GayRomLit 2012!!

Hello all! Well I'm finally back home after an amazing experience at my very first GayRomLit Retreat. I was there for five days and I still didn't get to meet everyone!

As a newbie author, I was SO nervous, but soon the nervousness gave way to excitement, even if I was pretty much in a constant state of awe at everything and everyone. The organizers did the most amazing job, and I could honestly say I felt at ease there. It was just so incredible being surrounded by like-minded folks who had all gathered to celebrate the genre they love so much. Everyone was friendly and approachable, and the hotel staff totally rocked.

Me at my author signing table. I promise I will have
print books for Atlanta next year, and not just postcards!
I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I was so busy gaping and gawking at everyone most of the time, I kept forgetting I had a camera with me.  I had also intended on posting and tweeting, but sadly my phone had no signal unless I stood outside the hotel. Next year I plan on having a much better provider. Anyway, it was a fantastic event with a little bit of everything for everyone, from Q&A's with your favorite authors to publisher sponsored events that included go-go boys and a piano cabaret.

The most exciting thing of all, was standing in the hall on the very first day, and having a small group of readers come up to me to tell me how much they loved my swag, and how they loved my stories. That was when it really hit home that I was a published author. I must have looked like a crazy person, just smiling from ear to ear and thanking them. Getting to chat with folks about my books, and hearing them asking for more was an over-the-moon moment for me. Now, onto some pictures!

I just had to have a picture with Damon Suede in his kilt. The man has an incredible amount of energy and good cheer. I really don't know how he does it. I also got to hear all about how he got his very first kilt, and the seven that came after.

I also have to mention Jacob Flores because aside the fact that he and his husband are just so sweet, Jacob has the most amazing smile. You just can't help but smile when he's around you. It's infectious.

Also, Aleksandr Voinov who is as charming and wonderful in person as he is online. I was so happy he was able to attend GRL and that I got to meet him, and hug him!

I was so happy that I got to meet and hug Cole Riann from The Armchair Reader. He is without a doubt one of the sweetest guys I've met! There were plenty of folks I wish I'd had the chance to sit down and chat with much longer, and Cole is certainly one of them. Not that I don't plan on chatting with him online. (Now that we've met, Cole, there's no escaping me!)

You'd think it would be easy to find the time to sit and chat with everyone, but there were hundreds of attendees, plus non-stop events going on inside and outside the hotel. Also, I spent a good deal of time discreetly staring at people's name tags, which hopefully I won't have to do so much next year!

I was so excited to finally meet Jay from Joyfully Jay, and Lisa from The Novel Approach. Two amazing ladies who I have every intention of cornering next year for longer chats!

My author posse, though we're missing the lovely Kim Fielding, and Lorraine Ulrich. From left to right, Hayley B. James, S.A. Garcia, me, and Ana Bosch. Behind the camera, the awesome Manda Krowhop.

I roomed with Kim Fielding (can't believe I didn't get a picture of you, Kim!), and S.A. Garcia who I had such a great time chatting with.

I got to meet my online buddy Hayley B. James, and oh my god, she had me in tears at one point during the bowling party. I'll never look at a smurf the same way again. She also had some fantastic swag, and a talent for sketching classy penis's. We're talking top hat, tails, and monocles folks.

We all took a field trip to Old Town, which is filled with charming little gift shops. This particular shop had lots of um.. interesting gifts. One of them being this little bug type thing with a wobbly head poking out of it's body. We couldn't work out what it was, but it looked like fun!

This is the extremely talented Ana Bosch. It's no secret I'm a fan of both her writing, and her art. I bought my copy of Bonds of Death where she sketched Riley for me. Total fan-girl moment. She bought these special fellas. We thought maybe they were some spiritual deities or something of that nature, but apparently when she asked the shop lady they were just angel drag queens. Yep, that shop had it all!

This car was parked on the sidewalk at Old Town, so of course I had to have a picture of me standing next to it. It's gorgeous and I want.

Another classic car parked just across the street. It's like they knew I would be there. My sparkly senses also tingled, leading me to a shop filled with all sorts of jewelry. I bought a huge gaudy yellow owl ring with rinestones. It's amazing, and takes up most of my ring finger! If you don't believe me, scroll back up to the photo of me sitting at the book signing table. That huge yellow thing is the ring.

Chili garden next to one of the shops in Old Town. Of course everything we ordered to eat while in Albuquerque had peppers in it, even the mash potatoes, and sushi!

One of the three delicious cakes provided by MLR Press for their hosted Day of the Dead party. They didn't just look yummy, but tasted yummy, too! We also had some equally yummy Sangria. A big congrats to the lovely Kaje Harper for her award from MLR for being their highest eBook sales author!
MLR also had some amazing Sugar Skulls, but unfortunately I could only admire them as I'm still not allowed to eat anything hard or too crunchy due to my recent dental surgery, but aren't they just so pretty?

Heather C. sent me this amazing photo of my Torquere Press Bowling Party Team. From left to right: Gyn, Heather C., Hayley B. James, Manda Krowhop, Me, and our amazing cheerleader Joyfully Jay! They all kicked my keister in bowling, but I had so much fun!

This experience has been unlike any other. I got to meet my publishers, and some of the wonderful folks who make my books happen. The Torquere Press bowling party was so much fun. A big thank you to everyone who played, and those who came to cheer us on. I'm big enough to admit that I totally had my keister handed to me at bowling by the rest of my team. The Dreamspinner Press Cabaret was so much fun, and I got a hoarse voice from all the singing. The piano player was amazing, and whenever I hear Barbie Girl, I'll be thinking of GRL. Ariel, you looked amazing!

Thank you so much to everyone who made my first GayRomLit so spectacular, and a big thank you to all the organizers who worked so hard, to all the publishers, reviewers, authors, and readers I met. To those of you I chat to online, you are even more awesome in person. To those who didn't get to go this year, I hope we meet next year.

Much love!

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