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Month: October 2014

State of The Trout: I forgot the headline again edition

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Did anybody watch Doctor Who this weekend? Did it seem… shippy to anyone else? Because it seemed like they were trying to make it shippy. Like, an Amy choosing between Rory and The Doctor thing? Don’t mind me over here. I swear to God, it’s not a ship thing, the only Doctor/companion ships I’ve ever sailed were Eight/Grace and Ten/Rose, and those had canonical basis. Though I find Peter Capaldi unbearably attractive (well, really, only as Malcolm, because I’m attracted to incredibly grumpy, surly types of people–you should meet my husband), and you know I dig that May/December vibe, I don’t think I’m imagining this. Let’s go down to the tennis court and talk it out like yeah (and by “tennis court” I mean, “comments section”).

Chapter six of The Afflicted is available on Wattpad. If you’re new around here, I’m writing a New Adult/Horror/Historical novel as a serial on Wattpad, and the latest installment is here. If you’re a writer who has a project you really love, but you feel like you never have time to work on it or it will just never get out there in front of readers, Wattpad is a really good platform. It gives you a reason to work on the project steadily without feeling like you’re taking time away from the work you “should” be doing. Without Wattpad, this story would have probably just stayed on my hard drive until I got discouraged and deleted it.

@Mitzy247  crowned me the pope of Joelism, and @necrophidian willed it into being: 

pope jen

Note the autographed sash. If you’re not following me on Twitter (@Jenny_Trout), this is the stuff you’re missing out on.

Set your DVRs for The Steve Harvey Show on October 17th! My BFF Jill did, and this is what she saw:


Oh, and I have a photo from the show that I’m allowed to share with you! Here’s me, on The Steve Harvey Show:


I hope everyone who gets the show in their area can check it out! And if anyone records it and wants to send me a copy, that would be rad, because I don’t have TV. I’m too cheap to pay for cable.




Merlin Club S03E10, “Queen of Hearts,” or “Rube Goldberg plot.”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

THE EX, Coming November 22, 2014

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You heard right. November 22, 2014. That’s when you’ll have more Neil and Sophie.

the ex


Magazine editor-in-chief, bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-step-grandmother at twenty-six, Sophie Scaife is looking forward to married life with her fiancé and Dom, wickedly sadistic billionaire Neil Elwood. As they enter unexplored sensual territory, Neil leads Sophie to the very edge between pain and pleasure—and she discovers a surprising new side to her sexuality.

While Sophie balances her hectic work routine with her devotion to her unconventional family, Neil has to adjust to life as a retired mogul. With their big day drawing nearer, they have to forge through pre-wedding jitters, personal crises, and an unexpected houseguest to get to their kinky ever after.

But a decades old trauma still haunts Neil. When the private details draw public interest, Sophie learns that the scars of his past are greater than he let on—and he’ll need all of her love to heal them…

As ever, I’m relying on the power of asking to get the word about this book out there to readers. So, I’m asking you guys to share this link, recommend the series, share the cover, anything you’d be cool with helping me out with. I appreciate every bit of the word of mouth you guys send out there.

I’ll have more information about pre-order and paperback release date as it becomes available.

Jealous Hater’s Book Club: Apolonia, chapter one

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And so, it begins. I haven’t even posted a single recap, and already I’ve got people coming out of the woodwork to tell me what a big, giant mean person I am. Last night, I made the mistake of checking my email while I was drunk (which is a state I’ve only been in precisely once in the past three years. I only had a glass and a half of champagne last night). Author Abbi Glines dropped  by my Apolonia read-along post to stick up for Jamie and her book, which was a labor of love and should be protected from the harsh criticism I had yet to dole out.

Then she got on twitter and subtweeted about it, I got bitchy then blocked her, because I had dentist appointment this morning and I didn’t want go in with a bunch of cavities from saccharine-dripping “BE NICE” scoldings.

Since we’re starting off strong with a public spat, it might be a good time to make a FAQ for everybody that’s going to come here in defense of McGuire or the book.

Yes, I actually do have to criticize another author’s work to get people to read my blog. Well, some people, anyway. There are a lot of readers who come here for a lot of reasons. But a great, great many of them found this place when I took apart 50 Shades of Grey. So, yes. Recaps are a huge part of this blog’s popularity. So, it’s not an insult to say, “You have to do this to get people to read your blog.” It’s my job description. If WebMD stopped telling you that you have cholera of the butt crack, you’d stop going there.

But even though people found me through “tearing down” someone else’s work, many of them stay for mine.

How would I feel if someone did snarky recaps of my work? I’d be pissed off if they tried it and they weren’t at least as funny as I am.

Books are not babies, and nobody cares how hard you worked on them. I’ve written lots of books that I’ve worked super hard on, and they don’t sell well or get great reviews, for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean I get to tell everyone to stop talking about the bad parts of them. The only person who cares about how hard I worked on them is me. No one cares about the work that goes into something, they care about the quality. If you took your car to a mechanic and they were like, “Hey, here’s the car back, I worked really hard on it, that’ll be $1200 bucks,” and your drive shaft sheered off and pole-vaulted your car into a ditch a mile down the road, are you going to go tell people, “Yeah, you should totally go to Dan, he’s a great mechanic, he works really hard?”

Authors say all the time, “I worked really hard on this, so I’m excited to share this with you, hope you like it,”or “I worked really hard on this, but its failure disappointed me,” but it’s bullshit to say, “I worked really hard on this, so you can’t criticize it.”

Spite may have driven me to return to book recapping, but I’m still doing it honestly. My recaps are harsh, because I’m harsh when I’m reading a book. And it’s easier to be harsh when you just plain don’t like someone. It would have been easy to go, “Fuck it, everyone wants me to recap Beautiful Disaster? Fine.” And it would have been easy to tear that book to pieces, because so many people have told me, “Oh, it’s got so much abuse in it, it’s worst than 50 Shades of Grey,” etc. But I picked this book because I didn’t know anything about it and didn’t have any pre-formed opinions about the content.

The reason my recaps of 50 Shades of Grey were so harsh was that the books promoted misogyny, abuse, rape culture, and unsafe BDSM practices. It was plagiarized and poorly written. As long as this book doesn’t do any of that, then all this will be is a recounting of my honest thoughts when I’m reading the book–like talking back at the TV when you’re alone.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll really like this book. It seems a tad premature to be making judgements about mean I’m being to this book; as I write this, I haven’t even begun writing the first recap yet.

My recaps made at least a few more sales for E.L. James. Maybe not in any measurable sense that would be missed when compared to the amount of mountain of sales that were pouring in already, but they’re there. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me that they bought the entire 50 Shades of Grey series specifically because of my recaps. They’d never intended to read the books until my recaps.

So, slow your roll, Sunshine Sisterhood, put your “BE NICE” pitchforks aside, and shut your hablaholes.


So, let’s get started with chapter one of Apolonia, by Jamie McGuire.

I hope that wasn’t too harsh already.

Watch me on The Steve Harvey show!

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Last month, I visited the lovely city of Chicago to film The Steve Harvey ShowIt was a super awesome time, life changing thing for me, and I’m really excited for everyone to see it! Because it’s syndicated, you’ll have to check your local listings, but the episode airs on October 17th. I’ll also be sharing some fun stuff related to filming the show that I couldn’t share with you before now, and I’ll introduce you to another fantastic body positive blogger!

So, set your DVRs and stuff!

Jenny Reads: UR JUST JEALOUS edition

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Lately, I have learned a horrible truth about myself.

I, Jenny Trout… am a hater.

After my post about Jamie McGuire and Dear Author, so many ardent McGuire defenders contacted me to inform me of my hater status. I’m apparently a common breed of hater, odium zelosus vulgaris, or, “the common jealous hater.” I guess it’s a kind of bird.

It isn’t. Sorry, I was just trying to impress you. I’m not a bird.

The truth is, I’ve never even read McGuire’s work. Maybe I’m missing out on something I would really like. Maybe it’s time for a read-along.

To those of you who have been begging me to recap Beautiful Disaster for the past year, I’m sorry, but today is not the day you get great news. See, I already know enough about Beautiful Disaster to know that I’m not going to be able to overcome my bias toward it. You’ve all told me about the horrific perpetuation of abuse and rape culture in that book, and since I’m already not impressed with the author’s behavior, it would be even harder to remain objective from page one. Also, I’ve already done my time on Abusive Crapfest Island, thank you very much.

So, what to do? Well, you’re in luck, because before yesterday, I’d heard literally nothing about McGuire’s latest release, Apolonia, aside from the title. I got really excited and bought it because I assumed it would be the POV switch retelling of Purple Rain that we all need and deserve. It’s not. It’s a Sci-Fi New Adult book with nary a mention of Morris Day in it. But this gives us an opportunity, dear reader, to experience this book together. It will be a magical journey, and who knows? At the end, maybe I’ll be a new fan.

If you’re planning to read with me, get yourself a copy of Apolonia. We’ll make this like a book club. Or, we’ll all get pecked to death by my gnashing beak and giant claws.

I may or may not have lied about being a bird.

Cindy: A new web series from the producer of Beetlejuice

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Ever since I saw Amanda Palmer’s life-changing TED Talk about the power of asking, I’ve had a massive soft spot in my heart for indie projects. If I’d never opened my heart and embraced a new, independent path, The Boss would have never been written, let alone spawned an entire series. I’d still be waiting for an opportunity to come along for me, instead of making opportunities for myself. So, when Larry Wilson, producer and co-writer of Beetlejuice and writer of The Addams Family contacted me and told me about his independent web series project, Cindy, I was like, “Of course I’ll tell everybody in the entire universe about this, because you made Beetlejuice and gave my inner Lydia Deetz permission to weird out all over the place.”

Well, not exactly that. I didn’t want to sound like a weirdo. But whatever the actual wording was, it was juuuust about that creepy and fangirly.

So, let me give you the scoop on Cindy. Billed as a “happily never after” dark comedy, Cindy is a contemporary retelling of Cinderella set in a bleak world where reality television and magic collide.


Cindy is a foster child (read: servant/personal assistant/au pair) in a dysfunctional reality TV family. Her foster mother, Rayveen, is the star of a hit reality show. Her “handsome prince” is a marbles-obsessed middle-aged guy. She has horrible and annoying “step-shits.” And a production assistant wants to make Cindy the next breakout reality television star… by filming her interactions with her magic dust addicted fairy godmother.

I’m really excited about this show, guys. But I have to admit, after watching the promo videos on YouTube, the character I’m dying to see more of is Tuesday, one of the twin step-shits:

I honestly think this girl is going to steal the entire show.

So, here’s the thing: Cindy is independent. They’re running a Kickstarter to help with the costs of producing the first season. They’ve got twenty-four days left, and they’re a little under halfway to their goal. They’ve got some really neat incentives for lower level donations, and if you’re a film buff, you can get some awesome autographed posters. Or, if you’re a high-roller and are intrigued by the concept, you can donate at the upper levels and receive an associate-producer or producer credit on the series, or private lessons in film writing from Wilson himself. Just in case any of you out there really are high rollers.

I know that not everyone can donate to this type of thing, so if that applies to you, but the project intrigues you, do the cast and crew a giant favor and share the Kickstarter or promotional videos on social media.

So, yeah. This is me, selfishly saying, “Help this happen so I can watch it.” In an effort to downplay this shameless self-interest, I’m doing another “Big Damn Self-Promotion Post.” Go there and leave info about your projects, your kickstarters, your blog, whatever you want to promote. 


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Okay, everybody! If you count time the way I do, we just did one of these “the other day” (keep in mind, I recently said that the Challenger disaster was “the other day”). But in real people time, it’s been a while. Use the comments section to promote your indie projects. Your bands, your blogs, your movies, your books, your Kickstarters, your Etsy shops, anything that you produce independently and want to share with Trout Nation, post it in the comments. Give us a few sentences or paragraphs so we know what we’re looking at it (no links just left out there in the raw, please) and promote all your projects in one comment.

Don’t have an indie project to share? Browse through the comments. You’ll find some amazing stuff, because Trout Nation is full of interesting and creative people.

Since I promote my own projects all the time, this time I’m going to promote an indie band, Overly Polite Tornadoes:

Mark Morris and Holly Klutts-Morris are already in another awesome indie band, Glowfriends (You may have heard their music on MTV’s Teen Wolf ), and they also happen to be my cousin and her husband, so I think they’re pretty darn neat.  You can download their album for $5 at the link above, and it’ll be worth every penny if you’re into introspective, chill music.

All right, everybody, GO!


“Feeling” fat vs. actually being fat

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After receiving violent threats and a stream of near constant abuse for weeks after my interview on NPR, I had promised myself that I would never, ever, ever blog about “All About That Bass” again. My interactions with fans of the song have been so overwhelmingly negative, to the point of having to contact law enforcement, that I can’t even stand to hear a few notes of it as I scroll on past on the car radio.

However, when someone has a dissenting opinion, and it’s presented reasonably and without threatening myself, my family, or my pets (Yes, even my pets deserved to die painfully because I didn’t care for a song), then I’ve got no problem hearing it. So, when a blogger wrote her own post about why she disagreed with me, I read it.

Warning: Before you go any further, I feel obliged to warn you that if you’re a woman size six to size fourteen, there’s a high likelihood that you will feel that I am unfairly excluding women of your size from the body positivity or fat acceptance movements, or singling you out, personally. If this post makes you feel that way, before you get too angry, I’d like you imagine what it feels like to have that happen in every conversation about body positivity that you’ve ever been involved with. And if that doesn’t work, just think of the last time someone asked you for a favor, despite never doing one for you. That will help you understand my point of view and the frustration I feel a little bit better.

Merlin Club S03E09, “Love in The Time of Dragons” or “Man Cat Baby”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.