Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Passion Behind GayRomLit by Carol Lynne

GayRomLit 2012 is coming…soon! Each day when I wake up, I know I’m one day closer to October 18th. Why is October 18th so special, you ask? Well, because it’s the best convention in the country for authors, readers and publishers of GLBT erotic romance.

GayRomLit is about so much more than a promo weekend in the desert. Its bringing like-minded people together who share a passion for GLBT erotic romance. I’ve attended a number of conferences and conventions over the years, and although lovely, there was one very important thing missing from each of them, acceptance.

I attended my first romance convention almost five years ago. I was foolish to believe other romance authors would accept me. As it turned out, the writers at the convention were extremely nice until they found out what genre I wrote. Within hours, I left the hotel and never returned. Sadly, even other authors who wrote for the same publishing house literally turned their back when I tried to approach them. Heartbroken, I decided there needed to be something else.

Refusing to give up after only one convention, I tried several more, each as disappointing as the last. Finally, in 2009, I decided to host my own, small reader weekend. Although we were few in number, I discovered exactly what I’d been searching for at the larger events, acceptance.

In 2010, I met a wonderful man who quickly became one of my closest friends. Ethan Day and I started talking about our desire to have a bigger reader weekend. We wanted to share with other readers and authors the joy I felt at my own small weekend. JP Bowie, who trusted me enough to fly to Kansas for the reader weekend in 2009, joined me, Ethan, Amanda Young and Lynn Lorenz to plan the first annual GayRomLit Retreat in New Orleans in October 2011. The gathering of publishers, authors and readers was everything we dreamed it would be.

Soon after we returned from New Orleans, we welcomed a new organizer to our small group, William Neale. We gave Amanda virtual hugs and sent her best wishes on her newest venture, motherhood.

We were pleased with our choice of Albuquerque, NM for our 2012 retreat, but had no idea how perfect the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino would be until we walked through the doors in early January. Staring up at the towering ceiling in the lobby, Ethan turned to me and smiled. Yeah, we both knew we’d made the right choice. Like our group, the Hard Rock is unique and filled with unbelievable people. From the maintenance man who volunteered to give us a tour of the meeting rooms, to the fantastic wait staff at our favorite restaurant, we were all more than impressed.



As we explored the hotel, we were struck by how many venues we could use for our social events. Each spot brought the excitement out in all of us as we discussed the fantastic meals and parties publishers could host.

As soon as our planes landed after the quick, weekend trip, we began furiously planning; building what we truly think will be an amazing weekend.

I’ve been asked on several occasions why I put so many hours into an event that only lasts a handful of days, and my answer is simple, acceptance. Yes, I’ve repeated it several times, but I don’t think anyone can discount the power of that one word.

Now that you know the story behind GayRomLit, let’s get to some of the particulars.

You can expect to start your day with a fantastic breakfast thanks to our sponsoring publishers. After breakfast, enjoy getting to know your favorite author or publisher at one of the spotlight events. Again, our publishers really came through for us, providing fun and creative lunches on Friday and Saturday. Take a short break in the afternoon to catch up with old friends, new friends, or if you’re like me, take a nap. Believe me, you’ll need all the energy you can get for the extraordinary evenings we have planned. Native dancers, Karaoke, and a professional singer/piano player flown in from New York City for GRL are just a few of the things we have planned.

For a more complete breakdown of scheduled meals and events, please read the artfully created PDF William Neale wrote and designed. 

If you love GLBT erotic romance, you should definitely make plans to attend this year’s GayRomLit Retreat in Albuquerque. I suggest you register as early as possible. Because of space limitations and the money involved, we’re limiting the 2012 retreat to 400 total attendees. That will include readers, authors and publishers. Don’t delay or you might lose your spot.

Reader and Author Registration opens March 1st. OH! That’s today!

You can find the registration links on our updated website. Check out the photos of the hotel and surrounding area, as well as a weekly updated list of attending authors and publishers.

On behalf of the organizers, JP Bowie, Ethan Day, Lynn Lorenz, William Neale, and me, Carol Lynne, I’d like to thank you all for making our dreams come true. We hope you will agree that like-minded attendees make for a very relaxing retreat.

A special thank you to Kelly Shorten and Theresa Angelosanto who have put in as many hours as we have.


8 comments:

  1. Woohoo! Registered at 12:30 last night. Well, 10:30 my time, so not really a hardship. I'm so looking forward to this. :)

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  2. Sounds groovy. I wish I could go, but to twist an old adage, money is not an option right now.

    Do you ever plan coming to Southern California or Vegas?

    Btw, I went to the Erotic Authors Association conference last year, and they were very inclusive. Heck, half the attendants and panelist wrote some m/m at some point.

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    1. That sounds interesting...who organizes it? I might have to look into that one, too.

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  3. This made me tear up with the whole "finding a place to be accepted" thing. I went to GRL as a reader last year with my 1st story coming out and I was treated so nicely and accepted is absolutely the right word. I registered last night before the allotted 12:00 start - can you say eager?

    I'm looking forward to reacquainting myself with people I met last year and meeting all the new people. The hotel looks amazing and the schedule is awesome. Thank you Carole (and your co-organizers) for one of the most wonderful experiences of my life last year and the chance to make another unforgettable memory this year.

    :)

    K-lee

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  4. I have registered and am so looking forwards to the whole weekend :-) The schedule looks wonderful. All I have to now is wait...

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  5. I would just like to give a big round of applause, and hugs, to Carole, Ethan, Lynn, and William for all your hard work in making this retreat happen. Its a tough job but you guys are all rock stars, and the inaugural GRL was fantastic start to finish. I so can't wait for this year's! :-)

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  6. Carol, I heard so much about the last year's GRL, but I had no idea it was the first.

    Having had some professional experience in this kind of arena, I know that setting up this type of event is ridiculously complicated, and as LC has already said, really, congratulations to you all.

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  7. Thanks, everyone. Ethan and I took a much needed break this weekend and met at the lake house. We ate, laughed and took a deep breath. All of our hard work would mean nothing without all the publishers, authors and readers who attend GRL and have faith in us.

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