Today I am so pleased to welcome P.D. Singer to Joyfully Jay. P.D. has come as part of the GRL Blog Tour. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
When I started writing M/M romance, I never had an inkling there would be real life encounters between me and readers. Everything was online, a gathering like GRL didn’t exist, and I was a shadowy figure on the far side of the file, which, in those days, was likely to be a PDF.
No one I shared meatspace with read my books. They knew I wrote, but that was all. The Marital Unit offered technical advice on rock climbing but is still stuck on Chapter 5 of Fire on the Mountain (which involves Kurt leaning against an aspen tree, trousers down). My carpooling partner got treated to running commentary on what I was writing, but at that point I didn’t have a lot on the page. (She’s since read it all and is full of opinions.)
So that first GRL in New Orleans was like waking out of a coma. Here were my people! Who read my kind of books! And wrote them! Who needed Hurricanes when we had books? And we could talk out loud and all day about those books. That whole long weekend was like being drunk with genre and words.
This was all the practice I had for being author self in real life. Fortunately, it was enough for my first trial. The Rare Event came out, and I was so giddy I mentioned it at work, without details. A colleague promptly bought the paperback, read it, and brought it in for an autograph, my first ever. Wobbliest signature I’ve ever scrawled, but she was thrilled, and I was thrilled, and a little apprehensive about what people would think, because we immediately had a crowd, all wanting to see.
The cover of The Rare Event is not exactly worksafe. And the owner of the book gave a pretty good synopsis.
That book got passed around the entire pharmacy. I still wasn’t quite prepared to come into the break room to find it lying on the table where Mia had left it for Vanessa.
Since then, I’ve had a lot of releases and signed more books and have gotten used to being pointed out to new hires as the resident author of gay romance. There’s a lot of whispering, and sooner or later the newbie comes to ask.
I had the lovely experience of attending GRL in Albuquerque, and again in Atlanta. More experience of being author in the flesh, and I’m starting to warm up to the notion. By now, when someone yells, “I loved your book!” I don’t automatically look over my shoulder for the real author.
So, when it comes time to plan for GRL in Kansas City, I leave my PTO request on my boss’s desk. Later, we’re both working at the back counter and he asked, “Is this for one of your writers’ conferences?”
Why, yes, yes it is.
I will not say he’s the most oblivious man in the world. That he recalled I write was slightly startling. Of course he asked, “What do you write?”
By now I have lots of experience with this question. I also have lots of experience not needing to answer this question, thanks to GRL, and going straight on to the books.
“Gay romance.” I didn’t miss a beat.
He missed several, and needed to be whacked on the back two or three times. Apparently he missed his turn to read, or never heard the whispers, because when he could breathe again, he told me, “I thought you wrote children’s books.”
My turn to choke. He’d found the one author experience GRL couldn’t have prepared me for.
P.D. Singer lives in Colorado with her slightly bemused husband, one fine young man and half a case of empty nest syndrome, and thirty pounds of cats. She’s a big believer in research, first-hand if possible, so the reader can be quite certain Pam has skied down a mountain face-first, been stepped on by rodeo horses, acquired a potato burn or two, and will never, ever, write a novel that includes sky-diving.
When not writing, playing her fiddle, or skiing, she can be found with a book in hand.