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: bryltyne.com

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.



  1. What a great post; I enjoyed it and the pictures, too.

    Though I was unable to attend, by reading these posts I feel as if I had been there.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  2. Fantastic! It sounds like it was an amazing Con. I wish I could have gone.

    I went to my first convention over the summer. I didn't have anything to sign yet. Not until fall 2012. But it was awesome.

    So glad to hear you had a good time and see pictures of people I talk to around the webz.

  3. Love the pictures. This looks like a lot of fun, but I'm mostly pleased to hear you had such a great time.

    My first convention will be RT in Chicago this coming April. Anxious to see what it will be like.

  4. @Tracey, @Saranna, and @David, thanks for stopping by. It was great putting faces to those I knew prior only online, but what I didn't expect was the acceptance and genuine unity of spirit that existed there. I'm hoping to be at RT in April also, David. If I am, first round's on me!

  5. I'm glad you had such a wonderful experience for your first convention. I haven't gone to one yet but hope to one day. NOLA seems like a wonderful city and that definitely added to your positive experience.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  6. A great post, Bryl. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your first con. I remember mine so fondly - just talking to the other readers what mind blowing. :)

    That story about Brita's husband was awesome, thank you.

  7. @Joder You need to come next year! It's awesome!

    @Tracy Brita's DH blew me away. Def a keeper! lol Seriously, the man's a saint, and he can make some kickass jambalaya!

  8. Thank you for the wonderful pictures, I like putting faces with names!

  9. NOLA was such a great place to have GRL, altho events shouldn't have started early in the morning... ;)

  10. @-Maria- Albuquerque, New Mexico 2012! Be there!

    @emmettmke It's great to actually SEE people, yes?

    @Chris idk... I didn't party hardy because of Brita's DH's missive (something about his tone just told me 'don't do it'! It was like being back in my father's house!) ...grumble grumble. But if I come alone next year, then YES, I hope they plan things later, please!

  11. Great post.Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

  12. @elaing8 I did, even when I didn't think I would (def a recluse) but like I said, Brita's hubs really made me realize that life's too short to fear or be angry or to worry, so I just went with it, and had the best freaking time of my life!

  13. "I'm hoping to be at RT in April also, David. If I am, first round's on me!"

    You're on! I'll definitely look forward to meeting you there.
    The hotel's only 1 1/2hrs from my house (on low traffic days), so I submitted my name as a volunteer. Haven't heard back yet.

  14. Looks like you had a great time in NO :-) Thanks for sharing!

    smaccall AT comcast.net

  15. It sounds like it was such a wonderful time *le sigh*. I want to go some year they hold GRL in Key West! =)

    adara adaraohare com

  16. what a wonderful story! I am sure you will be going to more cons in the future I hope :) I went to my first con earlier this year, ConCarolina SSF. It was sooooo much fun.

  17. @Sarah and Adara Thanks for dropping by. Yes, great time. Maybe you can attend next year!

    @Sharon I will definitely be attending more cons. Love the atmosphere!

  18. Thanks for dropping by everyone!
    And thank you for the awesome post, Bryl! :)

  19. Thanks for having me here, Janna and co. :)

  20. I've never been to anything like it either... Not for fun any don't count work conferences they suck lol



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