Fated Mates - A Romance Novel Podcast

Fated Mates is a romance novel podcast co-hosted by author Sarah MacLean and critic Jen Prokop. Weekly episodes include romance novel read-alongs and discussions of the work of the genre, highlighting the romance novel as a powerful tool in fighting patriarchy…with absolutely no kink shaming.



episode 49: S03.42: Fantasy Romance Interstitial with Zoraida Córdova

This week, Zoraida Córdova (aka Zoey Castille) joins us to talk about fantasy romance and why it is so hard to find it in the romance pool. We talk about speculative fiction, high fantasy, low fantasy, urban fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance and more, all while trying to figure out just what makes something fantasy and not paranormal (we think we’ve cracked the code). We also talk world building, about maps, and about merman junk.

Our next read along is Kylie Scott’s Lead, one of our longtime favorites. Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, B&N, Kobo, or Bookshop.org! Get the others in the series, too, while you’re at it, because you’ll probably want to read the whole thing.

Thank you, as always, for listening! Please follow us on your favorite podcasting app, and if you are up for leaving a rating or review there, we would be very grateful!

Show Notes

Welcome Zoraida Córdova! Zoraida writes MG, YA, and adult speculative fiction, and also romance under the name Zoey Castile. 

Puerto Rico is a US territory and residents of the island are American citizens.

Why Moscow Mules are served in copper mugs.

We love Norma Perez-Hernandez who is an amazing, exuberant editor at Kensington, and if you don’t follow her on Twitter she should. Norma also was on the 2020 Publisher's Weekly Star Watch List. 

Zoraida’s book The Vicious Deep answers the age-old question of “where does it go,” a similar answer is in Guillermo del Toro's movie The Shape of Water. 

Speculative fiction asks the question “what if” and is the big umbrella category for science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy (now Black authors in particular suggest we rename this contemporary fantasy), and paranormal. 

Reading strategies are for everyone: We love maps in fantasy, so why not in contemporary fiction?

Victoria Avyeard was on Sarah Enni's First Draft podcast talking about world building.

The Hero’s Journey, or maybe the heroine’s journey. 

NK Jemisin’s lecture about the cultural iceberg shows writers how to build a world that goes beyond what’s on the surface. 

An interesting thread from a YA librarian, and another from author Elizabeth May, about why and how romance plots in SFF are pushed into YA. 

Zoraida hosts a writing podcast with Dhonielle Clayton called Deadline City.

Relevant music perormed by: Twin Temple, Marike van Dijk + Katell Keineg, King Missile, Dr. Octagon, and Led Zeppelin. Listen to the full Fated Music playlist on Spotify.