How the book came to be, the addition of merch and our future plans to continue raising money for charity, by publisher and organiser Jason Norris
The Women Love Wrestling project started in the way most projects do – someone causally suggests something – and then momentum builds and you end you the passion and drive to make it bigger and bigger.
I worked on a podcast with friends called ‘Holy Shoot – A Wrestling Podcast’, a play on the numerous shows being created on the topic with use of insider lingo. I used this as a chance to interview people I thought sounded interesting, one of whom was Heather Bandenberg, the author of Unladylike, a story about being a female independent wrestler in the UK. She was great fun to chat, which was followed by a conversation with Jacqui Pratt. I had produced an episode all about bands writing proper songs about wrestling, and loved Jacqui’s band Cheap Pop. I ended up interview her after she told me she was completing her PhD and it included writing about wrestling. She shared the chapter and it was the best study of professional wrestling I had ever seen, covering rhetoric and composition of the sport on many levels. After our chat Jacqui just mentioned that maybe there was a book idea about women in wrestling that it could be fun to work on together.
There was no way I could write at Jacqui’s level, but I thought I could organise a team of diverse writers to maybe produce something interesting. And something Heather had said to me back in March came back, there really were no books about professional wrestling that were written by women, or that went into the history of women in the sport.
Somehow from that point in I developed the idea and recruited a team to write this book. With no better titles I kept it honest and to the point – Women Love Wrestling. A lot of hustle and follow up followed by a lot of editing meant we had a team of amazing writers gather from September 2019 with a 300 page book published in January 2020.
The book debuted at No.2 in the Amazon UK Wrestling chart, and No.15 in the US, an amazing way to start. Since then myself and members of the team and promoted the book on podcasts with Pro Wrestling Torch, The Warren Hayes Show and more, and we continue to get the word of the book out there. We have seen a lot of support on social media from Mick Foley, Pro Wrestling EVE and Adam Copeland (Edge) among others.
To continue our efforts I realised we had a cool logo that could could use more of Ami Moregore’s photos, taking the book cover and making a range of merch. Working with different wrestlers, designers and photographers this is a growing effort, with support from a ‘truly flattered’ Nyla Rose and Rhia O’Reilly among others.
Next up, more merch collaborations to raise more for charity, get the word out to even more people about women being equal to men in professional wrestling, and there is the twinkle of a new podcast forming in the corner of my eye.
It would be lovely to hear from you if you like the book, want to interview the team, have ideas or can help promote our efforts