GRL Blog Tour: Zathyn Priest – My GRL Challenges for 2014

TBG:  We are proud to welcome the one and only Zathyn Priest here on our blog today as the first of many special guests we will have for you along the GRL Blog Tour.  If you haven’t already heard, Zathyn will be popping his GRL cherry later this year when he joins us all in Chicago!  Woot!  Please, everyone, take a moment and offer Zathyn a bit of support and encouragement…we want to make sure he GETS ON THAT PLANE!  Zathyn has also just released his new book Amara: The Rebirth at MLR Press.

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My GRL Challenges for 2014
 by Zathyn Priest

When I decided to register for GRL in Chicago, I knew if I was one of the lucky few who scored a spot that I would then have to face several challenges. I had considered attending GRL in Atlanta, but it never eventuated and, in hindsight, this was for the best. I hadn’t written a novel for God knows how long and the only thing I had to offer was the re-release of The Curtis Reincarnation and a short story entitled The Statue. This year I have new novel with MLR Press – Amara: The Rebirth – due for release in April, so it obviously makes more sense for me to attend GRL in 2014.

But I’m not going to talk about the new book because I want to talk about GRL, what it means to me to attend, the hurdles I have to overcome to get there, and the challenges I’ll face once I am there.

Firstly, I have to leave Australia and make my way to the other side of the world to the USA. To do this means climbing aboard one of those hellish flying machines that will rip my feet off the earth’s surface, suspend me from a great height over huge oceans, all the while expecting me to sit comfortably without freaking out. Not only do I have a morbid fear of flying, I also am terrified of heights. Terrified of heights! I’m talking I can’t stand on a ladder without breaking into a sweat and shaking. I have the same panic reaction merely thinking about boarding a plane. Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure someone will have to drug me up to the eyeballs just to get me into the airport. God help the flight crew who’ll have to deal with me. I can see it now, as clear as day…

Flight Attendant: You’ll be fine Mr Priest, flying is safer than driving a car.

Me *Crying, gripping the nearest thing to stop them dragging me onto the plane*: No it’s not! I watch Air Crash Investigation… I’m going to die in a fiery crash, or a terrorist attack, or pilot suicide, or… *Drops to the floor in a faint*

Moving along and assuming I make it to the US without dying in a fiery plane crash, the GRL hotel decided to get in on the act of challenging my phobias with glass elevators. What sadistic prick invented glass elevators? Fear of heights is one of the most common phobias and hotels think glass elevators are a great idea? I’m not kidding when I say I saw a photo of the hotel’s glass elevators and immediately had a meltdown. I posted on Facebook… because possibly someone on my friend list had the power to remove the glass elevators, or at the very least paint the glass black. Hey, I was desperate! One lovely person came to my rescue, called the hotel, and I’ve since been assured I’ll be given a ground floor room and can use the stairs. At least my legs and butt will look good from all the stair climbing.

Flying and heights phobias aside, my next major challenge is in regards to my hearing. Due to an illness, I lost 46% of my hearing about eighteen months ago. Hearing aids are next to useless in noisy environments, in fact they make matters worse because they amplify everything. Given that fact, I don’t wear them often and rely on lip reading. My lip-reading skills are pretty good, but not 100% reliable. If I don’t respond to someone trying to talk to me, I’m not being rude, I simply haven’t heard. Tap me on the shoulder, wave at me, walk a little closer and try talking to me again. If you receive an acknowledgement but a vacant expression with no reply, this means I haven’t understood you. There could be a few reasons for this. It could be a strong accent, which makes lip-reading difficult. It could be you weren’t looking directly at me when you spoke, or you spoke too fast, you covered your mouth with your hand or with something else, or I was momentarily distracted, etc. Just remember, blank expression = pardon? Unless it’s 3.00am, we’re at the bar, and it could just be that I’m drunk!

There are quite a few personal challenges and anxieties I have to overcome to get to GRL and to work through once I am there. If I over-analysed them there would be a good chance I’d talk myself out of going. What do I hope to gain from GRL on a professional level? The reality is that I’m not attending GRL for that reason. Sure, promotion is a part of the experience, but for me it’s about meeting the people who have stayed loyal to me over the time I’ve not released any books.

When I gave up on myself as a writer due to major performance anxiety (Which I still battle with), and nearly threw in the towel altogether, I never stopped receiving encouraging emails from readers. I was never dismissed from the m/m writing community as a has-been, and always other authors and editors have been there for me with words of support. If not for them, Amara: The Rebirth would not have seen the light of day, and my other WIPs would not have been started.

That’s why I’m attending GRL in 2014. To say thank you to everyone who has stood by me. I’d also like to thank The Blogger Girls for letting me be their guest.

I look forward to meeting everyone in Chicago and having a GREAT time there!


About Amara: The Rebirth

21946427Legendary vampire, Emrys Amara, changes Matthew’s destiny when he’s thrown into a world of kidnap victims, werewolves, deceit, and the rebirth of the greatest vampire clan in history.

Matthew and his husband Dean are slayers, trying to end a chokehold Amara half-breed vampires put on Nottingham and kill the leader, Amdis. A diary supposedly written by legendary Emrys Amara is sent to them, yet they doubt the orphaned vampire could have survived the demise of his clan.Meeting Emrys proves them wrong. Matthew falls deeply; Dean’s jealousy takes a sinister turn.

A chain of events involving kidnapped children and werewolves follows as Amdis teams up with another vampire clan.Can Matthew and Emrys save the children while rebuilding the Amaras as the greatest vampire clan in history?

Released April 2014 by MLR Press

Available for purchase at MLR Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble



About Zathyn

Zathyn Priest is an Australian writer/artist with severe vampiric tendencies. Absolutely convinced the sun could turn him to a pile of ash, he prefers to write under the cover of darkness. This serves two purposes, with the first being the afore mentioned sunlight danger, and the second being the fact that night means no annoying phones ringing or people knocking at the door.

Zathyn has written four published novels using this strange moonlight technique. The Curtis Reincarnation, The Slayer’s Apprentice, Liquid Glass, and Amara: The Rebirth. He has also written three short fiction works. The Statue, Left of Centre, and One of Those Days.

Zathyn lives with two greyhounds named Chrissy and Eldon, a cat named Fran, and a duck named Charlie.

Website | Blog | FaceBook | Twitter | Scarlet Tie Designs


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Categories: Book Promo, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “GRL Blog Tour: Zathyn Priest – My GRL Challenges for 2014

  1. Thank you for inviting me to The Blogger Girls! x

  2. Danny

    Hi Zathyn, I am sooo happy that you will be attending the GRL this year. I am really looking forward to finally meet you in person. You are a real brave person to confront several of your phobias all at once. Just keep in mind one of your friends will always be around if you need help in any way. Big hugs

    • Thanks, Danny! In spite of the phobias, I’m really excited about GRL. Meeting people I’ve chatted to on FaceBook and call friends will be fantastic. Roll on October!!

      • Danny

        I feel the same, the only one I met in person before is Jet Mykles and that was ages ago. Can’t wait till it is October.

  3. Hi Zath, I really just stopped by to say hi, since I’m working, lol, but we’ll be giving moral support until your flight to the grl, you can always count on us. Hugs

  4. secretobcession1

    Hi Zathyn! Can’t wait to read your new book…Amara: The Rebirth. Congrats on all of the great reviews it’s been receiving to date. I recently re-read The Curtis Reincarnation…wanting to reconnect with that wonderful book. It was still as good as I remembered it to be. Thank you for giving me many hours of enjoyment from your books I’ve read.

    Unfortunately, I was too late in registering for GRL and have placed my name on the waiting list. 😦 I had tried registering from my “smart phone” late one night when registration was opened up, but had difficulties. Then I lost my job, so then the funds were not available. But when funds became available again, poof…no more spots available. Hopefully someone will cancel thus opening up a spot…I live close to Chicago, so it would be great to be able to attend…driving time would be short. There is quite a few authors that I’d like to meet that will be there…besides you of course.

    May your writing Muse bless you often.


    • Oh, what a shame, Kris :I hope a spot becomes available for you. They went so fast, I was panicking I wouldn’t get one. I know a few people missed out but were on the waiting list and have been lucky enough to get a spot after all 🙂 Fingers & toes crossed for you!

  5. Trish

    Huge Zathyn fan! Love all your works and your quirks :p. And meeting you in October will be my biggest highlight at Grl. I will make sure to speak clearly with my new yorker accent but there may be some squeeling involved.

    • Looking forward to meeting you, too, Trish! Just remember… I’m Australian, and squealing to us translates to, ‘OMG! Huge spider behind you…. RUN!’ Hence, I could be half way across the hotel foyer before I realise there isn’t actually a spider at all 😉

  6. I’m reviewing Amara on our blog, so keep an eye out for it.

  7. Terri Culverwell

    Hi Zathyn! I am so excited to be able to meet you in Chicago. The plane ride will be over before you know it. Just think of all the fun to be had in the US.

    Amara The Rebirth was absolutely fantastic. You have an amazing talent.

    • Well hello there, Terri! Yup, I’m focusing on GRL fun and trying not to focus on scary planes 😉 And thank you for the feedback on Amara, so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  8. Looking forward to meeting you there, Zathyn! 🙂

  9. Zathyn have I ever told you how much I love the way you tell stories? Not just in books, but even just when talking. You have a great way with words, and a a brilliant talent of turning the most simple of tales into an interesting yarn. I find myself grinning every time I hear or see you type ‘Well’, because I just know you’ve gone into storyteller mode, and it’s magical. Never change *hugs*

    • Aww – thank you, Val! Does that include when I’m telling you off in Skype for not blending your eyeshadow properly? 😛

  10. Hi Zathyn! I’m actually going to make it to GRL too this year. I enjoyed your post and share many of your fears, i.e., flying and heights. I also have a hearing loss so I appreciate your instructions because I tell people that if they expect me to understand them, I have to be facing them. Otherwise it’s like a bunch of bumblebees or something, noise but no comprehension. We’ve only chatted a few times online, but I’m really looking forward to meeting you!

    • I didn’t know you had hearing loss, too, Lena. Yes, it’s very easy for people to forget and look away briefly, or put a glass up to their mouths mid-sentence, etc. Which is perfectly understandable because it’s a habit and we all do it at different times. Even with friends, I often have to say, ‘Hand/glass away from your mouth, love.’ Or, now, I just signal with my hand for them to move their hand/glass away.

      Looking forward to meeting you, too! 😀

  11. Those are all such valid fears, but you are pretty amazing for fighting through them and having the courage to conquer them. We will all be there for you, cheering you on each step of the way. I’m excited to get to meet you at GRL.

  12. I’m really excited about getting to meet you at GRL this year, Zathyn!

  13. So, SO looking forward to meeting you in person (no pressure!). I don’t care if you’re not a hugger, expect a hug 😉

  14. I am with you on flying can’t stand the thought I had a spot on a flight to the north pole and there were to many kids, so a few wouldn’t get to make the trip. I voluntarily gave up my spot. If I was meant to fly God would have made me with functioning wings.

  15. Excellent post, Zathyn! Just as the flight attendant will be there to help when you need her, your friends at GRL will be there for you each step of the way. The true beauty of friendship shines when we’re at our worst and others reach out to help and support.

  16. This was lovely!

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