Politics and Prose had another romance panel on Saturday, and this time the theme was DC set stories. Andie J. Christopher moderated, and Tracey Livesay, Aimee Agresti, and Kelly Maher talked about their stories that are set in DC. Since some of these are local romance authors, I am friends with several of them. Agresti and Livesay both have had politicians or politically adjacent folks in their stories. Maher has not, although things like climate change, and human rights have shown up. Livesay mentioned she liked writing about areas where there was both power and wide diversity that wasn't New York. Agresti has politicians, so had DC as an obvious setting choice. Maher said that she likes writing about cities. When asked if DC is sexy, Livesay mentioned that power is sexy, as is people who want to change the world. Maher mentioned competence being sexy. Agresti said her book, which tips a little more women's fiction has people in it for the right and the wrong reasons, but certainly, she made the choice to have the people who really had great ideas do better. Christopher did mention a recent article where Trump staffers are having a challenge dating, and asked if the authors thought across the aisle romances that appeared in this timeframe with this administration would be sort of like Nazi romances. The panel did seem to agree, although Livesay did mention that there was probably still a market for that if an enterprising writer wanted to go for it. There was a comment about the transient nature of the city, particularly if one was writing about political types. This, and some other comments about the city, led to one audience member letting them know she was a multi-generational DC resident, and if they thought dating here was hard they just weren't trying very hard, especially since there are so many young men out there. (I of course introduced myself to her later, and told her I was a lifelong resident and that I apologized for their comments.)
They were asked to name their favorite DC set stories not on this panel. I confess, I might have been heckle/helping during this segment, so probably missed some of the suggestions. Certainly Nora Roberts has some DC stuff, as does HelenKay Dimon.
It was a great panel and I appreciate that we're about a year into Politics and Prose's continuing efforts to be a bookstore that serves a romance audience, and I appreciate it.