So if you missed my earlier post, I am recapping my amazing week at GayRomLit in Albuquere. My first post went out earlier today and covers an overview and our arrival day. If you missed it, check it out here. Next up is Day 1 of the conference. Just a warning, Thursday night was the Gentleman’s Juke Joint and there were some scantily clad men there, so be aware some of the pics toward the end of the post are NSFWish. And again a reminder if that if you click on the pictures they get bigger. Ok, here goes…
Thursday was the first official day of the event and we kicked off with a Newbie Meet and Greet. And guess who ran it? Yep, that would be me. Remember the part where this was my first conference? So yeah, I was pretty terrified to be leading an event for new folks when it was my first time as well. But it was my idea to hold a meet up for new attendees so the conference organizers ended up asking me to lead it (and a big thanks to Jackie Nacht for helping me answer questions).
So the folks in the front row probably saw my coffee cup shaking and I think I was sweating profusely, but it ended up being a lot of fun. We chatted about ourselves and our first m/m romance books and we all got matching cherry stickers to indicate our “conference virgin” status. I heard from lots of people afterwards that they enjoyed it, so I am glad it helped some folks feel comfortable. It sounds like this will be a recurring event, so all you first timers look for me next year! And big thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome as I stood up there in front of the crowd (especially Jared, JR, and Madison!).
After a break for lunch and a visit to the swag room, the formal events started. The first thing I went to was a publisher spotlight with Riptide. I was still awake at this point and took lots of notes, so here are a few of the deets. The panel included Anne Tenino, Marie Sexton, Elyan Smith, Abi Roux, LA Witt, Aleksandr Voinov, and Cat Grant. So yeah, it basically kicked ass. All those amazing authors in one place, I am sure I was embarrassingly squeeing all over everyone. We got an update on some of the upcoming releases: Oh Come All Ye Kinky anthology in December, more Flesh Cartel, three new Tucker Springs books (Dirty Laundry, Covet Thy Neighbor, and one more where I can’t read my writing!). There will also be a new Cut & Run book (yeah), and a sequel to Country Mouse (double yeah!), as well as Too Stupid to Live, a sequel to Whitetail Rock which I adored. Riptide is apparently going to have a full open call for submissions in early 2013, not just the calls for specific stories. And they are working on getting some f/f stories on board as well.
Next I went to Red Hot Pictionary sponsored by the authors of Total Ebound’s new Unconventional At Best anthology. This was a total blast (especially since I won a totally awesome prize!). The event was led by Amber Kell, Carol Lynne, Stephani Hecht, Devon Rhodes, TA Chase, and Jambrea Jo Jones. They picked people to draw a naughty picture and whoever guessed it right won candy. Then the drawer had to read a passage from a book that included the dirty word. So I got called and here is my picture. Yes, it is totally awful and I know penises are not that pointy in real life, but they guessed it right away (I guess it was my artfully spewing cum). And after reading a dirty scene up in front of a room full of people that involved details on jerking off in the shower, I won an amazing gift bag from TA Chase full of all kinds of goodies. So totally worth embarrassing myself completely!
For the last session I caught a reading with D.H. Starr, Angel Martinez and Belinda McBride. I have never read anything of D.H. or Angel’s but they were both excellent readers. And Belinda read from one of my favorites books, Blacque and Bleu. And the best part is that there is a sequel coming out! Yeah! And it sounds like at least one more after that. I am super excited because I really adored this one (read it for Virgin Hero Week way back).
After a break we had the MLR Press opening reception. We got the big announcement for GRL 2013… I’ll see you all in Atlanta! I am excited because it is east coast, but it is still a long drive so I will probably end up flying unless my ladies convince me to drive all together. But I know it will make it easier for some folks to get to because Atlanta is such a big hub, so I think it will be great. And the manager of the Atlanta hotel actually came to GRL this year to observe, which to me says a LOT about their dedication to making it a great event. Thanks to the MLR crew for letting me crash their table after dinner. I had a great time hanging out with K-Lee Klein and the other authors there. And I FINALLY caught up with author Zach Sweets after missing him for the past two days. I also got to meet his amazing partner Neal and spent a lot of time with the two of them over the week. They are such incredibly nice, sweet guys. (Hi Zach!)
Ok, now comes the really good stuff! The Gentleman’s Juke Joint sponsored by a bunch of the male authors. It was a great time with lots of drinking and dancing. And they brought us presents! Go go dancers! Woo hoo! And even better, one of the attendees, the amazing Alex, joined in as well. The best part is that I got to spend most of Friday and Saturday with Alex and not only is he super hot, but a totally awesome guy as well. He and Damon danced together and it was amazing. I will now stop talking and allow you to enjoy the pictures…
And in case that isn’t enough for you… I have video! This is one of Damon and Alex dancing. And here is one from Adara O’hare’s FB page of the fabulous Jared Rackler who looks smoking hot in his cowboy hat dancing with Damon (Hi Jared!). I can’t get it to play anymore but that may be my computer crying under the weight of all the downloaded pictures. Hopefully it will work for you guys. (UPDATE: I found another video on Devon Rhode’s page that seems to work of Jared and Damon dancing.) I even got to dance with Jared later in the night, although he may have been too drunk to remember.
So it was a totally wild night and after a bunch of “just make me something fruity” drinks I was drunk enough to get out there and dance as well. We shut the place down and had a sweaty wild time. It was an amazing way to start off the conference. Big thanks to all the guys for planning it!
Coming up next: Friday and our trip to Old Town Albuquerque. Also known as “The Day I Drank My Dinner.”
P.S. I just posted a ton of pictures on Facebook so if you want more of the gang as well as lots of author pics, go check it out!