You may know me as Ba’al the Bard, Nienna the Wise, G. N. Jones (formerly Ellis), or just Gretchen.
I care deeply about stories. They shape how we view ourselves, the world, and others, both in positive and negative ways. I believe that stories have the power to make us the best (and, sadly, worst) version of ourselves; they help us understand other people, cultures, perspectives, and values. They create empathy and passion. Stories can inspire a revolution, or hurt someone’s soul. That’s why representation matters, because all people—no matter your race, religion, gender, sexual or romantic orientation, body shape, body size, ability or disability, mental illness or health—all people deserve to have their stories told and to see themselves reflected in the media we consume.
I am a managing editor and contributor for The Fandomentals and cohost the Fandomentalist podcast, a podcast devoted to nerdy/geeky media analysis.
I previous hosted (and sometimes guest host!) History is Gay podcast, a podcast that explores the underappreciated and overlooked queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies that always been there in the unexplored corners of history.
I have been a panelist at various conventions over the years, where I have discussed Ethics in Storytelling, Neurodiversity and Writing, writing with inclusivity, queer representation in Steven Universe, the power of Korrasami, and various other topics related to writing, inclusivity, and queer representation.
Other fandom interests include Star Trek, Star Wars, and as many SFF books as I can read. If you’d like to watch the video essays accompanying my ASOIAF meta as well as other topics (including an upcoming series on books!), check out my YouTube channel, Gretchen Loves Books.
And why do I do all of this? Because stories matter.