Joyful approach badgeHi guys! Today I am thrilled to welcome author Z.A. Maxfield to the blog.  I am a huge fan of her writing and really excited to have her visit today.  ZAM is here as part of the Joyful Approach: Countdown to GRL and is talking to us about her favorite GRL memories. She has also brought a great giveaway — a signed copy of her latest print release, Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost.  So please join me in giving ZAM a big welcome!

Z.A. Maxfield’s Five BEST GayRomLit Memories

I thought I’d talk about my five best memories from the two GRL’s I’ve attended and tell you a little bit about why they were so special to me.

In descending order here they are:

zam grl5. The GREAT CUPCAKE CAPER part one: So I’m trying to remember who was there…Lynn Lorenz, Belinda McBride, and Tara Lain, and I drove into Sante Fe last year to explore. On the way back we got a wild hair and Googled Cupcakes. The cool thing was not that I purchased six outrageously decadent cupcakes. The cool thing was those cupcakes made it possible for me to lure invite several very nice people to carry heavy boxes of books and swag to my room to for me… You know who you are. Ah! The promise of cupcakes! Works every time.

zam grl 24. Why do I never WRITE THINGS DOWN? It’s clear trusting my memory sucks. At the first GRL in New Orleans, William Cooper and I hosted lunch for some fans and aspiring writers. I had such a good time. I have a picture. If this is you, please remind me because I don’t remember names. You all made me feel like a rock star, and I adored every minute I got to spend with you! Thank you so much.

3. One of the best things I ever experienced is the first time I met someone who knew who I was because she’d read my book. She had a little fangirl moment in an elevator. (Aurora, I still fangirl you right back for that!) That exact incident didn’t happen at a GRL, but I had the opportunity to see it happen to so many wonderful writers — that moment when a writer realizes his or her hard work pays off, that writers have fans, and those fans appreciate them.

I’ve caused that moment for other authors, I hope, because at heart, I’m a reader first, and a writer second. Thus my third favorite moment from GRL was in Albuquerque, when I noticed I was sitting next to Tom Webb and Laura Harner and I mentioned I’d read them and liked their work very much. They had the same fun reaction I did when Aurora fangirled me. I made their faces happy! Good times. 😀

zam grl32. MLR Press did an absolutely wonderful party at a stunning venue in Albuquerque last year. I had the honor of helping pick up candy skulls in LA and I glued something to one single papier mache cereal box but I didn’t really have anything to do with how the event turned out.

I can’t say enough about Laura Baumbach. She is the classiest person I’ve ever met in all the ways that truly count. MLR’s party had a Dia De Los Muertos theme and we spent some time honoring people we lost – two of whom were very special to me. It was gut wrenching but also truly magical. Memorable. My hat is off to Laura and all the people at MLR for making that event one of the nicest I’ve ever attended.

1. The first year of GRL, in New Orleans, I snuck away for a quiet dinner with William Neale in the Court of Two Sisters restaurant. It was a great meal: good food, beautiful setting, terrific company. He reminded me of my husband a little, humble, intelligent, full of humor. He was inexhaustibly kind. Bill was a true southern gentleman. He talked about architecture and his garden and his husband. I talked about my family – my husband, kids, and writing.

William passed away only months after that. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t have a moment of sorrow over his passing. I’ve always let people know how much I respect them while I’m with them and I know I said that then — that I’d had a terrific time getting to know him. I told him how much I admired him. How much his friendship meant to me.

That was a great night with a wonderful man. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to share that evening with him. That wins Best GRL moment hands down…


What will your best GRL moments be? I look forward to sharing my next ones GRL with you!

If you aren’t attending you can still join in the excitement! I’m giving away an autographed copy of Rhapsody For Piano And Ghost, my latest print release to ONE LUCKY WINNER!

Thanks for making new memories with me!



ZAM is offering a signed copy of Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost to one lucky reader.  Leave a comment at the end of the post for a chance to win.  The contest will close Friday, September 6th at 11:59 pm EST. 

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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