Episode 71 – WarriorJudge

BarRag.jpgThis episode, brought to you by Audible.com and Bloody Ceasar, features the work of WarriorJudge. Specifically, we talked to the author about the first in her Lord Conqueror of the Realm series. We were joined by lurker extraordinaire, Nancy Jean. She actually delurked a few times to chat along.

This time around, we’re offering up some Cocktail Hour swag for you, our lovely listeners. You just need to leave a comment letting us know which of the three bags you’d like and why you love us so much. You can make stuff up, we don’t mind at all. For the merchandise, you can choose from the field bag, the tote bag, or the ever popular cinch sack. All comments posted on or before 8/9/13 are eligible to win.

Thanks for listening! Andy and I appreciate you!

39 responses to “Episode 71 – WarriorJudge”

  1. Why I Love Cocktail Hour by Susan Carr.

    Andy and Rev are two crazy Mofos!

    The End

    Seriously, great show. Thanks for the last giveaway. Woohoo! Go me.

    Oh, if I’m lucky again…the butch in me definitely wants the field bag.


  2. Every show I’ve listened to so far has introduced me to a new author or talked to one I’ve already read and want to read more of. Besides the fact that you 2 make me laugh, no I am not laughing at you, I am laughing at the conversations and topics. Thank you for all the time an effort you take to put into the shows for us to listen. You have truly made a fan of me. If I am picked I am tossed between the cinch sack and the field bag, so which ever works,

  3. This is the first time I have listened to your podcast. I am not sure if you are actually drinking as you speak to authors about their work but if you are I think that it shows a lack of respect for the work that goes into creating believable fiction. Hearing your thoughts on the beginnings of the Conqueror and Gabrielle’s relationship showed that you did not put what was happening in the historical context of what master slave dynamics in ancient times were about. Warriorjudge captured that very well. The narration at the beginning was to put you in the time and place where these events happened That foundation is important to what happens between the characters later. This Xena and Gabrielle are not the “slave tames her master now she a pussycat” standard that pervades this genre most often. There is a realistic quality to the events of these stories that should not be judged by viewing them in terms of modern standards of behavior. The evolution of their relationship is credible and is a tribute to Warriorjudge’s talent.

  4. First, let me begin by posting, what I think is the best actual “review” of the writers work from Lonely Boy at The Fan Fiction Lounge:

    Let me begin by saying that the comments I saw regarding this story was what brought me to it. And let me further explain, that the comments were not complimentary. What I realized, pretty quickly, was -those comments were personal judgments, not based on the quality of the writing or story structure, character composition, etc.

    No. What I read was a personal distaste for the behavior being displayed by the main protagonist. And once displayed, the ladies immediately left the room, post haste, I might add.

    Of course I was intrigued!

    What struck me about WarriorJudge’s treatment of the Conqueror genre was her willingness to look at the sex-slave industry in one of the most honest and yes, brutal, lights I’ve read, thus far. It is, as you might imagine, a horrifying use of a power. But it is, like it or not, a vital part of the story brands, infrastructure.

    We meet Gabrielle on the auction block and the Conqueror immediately wants her. She wants to own her. Xena, the Merciless is presented to us as a conqueror who was well use to her power – not some milquetoast stand-in that I have read and have been successfully entertained by, I might add.

    This Xena is brutal; as a matter of fact – with no apologies. WarriorJudge has imagined what it might be like for a 16 year old, god-like girl, to begin a conquest of the world and further, to imagine what that person would had to have done, to reach her goal of owning, the entire known world! This is who WarriorJudges conqueror is when she meets her destiny. Her Gabrielle.

    She purchases the enticing body slave and proceeds to take her pleasure however it fancies her. No foreplay, no soft words, no soft thoughts. The conquer takes for satisfaction, not joy. She takes because she can. Because she must. She is the alpha and all others are meat to be devoured or slain. Xena is too closed a box for light or joy to enter – much less, matter. She simply wants and gets. She uses her power to achieve it. She’s almost simple in the procurement of Gabrielle’s body.

    WarriorJudge lets us see into the mind of Gabrielle but she’s so clever in what she lets us see! Gabrielle is often taken hard and put away wet, but instead of complaint’s, we hear the beauty wonder and worry if she has done something to displease her Lord. She does not accuse or bewail her treatment. No. She wonders if her Lord is satisfied with her.

    At first glance – it might seem to the reader that WarriorJudge has given us a victim in Gabrielle. Is the beautiful, heroic, long suffering Gabrielle we all know and love, now being painted by a careless hand?!
    Not at all. Read on, dear audience. Read on!

    This gifted bard, WarriorJudge, leisurely introduces to a new layered and labyrinthine Gabrielle. We are eventually shown her intellect, courage and diplomacy. Once given a voice, we discover her power. And so does her Lord.
    The way the bard brings Gabrielle into the light for you to examine and marvel at her making– it’s a little miraculous to be honest.

    And she makes enough room in the verse and character of Xena to make her changes always fold into and compliment her strength. Xena, in fact, is the most honest characterization I’ve seen for this genre. What I mean is; Xena makes sense, here. Reading it was akin to the feeling of having several puzzle pieces falling into place.

    There are so many gifts in this piece of work…one is the attention paid to the speech of the characters in the realm. The consistency of pattern and phrase made me wonder and rejoice!
    The politics, the strategy, the lesson of instinct…WarriorJudge invites us to gorge ourselves at this banquet of intricate storytelling!

    To say I love this work does it disservice. Why? Because this bard sets a standard no other bard has met, in my not so humble opinion.

    On a scale of 1 to 5 stars – I give it 6. Just because WarriorJudge has broken a mold that I thought could not be reshaped.

    Read it and if you’ll take some unsolicited advice? Leave your sensibility of what makes sex good, behind. Take the word of the characters who love what they’re doing – that the sex in their bed is just fine. Also, allow enough space in your imagination, to experience a love so desperate and compelling that it might just take your breath away.

    So please dear readers, leave your cup of tea, at home and instead, drink the heady brew that is Lord Conqueror of the Realm!

    Not because I want to.
    Because I have to.

    • Well spoken!! You truly understand the story and the subtleties of what WJ put into the story. I am and will ever be a fan of this author and her characterization of the Conqueror.

  5. I think the fact that Warrior Judge makes you flinch so hard, speaks to what a MARVEL she is as a writer. Also I notice you don’t critique her writing at all – just her content.

    Shit. Really???

    WJ has broken every single Conqueror mold being written. The fact that she keeps having to explain what POWER is, is very telling of us as modern women rather than the truth about Power in this Politically uncorrect – amazing tale.

    Why would the most powerful woman in the world wear a cock? C’mon!! Because a cock is a symbol of Power. It’s not just the conqueror perception of power, it’s also the perception of all the men who constantly crave what she has and all she owns. The biggest cock has bragging rights.

    Of course some PC lesbians have a problem with cocks. They want us all (even butches) to be offended by it.

    WJ is a very deliberate writer. Asking her to go back and re-read her own work, so as to see it from your criticism, I thought was unbearably rude.

    You seem to think that because you don’t approve or cannot comfortably read this work, you have the room to batter about this writer.

    I’ve listened to you guys throw softballs at all the other writers you’ve had on the program – even going so far as to salivate at them.

    But this writer, you really are rude to. IMO.


  6. OMG! I love you guys so freaking much! This show was to damn funny!

    Cheri I was literally crying with laughter after you said The Gooch! I new you were goin to say it! You even laughed before you said my name 😉 its definelty one of my favourite shows from this year.
    I want the field bag if I win 😀

    And Nancy Jean you rock! Was so great to talk with you yesterday! 😀

    Cocktail hour is like the best show ever! I’m still laughing,

    Lots of love! From The Gooch!

  7. I enjoyed the podcast as usual. I have read some of this conqueror’s story, but never finished. I thought that WJ did a great job with it, but for me with my past it was too hard. So I went on to read Judicial Love, that one was awesome, really sad to find out what unfinished really meant when I first started reading fan fic a few years ago. LOL I am thrilled to hear that she is finishing the story!! I hope you both give that one a whirl when it is!

    Reading has always been one of my favorite things, Andy was one of the people to really get me interested when we first started talking…then I met Cheri and everyone else. This show has really helped me find new stories both online and published that I would have skipped. A great big thank you to that!! I love how each show is sponsored by a new drink. I have not heard of most of these so you all are living it up for me!!

    I also think Nancy Jean is super awesome and I love all she does for the show and the cool buttons too! I know it’s all because of The Mastermind allowing her some free time, but she is still fun to listen to!

    I know you are not asking…but I think that field bag is way cool!! I have some really butch looking pink My Little Pony and Kirby patches to put on it!!

    I love you guys and thank you for all you do.

  8. First and foremost, the inability or unwillingness to judge this work of fiction within its historical time and place exposes a disappointing lack of objectivity on the part of the interviewers.

    Whether or not Xena raped Gabrielle is truly splitting hairs. Trying to force modern definitions of rape onto experiences of slaves, and for that matter women in general, in a time in which they were mere property and had no rights is frivolous. The thing that set MY bullshit meter off the charts is that IF the interviewer had read the entire fic, she’d also have known that Gabrielle did not fall in love with Xena after six years of whatever. She fell in love with her as a 12 year old free girl. In addition to that, to admit to reading less than 10% of the fic and then to go on and on pontificating about the fic seems rather off. Likewise, dismissing the book after reading less than 10% makes it appear as if the interviewer was more interested in making moral judgments than having an open mind about where the writer was going.

    One of the criticisms was that both characters were unavailable emotionally to the reader particularly before Persia. This criticism led to another that there before Persia there was “almost solid narration” and that dialog should/could have been used to reveal more about Xena. There’s plenty of dialog prior to Persia. Up to that point, it seems to me, WJ borrowed from the style of Dark Angel whose fics inspired this one. Whether this was consciously done or not, I thought it was genius. And, yes, the emotional content improved in the second part and the style changed. Xena wasn’t in Kansas anymore so to speak. Her black and white emotional world was no more. It follows that after Xena starts coming to terms with her feelings for Gabrielle the content of the fic would reflect this. A change of style helped carry the reader through this transition. Prior to Persia, Xena was a closed book because that is who and how she was, yet the interviewers are essentially insisting that the character be something else altogether–the touchy feely conqueror (e.g. “showing her humanity”) that most writers in this genre have chosen to create. WJ tried to explain more on this point but rather than engaging the discussion the interviewers summarily dismissed her. It seems to me that Xena showed us exactly who she was in the beginning of LCOTR. The problem the interviewer appears to have is accepting that it isn’t the Xena she’s expecting. Rather than embracing what WJ is trying to do, the interviewer stamps her foot like a spoilt child and insists that her way would have been better. How silly.

    I’m not even going to address the packing comments other than to say it’s disturbing to see the LGBT community flaunt gender-bending when it suits us and then use it to find fault with a fic written by one of our own when it doesn’t. Hypocritical!

    I felt throughout this entire podcast that the interviewers were more interested in getting WJ told rather than interviewing her and allowing the listeners to get to know her. In fact most of the talking about the book was done by them and not by WJ at all. The interviewers talked over WJ repeatedly as she tried to make her point. Frankly, that was rude beyond measure as was implying that parts of the writing was bullshit and that the length of the fic was “crazy.”

  9. First of all I would like to thank you for the Cocktail Hour. I enjoy all the authors and their work. I am an avid reader and this is truly a guilty pleasure. It where everyone can be themselves. Bravo for this wonderful hr. I would live the field bag.

  10. We all don’t have to like the same things. It would be a boring world if we did. Books are like other forms of art in that one person’s tour de force is another’s flop. One opinion isn’t better than another, they’re just different. Thanks, Cheri and Andy for always being honest even when it’s uncomfortable. Honesty makes us all better in the long run. Love the show. You two rock!

  11. I am sorry to say that I felt like I was under attack as I was “interviewed”. It felt more like being cross-examined in court, and being a lawyer, I’m in a position to know. I was not ready for it. I was not prepared for it, and more than I resent finding myself in this position, I’m angry at myself for walking right into it and choking.

    I am embarrassed to say that it took me by surprise – so much so that I became tongue-tied and my head just went blank (I felt like I was struggling not just with the questions and remembering what I wrote and why, but even with speaking English which is not my native tongue). Being that it was my first ever podcast, what should have been a fun experience turned quickly into an unpleasant one.

    Let it be clear – I have no problem with people who say that my story was too hard for them to read. I accept, respect and understand it. I have no problem with readers who said they didn’t connect with the characters, or that they didn’t like or didn’t identify with them. I have no problem with people who say that they didn’t care for the style, or that a certain scene was too harsh, or left something to be desired. I don’t have a problem with readers who told me that there were a few spelling mistakes or that they thought that QOTR was the weakest story of the three.

    At least those people respect the journey. These are valid opinions and I have answered each and every one of these emails that I’ve received polity and respectfully.

    My story is not for everyone. But from two ladies who consider themselves “critics” – I accepted more than a “discussion”, such as it was, mainly about what the Conqueror has between her legs, the violent sex and the “rape” bit (Which by the way, if memory serves, LJ Maas’s Conqueror story began with Gab being Xena’s body-slave and Xena ordering her to have sex with her, yet I don’t recall anyone labeling that scene as rape for some reason. Don’t get me wrong – LJ Maas’ Conqueror story is one of my all-time favorite and I admire the author – nevertheless, a slave has no say. A slave cannot refuse. A slave must obey.).

    They said nothing about the portrayal of the characters, nothing about the writing style, nothing about the research that was done to depict the era, the dialogues…of all the scenes, of all 240 pages – packing and the brutal sex at the beginning of the story (which served a purpose and was not written lightly, carelessly or without deep thought behind it, I can assure you) were the main issues that the podcast revolved around, pretty judgmentally, I might add.

    Insisting that my character was raped – when my character in the story, which I imagine ought to know better than anyone, says that consent would have been given, and that she had been infatuated with the Conqueror and drawn to her power years before she entered the Conqueror’s service and still free – frankly suggests to me, that the interviewer decided not be bothered or confused by the truth or the facts as presented in the story but rather was more interested in expressing her own personal resentment against the idea of a female character who enjoys being sexually dominated, when she ought to feel humiliated by it, I suppose.

    What the interviewers did (and let us ignore for a moment the fact that unfortunately they did not have the decency and failed to extent the common courtesy of at least giving me the heads up beforehand) was akin to a literary critic who scrutinizes Nabokov’s “Lolita” mainly for the pedophilia issue. That critic would be considered a fool and his review would be laughed at. True, pedophilia is revolting, morally reprehensible and illegal; nevertheless the novel is a masterpiece. (No, my Conqueror series is not Nabokov’s “Lolita” I don’t think, nor is it a masterpiece, but I think it is a fairly OK story, and I’m sure you get my point).

    If you are interested in learning about the writing process, about the thoughts that were behind the choices I’ve made, what was my design, what were my intentions in regards to the storylines, the structure of the scenes, my characters and the relationships between them, I invite you all (my interviewers as well, if indeed they truly and honestly meant to pick my brain rather than publicly reprimand me) to read a commentary I gave (as well as Q&A) about 4 months ago at the Fan Fiction Lounge Forum in the link below, which I’m sure will teach you far more about my Conqueror series than the podcast presumed to do:


    Lastly, I wish to thank all my readers, especially those who supported me. You’ve moved me most profoundly.

    This experience damaged the inner peace I require in order to write. I regret wasting two precious days being troubled by it and perhaps I should have tried harder to rise above it. So to my readers – I am deeply sorry for the delay in the posting of part 25 of Princess of the Realm…I will do my utmost to finish it.



  12. I completely understand women who do not feel comfortable with WarriorJudge’s Lord Conqueror of the Realm story, and I also completely understand those whose minds still struggle with what it portrays despite nonetheless being aroused by it. LCoTR is a very brutal form of pornography and it does have its enticing effects on its readers (encouraging them to internalise the degradation of women via apparently simply “sex”). It is a real shame when women (and lesbians) internalise violence against women via a seductive writing style that encourages them to eroticise sexual degradation. It is also a real shame when women unfortunately internalise and eroticise misogyny or abuse to the point of sexualising it through writing. I am not saying female readers and writers necessarily ‘willingly’ do such things. I am saying that, within a misogynistic culture that constantly celebrates and sexualises the degradation and objectification of women, even so many good-intentioned lesbians (and other women) get drawn to sexual material that intensely degrades female characters or actors.The best way to make rape, abuse, degradation and violence invisible in a work of art is via sexualising it. It’s called desensitisation. Women become desensitised to sexualised depiction of violence against women. Then, after that, all readers (and writers) see is not the violence, not the rape, not the degradation nor the abuse, it is only the “sex.” Brutal pornography constantly gets whitewashed like this, even in some parts of lesbian culture.

    ((This may be triggering, but eye-opening for women who haven’t read WJ and want to know what she writes. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, you might want to be careful if you decide to read the two paragraphs below)


    Yet, for instance, In a story chapter of Lord Conqueror of the Realm, WarriorJudge did write a pornographic scene that depicted the ‘conqueror’ woman doing various kinds of degrading and violent things to the female ‘slave.’ The ‘conqueror’ was described as gagging her ‘slave’ with a phallic object, pushing her, forcing her to obey her sadistic orders, tying up her arms and legs to a tree in a spread-eagle position, biting her, plunging her fist into her vagina, whipping her until she gets ‘red welts’ and inflicting serious injury upon her –resulting in the ‘slave’ having a ‘ravaged tissue between her spread legs.’ The female ‘slave’ was sometimes portrayed as “admirably enduring” the humiliation and torture –thus reinforcing a typical BS pornographic ideology that constantly tries to justify violence against women. In many (though not all) Conqueror stories, a nonsensical, pornographic sort of fashion often portrays Gabrielle as ‘enjoying’ the rough sexual treatment she sustains at the hands of the Conqueror (captor actually).

    What struck me most about Lord Conqueror of the Realm apart from the brutal sadism was that the story doesn’t even seem to be about lesbianism at all (not real woman-loving, woman-respecting lesbianism anyway): the Conqueror is called my lord, and uses a giant phallus in Gabrielle’s sexual abuse. Their sexual activities, apart from the sadism and beatings are overwhelmingly vaginal penetration, anal penetration and oral sex with a phallus. Xena appears to have acquired the behaviour of an ‘abusive man’ (as in Gabrielle supposed to be the “woman” and Xena the “man” in this story, in a twisted, abusive and Stockholm Syndromed relationship). If a woman is committing brutal acts on another woman, she’s not a woman-loving woman IMHO; she’s become an agent of patriarchy. LCoTR is a description of a a female token torturer in an intimate, pseudo-het relationship. It’s shocking when lesbian imagination has been colonised by patriarchal socialisation to this extent.

    I am certainly NOT saying that WarriorJudge is “brutal” as a person. I don’t even know her IRL. What I am saying is that this is brutality that her story portrays and sexualises.

  13. What an intriguing and thought provoking show. I will openly admit that I have never been remotely interested in reading any kind of Xena fanfic, but after this interview would give Warrior Judge’s story a try. In my experience with Andy & Rev as interviewers, they usually delve into stories from a different, and many times, more challenging perspective. I’ve been the author challenged by the CH crew and survived! I don’t see this show as your mother’s review show and that is the biggest part of their appeal.

    The message I heard from the interviewers was that WJ’s piece was a difficult read–in that it tackled subject matter not normally offered in the usual Xena depictions. Cheri acknowledges that she had a difficult time reading the story because of the graphic nature of the non-consensual sex, which is rape. I think it’s understandable to be uncomfortable with such depictions, and have no problem with her saying so. In fact, that lets me know that WJ wrote the scenes well. It’s our job as writers to capture emotion in our readers, whether good or bad, touching that nerve is what we strive to do. Whether the eventual love developing in the storyline rings true for the interviewers or any reader, is purely subjective. On it’s face, I’d find it a hard concept to swallow, looking at it from our 21st century perspective. I’ll know when I read the story if I can make that leap. WJ says this is how she chose to depict the characters, and the interviewers do say that the slave/conquerer relationship was very realistic.

    This could be the first Xena story I’ve ever considered reading. Thanks to Rev and Andy for the fascinating interview and WJ for bringing the characters to life in an obviously unique way.

  14. Wow, Sparkle! What a powerful, incisive and indeed eye-opening commentary! Considering that we are being relentlessly influenced by a culture that glorifies literary romanticizations of torturous, sadistic and abusive relationships like this, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ or similar works (while we’re at it), that we live in a culture that is generally unsupportive of deeper analyses like yours here, you’ve got a real good pair of ovaries for voicing such an absolutely true and very valid viewpoint, big ones! Saying that the relationship in that Conqueror story was in fact not a lesbian one but a symbolically heterosexual one, it rang so true to me. Explaining that the story was degrading and sexualized brutality, you could not be more accurate. Read that WJ story too once. Never again. Well said, Sparkle. We do (very badly) need more deeper, unflinching analyses like these in the Xenaverse, courageous comments like these that point out the obvious right in front of our eyes.

  15. I love CH because you helped me get back to some semblance of normal after a bad bout of illness plus depression. If i would be lucky to win a prize a field bag would be nice. Any of them would be lovely.

  16. All comments on this post are now being moderated. This is not an open forum or message board and there will be no comments posted that are disrespectful or confrontational toward others who have left comments. There are other venues on the internet where this show and the subjects, in general, are being discussed. Please feel free to continue to rehash these arguments there.

    For the record, prior to recording the podcast, we told WJ that if there was anything at any time that she wanted taken out of the show, she just had to let us know and we would delete it. That’s the standard speech we give every guest. After recording had been completed, we asked her if there was anything she wanted removed and she said no, it was fine. Had she expressed even the slightest concern, we would have deleted any part, re-recorded the whole thing at a later date, or simply trashed it and recorded something by ourselves a few days later.

    We stand by our comments and will not argue, debate, or participate in any defense of our opinions.

    With that said, we’d like to thank those who have posted respectful, thoughtful comments and hope you’ll join us for our next show

  17. I love the honesty that the show brings. Thank you for that. I am really looking forward to the next podcast, Sparkle made a ton of sense. You gals rock.

    Hey would it be butch if I do win the field bag to put glitter on it? You know dark colors like pink and purple to go along with my patches? =D

  18. Sparkle, I think your analysis was excellent and spot on. As for the podcast, it’s difficult to see what the furore is about. There was a challenge to the author about sexually violent content (which I agreed with) but there were also contributions from other people who were very positive about the stories. It was fair, balanced and respectful. Many of the comments about the podcasters and the show can’t claim to be any of those things.

  19. I love cocktail hour because Andy & Cheri put out….
    …good re ommendations!

    No prize necessary, just showin some luv! (Actually I’m holding out for a CH shaker! 😃)

  20. I love finding out about new authors through the Cocktail Hour podcast. 🙂 The field bag looks very cool.

    By the way, my name was announced as one of the winners for Lynette Mae’s giveaway, but I haven’t heard from her. Just wondering if she received my contact info or if I was supposed to email her? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment, Lisa!

      I’ll follow up with Lynette. I was a couple of days late in getting her the info but I’ll make sure I’ve sent her the right email addy. I also have to thank her because she promised two books and I accidentally turned that into three. She’s a good sport, though, so it was no problem.

      Take care and thanks for listening!

  21. I’d love me the field bag. Cocktail Hour is a don’t miss because you introduce me to authors and books I might not have given consideration to reading.

  22. I tend to pick & choose among the Cocktail hour shows, and listen only to the ones where I am familiar with and enjoy the author’s work. Very rarely, I’ll listen to a show about something/someone new, in the interest of personal education & enlightenment, or just because I miss y’all’s voices.

    I was going to listen to the Warrior Judge show, but have reconsidered. I will not be reading her stories. I am not very interested in fan fic. I am definitely not interested in any form of gratuitous violence. I am also not interested in sexual brutality, under whatever name or justification the writer wishes to use to explain her adventures in writing about such brutality. Maybe that’s what tosses her cookies, but I don’t have to subject myself to the experience of watching her do so. And I do prefer to not support writers who are either drama queens, or are just plain rude and patronizing towards their intended audience. Like this writer, for example.

    I can’t imagine that any of the hosts were rude to the writer. I am surprised at the general lack of professionalism shown by the writer. From the tone of her comments, she seems totally unfamiliar with your interviewing style, which tells me she didn’t listen to any of your shows or do any other advance preparation. Considering her controversial writing style & choice of topics, it is VERY hard to believe that she has never been asked to explain why she writes about those topics or in that style. She loudly proclaims she is a lawyer thus, one would assume, is accustomed to verbal discourse & defense — which makes it difficult to understand how could she possibly have been totally taken aback by your questions as if it were the first time she had ever spoken about her writing to anyone other than a totally adoring fangirl.

    Y’all keep doing exactly what you are doing. Into every life a few stinkers will fall.

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