7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Kelly Balch and Aphrodite’s Sister

Welcome to our Summer of Book Love series!

Every Tuesday this summer we will feature new episodes of 7 Minutes in Book Heaven which has your next summer read!

Today we meet Kelly Balch and their novel Aphrodite’s Sister.

This novel series follows Petra Ambrosi, who is a Goddess with empathic abilities, though she is emotionless herself. Throughout the novel, and its subsequent sequel, she is sent down to earth, falls in love with a mortal woman, wrestles to understand her diminishing gifts, breaks Zeus’ laws, and navigates an uprising against the gods.

Kelly Balch is an author of an adult queer-fantasy/fiction. Drawing on their passion for storytelling, Kelly brings a creative and empathetic approach to their photography, always striving to understand and convey the unique truths of their clients and couples. Their warm and compassionate demeanor has made them a trusted and beloved photographer in the industry.

Also, Kelly is an accomplished wedding and editorial photographer based in Los Angeles, California! With over 14 years of experience in the industry, Kelly has established themselves as a pioneering force in the queer wedding industry, having started their career before queer love was legalized in the United States. Visit their website below to see videos, photo galleries, and Human Capitol workshop.

Buy Aphrodite’s Sister

Visit our Bookshop or buy directly right now: https://bookshop.org/a/82376/9798218022143

Connect with Kelly Balch

Website: kellybalch.com
Instagram: @kellybalch
Facebook: facebook.com/kellybalchphoto
Vimeo: vimeo.com/kellybalch

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Quatrefoil Library

Quatrefoil has created a curated lending library made up of the books featured on our podcast! If you can’t buy these books, then borrow them! Link: https://libbyapp.com/library/quatrefoil/curated-1404336/page-1

Credits

Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.

Transcript

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J.P. Der Boghossian:
Welcome to 7 Minutes in Book Heaven. My name is J.P. Der Boghossian. I’m an essayist, Lambda Literary Fellow, and founder of the Queer Armenian Library. And this is the podcast where I interview LGBTQ authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. This is part of our Summer of Book Love series. Every Tuesday, for the rest of the summer we have your next book to read at the beach, or the pool, or in your bedroom next to the air conditioner. New episodes of This Queer Book Saved My Life! return on September 18! Joining me today is Kelly Balch. Hello Kelly!

Kelly Balch:
Hi, thank you for having me!

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Absolutely, so great to have you here. And Kelly and I are gonna spend the next seven minutes in this virtual studio discussing their book, Aphrodite’s Sister, while also getting to know more about the amazing writer who is Kelly Balch. So, Kelly, are you ready?

Kelly Balch:
I am. Thank you.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
The timer is set, and here we go. Question number one, please describe your new book as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush and telling us who that special person is, of course.

Kelly Balch:
My celebrity crush is I would say Amanda Seyfried. I have a big crush on her and

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Oh!

Kelly Balch:
I would say it’s a story about, yeah, I love her, especially Mamma Mia. I would say that it’s a story about self-discovery, emotional growth, reincarnation, transcendental love. secret brotherhoods and banishments, war, and death. It’s very multi-dimensional in so many different ways. And yeah.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
You have all the things!

Kelly Balch:
Yeah, I do. Yeah, I decided to put all of them in there. Why not? Everything controversial.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Well, which is great and I really look forward to reading it.

Kelly Balch:
Yeah.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
And okay, question number two, what is a sentence from a novel essay poem or other book that every time you read it, it gives you all the feels.

Kelly Balch:
I would say Kurt Vonnegut’s just “so it goes,” just because, I mean, that’s life. I love that he put that on almost every end of every paragraph. And that’s just as so it goes, as life does.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
You can’t go wrong with Kurt Vonnegut. I mean, that is a, it really gets to the heart of things, doesn’t it?

Kelly Balch:
He does, yeah. He does.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Okay, question number three. What do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

Kelly Balch:
The best sentence I’ve ever written. In book three, you kind of just go on this whole journey with the main character, and she’s just trying to be reconnected with her love. As soon as she, I hope this is a spoiler alert, but she sees her and then she puts her hand on her heart and she says, there you are.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Hmm.

Kelly Balch:
I like that sentence because you just see all the things that she’s gone through and there she is.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
And we should mention that Aphrodite’s Sister is a series. So everyone, if you love this book, you have a whole series to dive into. Okay, question number four. What is the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

Kelly Balch:
The best romantic scene. I mean, I’m a big Jane Austen fan, and Pride and Prejudice is a classic, of course. And so, when Darcy sees they’re in the rain, yeah, that’s, I think, the unequivocal love, but then they finally see over so many times, so long ago, they just meet in the rain, and they decide to give it a go.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
It is like, would you say it’s like sapphic and steamy at the same time?

Kelly Balch:
Oh yeah!

J.P. Der Boghossian:
[laughs]

Kelly Balch:
Oh yeah, 100%. I would say most things are sapphic.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
That’s true, that is true. Okay, question number five. What are your favorite smells to write about?

Kelly Balch:
My favorite smells would be, I write a lot about the scent of lavender or the scent of the sea. I think those are very nostalgic for me at least, but for the sea for a lot of people. So I like to bring that in for the audience to really be able to be part and connected to that.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
I love the smell of the sea so much that sometimes I’ll just buy salt spray for my hair just to get a little bit of the smell of it.

Kelly Balch:
Wait, I love that. It also makes your hair look great.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Well, I know, right? I mean, it’s very practical, but also there’s that extra like special-ness for me because I’m like, oh, there it is. There it is. [laughs]

Kelly Balch:
Yeah, yeah, it gives you a good curl, doesn’t it?

J.P. Der Boghossian:
It does, and some volume, which is really important for me in this like, Midwestern winter climate where everything is just like, there’s no moisture in the air, but…

Kelly Balch:
Yeah, yeah, exactly.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Okay, well, question number six. What is the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

Kelly Balch:
The worst writing advice would be, that’s a good question. I would say to, oh my God, this is a good one. The worst writing advice – is to like, to not write. I always tell people to, if you wanna be a writer, just start writing. And I think that we get into this analysis paralysis and just start like imposter syndrome of like, well, what do I have to write? So I would, that was one of the worst advice, which is like, what are you gonna write? Like, what are you gonna, you know, there’s so many stories to write.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Oh, I like that. I like that a lot. There is that sense of when you have that imposter syndrome and then do they actually liberate you to write and sometimes it doesn’t feel like they do. So I like your advice there, just start writing.

Kelly Balch:
Yeah, doesn’t matter what the story is, it could be a dumb story or not, it ends up transforming in itself.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
You should put that on a t-shirt or a mug.

Kelly Balch:
I’ll give you some of the royalties for that.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Oh, that’d be cool. That’d be cool. A joint, joint royalty.

Kelly Balch:
Yeah.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Okay, question number seven. Promote yourself! How do we follow you on social? How do we order your books?

Kelly Balch:
Oh amazing, yeah my socials handle is at Kelly Balch and you can find me on mostly Instagram but now on thread which is really cool so I’m on thread and then yeah you can order my book through my website or you can do it from Barnes and Nobles.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Thank you so much Kelly.

Kelly Balch:
Awesome, thank you. I appreciate it.

J.P. Der Boghossian:
Well, thanks everyone for listening today. This podcast is Executive Produced by Jim Pounds. Our Associate Producers are Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Ollila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shea, and Sean Smith.

Visit our Bookshop to buy the books featured on our podcasts as well as to browse new collections specifically curated by me.
thisqueerbook.com/bookshop

We’re @thisqueerbook on Facebook and Instagram. I’m also @jp_derboghossian on TikTok where I tok about LGBTQ books!
Be here next Tuesday for the next in our Summer of Book Love series. Until then, see you queers and allies in the bookstores.

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