I know I promised to get back with A.B. Gayle on how GRL was and if I thought it was worth it.
Yeah, it’s totally worth it.
I went into it a little concerned because I am not the most social of people Curmudgeon wouldn’t be too far off. And I did keep to the fringe of things (other than when I sang “Welcome to the Jungle” at karaoke…I’d like to blame alcohol on that but I wasn’t really that drunk…I’m just a ridiculous ham) but I still managed to meet people I’d only seen in the pixel and found out that people have actually read our books.
Yeah, I know, as much as Treva Harte loves me, she probably wasn’t paying me out of her own pocket for three years, but still I was surprised. Not just that people had read the stories, but had real opinions on them and most of them appeared to understand what we were trying to express! I met VJ Summers who actually liked The WASPs (which given some of the reviews I thought was only a story a parent could love) and has us convinced we could do a sequel.
We met and chatted extensively with Z Allora Allora. She’s such a bundle of wonderful energy and she didn’t seem to think our concept for Black Gold 2 was totally insane, which gave me the confidence to jump in and attack the rewrites. Also, she was one of my stalwart defenders when the go-go dancers got too close and gave me The Fear. One day I will write up why stripper/dancers give me The Fear, but these ones did seem pretty nice and didn’t smell of Axe (okay so I guess given that description, The Fear is self-evident.)
I also met E.M. Lynley who edited Bedknobs & Beanstalks, one of the first anthologies I was even included in and who is kind of to blame for me. I swear, she’s been everywhere and she showed me that a geoduck was, which I’d somehow always thought was like…a gemstone. Like a geod? With uck attached to it? But no, it was a creature that looks like a giant cock. At least, that’s what I remember. There was a lot of Icelandic alcohol involved.
Oh yeah, Icelandic Princess, Erica Pike, brought alcohol, some of which tasted like cumin, some tasted like old paper, and the last tasted like cough syrup and I swear cured me of my sore throat.
Thursday Euclid is going to be so proud I remembered so many names because I am notoriously awful. “You know, that person with the stuff! I want to friend them! I need their name!” But look at me, namedropping like a mofo. Okay, it kinda helps I knew the names before and didn’t have faces. The faces part is easier for a visual learner.
So, I met Christy Lockhart and Treva Harte whom I’ve been working with for a couple of years but now I can identify them in a public setting! And there was a Loose Id little dinnery thing where we supped on appetizers (okay admittedly I kinda lost weight in ABQ because I wasn’t super impressed with NM cuisine and was on the move a lot) and I chatted about snake shifters with Tara Lain and femme dom with Belinda McBride. We had a little lobby political discussion with Lynn Lorenz (who is also a Texan!) and the other Loose Id laydees and it was just so…like everyone was already an old friend. We all had this common bond of our writing and interests and politics and I wasn’t nearly as guarded as I am day-to-day.
Oh! And I almost forgot a super awesome part! So, we did the book signing and I sat with Cherie Noel (I know, right, how cool am I?) and a pretty woman with a camera stopped by and shot some pictures of me with my inflatable sheep Jody (who has a slow leak, but thank goodness Thursday is so good at blowing) and I thought that was cool but then later she came back and she was ELISA ROLLE.
See, here’s the thing. I’d never met her (obviously) but she’d reviewed some of my very first works and it really did give me some confidence even when it kinda felt like no one was really getting me. I know I’m not the only author who has been the beneficiary of that kind of support and so I was really pleased to meet her and shake her hand. Or hug her. I don’t really remember what I did, but I hope I let her know how much that meant to me.
So, you know, I found out I had fans and I found people I fanned. I attended publisher forums and got to know better what the different publishers were doing with their imprints and what they were looking for. I did some crafts ate some cake, sang badly, and met some really awesome people, some of which I already kinda knew. I know I left people out and awesome discussions but there is truly too much to cover in a blog space.
I think I did okay for promotion and there were people who purposefully read every author who was going to GRL so if you’re looking from an investment perspective, it’s potentially worth it. I know A.B. Gayle is coming from a lot further away than most, but it’s a great time and next year is in Atlanta, which is fun to explore. I’ve only been a couple of times and usually for convention, so my memories may be a little gin-drenched, but they were happy and good food.
So do it! And drag Norma Nielsen with you, we have models to drool over!