Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 245: Romance novels with Dave Thomas


This week we welcome special guest Dave Thomas (no, not that Dave Thomas), a writer of literary fiction–and founding editor of Lockjaw Magazine–who, with his wife, has recently taken a turn toward writing romance novels. Dave felt that the romance novels we’d read in the past were all pretty terrible, and wanted us to read a good one. So his book pick was by Julia Quinn, whose Regency-era novels are praised for their humor and for featuring strong, complex female characters. The specific book we read is called The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, and it’s the fourth in a series about the Smith-Smythe family (though each book is also meant to stand alone).

We talk with Dave about what separates a good romance novel from a bad one, and why he and his wife decided to write their own. You can find their books under the author name Josephine Banks.

We also talk to Dave about being an expat in Australia, how living there compares to living in the U.S., whether he eats a bloomin’ onion every day–or only every other day–and how many practice-hours it takes to become an expert at the didgeridoo.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or in just about any app you might use to listen to podcasts.

If you like the show, please consider subscribing to our Patreon, which helps offset our costs and allows us to keep doing the podcast each week. In exchange for $5, you’ll also get access to a monthly bonus episode, Book Fight After Dark, in which we explore some of the weirder reaches of the literary universe: Amish mysteries, caveman romances, end-times thrillers and more!

Stream Episode 245:

Download Episode 245 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Episode 245: Romance novels with Dave Thomas

  1. I would like to recommend a funny, sexy contemporary romance novel by an Australian author. The title of the book is The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

    Thanks for the podcast.



  2. I want to recommend a documentary, Love Between the Covers. It’s a good look at the romance novel industry and has interviews with prominent authors (Eloisa James, the legendary lit professor turned romance novelist, Beverly Jenkins, even Radclyfe from the lesbian romance set) and super fans, plus a handful of people still trying to make it. When I teach my reading class and force everyone to read romance (muahaha, the power), I play the first 2/3 or so to help them understand the appeal of romance.

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