Monday, November 12, 2012

The British Are Cumming… by Daniel A. Kaine

I was really nervous about going to GRL. I’m not a fan of flying, and so having to take three planes, from Newcastle to London, and then onto Dallas, before finally catching the flight to Albuquerque, had me on edge from the start. Then, upon arriving I would be surrounded by hundreds of people, most of whom I had never met before, and the rest I only talked to briefly online, save for the odd one or two people I had met previously at the UK meet. Talk about scary.

Big groups scare me, so add to that not really knowing anyone and I was an absolute wreck on the plane as we were touching down. Was anyone going to like me? What if no-one wanted to talk to me? Being a fairly new writer, and this being my first major public appearance (the UK meet was very small in comparison), I was worried about being just another face in the crowd, an unknown surrounded by well-known writers.

But first, I had to get to the hotel. Luckily, my writing partner, ‘The Original Mik Fangirl’, Patricia, had agreed to meet me at the airport with her husband. They took me for my first visit to IHOP for pancakes, giving me a sugar overload that had me literally bouncing in my seat. What a great way to start my visit! Later that week they took me for a heart attack… Sorry, I mean a ‘double down’ from KFC; something I had been wanting to try since I learned of their existence. I wish we could get those in England.

After IHOP it was off to the hotel. The second I got there, people were greeting me and hugging me (and I’ll admit to freaking out a little at first). From that first moment, most of my fears went out of the window and I could tell that even if the majority of people didn’t have a clue who I was, I at least had a small group of people that I could hang around with.

I have to say a big thanks to Lara Brukz and Ethan Stone who agreed to let me sleep in their room. Sure beat the alternative arrangements I had made, which included an air mattress. You guys rock, and sorry about the sleep talking!


Thursday morning, I went down to the swag room with Ethan to have a look around. While there I found myself accosted by many people who had either read my book, or talked to me online. The shock of how many people came up to me to say hello, having recognized me from my picture, or seen my name badge… I was stunned! I also acquired some of those sparkly cowboy hats, which I’m sad to say ended up left in the hotel. Shame.

That night I went to the Gentleman’s Juke Joint and spent the night getting quite drunk, thanks to Lynn and the vodka sours she got me hooked on. Well, the alcohol certainly loosened me up, and by the end of the night I definitely wasn’t shy about showing people my underwear!

Throughout the week I had people spot me and come over to say ‘Hey, I’ve read your book and thought it was great’. And I, being the introvert I am, would blush and stumble over what to say. ‘Thanks,’ was all that really came to mind. Learning to deal with praise has been added to my checklist of things I need to improve on. And the photos! Oh God, I hate having my picture taken. But, I grinned (read: smiled awkwardly) and agreed to the photo frenzy. Hey, there’s now a picture of me on FaceBook that I kinda almost like. Almost. Score one for diving right in at the deep end and coming out stronger than I was before.

One of the things I had been quite worried about was that there would be certain people attending GRL who I didn’t think would be happy with my presence there. Because of past involvements, I had myself convinced that I was starting off on a bad foot with them, and my every intention had been to simply avoid them. After all, I’m not the confrontational type so I didn’t want to cause any drama. However, I’m glad to say I was way off the mark. After speaking to a few of these people, it became clear to me that none of them were harbouring any ill-will toward me. I’m so glad we managed to clear the air and become friends.

Being a self-published author surrounded by some very prominent names, and publishing houses, did make me feel quite wary at times. I can’t deny that self-publishing has its stigmas, but I never once encountered any problems because of it. I learned a little bit about publishing, had some recommendations from others, just in case I ever decided I wanted to submit to a publisher, and even got to talk to a few people about my books and where I might like to go from here. Finding out that Dreamspinner has a Young Adult line certainly intrigued me as I have a couple of Young Adult books planned, and had I not gone to GRL, I might have missed out on what could be a promising prospect for the future.

I met so many people while I was there, it would take forever to name them all, so I’ll just keep this brief. Ethan, Lara, Patti and Kel, I’ve already mentioned, but I really can’t thank them enough for helping me out and looking after me.

Poppy Dennison, who I’ve been chatting with ever since I got back to England and has already been a massive help to my writing. Lynn, my unofficial publicist, who seems to do more marketing for my books than I do… I’m glad we got to meet in person, and I would so take up your offer to be your pool boy. And then there’s Whitney, Aniko, Andrea, Amy, Dolorianne, Karen, Geoff (British accents beat Australian anyday *sticks tongue out*), to name but a few.

I also need to say thank you to Cherie for registering me for GRL and making sure I got my spot back in March – wish we’d gotten more of a chance to talk. And to Vic for having convinced me to go in the first place. Because of you I had such an amazing opportunity to meet so many awesome people who I hope to call my friends for a very long time to come.

And there were so many more I never really got the chance to talk to. Well, there’s always next year to set that right. Atlanta here I come; I wouldn’t miss it for the world because despite all my worries and fears, I had a great time in Albuquerque. Now that I’m over that initial hump, next year is going to be even better. More swag, more friends, more fun, and more less-awkward pictures of me having fun.


Daniel Alexander Kaine was born in 1985, in good old rainy England. When he isn't writing, he can often be found curled up with a good book, running along the riverside or working out in the hopes of developing his dream body.

He enjoys canoeing and bowling, though his skill in both is questionable. Daniel hopes one day to become a werepanther and invent chocolate that doesn't make you fat.




21 comments:

  1. Hi Daniel, I loved this, and not just because I'm a fellow Brit. I wonder if having our photo taking, and hating every one, or trying not to have a photo taken is a Brit thing, or a shy thing? Ask Poppy, I spent a month dodging her evil plots to get me on camera when she was here with me. You've done good kiddo, you couldn't ask for a better friend than Poppy, even when she has her demon organising head on. Good look with the book, your writing and your life. Oh, and if you should ever invent healthy chocolate, let me know where to get some. If you ever fancy a 'ferry 'cross the Mersey' give me a shout and I'll take you. Val xox

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    1. Do you speak Scouse? Because I work in a call centre and I swear I need a translator every time they call up about their 'lecy bill :P

      Maybe one day if Poppy comes back to England we can all hang out.

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  2. Glad you had so much fun! It was great to meet you....although next year there will be a picture! LOL

    And yes I agree....when you figure out that chocolate let us know...you will be revered world wide!

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    1. Nice meeting you too... I'm hoping next year not to be ducking every time I see a camera :)

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  3. *sigh* You just had to slip Patti in, didn't you? =P No worries, since I have ammo to fight back, Dannie. >8D

    I'm so glad we got to meet there (even if I was there for vacation and not GRL.) Considering actually attending the event next year sine there were a few people I only got to say hi and would love to chit chat with more.

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    1. Why wouldn't I slip Patti in? That is your name :P

      Hope you can make it next year! Then we can hang out and you can totally show off your Mik fangirl t-shirt to all the fans!

      Maybe you can finish tentacle-rape boy... sorry, Squidboy, and pimp that out too :P

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  4. I thought it was great that you were there! I was a GRL newbie as well, but as a reader, and I'd heard of your book through Goodreads and bought it. When I met you at the signing, I just thought how welcoming this genre is that there was such a mix of new and established authors! I'm happy for you that you were so warmly welcomed and hopefully we'll see you again in Atlanta!

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    1. It really is great how there's such a diverse range of authors and readers, and how they all come together at these events. Everyone I've met in the genre has been so supportive :)

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  5. LOL! I could see the blank terror in your eyes when I introduced myself early on...so I left quickly. Regardless, it was so great to see you, albeit mainly from a distance. So glad you made the trek. Next time in ATL for sure! Boxtersushi

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    1. Still nice to have met you. Next year we'll have to try again and see if I don't look like a rabbit caught in a set of headlights when I enter the hotel :)

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  6. I'm still pimping you out Daniel, to everyone!! LOL And I'm so glad you made it to GRL. You were my top person to meet there this year. BTW, my pool needs cleaning!!! :P

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    1. Lol, I'll clean your pool as long as I have unlimited access to it :)

      And it was great meeting you too.

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  7. Daniel, so glad you made it to ABQ, and looking forward to seeing you in ATL. GRL is really something special, and I am thankful that the organizers do that voodoo that they do so well... it has been a wonderful experience for me both times.

    As to helping you register? Geez, I barely did anything. Just glad the magic of GRL worked for you. :)

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    1. You know, I totally forgot to thank the organisers for making GRL so awesome. THANKS ORGANISERS!!!

      And really, might not have got to go if you hadn't registered me when you did. So thankful for that.

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  8. Daniel, A fellow brit! Why did I not know that? Why did Whit and Aniko not tell me that!
    GRL was amazing, I was terrified before hand, but had so much fun, if you want a flying partner for next year give me a shout, I'm only down the A1 in Yorkshire!

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    1. Thought you already knew? :-( Sorry!

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    2. :-)Nope, but I do now! That'll teach me to bury the british reserve! LOL

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    3. You're in Yorkshire? Hey, we're practically neighbours! I'm up in the North East (not a geordie though, a little further south than that) :)

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  9. It was great getting to meet you at GRL, Daniel. It was definitely a highlight for me. Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta next year!

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    1. Was great meeting you too. And thanks for not trying to lynch me :P

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