Do you love fanfic, queer women, just having something hilarious to listen to every other Tuesday? Then you need to be listening to Queer As Fiction and as a huge fan of the podcast and of the three hosts in general, I was psyched to get an interview with Kirsten King, Amanda Holland, and Ashly Perez. We chat queer fan fiction, the podcast, and hanging out and drunk watching things over on GirlShipTV. Thank you to these three fabulous women for agreeing to chat with me over email.
Could you briefly introduce yourselves to our readers?
Hello! Kirsten King, Amanda Holland and Ashly Perez are the hosts of Queer As Fiction, a podcast where we write queer fan fiction based on pop culture pairings. Amanda is a writer and the creator of GirlShipTV, a YouTube channel dedicated to queer women. Amanda formally worked as a BuzzFeed producer and currently freelances for INTOMore, Grindr’s queer publication. Kirsten is a writer and former Senior Editor at BuzzFeed whose editorial work has been featured in BuzzFeed Reader, Teen Vogue, Cosmo, INTO, Girlboss and others. Ashly Perez is a writer and performer, formerly working as a Development Partner at BuzzFeed, where she helped bring series’ like Unfortunately Ashly to life. All three hosts are screenwriters who hope to play a role in bringing more queer narratives to screen.
What led you to create Queer As Fiction?
Queer As Fiction sort of started as an excuse for the three of us to hang out and work on something creative together. It’s hard finding a community of queer folks, so having a project that allowed us built-in time to be with other people from the community was nice. Amanda originally came up with the idea for us to read and react to lesbian erotica, and the podcast grew into what it is today from there.
What do you hope readers gain through the podcast?
We hope that readers gain a sense of community, and also a sense of hope for what representation could look like someday. A lot of the feedback we’ve gotten from listeners is that when they listen to Queer AF, they feel like they’re hanging out with friends, and for us, that’s really cool. Like we said before, it’s really difficult to find a community of people – and not all of our listeners are safe being out yet. So, we hope that listening to this, even if just for an hour, makes folks feel less alone, and like they have that supportive community. Additionally, while we definitely get silly on the podcast – the reason fan fiction is so popular is because there’s currently such a small space in mainstream media for queer romance and narratives. Imagining storylines that feature queer folks as the leads isn’t just fantasy – it’s what we hope will someday be the norm.
When you shifted to writing queer fan fiction instead did you worry at all about the change in theme for the show?
Reading and reacting to erotica felt a little bit limiting in terms of where we could take the podcast. We didn’t want the podcast to feel hater-y and like we were making fun of anyone’s writing. So, the erotica felt like it was more of a one-note reaction podcast. Doing fan fiction allows us to not only be more creative, but get into deeper, more culturally relevant topics. Some folks have said they miss the erotica – but for us, doing the fan fiction feels more fulfilling.
What have been some of your favorite prompts so far?
We get some really awesome suggestions from fans. We all really enjoyed The Royal Wedding prompt and the Ocean’s episode was fun for us all to write. I’m not sure if we could pick one favorite – since we all kind of have different specialties – but we’re really lucky we have a fanbase that gets really creative with their suggestions.
Can you tease any themes you might do in the future?
We *definitely* want to do something Killing Eve themed. And as the holidays come up, we’ll have a lot of fun writing fan fiction around that. Essentially, we’ll be writing all the queer Halloween and Christmas movies we want to see in the world.
All three of you have been part of Drunk Lesbians/Queer Women Watch on Girl Ship TV. How does doing something like that differ from working on the podcast?
I think both are similar in that it really is just us hanging out and offering our commentary – but the podcast also feels like a nice creative outlet, too. Since we’re all writers, it can be easy for us to get in our own heads when working on a project. Spending 15 minutes to imagine an alternate universe, or pairing, and create fan fiction is a nice creative push that also feels fun.
Where can our readers find you all online?
You can find our podcast @QueerAsFic on Twitter and individually you can find Amanda @AwkwardHolland on everything, Ashly @itsashlyperez on everything, and Kirsten @KirstenKing_ on Twitter and @KirstenLKing on Instagram.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, and I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.