Next weekend, I’m doing something new and different for me: I’m going to the UK GLBT fiction meet in Bristol.
I’ve been to conferences before, but not writing-related conferences. And not, crucially, as me, only than as a representative of someone or something else.
Never, never with the expectation (or at least, hope) of enjoying myself.
I’m going to this conference as an author, but I’m going as a reader too. There are some writers I really adore going: Jordan Castillo Price, Harper Fox, K J Charles, J L Merrow – loads of others too. People I just want to say ‘thanks’ too. And ‘how did you get that idea?’ And quiz them about their process.
I also want to talk to readers, as fellow readers. I want to talk about the stuff I like to read and what drives me insane and what just *gets* me right in the gut. Why I read what I read. The compulsion of it, and the pleasure. The ‘money shots’ of romance and why they are powerful. The best reading moments I’ve experienced. What reading means to me. Actually, more than anything, I think it’s this that I look forward to.
I’ve been experiencing that back and forth through the online romance community for the last 7 or 8 years. More than anything else, it was that that got me (and kept me) writing, so to have these conversations face to face will be the greatest of all treats.
I’ve never met any of the other attendees of this conference in real life and that’s a wee bit daunting but I’m packing two pairs of big girl pants to be safe. Two pairs of big girl pants and 150 swag bag thingys and a handful (literally an handful) of copies of Provoked in print.
I’ll see you there, maybe.
Don’t be a stranger, ok?