you balance because also the other thing that is that is true Is that when you. You have a book launching if they spent a ton of time. You're talking about this Burger interview. You've just spent a ton of time like promoting that thing. Yeah I'm taking. I'm using a half day vacation. Asian data be here today. Thank you so much shit that an is that just is it. Is it good planning like how is it you add. It's a lot of these things. It's a lot of keeping my google calendar like real tight. It's using my lunch break to send emails to you etc.. It's I'm also very fortunate. I will say major majoring in marketing. I didn't realize how I was going to do that for my like I. I saw the old idea of being an author where you're just right books and then like a team does for you like I'm setting up so much in my own Promo Etcetera and because I do for a living for movies like I I can handle myself so that helps a lot too. That does help that does seem like superpowers. Like yeah I took a bunch of publicity classes I can bang out of press release to Whoa. Yeah Yeah it's just a lot of planning and holding myself to it. Yes and sometimes just like for the next few weeks. I'm like this just what I'm doing but it's you you've had things where you spend weeks doing promo and you know it's just part of the job now absolutely and also I mean I am somebody who really really. I don't have a one fixed job the same way that you do but I have a very complicated schedule rand and You know I just think it's like I'm sure again. I'm thinking about listeners. Who probably have creative pursuits that they want to to pursue and that that can't be their full right bread and butter? That was certainly how I started. You know it's like it's most people start I did or yeah by like the MEDICI family or like by your own family your then. That's what's happening for you and for me. It was you know for for a while like I did have a more normative job like a nine to five and afterward But I think also that that is a skill. Well you know. It's tough that Mrs Skill that follows you for the rest of your life. Because I think you're talking about this like here's the check that you get and it's not that giants it's on a house buying check. Nothing is like really a house buying check. No or few things are working toward a house buying Jack Jack. We'll for all people exactly like yes all people so we're all kind of I think on this hustle of trying to figure out like what what works for us today anymore. If you're young creative and you're like well how do I get to the holidays. The other side of the finish line were everything is easy. I guess what I'm saying. Is these skills. That you're building right now will serve will make it easier because this is maybe it's it forever. It's really tough forever. It's also really exciting and fun and it's great to have so many things going on in absolutely. There's no finish line. No I had A. I was on a panel at the festival of books. They'll be times when a few years ago and a man said like when we all able to quit your day jobs and become real writers and I said Sir I have a day job. Do you think I'm a real writer. And he was like. Oh yes and I was like great now you all know I have a day job. The city's expensive to live here. Student loan debts. This is my my life and everyone else was like good answer thanks. It was but I'm I'm a big believer in like demystifying this whole like I don't want to appear like a fancy author who's just like living some. I'm like no. There's a lot of work. There's a lot of lake juggling other stuff but it is doable. I promise like I don't want people to give up. Because because they can't they can't have it exactly how it looks on you know at the end of the you know. Whatever their picturing goal? It's not necessarily GonNa look like that but you could still we'll get. I mean what I'm picturing his win Jenny rootless girls in the first. Go Round of the award. Yeah and then it became a television series. Definitely what's AH exactly. It's going to happen for sure not Well this has been such a great conversation. I really love talking with you again sometime time. And thanks for having a before send you back into your urine back to the office. No no by. I'm told her to my like I love to thing to do. Yeah he said it okay and would like to ask you to shout out a quarrel. Yeah somebody a person place thing made you feel like you can be who you are today. I'm GonNa talk about a place. meow Cucolo there's this real cool coffee shop in Saint Louis called mobis. It's real queer. It used to be I feel no no it was it was just when I started going there. Like the Mid Ninety S I went to this gay straight ally knows just a gay youth group. I don't know they were always like it's okay. You're straight and I'm like okay like in my my brain. I'm just like you know what the the gay kids think. I'm straight maybe I l.. I don't know anyway I went to. They should have known I was going to the newsgroup every week. It's really not what straight people do Anyway there's this really cool gay coffee coffee shop. That was like a few blocks from where we met and it was opened like bar hours. And you know before you're twenty one so it's very hard to like. Go hang out at night because you can't get into a bar but also a lot of restaurants close around ten eleven and so this place was open to one in the morning and it was also like a lot of of older people would go on their way home from bars so it's just like all ages. It was in Saint Louis City proper so it was not as probably pretty white but as I remember it was very diverse verse you know people of all genders people all ages and real very gay. Very Queer Really good jukebox. And I'm just like it felt it was like a bar with alcohol basically and it's still open. It's a little lake. It's a little nicer now. It was really it felt very like punk rock in the mid nineties. These and now they've like when I go back and visit they've expanded and you know they have a Sunday brunch now but I love that and I remember when I'm speaking of Saint Louis and racism when the Ferguson protests going on they were the cops were getting mad at them because they kept letting protesters come inside and like get water and be taken taking care of and if they got like tear gas they would like give them milk or whatever you do for teargassing people's eyes so they're not just you know they're they're not just about like queer rights in the various specific way they're about like marginalized groups there about helping people so I love that place. I owe it anytime. I'm in Saint Louis I always. Let's make a habit of going back a coffee mobis Moebius. That's so awesome. It is so important to have All Ages bases and also like you know sober spaces. Yeah Yeah Which I did at the time? I think we're all just like twenty one. We're not doing this anymore. But now y Oh God it's so nice to have a place to go this motto bar. Yeah it is you know it is and I love Also the idea that you I don't I don't think that's that's called most places anymore. The Gay Straight Alliance. What is call? Now it's like the it's like Jen's whatever yeah it's what I also love the idea that that title even though it might ain't no longer fit. I love the idea that that lucrative enough space for you feel like you could go like a girl invited me to it and I thought I was getting like an invitation. You know what I mean. I thought it was like getting an invitation and I was like she knows. This is great. I can ease into this identity and figure out what I am and then and she introduced me to everyone like she straight. Don't like leave her alone she straight but we accept her. Because I don't know I feel like you're a little younger than me but I feel like there used to be a big thing about like gay people were trying to convert straight people. That was like a big like stereotypes so I think they were like no no. Don't think that we're not trying to convert you like guys. I'm here because I want to be converted so when I was like in this weird uneasy relationship with lake knowing wing I was a lot clearer than the queer thought. I was just real weird anyway. I'm sure none of them are surprised. I'm on this podcast listening. Well it is a real pleasure to talk to you it. It has monroe play. Thank you so much you too. Yeah and I hope to. Hey everybody it's Paul Scheer and Nicholson and we host a film discussion. PODCAST called unspoiled. Normally we are talking about the top one hundred films films that society is deemed the most important films of all time. But we're doing something different for the end of the year. For the end of the year we're joining joining along with the arrest of the Internet and the world and making our big picks for the best films of the decade. What are the films that people are GonNa remember this decade by exactly? We're going to go year-by-year through this decade putting forth our own picks hashing out and hearing from you guys about what films you think deserve to be immortalized and at the end of the month. We we'll be going into very sacred territory or at least to me which is star wars. And that'll be coincided with the release of the rise of skywalker. Amy Cannot wait to hear what you have to think about mcklusky and the new CGI Java because that's the only star wars that I go by so tune in and watch along with us or just listened to argue with us and tell us that we're completely wrong as we tackle the best of the decade and then star wars all this December.