weekend wrap-up

I had a really fabulous weekend. A bunch of staff and authors from Dreamspinner Press were in New York for a workshop, so I got to schmooze with a stupendous group of people. I’m a reader, too, so I of course fangirled over a few of them, and I got to see a few of the people I met at GRL and last year’s Rainbow Book Fair again, which was great. One thing I really love about this genre is that whenever I do events like this, I find that everyone is friendly and fun and supportive. Despite some transportation snafus (getting between Brooklyn and Queens is hard, yo) I had a great time. (I also feel like I’m gushing here. But I think it’s really good to get out there and meet other authors, if only because writing is one of those activities that can be really isolating. I know that I personally do not always have faith that I’m making the right decisions, so it’s good to have the opportunity to ask for advice or even just a hug. I’m also naturally an extrovert, so I’m always happy to go out and meet people.)

Saturday, I went to the Rainbow Book Fair and wound up spending most of the day at the Rainbow Romance Writers table. (Elisa posted photos from the event. There’s even one of yours truly.) The fair was bigger this year than last year and I’d say it was a resounding success. It felt like there was a pretty constant stream of people through the little Romance Row we had there with some of the other romance publishers. I met some readers and signed some books and had a lot of fun.

Now, onward! I’ve done a little writing over the last couple of days, and I’m working out which project to concentrate on next. (I always have, like, 5 WIPs going at a time. One of my critique buddies calls this “Project ADD.”) I’m spinning my wheels a little after a super productive January and February, and now that I’m kind of between projects, it’s tricky to settle on just one thing to work on. But I suppose a wealth of ideas is a good problem to have if you’re a writer, huh?

Beat Your Winter Blues with a Bonus

Two posts this week! First, head on over to ZAM’s, where we discussed places we’d send our readers on a mid-winter getaway. (I’m making everyone come to Brooklyn, which is wonderful in the spring. We’ve had really awesome weather the last couple of days, too.)

Then head on over to Clare London’s, where the authors discussed St. Patrick’s Day.

Remember that commenting can get you entered into the big grand prize drawing, so be sure to check out all the posts on the tour!

coming attractions

I had an especially prolific period last spring and summer, and that seems to bearing out in fruitful ways! I’ve updated the website with the sneakiest of sneak peaks of TWO upcoming books by yours truly.

This is Cap Anson, one of the greatest baseball players of the late 19th century and also owner of a fantastic handlebar mustache.

Out in the Field, a contemporary romance between two major-league baseball players, will be available from Loose Id on April 24th. (The link will take you to the under-construction book page, at which you can read a blurb.) It’s a fun story, but there’s a lot of heart in it, too. (And a lot of baseball, but my beta reader ensures me that a lack of knowledge of the sport will not prevent one from enjoying the novel.)

Also, the ink is drying on a contract for what, on Twitter, I called an angsty friends-to-lovers contemporary set in Chicago. I think that about sums it up. There’s a little blurb on the Upcoming page. That’s due out August/September-ish. I’ll talk more about that when we get closer to the release date.

The reading at Lady Jane’s Salon on Monday went pretty well, I thought. (I’ve had A WEEK, so I haven’t had time to write about it sooner than now.) I may have a couple of photos to post soon. I will say that it is a very strange experience to get up in front of a bunch of people who don’t know you and figure out how to charm them. I’m not a shy person and I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking, but I’m not the sort of person who gets a thrill from being on stage, so really, “nothing bad happening” was my goal. I can’t judge my own reading, but I got enough positive feedback to convince me I did all right.

I’m reading again at the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC, which is two weeks from today. If you are anywhere in the greater New York metropolitan area, you should come by. A lot of great authors will be there. (I’m actually probably the most excited about that—a bunch of authors I really like are coming to my fair city for a weekend, so I can be a fangirl without having to pay for more than subway fare.)

So that’s all the news fit to print around here. Now I’m off to start making a book trailer for Out in the Field!

the things you find

Reminder: I’m reading tonight at Lady Jane’s Salon in New York City.

It’s been an interesting few days in New York.

I stayed up until 1am March 1 to register for GayRomLit in Albuquerque. (I will learn to spell “Albuquerque” without looking it up before October!) I did not hesitate even a second before registering, and I’m really excited to be going again.

On Thursday, my friend A and I went to a reading at a tiny Brooklyn bookstore (Word in Greenpoint). We saw Eloisa James, Maya Rodale, and Sarah MacLean, all historical romance writers. A and I have been attending all manner of romance-related events in NYC and having a really great time. Granted, part of that is just fangirling over authors we really like, but we’ve also gotten the chance to talk to both readers and writers who are just as enthusiastic about the romance genre as we are.

Anyway, the “reading” was run more as a panel discussion, and one of the first things the panel talked about was writing. Some of their suggestions were solid if maybe standard writerly advice: read a lot, constantly work on craft, etc. But one suggestion they made was to make friends who are about at your stage in the publishing process. I hadn’t really thought of that before; I’ve only really started seriously networking with other authors over the last six months or so, but it’s nice to have that support network.

The discussion also included some questions on gay romance, although the focus was more on lesbian romance. Someone posed the question: if attitudes about women’s sexuality are changing within romance novels (which everyone agreed they are) is there room for bisexual or lesbian heroines? That stumped the panel, who weren’t sure what the barrier to success for lesbian romances was. I’d like to think f/f books can succeed; someone I talked to after the panel suggested there just needed to be a critical mass of really good ones before they became a phenomenon. (I don’t really buy that there’s no interest in lesbian romance, which is an argument I’ve heard a lot.)

Speaking of women, Friday night I did something I’d never done before. I went on a girls’ night out to nerdy burlesque. When we were waiting on line to get into the theater, one of my friends remarked that this was one of those strange, possibly Only In New York things. The show had a Batman theme, and most of the dancers wore costumes based on villains from the comic books. I think my favorite was the woman who dressed up as the Joker; her interpretation was based on the Heath Ledger Joker, and she stripped down to a nurse’s uniform before showing off her pasties that were made to look like tiny hand grenades. It was pretty awesome. (I’d never been to a burlesque show before, but I’d heard that a lot of the ones in New York are very pro-woman. I’d say that was true here. The audience was respectful but appreciative, for example. It was fun and not sleazy.)

A good friend of mine from college came to NYC this weekend, so we spent Saturday afternoon together doing dumb touristy things. I rarely do things like that—hell, I rarely leave Brooklyn these days—but I think it’s fun sometimes to see the city from the perspective of people who don’t live here. I forget sometimes what it’s like. For example, I had a job on Fifth Avenue for a long time. It was a few blocks from Rockefeller Center and I got so used to walking through that area every day that navigating it felt like more of a nuisance than a wonder. But as my friend and I were walking up Fifth on Saturday, she kept pointing stuff out, and I kept thinking, “Oh, yeah. That is pretty cool.” It’s nice to have some of the magic back.

So tonight, I’ve got the big reading, then later this month is the Rainbow Book Fair. I’m currently working on edits for Out in the Field, my upcoming romance between two baseball players. (That comes out at the end of April.) So March is busy!