How to Make the Most of GRL
by Jacob Z. Flores
Hello, everyone! I’m Jacob Z. Flores, and the fab folks here at The Blogger Girls were kind enough to include me as part of their GRL Blog Tour, so before I begin waxing on about GRL, I thought I’d take a few moments and introduce myself to you.
I’m a m/m romance author. I typically write contemporary, but I have also written a gay contemporary m/m/m, paranormal, and dystopian. While contemporary is my favorite, I do have an itch to write another paranormal romance book in the near future. I have tons of plot bunnies humping around my brain, and at the rate they’re going, they are bound to produce some fruit from their furry loins, right?
But enough about furry loins because I could talk about that subject all day. Instead, let’s talk about GRL. This will be my third GRL, and I have to admit that I’m super excited. I can’t wait to see the friends I’ve made the past few years again and make a whole bunch of new friends this time around.
Still, even though GRL Chicago isn’t my first time at the rodeo, I’m still nervous.
Why is that you ask?
Well, one thing you need to know about me is that I’m shy. I’m one of those individuals who isn’t quite comfortable meeting new people and is worried about saying something stupid. Social situations typically make me feel awkward. However, once I get to know someone, watch out! I can’t stop talking, and I’m not afraid of doing stupid things. Just ask my friends. They have many tales to share about my antics.
So today I thought I’d share some tips with everyone on how to make the most of this wonderful experience that is GRL.
And I mean with more than just alcohol. There will be plenty of liquid libations flowing throughout the weekend, especially after hours. Let me tell you: those are some good times. But you will need more than just Vodka to get you through to the other side. There’s a lot to see and plenty of people to meet. You can’t chat up your favorite author if you’re parched and hung over all the time. And how are you going to get Mary Calmes to sign your book if you can’t get out of bed the next morning? Drinking water during the day will prepare your system for the inevitable onslaught of tequila chasers.
Staying hydrated is important for all the non-drinkers out there too. GRL is a marathon not a sprint. There are lots of events to attend and so many people to meet. Plus, do you know how many people drink coffee at GRL? Like almost everyone! You’re guaranteed to have constant coffee companions and make tons of new friends walking to Starbucks or standing in line at the lobby coffee pot.
So you see drinking more than just alcohol is a good way to make sure you keep pace with GRL and meet some new and interesting folks.
#2—Don’t Be Afraid to Say Hi
Now this one is tough for an introvert like me, but this is an important piece of advice. Everyone at GRL is so darn friendly, but there are many shy readers and authors out there. That’s why you sometimes have to take the initiative. If you have a fave author that you want to talk to but are afraid you are going to fangirl in front of, don’t worry about it. Say hi and if you fangirl, so what? Most everyone there has done it at least once.
The great thing about GRL is that in the three years that I’ve attended, there hasn’t been one instance where I regretted saying hi to someone I didn’t know. Chances are likely that neither will you.
#3—Don’t Test the Water; Jump In
Again, another tough concept for introverts. We thrive on skirting the perimeter and seeing how social situations play out before dipping our toes in the water and then running back to the safety of the shadows. At GRL, you don’t have to do that. Everyone there is committed to having a good time, and the events are built around our love of man on man romance.
Remember, you are attending an event with other like minded individuals who enjoy most of the same things you do. If you have a question at an author panel, ask it. As an author, I enjoy answering readers’ questions. If it weren’t for those questions, I’d be sitting up there twiddling my thumbs in front of a room full of strangers. Who wants to see that? And don’t let the themed events at night intimidate you. Whether it’s a costume party of the Juke Joint, go. You don’t have to play dress up to enter, and if you want to but are nervous about it, don’t be. You’ll fit right in.
#4—Take a break
This is an important tip. There’s a lot going on at GRL. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, so don’t be afraid to head to your room for a short nap. There’s nothing wrong with recharging your batteries, and no one will think ill of you for needing some quiet time. We all need that. So when the mood strikes, go up to your room and close your eyes for a bit or sit back and read. Afterward, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. I guarantee it.
#5—Join a Puppy Pile
What the hell is that, you ask? Well, a puppy pile is what you do with the group of friends you have made at GRL. You all go back to someone’s room and pile on the same bed. There’s nothing sexual about it, well, at least not the piles I’ve joined, but it’s a great way to lounge with your new best friends and relive the events of the day. It’s also a way to get to know each other better. Nothing brings new and established friends closer than munching on chips and pizza while gabbing the night away. At least until that first puppy starts snoring and you all head back to your rooms for bed.
But don’t fret. The next day you start all over again. How much fun is that?
So now that I’ve given you the 411 on how to make the most of GRL, I figured I’d also tell you a little bit about my Provincetown Series that I recently wrapped up. It’s a four book series that takes place in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In Provincetown, anything can happen—and usually does! Amid the windswept dunes, starry nights, and the eclectic cast of characters that call P-town home, true love comes calling, sometimes in the most unexpected places.
About When Love Takes Over
Zach Kelly’s life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He’s expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van’s got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He’s struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn’t offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown’s colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end—or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
About Chasing the Sun
As a physician and prominent citizen of Victoria, Texas, Dr. Gil Kelly took a hard fall when his vengeful wife revealed his infidelity with other men. Closing ranks around her, the town’s elite ostracized him, and his relationship with his children was nearly destroyed.
After spending his life focused on living for others, he has no idea how to live for himself. He wants to find love but now settles for anonymous sex that only further clouds his world with shame and guilt. Gil believes finding true love is an unobtainable dream, what his father used to call “chasing the sun.”
Then he runs into Tom Martinez, his son’s childhood best friend, who returned to town a grown man and offers everything Gil needs. But Gil hesitates to fall into Tom’s arms, because after his high-profile divorce, the potential scandal of loving a younger man could separate him from his children permanently.
About When Love Gets Hairy
As vain as he is beautiful, Nino Santos happily lives life waiting for the next ferry full of fairies to bring him new conquests. As long as they aren’t hirsute, he’s all in. So he’s shocked to wake up after a beach party he cannot remember with a hairy naked man lying next to him.
Teddy Miller doesn’t remember the “Bear Week” party either, much less the Abercrombie & Fitch model wannabe next to him. Teddy doesn’t give two cents about appearances, but guys like Abercrombie don’t return the favor. That’s why he prefers men with extra fur and padding over carbon copy clones of perfection—a type of man Teddy is far too familiar with.
When Nino and Teddy glimpse each other the next morning, it’s loathing at first sight. Instead of exchanging phone numbers, they exchange insults and vow never to see each other again. In Provincetown, however, escaping a trick best forgotten isn’t easy. Mutual friends and chance circumstances keep Nino and Teddy in each other’s orbit. But are they fighting each other or the attraction growing between them? The answer lies amid Provincetown’s windswept dunes and the night neither of them can recall.
About When Love Comes to Town
Brody O’Shea isn’t looking for much, just a hot guy with a decent job, who is sane and doesn’t have kids. The son of a former rock star, Brody has lived through the pain of bankruptcy and bad parenting, and he doesn’t want to experience it again. As a reformed horndog, he wants the security and stability of a relationship. But almost every guy he meets seems satisfied with Mr. Right Now, and he wants to find Mr. Right—now!
The only men Eric Vasquez chases are criminals. As a deputy and single father, he has no need for a relationship after his last one ended disastrously. He lives for and through Maddie, his nine-year-old daughter. Everything else is a needless distraction, but distraction is what Eric gets when he comes to Provincetown to attend the wedding between his cousin Van and the man of his dreams.
When Brody and Eric meet, what they want and what they find conflict. An ocean of expectations separates them. If they cannot move past their reservations to reach each other’s shores, they might miss the boat when love comes to town.
Author Jacob Z. Flores
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hardass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.
As part of his GRL stop, Jacob is offering up a chance to win a book (ebook or audio) from his backlist! The giveaway starts now and will end next Thursday, August 14, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST. After which the lucky winner will be randomly picked. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.