Memories of New Orleans
by Belinda McBride
I’ve been lucky enough to attend GRL every year since it first started. As an author, I attend a lot of events but I have to say, the first GRL in New Orleans was just special. Maybe it was because it was the first event of its kind or that it was in New Orleans, which is my favorite city, but that first year was just magical.
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is reputedly haunted, and it lived up to those rumors, treating many attendees to ghostly touches, sounds and other haunting experiences. My personal favorite moment happened while sitting in a suite with Lynn Lorenz, Amanda Young and Tara Lain. As we chatted, I started hearing a sound that grew progressively louder and more insistent. Suddenly Amanda said, “Do you hear that?” We all stopped talking to listen to the sound of footsteps circling the room. Once we returned to our conversation, both Amanda and I felt cool touches on our skin. Oddly, my pinky finger grew icy cold while the rest of my hand stayed warm!
I met many of my favorite authors and internet friends for the first time in New Orleans. I will never forget being in line as we were stuffing bags, to look up and see Johnny Miles! I got one of his world-class hugs and immediately felt as though I’d known him forever.
Later, I was walking with Zam and we saw Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton and Rowan Speedwell sitting outside at a café across the street from the hotel. They invited us to join them for a drink…and who can resist having a glass of Vampire Wine while in New Orleans? LOL! Well, I don’t often drink but agreed to a half glass…because who wouldn’t? Well, a few minutes stretched to well over an hour, and oddly, my half glass of wine never went down. Feeling a bit woozy, I glanced up just in time to catch Heidi “topping” my glass…she’d probably done it many, many times. I just remember being really grateful the hotel was just across the street because walking was a challenge!
So now Chicago is drawing close, I’m shopping for airfare and stocking up on swag. I’ll have a new book to promote and am already considering what clothing to take along. But over all, I’m looking forward to seeing friends again, to seeing new faces and just having fun talking books. Gay Rom Lit is far more than an industry event for me, it’s a meeting of friends and family, a time to touch bases and recharge my creative batteries.
Four months, and I’m counting every day!
About Belinda McBride
Belinda McBride is an award-winning author of erotic romance and speculative fiction. She lives in Northern California with her family and a little pack of constantly shedding Siberian Huskies. Her hobbies include soap making, dog shows, travel and reading.
Watch for the autumn release of An Uncommon Whore 3: The Prince of Faith!