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


  1. I hope you grab a copy of the bartender Jimmy picture I took! :)

    It was fun to meet you! I remember that your voice was getting scratchy on Saturday - did you end up with a GRL souvenir cold like I did?

  2. Great post and the photo is a hoot!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  3. man! You sound like you had a great time :)This is what a con is all about. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Grown Men cover!! Thanks for posting

  4. Love all the pictures of you in a kilt Damon... I'm suprised u survived relatively unscaved lol


  5. It was great getting to know you a little, Damon. Great post. We all had a good time!

  6. Thanks for being my guest this weekend, Damon! It was great to meet you in New Orleans and it was amazing to see the constant group of admirers around you. :)

  7. Sounds like NO was a blast! Thanks for sharing :-)

    smaccall AT

  8. What a great recap of events, Damon. I'm hardly surprised at the reception you received, though. I'd have been fangirling all over you too. =)

    adara adaraohare com

  9. All the recounts are awesome! Loved reading about them all! Next year I'm going to be there. No matter if I'm in Australia or not!

  10. Morning hugs from you in the elevator made my weekend start to turn around.

  11. Thank you everyone! And very sorry for the delay replying! I just discovered this post here a week later because I got the date mixed up!!! So glad the above braindump gave a sense of how magical it was. I cannot recommend GayRomLit highly enough.

    Y'all are fantastic!

  12. Damon,

    Sounds like loads of fun!
    Wish I was there too.

    chellebee66 at gmail dot com


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