by Taylor V. Donovan
Hello, everyone! The countdown for GRL 2014 has begun, and I’m here to talk with all of you about it. I’ve got to be honest, though. I don’t have any advice on how to meet people and fight the post-con crud. I’m not an introvert. I love hugs. If I see you around, I’ll talk to you, and I hope you do the same. I’m not equipped to tell anyone how to deal if you find yourself in need of space. There are some awesome posts some of my fellow authors have written about that, so, if you need help, I suggest you read those. They’ll be a huge help. In the meantime, I’m just going to share what GRL means for me. Thanks to The Blogger Girls for hosting me. ☺
So, I wasn’t a published author when I attended the first GRL in New Orleans. I joined the Gay Romance community in April 2011, submitted Six Degrees of Lust to a publisher in May, and went back to my regularly scheduled program. I worked. I took care of my kids. I thought a lot about whether I wanted to keep writing beyond the completion of my serial, “By Degrees,” provided I got a contract for it. I also read an unbelievable amount of M/M romance novels.
I remember I used to feel… mesmerized… totally in awe every time I had an online conversation with one of my favorite authors. They were my rock stars. I thought I wanted to be like some of them when I grew up. Then there were the readers. I was thrilled to be able to talk to other readers that are just like me—gay romance nuts—and discuss stories and characters to death.
Not many knew I was a new author back then. At some point, in between the EDJ and fangirling, I decided to write something else. Heatstroke, a little free story I wrote just for fun (and to prove to myself I could write something different from “By Degrees”) and that was the only title under my belt when October 2011 came around. I went to GRL as a reader that first time, and, let me tell you, I had the time of my life. First of all, it was held in New Orleans, which is one of my favorite cities in the world, and authors were there, you guys. In Person!! It was heaven. ☺ I was all over the swag. I collected autographs. I met these two super cool ladies, The Blogger Girls’ very own Nikyta and Heather, in person for the first time, and I met L.C. Chase, author, cover artist, and lifelong friend. I partied a lot that year. I got sick, but I had fun. Three years later, things haven’t changed that much.
I’ve been attending GRL as an author instead of as a reader since 2012. I show up to my events and the book signing. I talk to my readers and make the rounds. But I still look forward to collecting swag and autographs. I still spend the majority of my time hanging out with my friends and making new ones. And yes, I still manage to get seriously sick every time. But not even the kidney stones I got last year have dwindled my enthusiasm for this event.
GRL is the one time a year when I get to see online friends and friends who have transcended social media. It’s the time I get to hear them laugh instead of reading their “LOLs.” It’s the one time a year when I get to hug them tightly, and I just love having that opportunity.
GRL is a big celebration for the Gay Romance community. It brings readers and authors to one place. It allows me to create memories with awesome peeps, and it’s the culmination of ten super fun months leading up to it. You see, some friends and yours truly have this little group in Whatsapp for all things GRL. Preparations for it begin the day we register to attend, and I love that none of them are authors. Well, one is, but her identity is super secret. The rest are readers and bloggers, and I’m just one of them. I love that they aren’t freaking out over the same stuff I do (i.e. swag, books, people showing up to my Q&A… or not.☺) We talk about flights, clothes, arrivals, clothes, non-GRL things we’d like to do, clothes, makeup, clothes, hair, clothes, shuttle services, clothes, cabs v. limousines, clothes… and sometimes we talk about vibrators, porn, and shoes. *g* As amazing as GRL is, I have to admit this little group makes it a hundred times better for me. They keep me pumped. They keep me entertained. This experience wouldn’t be anywhere near as fabulous if it weren’t for them, so, much love to all of you, my lovelies. You all know who you are. Xoxo
I don’t know if all of you reading this post will be at GRL this year. If you’ll be there, please come by and say Hello. I’ll have goodies… not that I’m bribing you or anything. 😉 For those of you who couldn’t go, I hope to meet you at some other point, but, more importantly, I hope you get to experience GRL and the greatness that is hanging out with our fellow readers.
Love you all!
About Heavy Hitters
His toughest opponent is himself.
World Boxing Champion Santino Malavé has been fighting since he was a kid. Poverty, domestic violence, and emotional abuse were early contenders. Guilt and self-loathing were beaten into him by his homophobic dad at an impressionable age and now machismo, an integral part of the Latino culture, rules his life. In the ring he’s undefeated. Outside the ropes life constantly hits him below the belt. It takes a sucker punch from his best friend to finally knock the denial out of him and force him to face his true nature like a real man.
A natural born entertainer, Luca Betancur has grown up laughing, performing, and celebrating life among his tight-knit family under the scorching Puerto Rican sun. He has also dedicated years to deny his sexuality, study what the Bible really says, and pursue fame. Singing the wrong note on stage is not a mistake the multi-platinum award-winning singer would ever allow. Falling in love with a man is not a transgression his devout family would ever accept. The ties that bind him are strong, but the pull toward his childhood best friend may just be enough to tear it all to shreds.
Anger, mistakes, bigotry, and the need to conform put up a good fight. Can they break down the walls erected by Catholic teachings and a chauvinistic society, or will their relationship lose by technical knockout?
Heavy Hitters is coming soon in late-October!
About Taylor V. Donovan
Taylor V. Donovan is a compulsive reader and author of gay romance and suspense. She is optimistically cynical about the world; lover of history, museums and all things 80s. She is crazy about fashion, passionate about civil rights and equality for all, and shamelessly indulges in mind-numbing reality television.
When she’s not making a living in the busiest city in the world or telling the stories of gorgeous men hot for one another, Taylor can be found raising her two daughters and their terribly misbehaved furry baby in the mountains she calls home.
As part of her GRL stop, Taylor has graciously offered up a whole host of prizes! One lucky winner will get a tote full of goodies that’ll include swag and copies of Heatstroke, Six Degrees of Lust, Six Degrees of Separation, Disasterology 101, Hearsay AND Heavy Hitters!! As part of this giveaway, the winner gets to choose whether to have signed print copies of these stories OR eBook copies! The giveaway is opened internationally; starts now and ends October 9, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. 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.