Monthly Archives: June 2015

Aftermath of Forever: Relationships, described through music

aftermath of forever coverIn this new blog series, we ask Microcosm interns to pick any book we’ve published and review it. Cyn chose Aftermath of Forever: How I Loved and Lost and Found Myself. The Mixtape Diaries by Natalye Childress.

In college I went through a phase of pure obsession with young women’s romantic memoirs—the funny kind, that is. Chelsea Handler’s “My Horizontal Life”, the infamous Belle de Jour book, Abby Lee’s “Girl with a One-Track Mind”. I loved the brazen openness of these women, their realistic attitudes, and the humor they found in even the most awkward sexual experiences and heartbreaks.

So, Aftermath of Forever caught my attention immediately, and I loved it. 

At its base, this is a collection of short pieces about the author’s previous romantic interests. Some lovers, some potentials, and some that she just loved in one way or another. The chapters serve as odes to each of the men that have passed through her life after a fierce divorce in her early twenties.

Throughout the book, Natalye is very aware of the effect each man has on her life, both in the moment and long after. That awareness keeps her journey interesting, watching her wants, needs, and general lifestyle change and evolve with each passing beau, from her very open, early exploration of her own sexuality to casual exploits, and even falling for men she’d never expected to love.

Sometimes I questioned her normalcy when compared to needy, problematic men with a plethora of issues, but then Nat acknowledges and explores her own issues: questionable choices, occasional neediness, and common vulnerability. She expresses her wants and needs on almost every page and doesn’t apologize for them. On the road to finding and loving your self, that’s a huge step, and Natalye shows her strength in that aspect of herself. You can’t help but admire it as the stories go along.

The descriptions are well done and very realized, with a surprising amount of detail. Sometimes, though, this level of detail felt a little bit tedious, with every action transcribed, even when it served no purpose in the end. But I like that this level of focus shows Nat’s awareness of the world around her, and it does give really solid visuals, though near the end it sticks out a little more.

After reading for a while, I started building the provided playlists online and going back to re-read the chapters along with their designated musical selections. With the music playing, there’s an extra boost to the atmosphere of each chapter that isn’t as pronounced without it. Max’s chapter is soft indie and bittersweet, reflecting Natalye’s wistful feelings towards their almost-relationship, as well as her vulnerable time post-divorce. Van, her first lover, is accompanied by relaxed, chilled out romances with young, poppy elements, fitting well against their young, casual sexuality, and a feeling of something missing. Chaz has two lists, one being his own creation, mimicking the intense connection they shared in their life together, their sexual explorations, and pure trust. Marques, the boy in a band, gets a backdrop filled with metal, reflecting not just his musical tastes, but also their intense but erratic relationship.

The one part I thought was lacking was a level of reasoning for the lists. She gives a general explanation and theme of each, but since a mixtape has a very deliberate selection, I would have loved to know more about why she chose certain songs. More insight into her process, I think, would help me to connect with her more, and be more fun to read! 

Am I taking all of this a little too seriously? Maybe. But this book explores relationships through musical choices, and the way those choices are made, and then are able to meld with the individual chapters, is a huge part of experiencing the story.

I also appreciate that the book doesn’t end (spoiler alert!) with a chapter about Nat finding an awesome guy. This isn’t a book about finding love. It’s about navigating love while you find—and love—yourself. To that end, the ending works. And there’s a lesson in that alone, making this book kind of perfect for anyone struggling through similar experiences and looking for ways to make sense of it all. 

Be honest, never give up on your self, and always listen to music you love.

This is part of our series of Microcosm intern book reviews! The last one was Coco’s review of White Elephants.

Sharing food and knowledge: An interview with Raffaella Tolicetti

raffa cooking onboardAfter Raffaella Tolicetti graduated from college, she signed up to volunteer on a Sea Shepherd ship, setting off with a group of other activists to sail the high seas to prevent illegal whale hunting. She quickly was appointed the crew’s chef, despite no professional cooking experience. Her cookbook, Think! Eat! Act! shares what she’s learned about animal rights activism, veganism, and of course cooking on a tight budget on board a moving ship. She took a moment on land to answer these questions, right before boarding the Sam Simon for an anti-whaling campaign in the Faroe Islands.

Think! Eat! Act!  is an unusual cookbook—at least, I haven’t ever seen another cookbook that other than just recipes and stories also tells you how to get vegan food in prison. How did the book come to be?

Over the last ten years or so, I have had the chance to meet a lot of people that inspired me with what they were doing to address issues of social injustice, racism, animal exploitation or earth destruction. I have learnt a lot, and I felt that I wanted both to share with as many people possible the knowledge that I had acquired, but also to give back to the people that have inspired me so much, supporting their efforts and campaigns giving them a space and a voice to speak out, and giving them money to fund their cause. 

I had been a vegan cook with Sea Shepherd for three years at the time the idea of a book mixed with recipes and info on activism started to grow in my mind. On one side, a vegan cookbook to demystify the difficulties of vegan cooking, considering that during that particular campaign we had very little, I had to do all the food from scratch with no “intermediary” ingredients (no mock meat, cheeses, or eggs for example) and I had a lot of fun cooking with very simple ingredients, even when the conditions were hard (we got rammed several times during that campaign, were in the rough seas of Antarctica, and I still kept cooking the whole time!). On the other hand, one of my friends was starting his own campaign in Canada, funded by the Wildlife Defense League, and I felt I should support him somehow even if I couldn’t be there physically. 

From that moment, I couldn’t stop thinking of all the projects I wanted to give voice to, and not forget that while we enjoy a lot of our freedom in our every daily life, some people are in jail while defending the same ideals we share. I had put those thoughts into written words, hoping they would reach as many people as possible, even people that are far, far away from veganism or activism. This was my main interest from the beginning. There are so many vegan recipe cookbooks, you can find inspiration everywhere, so I wanted Think! Eat! Act! to bring something different. Having vegan info, recipes and then testimony from activism sounded like a good balance in a book, something new.

What are your favorite recipes for the following situations: While on a blockade; in the doldrums; in a storm; for a celebration; the first thing you want to eat when you get on land?

I’ll start with the easy one, first thing I want to eat when I come back to land: lettuce and fruit! Just fresh stuff, simple as possible!

In a storm, only rice, if anything. That might even be too much for my stomach.

For the blockade, something handy like a nice piece of bread with the broccoli cream. In the doldrums, garlic and chili spaghetti, and for a celebration… maybe asparagus lasagna? Or carbonara?

Do most Sea Shepherd chefs cook similar meals, or do you all have very different styles?

On the ships we come from really different countries and so far I have been working with cooks that are from Australia, Singapore, Sweden, America, Italy, France, South Africa, and more, so we all have very different styles to start from. But then we all got to work together and exchange recipes so there are classic meals that are done on all the ships. Basically the one the crew always ask for. Like seitan schnitzels, ravioli, tiramisu, pad thai, mainly all the comfort foods!

What is your next adventure?

I am heading at sea tomorrow for a new campaign in the Northern Sea. If you want some updates check the Sea Shepherd Global website!

This interview with Raffa Tolicetti is one of a series of author interviews. The last one was with Teenage Rebels author Dawson Barrett.




The Kids are Alright: An Interview with Dawson Barrett

Dawson barrettA whole lot of hours and days and weeks in the last year at the Microcosm HQ have gone into pouring love and effort into Teenage Rebels: Stories of Successful High School Activists from the Little Rock 9 to the Class of Tomorrow. We couldn’t be prouder of the end result, which just came back from the printer. Author Dawson Barrett kindly answered some questions about the book and his vision:

How did your original idea become the book that readers can hold in their hands today?

The story of the original idea is not especially interesting, but the punch line is that Joe Biel and I have some similar political ideas and both think the kids are alright!

The book includes about fifty short vignettes. Some of them are pretty famous (the Little Rock 9, Brown v. Board of Education), but many of them have not been thought about, by anyone, in several decades. They had been essentially lost to history, but the digitization of newspapers has given them a chance to be re-told. The stories that made it into the book were my favorites, but there were hundreds more.

After I wrote the vignettes, Meggyn Pomerleau put the cover together and added the illustrations. I think about half of them are loosely based on actual historical photos, but for the rest she had to work from scratch. And they really bring the stories to life. The book is not quite a graphic novel, but it shares many of the same story-telling advantages.

Who is the book for? Who do you ideally want to read it?

teenage rebels sample pageIn my mind, there are two main audiences for the book. The first is the most obvious. It’s for teenage rebels! I wrote it for young people. It’s their history. So, I hope they find it useful. I think these stories are empowering, and teens are an especially disenfranchised group. My own teen years were an exercise in correctly identifying injustices and then directing my anger almost entirely at the wrong targets. So, I hope young people will read the book and see that it is possible to vent your frustrations in ways that actually make positive changes. The future is in their hands.

The second audience for the book includes teachers and other people who work with youth or who are otherwise interested in being their allies. As I think about it, though, this is really just an indirect route to the first group!

I’m a history teacher, and all over our country, there are serious efforts to re-write the US history curriculum to downplay inequality and protest and instead promote empty patriotism and respect for authority. Those are the actual stated goals of one such campaign. I would love to counter that. My dream would be for high school teachers around the country to find themselves with a few extra minutes left at the end of class, and maybe talk about something a bit more exciting (like, say, a couple of stories from this book!). They are set up to be conversation starters: Why were the students upset? How did they try to make change? Why did they win or lose? How does this compare to your school experience?

Were you a teenage rebel yourself, or did you come to be an appreciator of teenage revolution later in life?

Teenage rebels coverI was a pretty angry (and overly serious) young person, and I went to high school in a very conservative, small, and often small-minded town. Thankfully, I had a few friendly teachers and a very active punk rock scene. My friends and I primarily rebelled by putting on punk shows and through them creating our own social spaces. And that required a lot of organization. Our town couldn’t sustain a music venue, so we had to rent out American Legion halls and do all of the work ourselves—book the bands, hang up flyers, set up and clean up, etc. So, basically, just imagine a 16-year-old with a mohawk haggling with a Korean War veteran over a broken folding chair at the end of the night. That, in a nutshell, was our teenage rebellion.

Those experiences very much shaped who I’ve become, but at that time I had no real understanding of how power works. So, I really wouldn’t call anything I did “activism.” I didn’t find activist politics until a bit later on.

You’re going on tour with the book in July and August. What will happen at your tour events and why did you choose this way to promote the book?

Well, DIY punk tours were a huge part of my life at one point, but it’s now been ten years since my last one. This tour will essentially swap out basements and squats for independent bookstores and public libraries. And I’ll be accompanied by my partner and our three-month-old, instead of a band. I do think the spirit of the tour will be similar, though. The goal will still be to meet new people and see new things. Plus, I think there’s at least a discussion to be had as to whether squats or libraries are more under assault from the powers that be!

Thus far, the talks aimed at teens will be a combination of stories from the book and brainstorming sessions around who makes the decisions that govern high schools, which decisions young people would like to see changed, etc. This is really a new world for me, but teen librarians are awesome. At one event, after my talk, we are all going to make protest posters. At another, there will be a button-maker for protest buttons. I think it’s going to be a fun tour!

Anything else I should ask?

I’m not sure what the question would be, but the answer is that, honestly, the book is really fun, no matter your age. I’ve read these stories hundreds of times now, but many of them still bring a smile to my face. The kids are alright, indeed!

Also, the book makes a really great gift for the rebellious teenager (or teacher) in your life…and for the teen section of your local library…and maybe even the library at your old high school…

This has been an interview with Teenage Rebels author Dawson Barrett. It’s one of a series of author interviews; the last one was with Consensuality author Helen Wildfell. The next is with vegan cookbook author Joshua Ploeg.

White Elephants: A review

white elephants book cover

I began Katie Haegele’s White Elephants intrigued by the idea of finding magic in yard sales, because I too seek meaning in the conventionally benign. 

The book begins with a thoughtful meditation on the catalogue of experiences and objects that is to follow. It opens with a dose of explicit emotional honesty, which establishes the tone of vulnerability that pervades and characterizes the author’s writing. 

Just when I am growing bored with the endless tabulation of strange, kooky, sometimes creepy, random articles, Haegele expresses an impression so specific, so obscure, and so resonating that I feel an absolute sense of human connection. Things that I inherently understand, without having ever quite put into words myself. The feeling of autumn, crying internally—all small, and beautiful sentiments Katie captures with the clarity of her perceptive voice. The author is dreamy, she senses the life we instill in our possessions that eventually become discarded, and in rescuing them is perhaps saving a part of herself. 

White Elephants parallels rummage sales and yard sales with the death of one parent that catalyzes an intimacy with the other. It is a book about losing and finding, being lost and ultimately being found.

Find your own copy of White Elephants here. You can also read an interview with the author on our blog!

This is the first of a series of Microcosm intern book reviews. The next one is Cyn’s review of Aftermath of Forever.

Breathe New Life Into This: Meal Deal With the Devil

Our intern Coco is funny and perceptive and has a hilarious Twitter account. So we plopped a stack of books in front of her that, for one reason or another, we have way too many of in our warehouse, and asked her to write short descriptions of who each book is for, based only on looking at the front and back cover. She obliged, and we’ll be featuring her analyses one by one in hopes of making new matches between books and readers.

Here’s our first swing, at the greatest little golden book you never had as a kid:


meal deal book cover


Book: Meal Deal With the Devil by Dan Abbott, Corbett Redford, and Jason Chandler

What it is: A sing-along songbook for adults by cult music heroes Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits

Problem: The book’s price was too high. We originally set it at $19.95 because of its high production cost (it’s a full-color book on special paper that comes with a CD), but most readers didn’t want to pay that much. We’ve since lowered the price, but the book had already lost steam.

Market analysis: Coco says that this book is right for: 

  • A group of guy friends who formed a Black Sabbath tribute band that’s actually pretty good.

  • Dads with a sick sense of humor who love screen-printing and hanging out with their buds in the basement of the comic book shop on Saturday nights.


Is it true? Is this you or someone you know? Only time will tell.

Self-Promotion for Authors: Social Media Wrangling

elly-tweetingIt happens all the time. I’m meeting with an author to talk about promoting their book….and they have that look in their eye—gleeful, nervous panic. “I’m going to have to start using Twitter!” they proclaim. I want to say “There, there, no you don’t.” But while that might be good advice, the opposite might also be true. 

Here’s a handy list of social media book marketing tips for the uninitiated:

You don’t have to do it all

Just because you wrote a book does not mean that you have to sign up for Twitter, open accounts on every platform you’ve heard of and some you haven’t, or spend hours a day figuring out how to navigate various social media platforms while battling anxiety about spamming people or looking silly. If exploring the wide world of social media sounds fun, then go for it, but if you have limited energy for such things then choose your battles wisely. 

Use the social media that you already use

If you’re already active on Facebook and feel comfortable using it, then by all means go ahead and make yourself a Facebook author page. Build it up the same way you built your personal presence there way back in the day—slowly and organically, engaging with your friends, family, author/publishing colleagues, and—increasingly as time goes by—random strangers. If you’re at ease and confident talking about your work and other topics you care about, your community will be too.

It is very likely that you’ve written a book for people with similar interests and demographics to your own, which often means you can stick to what you’re already familiar with. But then again, you might want to branch out. Here’s the real litmus test:

Go where your readers already are

Who are your readers? Where are they going to find out about and rabidly discuss your book? That’s the place you need to be. To find out, choose one to three books that are most similar to yours that came out in the last year or so and feverishly search every social media platform for the titles and authors. 

Choose your social media platforms based on your readers rather than your subject matter. For instance, a vegan cookbook author might well find their biggest audience on Pinterest where food photos reign supreme. But if their book’s community is younger and hipper, Tumblr is probably the way to go. If your audience is teenagers, head to Snapchat. If you’re trying to reach men, try Twitter. 

The rule of thirds

I learned this rule from Culinary Cyclist author Anna Brones. When posting on social media in your professional capacity, you want to follow these rough proportions:

1/3: Broadcasting: Promoting and linking to your own stuff

1/3: Sharing: Posting relevant links or ideas by other people, whether colleagues, fans, or experts

1/3: Conversation: Engaging with your community about topics of mutual interest, including asking questions, or letting a bit more of your personal world come through

Links are key

Try to include a link and an image with everything you post. Link to the publisher’s page for your book if at all possible. People are excited about your book—help them get their hands on it!

Images work

Some social media platforms are entirely image-based. The ones that aren’t will show your post to way more people if you include and image or a video. Images can be literal or related in some more poetic or funny way. They don’t have to be works of art—phone photos and screenshots are great. Make a game of coming up with a graphic to go with half your tweets or posts.

That said…images are what feed the algorithms this week. Next week, who knows!

Be prepared

Do you like social media a little too much? Don’t want to spend your entire day clicking and scrolling? Just don’t have time for this stuff? Once you’ve figured out where you want to be and have a basic understanding of how your chosen platforms work, then take a step back and do like the pros—and make a schedule. For instance, maybe you’ve decided that three posts a day on Twitter at three different times is what’s right for you. Draft out 3 ideas or topics per day for the next week. When you come across an article you want to share, see a review of your book go live, or finish a blog post, add it to your schedule instead of immediately logging in and getting caught in the vortex. Then at the appointed times, check your cheat sheet, log in and quickly post, respond to anyone who’s engaging with you, and get out unscathed.

If you love planning ahead then think about what you’ll post leading up to your book publication date, your release party, or any relevant holidays.

Never pay for social media advertising

It offers no benefits. Nuff said. [Edited, 2018: Algorithms have changed since this was originally written, and now judicious use of Facebook ads can be helpful in selling books—but that may all change again.]

Build it slow and steady

Be patient and consistent. Post every day. Try new things and keep doing them if they work. Engage with people as equals. Find people who do it really, really well and emulate them. Be yourself. Have fun. 

This is an occasional series called Self-Promotion for Introverts, geared towards Microcosm authors but hopefully useful to a larger field of shy people with something to promote. The last post was about Getting Psyched for Self-Promotion. You can read more publishing lore like this in Joe Biel’s book, A People’s Guide to Publishing.

Rampant Media Consumption – May 2015

madmax Here’s a taste of what we put in our brains last month:


This month, I put together some book and music pairings for you.

Book | Author | Artist | Album

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess pairs with Jon Hopkins Immunity 

Bikenomics by Elly Blue pairs with Bleached Ride Your Heart 

​Biopunk (A Collaborative Work) pairs with Snakadaktal Sleep In The Water​ ​

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides pairs with  Wild Nothing Nocturne​ 

No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July pairs with Zero 7 When It Falls

Also, ​a new genre was born: Post-apocalyptic Feminist Action Thriller. If you haven’t seen Mad Max, it’s a MUST…but don’t bother watching the previous films if you haven’t already.



Jerry Saltz anything and everything
Dirty Beaches. Exclusively the “Badlands” album.
-My Bloody Valentine
Julia Holter
-Picasso, De Kooning, Mapplethorpe
-Patti Smith’s Just Kids (before the backpack safekeeping my copy was stolen) 
-Saw Gag play at Seattle’s Rain Fest. This was my first hardcore show. The front man came out wearing an oversized adidas tracksuit and baby mask, then he stripped naked. It was great. 10/10.


This month I’ve been finishing Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation and its super-weird creepiness. I finally jumped on the Outlander boat (just the show, so far) and I’ve developed an addiction to NPR, which used to just be my husband’s thing, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Feeling so very far away from everyone I know has left this little seed of isolation, and knowing as much as possible about the world right now seems to help. On the music front, I’ve spent a lot of time time working on commute playlists full of pop-y folk music and jazzy hip-hop.


I was on tour all month and consumed the following media: 

-Jessica Hopper’s new book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, which I bought at Quimby’s and read on the train home.  
-We spent about 2/3 of the tour listening to the Pillars of the Earth audiobook, which is like Game of Thrones with entrepreneurs instead of magic.
-The Hair Metal and Ozzy’s Boneyard channels on Sirius/XM, with the essential addition of my tour-mates’ commentary.


Nathan went to a bunch of book readings at Powell’s and reports back the following:

Cool reminds him of: Everything we sell :o) We are the epitome of “Rebel Cool”

Lost Boi reminds him of our Punk Fuckn Rock Superpack, Homo for the Holidays, and Portland Queer.

The Upright Thinkers makes him think of our newly-controversial Evolution magnets and stickers

How to Clone a Mammoth inspired him to have a heart-to-heart with a cat.

The Crossroads of Should and Must brings to mind Grow and How to Be Creative More Often.

My Body is Yours reminds him of the Fat is Beautiful zine, Learning Good Consent, and our Healthy Relationships superpack.

Lord Fear brought to mind G.G. Allin’s prison diary and Sober Living for the Revolution

Everything You Ever Wanted brought to mind Ariel Gore’s work, Tomas Moniz’s stuff, and The Happiness Project,

He also went to Mississippi Studios’ Best New Band Showcase and came away playing the air guitar and thinking about How Music Works


There are infinite possibilities in human relationships, but the fairytale ideal of companionship does not exist for most people. In Consensuality, Helen Wildfell and her co-adventurers detail the process for creating or finding a healthy, successful relationship as well as common pitfalls and how to avoid them, like gender identity, sexual boundaries, power struggles, and emotional dysfunction. Overcoming regret and resentment, the authors describe a journey towards a respectful social environment. Their experiences lead to lessons of self-empowerment and communication tips for building healthy partnerships. We recognize their preferences and boundaries. We discuss how those fit with our own preferences and boundaries. Filled with personal descriptions of the complex layers in human interaction, the book combines gender studies with memoir to truly make the personal political.

Filled with personal descriptions of the complex layers in human interaction, the book combines gender studies with memoir to truly make the personal political.


You’ve heard of mansplaining, but what about manstitutions? From manologues to manversations, mantrums to manger, the behavior of men is decoded at last for your enlightenment and entertainment. It’s a new wave of feminism, and that wave requires a new language. Manspressions creates a common language for societal forces that hold everyone back, but that have been difficult to talk about until now—because we lacked the words.

 creates a common language for societal forces that hold everyone back, but that have been difficult to talk about until now—because we lacked the words.

The Long Road to Consent: An Interview with Helen Wildfell

helen wildfell and a puppyHelen Wildfell came to us with a proposal for a zine about her experiences learning to build healthy relationships. We liked it so much that we asked her to turn it into a book. The result is Consensuality: Navigating Feminism, Gender, and Boundaries Towards Loving Relationships. With the help of a handful of brave coadventurers and Microcosm designer Meggyn Pomerleau’s illustrations and interactive activities, Consensuality is like a friend friend who sticks with you through the toughest times and helps you always move on to do things better. 

Consensuality is a very personal book, in which you and others share some pretty hard-learned lessons and brave levels of self-examination. Did you know the major themes of the book before you started writing, or did the insights come out in the writing process?

I initially wrote about the topics in Consensuality out of emotional necessity. I was at a place in my life where I needed to reexamine how I approached relationships, and writing was my method for sorting through my own gender and sexuality. As I continued to write, I began to notice that certain emotional themes kept reappearing. For instance, the three R’s in the book (Regretful, Resentful, and Respectful) emerged through the simple act of writing down my feelings.

There were still many more insights to be gained after I began turning Consensuality into a full-length book. I focused more on uniting the themes into a cohesive idea of Consensuality, which eventually led me to realize that consent is more than a concept, it’s a long journey with changing themes. Each time I reread the book, sit down to write something new, or just interact with my partner, I discover additional ideas about consent and how it works within relationships.

Your book is different than most other books about relationships; you don’t offer rules or formulas for having a healthy relationship but share examples instead. Can you talk about why you chose to write this way?

I think many “self-help” books reinforce the idea that there is one way to live life. Acting as an authority on a topic and creating rules for obtaining success can make the ideas in a book appear as some sort of absolute truth. But as convenient as it would be to have a formula for healthy relationships, examples of personal experiences provide more insight into the intricacies of human bonds. It was very important to me that my voice be read as one perspective in the larger conversation about healthy relationships. Including contributors as co-adventurers was also a crucial part of providing a fuller picture of consent. The other authors involved in the book offer viewpoints that extend beyond the limits of my individual experience.

consensuality cat by meggyn pomerleauThe book comes out July 14th. How do you think readers will respond? How do you hope the book will be taken?I imagine that it will be easy for some readers to relate to the experiences and lessons in Consensuality, while other readers may find blind spots in how I wrote about consent. There’s so much to explore when you’re interacting with another person; I know that we are only scratching the surface in Consensuality. Regardless of whether they like or dislike, agree or disagree, with what I wrote in the book, I want the readers to feel empowered to start talking about these issues in their relationships. There are a lot of ideas about consent out there, some good and some bad, but I’m very excited that people are considering consent at a societal level with policy changes and at a personal level with stories about intimate interactions. As people read more about gender, sexuality, and boundaries, I hope they’ll begin to feel more comfortable discussing consent with their sexual partners.

What’s next for you?

The plan is to continue reading, writing, and talking about equality in relationships. I’d like for my next project to start from a personal place, like Consensuality did, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how money affects relationships. It was a major issue for my parents, even years after their divorce, and while my partner and I generally have healthy communication habits, the intermingling of our finances is new territory for us. It’s easy to see money issues as something that only irresponsible people face, but the reality is that as long as money is unfairly distributed, it will challenge equality in all relationships. I want to start exploring how individuals can challenge the effects of economic inequality in their personal relationships.

This interview with Helen Wildfell, author of Consensuality, is the latest in our series of author interviews. Our last author interview was with Crate Digger author Bob Suren. The next interview is with Teenage Rebels author Dawson Barrett.