The Fresh Fiction Podcast

Conversations about what you’re reading, what you’re watching, and what you’re listening to

Let’s Get Out of Here! Escapist Entertainment + Melonie Johnson Interview

Posted on August 5th, 2021

Gwen has been going to bed at 10:30 consistently this week, and we want to know the secret to this sorcery.

Danielle’s debut novel is about to head to copyediting and proofreading, she finished the first draft of her WIP, and she planned TWO parties for her daughter’s upcoming 7th birthday!


Is escapism more about a feeling? Maybe a sense of place? Or is it just watching rich people do a bunch of wild things? We’re not sure, but we do have opinions.

Danielle’s Escapist Recs:

TV: Bridgerton, Grey’s Anatomy (in particular, the infamous bomb episode)

MOVIES: Wes Anderson Movies - The Royal Tenenbaums,The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom. Shout out to the The French Dispatch, which finally premiered at Cannes this year!  

BOOKS: THE EX TALK by Rachel Lynn Solomon, PUMPKINHEADS by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES by Denny S. Bryce, Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series

Gwen’s Escapist Recs:

Opulence: Anything that revolves around insanely rich people, because it is sooo different from my life. I also love watching the pettiness and insecurity money brings to people -- again, not in real life. THE WHITE LOTUS, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF POTOMAC, DR. DEATH, and FBOY ISLAND

Travel/”City as a character”: NYC/LA/Paris as the backdrop for a person discovering themselves. BITTERSWEET, SWEET FILTHY BOY, and food travel shows like David Chang’s BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER

Podcasts – WHO?Weekly and EVEN THE RICH



Recs from Melonie Johnson

Does anyone know why there are so many paintball scenes in rom-coms? (PS There’s one in Melonie’s book, too!!)

Our favorrite rom-com movie and book recs! Melonie: When Harry Met Sally, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Gwen: You’ve Got Mail (but also His Girl Friday and Bringing Up Baby), Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Danielle: Clueless, The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa.

Some things Melonie did early on in her publishing journey to learn about the business: NaNoWriMo, read the Smart Bitches Trashy Books website and listened to the podcast, attended the Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling Conference.

Melonie is thrilled about the warm weather and being outside, and listening to audiobooks: GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN by Talia Hibbert and WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES by Denny S. Bryce.

Look for TOO WRONG TO BE RIGHT, Kat’s book, coming soon!

Go to Melonie’s website for more info, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Reader Group, Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter.

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle chose a baking project (puff pastry), but will wait to start until it’s not so hot out. She would like to get back into a regular writing routine this week. And she’s been making sun tea on her deck!

Gwen has procured her air fryer, but has not found a fried chicken recipe... YET. She wants to keep her work email inbox clean and organized! And spying on her neighbors and seeing/hearing their exploits has brought her much joy this week.

Find us on the Socials!

Gwen Reyes




Danielle Jackson



Fresh Fiction









Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App