Holy smokes am I tired! Years ago, JK Hogan, after her first GRL, told me that if I ever went, I had to remember to take an extra day off when I got back. As I was falling asleep last night, I had the thought that I could probably go to work today and function reasonably well.
Then I slept until 10:30 this morning and nearly burned a grilled cheese at lunch so…
Thanks, Kristen, for your excellent advice!
Before we parted ways for the weekend, I told Jay (aka Mr. Temple) that if I came home from GRL and announced I was going to quit my job to write full-time, he had to talk me down. He nodded knowingly. We’re married for a reason.
I’m pleased to say that 72 hours later, while I’m a little starstruck about who and what I just saw, I am not so far gone as to think the solution to life’s problems is to abandon my job to be a full-time writer.
Dude, being a writer is hard work. I firmly believe it’s also a metric shit tonne of fun, but there are so may things that will never occur to you (and barely occurred to me) when you set out to write and publish a book. I found myself standing in line for a beer, dressed in a custom made vintage riding split skirt, my very favourite cowboy hat, and a dollar store moustache and thought “I didn’t know this was going to be part of the job.” Obviously, the moustache is optional (as are the skirt, hat, and the conference in general really). You could just write books and stay home, but GRL is a hell of a lot of fun, and great way to participate in the community I’m writing for.
The writers I met this weekend are (hopefully) winning the battle for shelf space, book reviews, and career longevity on their own terms, and I have nothing but admiration for that. I hope to be them someday, and that day is closer than it was a year ago, but this weekend also solidified for me that I am very much a baby author with a lot of work ahead of me.
I gotta say though, GRL leaves me pretty warm and fuzzy about what that’s going to be like. The atmosphere was warm and inviting. Everyone, readers and writers, was approachable and willing to talk. The m/m romance community they’ve built is as lovely as it is diverse. Seriously. I know there’s a long way to go in terms of character and writer diversity, but there really is something for everyone out there. My jam in m/m romance is cute, fluffy, and pretty vanilla. But I saw everything this weekend from that to detectives, to deep sci-fi and high fantasy, to dystopian werewolf kink. It was all there!
As I’m coming down off the GRL high (super high in this case. The air in Denver was thin), I’m pretty excited about what’s ahead of me. The Pick Up has a release date! March 2018. Circle your calendars, I’ll provide more details soon. The Hang Up is getting lots of fuzzy feedback from beta readers. And a weekend with the GRL crew inspired me to write just a teeny little bit of The Set Up while I sat in airport lounges yesterday. Red Creek is alive and well and it’s coming your way! This time next year, there will be two instalments in the world, and I will be ready to celebrate in Virginia at GRL 2018!