Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest post by Aleksandr Voinov: M/M in 2012 and beyond

On this last day of the Riptide Launch Party & GayRomLit After Party we have another guest author from Riptide Publishing here at Rarely Dusty Books. Only this time it’s an author who hasn’t been to GayRomLit, like the other authors who have been our guest this past ten days. Aleksandr Voinov however is one of the founders and co-owners of this new publisher (together with Rachel Haimowitz and Chris Hawkins). Aleksandr is talking about his view on the m/m genre and gives a prediction for m/m in 2012. Don’t forget to check out the end of the post for a chance to win some more of the great prizes Riptide is offering.

By Aleksandr Voinov

Lots of people have written great, insightful analyses of where the m/m genre might be headed. We seem to be headed for the mainstream, while the market itself seems to get more competitive. There have never been so many books published by so many authors. Publishers fold, others, like Riptide, are just starting out. It’s certainly a vibrant little industry.

It’s also getting a lot more competitive—as so many books are getting published, it’s harder to be noticed in the din. At the same time, I feel we’re right now in a new stage in our development as a genre. Some readers are getting tired of shoddy editing, naked-torso covers, and repetitive plots. It used to be new and thrilling to read explicit gay sex in books, but I feel we’ve reached the stage where that’s not enough.

Readers, on Goodreads, Amazon, and many other reader forums, are demanding “more”. More characterization than “the blond”, or “the cop”, more plot than: “They meet, they fall in love at first sight, they have mind-scorching sex all night, pledging each other eternal lurv, and they are off to the church and then adoption agency the next morning.” And more editing than commas being at “roughly” the right place. After all, the internet is full of badly-edited writing and gay sex – who wants to pay for something that’s not better, or sometimes even worse! – than what you get for free? I wouldn’t.

So my prediction for m/m in 2012:

1) More big names in the m/m space are going to self-publish. Josh Lanyon is already putting stories directly on Amazon. Others will follow.

2) Other authors are more likely to migrate to friendlier contracts. Friendlier contracts being: No ROFR clauses that force them to stay with the publisher; a bigger slice of royalties (why sign your book away for 25% if you can make 50%?); contracts that run out faster (three or four years rather than seven or “lifelong”).

3) All other things being more or less equal, editing and good covers are becoming more important. If an author can choose between a vaguely embarrassing PhotoShop botch-job and a cover that actually represents their story’s mood and characters – which one is more attractive? Also, there are many authors that want to get edited properly – which means a lot more than getting a quick visit from the comma police.

4) Quality control will get more and more important. Readers are tired of “meh” stories. They want new, different, exciting, well-written stories that look good, read well, and don’t feel like they are the millionth cheap copy of a cheap copy. To produce that, publishers and authors will have to work even better together, in my book. I think in some ways, it might be time to learn some lessons from mainstream publishing and respectable indies.

At Riptide, we’re trying to account for all of those trends (minus the self-publishing, but then, the owners are publishing some of their work through Riptide). We’re only accepting stories that have real potential – gay sex isn’t enough (unless it’s for our erotica line), we want good stories well-told. Once acquired, we’re striving to guide every single book through the production process until it’s the best it can be.

We’re taking risks on unconventional stories, offering a wide range from m/m romance to gay literary fiction, and we also publish trans fiction and ménages. We’ll never put a cover on that we (or the author) would be embarrassed about. People only get a naked torso if they really, really want one. :) And, being authors too, we’re offering one of the friendliest contracts in the industry.

I’m pretty sure we’re well-prepared, whatever happens to the genre next year, or in ten years, or in thirty years.


Riptide Grand Opening Giveaway

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win any backlist book of choice by Aleksandr Voinov (excluding Counterpunch and Dark Soul 1)!

Riptide is having a Grand Opening tour, of which this blog post is a part. At the end of the tour stop, Riptide also awards one lucky commenter a big Riptide swag bag, US resident only. If an international winner is chosen, they will substitute for a gift certificate to All Romance E-Books.

The best part is, that each comment in the blog tour earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle.


Website Riptide Publishing | blog tour list | website Aleksandr Voinov | weblog Aleksandr Voinov | Aleksandr Voinov on Twitter | Aleksandr Voinov on Goodreads

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Damon Suede's GayRomLit: A million magical moments

By Damon Suede

Damon in his frequently
photographed kilt
In my wicked life, I have been to all sorts of retreats and conventions both as a host and a guest, but nothing could have prepared me for the volcanic splendor of GayRomLit’s inaugural year in New Orleans. At Dreamspinner’s suggestion, I signed up to attend as an author the DAY after Hot Head contract with them…and for nine months planned as best I could for the first event of its kind.

Am I glad I did!

GayRomLit 2011 has to be one of the best times I’ve ever had in my life: crazy and creative, exhausting and exhilarating. Amazing memories out the ying-yang…So many wonderful friends I can’t wait to see again…And the kind of positive, pragmatic energy that will transform our genre. I arrived on Thursday afternoon, the day after my birthday, ready to rumble but with no idea what kind of reception I’d receive there. I’d only had a single book published, and a newbie to the genre… In fact, coming from the airport Ellis Carrington and I shared a cab and she warned me to be ready for anything. “No way,” I thought. There was bound to be loads of downtime for me.

Famous last words.

From the moment I stepped into the Bourbon Orleans, the event crashed over me like a tidal wave. The entire GayRomLit posse made me feel like part of an boisterous, extended family meeting for the first time. Everyone loving and enthusiastic. And that theoretical downtime became a distant figment. I’ll never forget walking into that first MLR cocktail mixer and seeing two readers wearing Damon Suede shirts and eager to chat about my writing. CRAZY! I was so busy the first day that I didn’t realize till Friday morning that I had gone 32 hours without managing to eat anything the day before!

So many stellar events…

That first night was the Gentlemen’s Juke Joint Junket hosted by 11 of the male authors as a kind of rowdy kickoff to the weekend. Lafitte’s and their staff made us feel real welcome and hot bartenders Jim and Brandon wetted our whistles liberally. And though the strippers didn’t dance exactly, they sure did haul out their tackle to whip our crowd into a frenzy. Jim even stirred my Manhattans with some of the thickest, roughest fingers I’ve ever seen.

I did a public reading with Ethan Day, ZA Maxfield, and Tara Lain…and wound up reading an NC-17 excerpt (with sound effects!) that seemed to hit the right buttons. The lovely Kris Jacen MCed the proceedings with sexy verve, and afterwards struck up a fabulous convo with me that wound up lasting the course of the weekend. What a doll!

The riverboat signing was another one of my faves. I had never expected folks to actually want me to sign anything and I don’t think I ever stopped signing. I did glance out the window once and see that we were moving on the river. I hear tell there was bread pudding, but I never actually got to stand up! Missy Welsh and I kept each other giggling and the whole afternoon went like a hilarious dream. What a joy to talk with so many readers who loved my characters as much as I did.

I actually had to stand in line to get this pretty piece of swag...

I had no idea what to expect from the Dreamspinner event. Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton ran it like a well-oiled machine. Dreamspinner had sent a big pile of Hot Head, and before I had gotten my butt in my chair they were all gone! Shocked the bejesus out of me. People kept buying it so I could sign it as a gift, which seemed doubly flattering. And then just getting to mill and chat with people about what’s coming next and what they enjoy reading.

On Saturday I got to do an author social with Amanda Young, Kiernan Kelly, and PD Singer. It organically evolved into his fascinating discussion of the M/M genre and the way it’s evolving day to day. How we as readers and writers chart the course. Fascinating. That afternoon, Clare London and I cohosted a lunch. We wound up doubling our number because we both found folks we wanted to get to know better. Another one of my favorite outings, because the excellence of the meal was exceeded by the fantastic company. We almost pissed ourselves laughing. And by the time we left the handsome manager and waiter had asked for info so they could buy books! Gay romance converts, yo

Purely by happenstance, the Hot Head trading cards I’d distributed prior introduced me to a bunch of people before I’d even touched down. Anyone who brought me a matched couple of Dante and Griff got to pick a gorgeous homoerotic comic from Class Comics… and they DID! A simple icebreaker practically gave me a circle of old friends before I arrived. Best part was that all weekend long everywhere I turned were these glorious full-color porno comics being read casually in the lobby and at cafes. Fa-la! Illustrated manlove everywhere I turned.

And I can’t forget our wacky Scavenger Hunt! 17 of the authors hosted an informal Scavenger Hunt for people to solve M/M riddles and anagrams and thereby collect beads for bracelets and prizes besides. We had NO idea if it would work and it went better than we could have anticipated, helping to break the ice and introduce people to each other. I made so many wonderful friends working on that craziness and even more among the folks who participated so passionately.

Meeting fans after speaking with them so long online, forging friendships that made once a year seem far too seldom. And I will never stop thanking the readers I came to think of as the posse: superheroines of gay romance they were and always ready to make folks feel welcome and get the party started. You know who you are, ladies. :)

* Damon with his hand in Ethan Stone's
pants... while Ellis Carrington is
checking Damon's words herself
A million magical snippets:
discovering that Heidi Cullinan and I really are psychic twins separated at birth and that Marie Sexton is every bit the warm, witty knockout she seems online. Getting to hug my sweet Brita Addams for the first time and catch up on all the nitty-gritty. Having a hysterical fanboy moment at M.L. Rhodes and ZA Maxfield. Clowning around in the halls with Devon Rhodes and chatting with Bryl Tyne about parenting over etouffee. Reminding Ethan Stone that he has the biggest, fattest cock in every room* and sharing a steamy, haunted elevator with Rick Reed and D.W. Starr. Poppy Dennison keeping me sane and Taylor Donovan keeping me laughing. Humping Ethan Day like a Doberman. A long two a.m. convo with Kris Jacen in which she snuck me a peek at Langley’s new Sci-Regency book and I almost squirted in my shorts. The impromptu Dreamspinner author dinner Saturday at Pere Antoine. Showing folks what fits under a kilt. Hanging with the Goodreads crew when they weren’t zipping around the Quarter. Taking Elisa and Geoff Knight two-stepping in the lead-up. Being dragged out dancing at Oz with Ellis Carrington, Lara Brukz, Ethan Stone, Heidi Cullinan, Kate McMurray, and Geoff Knight and MORE….too many people to count. Whiskey shooters and Lady Gaga? Hell yeah.

I will never stop thanking the GayRomLit organizers for the opportunity to chat with readers who love my characters and authors who taught me everything I know about M/M fiction. I literally cannot wait for GayRomLit 2012 in All-be-Queer-que. I’ve already booked flights and investigated hotel options and we’re not even allowed to reserve yet. Damn it! Times wasting!

Will I be there? Hell yeah!

Will you? ABSOLUTELY, unless you are flat-out craze-balls!

Here's the blurb from my latest Riptide release, Grown Men:

Every future has dirty roots.
Marooned in the galactic backwaters of the HardCell company, colonist Runt struggles to eke out an existence on a newly-terraformed tropical planetoid. Since his clone-wife died on entry, he’s been doing the work of two on his failing protein farm. Overworked and undersized, Runt’s dwindling hope of earning corporate citizenship has turned to fear of violent “retirement.”
When an overdue crate of provisions crashes on his beach, Runt searches frantically for a replacement wife among the tools and food. Instead he gets Ox, a mute hulk who seems more like a corporate assassin than a simple offworld farmer.
Shackwacky and near-starving, Runt has no choice but to work with his silent partner despite his mounting paranoia and the unsettling appeal of Ox’s genetically altered pheromones. Ox plays the part of the gentle giant well, but Runt’s still not convinced he hasn’t arrived with murder in mind.
Between brutal desire and the seeds of a relationship, Runt’s fears and Ox’s inhuman past collide on a fertile world where hope and love just might have room to grow.

This title is #1 of the HardCell series.

Here's the link to purchase Grown Men

Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to M/M, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | FB Fanpage | Google+


Riptide Grand Opening Giveaway

Leave a comment on this post for a chance at the First Wave Winner’s Choice --> Pick any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant (“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles).

Riptide is having a Grand Opening tour, of which this blog post is a part. At the end of the tour stop, Riptide also awards one lucky commenter a big Riptide swag bag, US resident only. If an international winner is chosen, they will substitute for a gift certificate to All Romance E-Books.

The best part is, that each comment in the blog tour earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle.

Website Riptide Publishing | blog tour list

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tam’s GayRomLit Recollections: Best Gay Bar in New Orleans

By Tam

Okay, it’s the only gay bar I went to, but when you find Mr. Right, why would you continue searching for Mr. MaypossiblybebetterbutIdoubtit? Our first experience at Lafitte in Exile was Thursday night. It was the location for the event hosted by many of the male authors at GRL, the free drinks flowed, the music played, the go-go dancers ... well, they didn’t really dance, however two out of three did strip down to the buff.

The night was a blast, meeting authors who were drunk off their noggin’, watching the dancers stand around looking bored, except cute little Axel. Axel was flown in from Houston to dance for us. Well, move around for us. He is a nursing student and did not reveal his manhood to the seething mass of drunken women and a few tipsy men.

Friday night Kris and I stopped by because she wanted to drop off some wacky Aussie cigarettes (I think clove) for the two bartenders from the night before, Brandon and Jimmy. We were totally in love with both from the first night where we formed that bartender/client bond, sort of like Cheers but with more nakedness from the employees. And really, when you’re in a bar, you have to have a drink. It was super happy hour, which meant cocktails were $1.50. Seriously? You’d be wasting your money NOT to have one or two. And boy Brandon makes ‘em strong. Ahem.

 Lori's son and Brandon


Saturday was the night of the big gay bar crawl. They changed the order and we ended up in the straight part of Bourbon street which meant chicks shaking their booty in the doorways, vomit on the street and general mayhem, including a bar that knew we were coming but had no clue what that meant. Imagine 7-11 with a bunch of slurpee machines filled with alcoholic beverages.
After standing around getting frustrated, Kris, Kassa, Chris and I said screw this mess, and headed back to Lafitte’s. We walked into exclamations of joy from Jimmy and thus it started night two. There was a Canadian there celebrating her girlfriend’s birthday, there was a straight soldier there with a female co-worker who somehow knew why we were all in New Orleans and we talked a bit about our take on DATD and how authors were using it and the fact that in Canada we never had that silly rule and I believe I was totally trashed by then but I did get a compliment on my boobs. Only in a gay bar, truly.

There were more dancers, well two and after I poutingly mentioned that only the guys seemed to be getting bar action I got a bit more than we bargained for. But he was just adorable and totally over 21 (by two weeks) so Kassa didn’t have to feel dirty. His name was Scott and he was an adorable blond twink who is an engineering student with two jobs and no time for a boyfriend. Poor baby. He hung around us quite a bit. Maybe it was just nice to know that we wouldn’t be trying to take him home at the end of the night. Although I did want to slip him in my pocket and keep him just to pet on occasion.

So was there a downside to Lafitte. Hmmm. Well, the bathroom perhaps. There are no locks on the bathroom door, I assume to discourage bathroom hijinx. So there was that paranoia that someone would burst in on you with your pants around your ankles. Simple solution, take someone with you to guard the door, boy or girl. Thanks Angel. :) Maybe the drinks were a bit strong, no, wait, that’s not a downside.
Some of the crew on the bar crawl we were in touch with via text/Twitter got a very rude reaction from some gay guys when a bunch of women showed up. We never got that at Lafitte. Maybe some were annoyed there were girls, but on the whole everyone just ignored us or were downright friendly (an overarching theme of everyone you meet in New Orleans).

So I’d say if I was in New Orleans much longer I would have to have a liver transplant. Umm, yeah, Sunday morning was rough, in a very big way. But it’s amazing how much you get to know about people, the dancers, the bartenders, total strangers, each other, ;-) Even when they don’t think they are revealing anything.

You can check out Lafitte in Exile’s Facebook page and like them there. They don’t have a Twitter feed. This song, probably sums up our experience at the friendliest gay bar in New Orleans and hanging out with the girls and Jimmy and the boys was one of the high lights of my trip.


Tam’s blog | Twitter

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brita Addams’ GayRomLit Retreat Recollections

By Brita Addams

Brita Addams and Bryl Tyne
New Orleans wasn't a surprise because I've lived in the area for more years than I've lived anywhere else. The French Quarter has always been a place I've avoided for various reasons, mostly because I'm not a party person and there is a 24-hour party going on down there. I was excited that my first writer's convention was going to be so close to home, kind of a test drive if you will.

My friend and fellow writer Bryl Tyne picked me up at my house, spent a few hours with my husband, my daughter, and myself before we took off in his hot red car for the Big Easy. My husband did indeed tell Bryl to take care of me, a job my love has done quite well for thirty-one years. He doesn't entrust me to just anyone, but knew Bryl wouldn't betray that trust, and he didn't.

The anticipation of meeting authors and readers boggled my mind as we drove to the hotel amidst the throngs that crowd the Quarter on any given day. Bryl drove the city like a native, his photographic memory never missing a turn. I kept telling him "You can't get lost in the Quarter," but it was posturing, as I've done just that regularly. It's the "No right on red," and "No left turns" that get me every time.

Upon registering the first person I saw was J.P. Bowie, whose Early American work I simply love. He was friendly, talked about how the humidity was already getting to him and how he hoped we had a great retreat. He was as nice as I'd hoped he'd be and greeted me again and again throughout the weekend.

I met Michelle from Top To Bottom reviews, who said she loved my Riptide upcoming release, Surprises, and would snatch my other stuff up as soon as it got to them. Oh, Michelle, my love, you are the best!

I spoke to so many people, got to know some a bit better than others, but was in awe of everyone. I love Heidi Cullinan so much, I couldn't even summon the nerve to speak to her. Author awe, big time. I told Rowan Speedwell how much I loved Kindred Hearts, as I'd told her recently in an email. She is a gracious sweetheart and I won't forget her soon.

Damon Suede – what can I say about him that hasn't been said a gagillion times before. He is funny, one of the happiest people I've ever met, smart beyond smart, savvy, and a genuinely kind man. I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with him, but everyone wanted a piece of him, so I was happy to have gotten a picture and some kind words.

with Damon Suede

Cat Grant and Rachel Haimowitz, my fellow Riptide authors, it was nice meeting you both and spending time talking to each of you.
L.C. Chase, a soft-spoken, uber-talented woman, it was a joy to share the far end of a dinner table with you. Also Taylor V. Donovan and Cherie Noel, OMG, what awesome women you are. Unforgettable!

I was most touched by the readers who came up to me, said they'd read my work and praised it. I chuckled at how shy some of them were to ask for swag, when the table was laden with it. Anyone who'd like some, PLEASE email me at and I'll unload, er send you some pronto. Thank you, dear readers, for buying my books. I love hearing from you.

New Orleans, as a city, is ever-evolving, but never changing. Impromptu Second Lines, be it for a funeral or a wedding, are subject to round any corner at any time. There were three in our days there, each for its own, singular reason, none of which are meaningless. Nothing happens in NOLA without a reason.

And to Bryl R. Tyne, a man I consider my friend above all else, thank you for your company, your insights, and your friendship. You accepted my honey's request, "Take care of my baby," and did it with charm and purpose. I'd traverse any peril with you and know that I was in responsible hands. You don't even know how important your company was in midst of so many strangers. Hugs and love to you.

The retreat itself, from all I could see, was flawless. Not too many events so as to keep you constantly on the run, but everything was interesting and fun. Ethan, Lynn, J.P., Amanda and Carol – bravo. You went out of your way to make this a great inaugural event and it worked. Can't wait for next year.


Riptide Grand Opening Giveaway

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win any backlist book of choice by Brita Addams!

Riptide is having a Grand Opening tour, of which this blog post is a part. At the end of the tour stop, Riptide also awards one lucky commenter a big Riptide swag bag, US resident only. If an international winner is chosen, they will substitute for a gift certificate to All Romance E-Books.

The best part is, that each comment in the blog tour earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle.


Website Riptide Publishing | blog tour list | website Brita Addams | Brita Addams on Goodreads

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kassa's GayRomLit: Does meeting an author change how you view their work?

Kassa and Leontine
By Kassa

First of all, thanks to Janna for having us all on her blog. I’ll tell you that chick is seriously sneaky. She made sure everyone was sober before she hit us up for guest posts that way we couldn’t weasel out of it. Smart girlie.

Anyway by now you’ve read a bunch of posts about GRL and the highlights, which almost everyone has their own ideas. I agree with many of the posts in that I loved the ladies, the venue (can’t ever get enough of NOLA), and meeting the authors themselves. I kind of went over this in great detail that everyone is likely sick of over on my blog. You can check out those posts but here on Janna’s lovely space of porn I’m going to talk about whether meeting an author changes how you view their work.

The biggest thing about GRL was for the authors and readers to meet and mingle. Now of course Kris avoided this whenever possible but for most other people, we wanted to meet and gossip with our favorites. Meeting authors can be stressful on both sides as the authors are nervous and shy and the readers are as well. The authors are worried how they’re coming off and the readers just want to be able to say something and strike up a conversation. On the one hand it gives a sense of empathy because you’re both really going through the same thing but that doesn’t change that it can be awkward.

Then you get into the really nitty gritty bits of meaty conversation and maybe the author says something to turn you off or make you excited about their work. I experienced both of these and after the first day of meeting authors at the drunken gay bar festivities, I wondered how I’d ever review any of them again. I met one author (I’ll keep her name secret) but she said she was afraid of my reviews and hoped I wouldn’t review her again. Now I get that but it saddens me and makes me not want to review their work. She was a lovely woman and very easy to talk to but that one comment – a grain of truth among the joke – made me wonder if I could really read and review her work again knowing she was so unhappy about it.

The same thought occurred to me with authors that made me feel welcome and valued. Some of these authors, I mention them all on my blog post “Meeting the Authors” were so gracious and kind, I thought I’d be some kind of ogre ever to give them a bad review again. And if I am thinking that, the well-known “bitch” of the review blogsphere, then what are other readers and reviewers thinking?

After taking some time to really consider the issue away from GRL, I realized that actually as wonderful as meeting the authors was it doesn’t change how I’m going to read and review their work. There are a couple of authors that I don’t want to read so I obviously won’t review them but for the most part, nothing’s really changed as far as my reading and reviewing. I can’t speak for others but reviewing doesn’t actually reflect personal feelings towards the author. I may love an author’s personality (and there are several I do and just want to hang out and chat for hours with) but that doesn’t change whether I like their book. The book is what I’m critiquing, not the authors.

Almost every book I pick up I want it to be great. I want the book to succeed and excel and be the best book I’ve ever written so it’s not as though I can have higher expectations of the authors I like personally. I already want their books to be great so meeting them just reinforced that. However wanting a book to be great doesn’t make a book great. I still have to be honest about how I view the book on its merits alone and not whether the author themselves.

I’m not sure how other readers and reviewers feel so tell me, can you still be objective and honest? Or are you forever tainted?

Three AM | Twitter

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bryl Tyne’s GayRomLit: Reflection of a con virgin

By Bryl Tyne

I'd never been to a writers or book convention or to N'awlins before this year and agreed to drive the extra two hours to pick up author Brita Addams so neither of us went alone. My first endearing memory happened that first day of my trip. Not like I was expecting not to see the love Brita talks of fondly and often, but I'd never expected it to hit me as it did. Now, Brita's never made any bones about how in love her and her DH are; still, while loading her final suitcase, I was taken aback with her DH's firm but whispered missive to "Take care of my baby."
Seriously, his words convicted me in a way I don't think I've ever been, and in those remaining steps to the car, I went through the stages of grief in rapid-fire succession--grief that some twisted part of me had died in that instance. Denial—No one could have a love like that and there's no way he could've thought me unworthy. Anger—How dare he assume I wouldn't take care of her! Bargaining—I'd give anything to be trusted. Depression—Why bother? Acceptance—He obviously trusts me, or he'd have kept Brita from going with me to begin with. And then I looked up to see him standing at the back of the garage, waving goodbye, and I lost it (yeah, sounds like some country western lyrics, I know), but I lost it. I turned to Brita. "It's just a few days," I said, trying to throw out words and still stay composed--but it didn't work, and soon I found myself blabbering on, reminding her (I'm sure she already knew) that he truly does love her and that love like that doesn't come around often. (Who I was trying to convince, her or myself, I wasn't sure.)
I'm talking briefly about this part of my trip because I think it was at that moment when something inside me cracked, not unlike the Grinch's heart when it started to grow, and the romanticist hidden deep inside me was reawakened.

 Brita Addams and Bryl Tyne

To me, that was an integral part of my stay in N'awlins--to GayRomLit, even. The love illustrated actually made this recluse decide to give others a chance, open up, and let the world in if only for a short time. I didn't hideout in my room like every ounce of me insisted I do, no. Instead, I went to many of the planned events, mingled, and actually found that I rather enjoyed myself.
The readers blew me away with their kind words and encouragement, and the authors were so friendly, I found myself opening up further, talking freer than I've talked in ages. I discovered a feeling of belonging, unlike what I'd expected at any "convention." Going to GayRomLit was like waking up in the rain--you know that rain that rolls in gently, pitter-patters on your window like withheld tears, accompanied by a mild breeze with just a touch of cool that smells crisp and clean and inviting? Yeah, that kind of feeling, kinda like coming home.

 with DC Juris

 with Poppy Dennison

with EM Lynley

GayRomLit itself began with a reader asking me to sign her book while I waited for my room. (Pam, you are a doll!) Minutes later, I was dared into the construction area on our floor to take hot construction guy pics--which I did, with their blessings. The swell continued on with me to the Gentleman's Juke-Joint Junket at Lafitte's that night, where I had a blast and was shown a side to quite a few people that I never expected--and to which I succumbed, fully aware what I was doing and fully prepared to blame it all on the alcohol! (Rick, your reluctance to run interference... shame on you!)

 with Rick Reed


Friday's riverboat booksigning flew by with not only readers stopping by our table for goodies, but also some locals were asking me for recommendations for Lesbian and Trans fic, which totally thrilled me. The day ended with the most stimulating and enlightening conversation I've been privy to in years. (Your candidness in sharing wonderful stories about your mother will not be forgotten, Damon.)
By Saturday, my energy had been near depleted. Thought I'd sleep the afternoon away, until a mysterious force pulled me upright, made me strap on my sandals, throw on a clean shirt, and sent me walking out by the pool, bedhead and all, where I partook in lively conversation around the pool. (Lynn, you may be a devil, but you're my angel. Thank you!)

During my trip, I did manage to carry my camera everyplace I went. Brita had told me the city was alive and that I needed to "feel" it. So, picture by picture, I captured life in the Quarter. Artists on street corners, performers in the streets or perched on pedestals, and the most touching things forever scored in my memory are what Brita called "Second Lines." Small bands of people marching, some with instruments, some with tokens, others simply were dancing in honor of the deceased, and people on the streets and in businesses along the route came out to join in as the celebration passed. Not sure why exactly, but each line I saw moved me. And then nightly, I sat on my balcony into the early hours of the morning, taking in the thrum of life, the literal heartbeat of the city.

Continuing on my touristy note, N'awlins is the most hospitable place I've ever been. I've never had better service or kinder greetings anywhere at any time. The Bourbon Orleans staff was exceptional (our bellhop was fine!).

Sunday came too quickly. Despite being ready to go home, I didn't want to leave. I haven't felt that welcome or that comfortable in a long, long time, and I can't wait until next October when I travel (maybe fly for the first time in my life) to Albuquerque, New Mexico to be with all of you once again, and hopefully meet many more wonderful people at GayRomLit 2012.

Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, STARbooks Press, Untreed Reads Publishing, Changeling Press, Amber Quill Press, and Riptide Publishing. Check out Bryl's bi-monthly column: My Way. Find out more about the author at:

Coming from Riptide Publishing

Expected publication: November 7th 2011
Preorder Divinity here

Martin Hayes has found the perfect job for a 200-year-old vampire. As the late-shift security guard for Spire, he works and hunts by night and sleeps by day, hidden away in the unused cellar. Life is all so easy—nights bleeding away, weeks and months passing . . . until a new janitor disturbs the peace. Martin finds himself obsessed with memories (or are they?) of red hair, freckled skin, and men on their knees.
Dylan Mesmer isn’t just a hot, freckled, red-haired janitor. He’s altogether too composed around Martin and never surprised by Martin’s supernatural abilities. In fact, he seems to have a few of his own. And why does he keep feeding Martin orange lollipops?
A healthy vampire has no use for candy, yet Martin cannot resist the lure. He’s being baited and knows it, but for what end? And what about those visions that assail him whenever he thinks of Dylan? Their story is centuries old, but this time around, Dylan’s playing for nothing less than immortality. Eternal life—and eternal love—is within his reach, but can he convince Martin to change his ways and commit? If not, he’ll remain trapped in time beside his lover, always together but forever apart.


Riptide Grand Opening Giveaway

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win your choice of Bryl Tyne’s Pull, At Day’s End, Beneath Me, Rite of Passage, Behind Blue Eyes, Tough Guy, Best Unspoken, Coin Operated Boy, Trey #3, The Secret Ingredient, and the Zagzagel Diaries!

Riptide is having a Grand Opening tour, of which this blog post is a part. At the end of the tour stop, Riptide also awards one lucky commenter a big Riptide swag bag, US resident only. If an international winner is chosen, they will substitute for a gift certificate to All Romance E-Books.

The best part is, that each comment in the blog tour earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle. Check out their blog tour list here.


Monday, October 24, 2011

GayRomLit Wrap Up Thing by Tracy (and Kris)

By Tracy & Kris

GayRomLit was totally fun (K: Particularly the times we were all pissed, but NOT the vomiting parts though.  That was kinda gross. T: Hey!  I never vomited!)  There were so many wonderful people – authors, readers and bloggers that I got to meet and it was so great.  (K: You spent time with people other than me?? Bitch!)  There was the night at Lafitte in Exile (a wonderful gay bar (K: Oh yeah. *waggles eyebrows*) which was sponsored by a group of the male authors, cemetery tours, author readings, publisher spotlights, lunches with the authors and so many parties/gatherings to mingle and get to know others. (K: People. Bah-humbug.)  Just a damned fine time.  (K: *nods*  But without the people.)

My (K: And only some of mine cos of the whole hating people thing.) highlights of GRL:

The Thursday Night Gentlemen's Juke Joint Junket at Lafitte's in Exile.   OMG what an excellent event!  (K:  Woo hoo!)  We got great drinks, giveaways, strippers (some that stripped and some that didn't) and we laughed and laughed! (some of that laughter was AT the strippers! Shallow, I know but if you were there you would have laughed too. (K: Yeah.  There was this one guy – apparently straight – but lemme tell ya he would have been seriously chaffed in the morning. *makes floppy gesture*) And then there was Jimmy. (K: *dreamy sigh* I still reckon I could have made him Gay For Me.)  He was an awesome freaking bartender with a great sense of humor…and he made great margaritas too!
(K: I love that pic of Jimmy, but I'm wondering where the one of you flashing your tits is, Tracy?  *confidingly*  Best photo of her from the entire weekend, IMHO.) Um, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Yeah…moving on…

Author readings by Cat Grant, Clare London, Anel Viz, Eden Winters, Damon Suede, ZA Maxfield, Tara Lain & Ethan Day.  I loved hearing excerpts from the different books and hearing the author read them was an extra added bonus.  (K:  Apparently my antisocial, hungover-food poisoned condition made me miss out on hearing the sound effects from a cum scene. Tracy did a pretty good impression though.  No really.)

The cemetery walking tour.  (K: I crashed this since I'd missed the previous morning's tour because of *cough* allergies *cough*.)  The tour guide Lori was great and was very knowledgeable about the way the cemeteries were run as well as having some interesting stories about a few of the people entombed there.  (K: Although there was some stupid heifer who kept butting in and asking Lori questions all the time.  Some people are so fucking rude let me tell you.)

This was a headstone made by a family after the matriarch died.  She owned a store and used to sit out in her chair on the porch of the store all the time so the family wanted her remembered that way.

Lunch with the authors.  (K: Dear God, you actually choose to sit down and eat with people?  On purpose??  Have I taught you nothing?!)  For me this was definitely a highlight.  I got to dine with ZA Maxfield, William Cooper, Shae Conner, K-Lee Klein and Kayla Jameth.  We talked about yaoi, m/m writing, kids and we had great food at Pat O'Brien's.

Author signing on the Creole Queen riverboat.  (K: There was a cruise?? I wonder how I missed that?  Was that the day I was 'sick'?)  That was fun.  It put all the authors together in one spot and pinned them down so they couldn't escape our fangirlness.  (K:  You should have seen all the shit, I mean, 'swag', this lot got from the authors.  Instead of a kindle, I reckon they should have given a couple of suitcases out as prizes. No joke. Also, Janna is a spoilt bitch.  Just sayin'.)

Last but not least Saturday at GRL.  They plied us with alcohol for most of the day.  First there was the Hurricane party by the pool.  Then a couple of hours later there was the Wine and Cheese party and then after that a Gay Bar Crawl.  Patti (Caught in a FAB romance) and I started the crawl and went to a couple places but then made our way to Lafitte's again…where the crawl eventually landed.  It was a damned fine time…um, from what I remember, and an absolutely wonderful way to end the event.  (K: I was actually sober for this. Surprisingly. Oh, the stories I could tell… *whispersemailmewhispers*) She's delusional..seriously.

The BIGGEST (K: I HAVE lost weight.  Swear to God!  It was just that tshirt.  It's a colour!  I know, I know.  I've no idea why I bought it either. :P) and BEST (K: *blushes*) highlight of the event were these people:

These crazy ass women (K: The crazy thing is a reference to the others.)  who are fun and funny and personable and just amazing (K:  Fun, funny, personable and amazing would be me.  She forgot 'awesome' though.)  were the main reason I went to GRL.  GRL itself was really just icing on the cake and a great reason to get together.

Would I go again?  Maybe. If another great group of bloggers and readers were going I'm sure I could be convinced.

(K:  Yeah, okay, I had a great time too and, like Tracy, it was because of the absofuckinglutely fantabulous ladies we kept company with.  You all rock.  But if you tell anyone I said that I will have to kill you.)

(PS: K: Also, Tracy, I'm still waiting for that titty pic to be posted… C'mon, don't be shy… Let's face it, most of us have seen everything  – and in a couple of cases felt – so there's hardly any reason to be… Now…)

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