My apologies for the dearth of blog posts lately. It has taken me a while to process my experiences at my first ever readers/writers convention, the UK LGBTQ Fiction Meet. I will try to articulate just a few of my thoughts.
First of all, it was a blast!!!! The fabulous team (Claire, Cathy, Jamie, Charlie, Liam, and Elin) deserves several lengthy, heartfelt rounds of applause! I’ve directed complex projects in the past and, trust me, to successfully plan, organize, and manage such a complicated, multifaceted event requires overflowing cartloads of dedication, tenacity, and patience. This old Yankee gal was most impressed and humbled by the organizing team’s love for the attendees and the genre(s).
I attended as many panels and presentations as possible, including:
- Mystery, myth and magic – legends and the like as an inspiration – For me, it was wonderful to hear of so much interest and love for some of my favorite elements in fiction, esp. folks’ ongoing fascination with and interest in Greek and Roman myth. Yay for those crazy Greeks and whacky Romans!
- Playing it safe – BDSM workshop – This workshop was instructive, humorous, and intelligent. Damn, this bit was eye opening. Whew! I bow to you, Master Tim.
- Humour in fiction – This session was downright hilarious, as you’d expect. I very much enjoyed the informative discussions of cultural differences with respect to humor. Apparently, I’m an honorary Brit when it comes to the funnies of life.
- Sex scenes, what makes them sizzle? And what turns them into a damp squib? – Fascinating and filled with many varying and sometimes conflicting opinions. I was struck by the vast diversity of elements and plots writers and readers find erotic, romantic, or repugnant. I fear I may be an outlier in some respects, but that’s just fine. Love is love, after all.
- Speakers Elizabeth North and KJ Charles – Both of these spotlight presentations were thought provoking and brilliant. Tears were shed. Kudos, ladies!
The book fair was exhilarating and exhausting. They tell me it lasted over an hour but it felt like five minutes. My delivery of six paperback copies of Dominus arrived from Createspace at the Bristol Royal Marriott before I did. I was convinced the books I’d rush ordered would never show up because UK customs had burned them. To my utter shock, I left with no spare copies of Dominus, only books I’d bought or were gifted to me by generous fellow authors. People bought my silly story wrapped in Fiona’s gorgeous cover, and wanted me to sign it? REALLY? This newbie was gobsmacked, to put it mildly. Thank you all, with special shout-outs to Amelia and Dawn. I walked away a bit more confidant and much more motivated to tell my twisted tale.
Friday’s night Meet-and-Greet at the gay club was great fun, though HM the Queen looked a bit knackered by the end. Poor old gal. The Gala Dinner (hubby got cold feet at the last minute, silly boy) was fricking amazing: a talented choir, a stunning drag queen, dancing, drinking, and scrumptious waiters. Ah, the waiters! Pics are all over others’ FB pages if you’re interested in seeing the fine details.
Most of all, I walked away with an appreciation for my fellow readers and writers. People were so warm and friendly. I’m a semi-extroverted introvert, if that’s actually a thing. Conventions of all types tend to make my palms sweat and my stomach flip until it aches. At times I had to withdraw to my safe, quiet place (aka, the bar), but when I found my big girl balls and dared to chat, I was overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness. I didn’t have a chance (or did not take the chance, to be honest) to meet everyone I had hoped to meet, but I know I made a few new friends for life! Squishy hugs to you all.
Today is our last day in Bristol. While the weather has been spotty, the people of Bristol have been consistently fabulous. My husband and I thank everyone who welcomed us at the Meet and this lovely little city.
Until the next convention, whenever and wherever that may be. Back into the writing cave…