Starting from June 1, 2015, I will daily feature authors attending the three conventions I will join, Euro Pride in Munich (July), UK Meet in Bristol (September) and GRL in San Diego (October). Moreover I'm taking part at the 2015 GRL Featured Blog Tour
as Featured Blogger.For the 2015 Featured Blog Tour
, today author is Devon Rhodes: How to GRL the Devon way
Thanks, Elisa, for having me on! Can’t wait to see you and your beautiful dresses!
October has always been my favorite month of the year—gorgeous weather, fall leaves, football. This year I have even more reason to look forward to it—I’ll be in beautiful San Diego at my fifth GayRomLit Retreat. Being on the West Coast, I do travel to SoCal at least once or twice a year, and one of my best friends lives there, so I know the city and region fairly well. And, of course, since I’ve attended every single GayRomLit, I’m practically a professional GRL-goer. So here are a couple of my top tips and take-aways from each of my trips, along with some pics!
GRL New Orleans:
• You CAN go to these events without knowing a soul. I arrived at my first GRL (my first industry con, full stop) not having met a single person prior. I did know a few people from online, and thanks to social media pics, was able to recognize a handful of them, making it easier to approach them. :-) So if you’re a newbie, take a good look at my photos, then look for me when you get there. I’ll be the one who’s pretty much always smiling.
• If you’re prone to locking your key in the room, get an extra one and give it to another attendee who seems nice in order to save yourself the embarrassment of having to go to the front desk for the umpteenth time. Worked for me: not only did I stop adding to my key collection (topped out at six) in New Orleans, I ended up becoming besties and writing partners with my key-keeper down the hall. Yes, it happened to be TA Chase. <3 Meeting Poppy Dennison at GRL New Orleans
My girls enjoying the swag from GRL New Orleans
• Get your camera/phone out! When I got home from NOLA, I was bummed that I only had a handful of pictures, so I made a concerted effort in Albuquerque to snap away and was much more satisfied by my photo memories after saying goodbye to New Mexico, as you can see by the size of my FB photo albums!
• Don’t be afraid to dial it down and spend some quality time getting to know someone you’ve made a connection with, one-on-one. Instead of always being in groups or flitting from greeting to the next conversation, it can really pay off to find a quiet booth in the bar for a chat (Jared) or learn the art of the perfect selfie in the middle of the dance floor then figure out you have a lot more in common (Leigh).
A Kodak moment of TA Chase from GRL Albuquerque
With Marie Sexton and Ethan Day at GRL Albuquerque
• ESCAPE! With so many great people and things to do, it can be all too tempting to just hunker down in the hotel and rarely see the light of day. But there’s a city out there, with local cuisine and a unique vibe. Even if it’s just for a meal out or a walk to get real coffee, be sure to actually visit the city you’re visiting. I’m sure you wouldn’t have to look far to find some takers to go along for the ride! Sometimes you’ll end up with a whole herd of GRLers and take over a restaurant and maybe have the best lobster mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted.
• Consider what gives you the bang for your buck at this retreat. You’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort to be there. Is it to see some of your fave authors? Be sure you scour the program for where they’ll be and when so you don’t miss them! To grow as an author? Try the Writer’s Workshop. To make connections with publishers/bloggers/other readers? The best thing about this retreat is people are very accessible. If you have a hard time walking up to someone you really want to meet, maybe send them an IM to arrange a date in the lobby. To let your hair down and be an adult with other adults? :-) Yeah—that’s pretty much every night, and don’t forget the after-parties. You can sleep when you get home. :-) Make sure you have a plan (ie, do some planning ahead) to hit the high points of your reasons for coming so you don’t come to end and think Where did the time go? I never got to…A herd of GRLers out on the town at GRL Atlanta
Elisa looking gorgeous at GRL Atlanta
Nice or naughty with Leigh at GRL Atlanta
• Don’t let setbacks get you down. I was t-boned by a pickup truck in an accident right before GRL last year and was in a lot of pain the whole week. It sucked but I tried not to let it affect my plans or my mood. I asked for help when I needed to, and people were so wonderful about things, including making sure their hugs were gentle. :-)
• Be selective about what you want to take home, or have a plan to get it there. I actually planned to go home with one LESS suitcase than when I came, mostly because I brought a bunch of books and swag and gave it all away. I even gave away my suitcase—literally! It went to The Netherlands with a blogger who won a bunch of my books, lol. But for readers who want to take books and swag home, bringing an extra case or even a folded up duffle bag, is the way to go. You can always throw your mostly dirty clothes in a soft bag a check it while packing heavy books in your rolling suitcase. Entertaining the Village People at GRL Chicago
With Elisa at GRL Chicago
With TA Chase at GRL Chicago
Welcome to the Left Coast! San Diego in General:
• Yes, it’s SoCal and there’s beaches, but it’s temperate and can really cool down at night. Be sure to pack a jacket and pants for watching the sun sink into the ocean.
• Soooo much to see and do, and you won’t be able to do it all. Know that right up front and relax your approach to sightseeing. Better to do one or two things and enjoy them than try to rush around and exhaust yourself doing too much.
• Feel free to be casual. I’ve spent entire vacations there in basically flip-flops, a swim suit, T-shirts and shorts. It’s a beach town and a tourist town, so no one expects you to dress up, unless of course that’s your thing. Whatever you’re comfortable with!
I’m pretty sure most everyone reading this will have GRL wired, but hopefully something I’ve brought up is helpful to at least one person. And if so, let me know! :-) Look forward to seeing this year’s attendees in… OMG, less than three months?! I’d better start planning. And figure out what to do for a second suitcase this year…
For four years now, I’ve put together an anthology with other GRL authors. I’d love to give away a four-pack of ebooks to a commenter, including Unconventional at Best, Unconventional in Atlanta, An Unconventional Chicago, and an advance copy of this year’s Unconventional in San Diego. Here’s the blurb for my latest story, in the San Diego anth, titled A Sliver of Sunset.
From one-night stand to nurse and patient—is it crazy to expect more?
Angelo has somehow developed leukemia—the only paranormal ever known to do so—and the doctors are mystified as to the cause. The cure requires him to repress his shifter side with a chemical inhibitor and be entirely human while he goes through chemotherapy, which contributes to some interesting situations he never would have foreseen—things like ‘misplacing’ his favorite bar, Unconventional, and getting picked up by a human without realizing it’s his mate.
Dominic can’t believe his luck when bravely striking up a conversation with the hottest guy he’s ever seen leads to the best sex he’s ever had. When he wakes up—no surprise—Angelo is gone. A week later, he’s shocked when he walks in to meet a new oncology patient to find Angelo fighting for his life and dependent upon his care.Will their timing ever improve, or will Angelo’s time run out before they get a chance?
Please leave a comment below and we’ll draw a winner next week. Good luck! :-)
Unconventional in San Diego
Publisher: Pride Publishing (August 11, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Unconventional in San Diego
Unconventional in San Diego by Carol Lynne, Amber Kell, T.A. Chase, Jambrea Jo Jones and Devon Rhodes
‘Fate’s Bridge’ by Carol Lynne
Is it possible for a soul to be reborn inside another?
‘Coming in Third’ by Amber Kell
Love sometimes comes in threes.
‘The Unicorn Said Yes’ by T.A. Chase
When an innocent human virgin meets the king of the unicorn herd, it’s not just legends that come true.
‘Blood on the Moon’ by Jambrea Jo Jones
Be careful what you wish for, especially when you’re a witch.
‘A Sliver of Sunset’ by Devon Rhodes
From one-night stand to nurse and patient—is it crazy to expect more?
About the author: When I'm not lost in my imagination, you can find me in beautiful Oregon and at:
My Website: http://www.devonrhodes.com/
My Blog: http://devonrhodes.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/devonrhodes ( Collapse )
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