Find Me at the #RWA15 Literacy Signing on 7/22!

I’ll be there with many other authors. Book sales benefit literacy charities. It’s really a win-win for everyone!

Here’s the complete list of authors signing.

Literacy Signing

Meanwhile, I’m losing my mind trying to plan what to wear to the RWA conference proper. Crucial decisions must be made! Seriously, though, RWA is one of my favorite conferences, and I’m psyched it’s going to be in New York. (I don’t have to fly! I know where the good restaurants are! I can run home at any time and therefore can make last-minute wardrobe changes and/or acquire books that I won’t have to ship!)

State of Kate: What I’ve Been Up To

This past May was one of those months that was so insane and busy that people got a glazed, tired look on their face just from me telling them everything I was doing. Here’s what went down:

Such a Dance charms!

Kensington put these little book charms on Mardi Gras beads to give out at their party. This book’ll be out in October!

First, I went to Dallas for RT, which was zany fun as always. I like RT because it’s a flat-out fun time, and it’s big and overwhelming and can be hard work from the author side of things, but I always walk away thinking, “That was amazing.” I met a lot of really cool people and got to hang out with good friends. I talked to readers about books we liked and fangirled authors I like—or tried to keep my cool, like the time I started chatting with Tessa Dare and we talked about feather boas because I didn’t want to get all screechy about how much I love the Spindle Cove series, although I do love it a lot and kept thinking, “I’m just casually talking to one of my favorite authors like it’s no big thing and I can’t believe this is my life”—and it was generally surreal and awesome. I love, too, that the general reaction to me saying, “I write gay romance,” was, “Uh-huh. Tell me more.”

Kate McMurray as Rosie the Riveter

Doing my best Rosie the Riveter at the National WWII Museum in NOLA.

I was home for four days, during which time I went to a book club meeting and took a history class, because why take time off, really. Then I flew to New Orleans for a family wedding and stayed a few extra days for visiting with family/tourism. Highlights of the trip for me include all of the fantastic food I ate (my favorite meal was probably the catfish at Superior Seafood in the Garden District, so there’s a rec if you want one); going to the World War II museum with my 90-year-old grandpa (who is a WWII vet and was duly honored by the museum staff, which was heartwarming—although Grandpa was like, “I don’t get what all this fuss is about”); the wedding itself, which took place in this gorgeous old house; and finally touring the Cabildo and Presbytere, which were great if you, like me, derive dorky joy from history museums.

Kate McMurray in the Harlequin photo booth.

Harlequin had a photo booth at BookCon, so this happened.

I got home in time for Book Expo America/BookCon, which I attended as a Dreamspinner author, so the majority of my time there was spent working the booth. I did get to meet Gloria Steinem and Michelle Visage on the same afternoon, because that’s how BEA rolls. BookCon felt more organized this year, which was nice. And we got a nice reception at the Dreamspinner booth, especially for the YA imprint, Harmony Ink. We talked to a lot of librarians who told us about how important books are for those kids who feel isolated and misunderstood.

Michelle Visage

That time my friend Alexis and I were total crazy RuPaul’s Drag Race fangirls and Michelle Visage gave me a hug because we’re both Jersey girls.

We did a signing on Saturday as part of BookCon. I just found out there were 18,000 attendees, which is one of those numbers that seems so large it’s incomprehensible. When it ended Sunday, I got caught up in a terrible thunderstorm, but wound up riding the subway next to a girl who had also just come from BookCon and had nothing but excited things to say to her friend. Watching teenage girls with that kind of unbridled enthusiasm for books was pretty exciting for me. Gives me hope, you know?

Anyway, all of this was enough, but during the same period of time, I also had a bunch of things going on behind the scenes, among them: I dealt with second edits of Rainbow League Book 2 and proofs for Such a Dance; I edited 3 novels in my capacity as a freelance editor; and I put in a few hours at the day job. So that was bananas.

Kate McMurray at Lady Jane's Salon.

Here I am reading at Lady Jane’s.

The day after BEA, I read at Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC. Then this past Saturday, I taught my setting workshop at my local RWA chapter meeting. And that, my friends, was basically four weeks of fun insanity. I am TIRED. Sunday, I did nothing (well, I knit and watched TV, but mostly I was taking a break).

I’m currently getting ready for the next things: RWANYC’s Romance Festival on June 20th and then the RWA national conference in July. Then the second half of the year will be a much welcome break from public appearances; I don’t have anything scheduled again until 2016, so I hope to use the time to write, etc. And that’s a wrap!

Where You Can Find Me at #RT15 and How to Play Along at Home!

The RT Booklovers Convention is next week in Dallas. I hope to see those of you who are attending! Even if you aren’t going, there are a couple of things you can do from home to participate as well.

First, one of my friends thinks I should post all of my costume changes on social media. There will be a lot of them. We’ll see if I can do it!

Second: my schedule.

TUESDAY:
5:30–8:00pm: Cinema Craptastique
I’m co-hosting this annual event where we get comfy in our PJs, eat junk food, and make fun of a silly movie. Join me, Damon Suede, Tere Michaels, Amy Lane, and Laura Kaye to kick off the conference in style.
*YOU CAN PLAY AT HOME, TOO! We’re watching Legend of Hercules with one Kellan Lutz (who I only recently realized is not the same person as Taylor Kitsch… sorry, bro). It’s available on Netflix DVD and maybe Amazon Instant Video. You can follow along at the hashtag #RTCC or by watching the Tweetwall at rtcc.tweetwall.com, which aggregates all related tweets and also will give clear PAUSE/PLAY notices. (At the live even, we’ll be stopping to give away prizes and things.) We’d be beside ourselves if the hashtag trended, so please join us, no matter where you are.
*ALSO I’ll do an ebook giveaway for someone at home. Keep an eye on my twitter account (@katemcmwriter) during the event. If you tweet @ me with the hashtags #rtcc and #rainbowleague you’ll be entered to win a book from my backlist.

THURSDAY:
5:15–6:45pm Kensington’s Sweet Heat party
Come by to see me! There will be snacks, treats, and free books for all, plus a bunch of really awesome authors to come meet. I’ll be signing cover flats for my upcoming Kensington title, Such a Dance.

FRIDAY:
11:15am–12:15pm LGBTQ Author Extravaganza with Dreamspinner Press
Join a bunch of Dreamspinner authors for games and giveaways. Ariel Trachna will be our MC.

1:30-2:30pm Wheel of Romance
This will be THE event of RT, I think. I’m giving away a New York-themed gift basket, and a bunch of my favorite authors are hosting this game show. I plan to wear sequins.

SATURDAY:
11am–2pm Giant Book Fair
*OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
I’m signing at the Giant Book Fair. I’ll have paperbacks of The Silence of the Stars, When the Planets Align, and The Windup.

6–7:45pm FAN-Tastic Day Party
Hosted by Dreamspinner Press, so I’ll be floating around talking to people and possibly also handing out swag, signing books, etc. There will be more prize-winning opportunities and lots of your favorite authors.

Then I’m flying home Sunday night. I’m sure I’ll be wiped out by then!

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to it. I hope those of you who are going will drop by and say hi at one of my events.

Where to Find Me at GRL

GRL Chicago With LoveThe convention is nigh! I’m a featured author at the GayRomLit (GRL) retreat in the Chicago area. This will be my fourth time! I’m so excited to see everyone! Here is my schedule:

Author Lounge, Friday 12:30pm–1:10pm

Fun Fair: Scrapbooking with the Rainbow Romance Writers, Friday 2:30pm–4:20pm (Crafty fun!)

Storyteller Spotlight: Unspeakable Love: Gay Romance of the Past with Charlie Cochet, Jordan L. Hawk, and yours truly, Saturday 9:00am–9:55am

Featured Author Booksigning, Saturday 2:00pm–5:00pm (Be sure to pick up the Featured Author sampler; I contributed an excerpt.)

I’m sure I’ll also put in appearances at the parties and just be floating around. If you’re an RRW member, I’ve got member pins I can bestow on you. I went low key with the swag, but you’ll be able to pick up Kate McMurray pins, postcards, bookmarks, magnets, and a limited number of pens.

GRL Update — Books, Scrapbooking, etc.

GRL 2014 DSPQuickie Reminder! If you want to purchase any of my books in paper for me to sign at GRL, best way to do it is via Dreamspinner’s GRL preorder sale. DSP will ship the books to GRL for you to pick up and get stamped before the signing. Order through the Dreamspinner website.

DSP will also have copies of The Stars that Tremble and The Silence of the Stars available for sale at GRL.

If you want either of my Loose Id titles available in paperback (In Hot Pursuit and The Boy Next Door) or if you want a paper copy of the Revolutionary War anthology For Love & Liberty, I have a limited number of these on-hand at home that I can bring. Email me and we’ll make arrangements. [kate at katemcmurray dot com] These are also available from most online bookstores if you want to buy in advance and bring them along.

ALSO: Rainbow Romance Writers is doing their annual scrapbook event again. If you’re an attendee, you can come hang out with the RRW members and make GRL commemorative scrapbooks. Personally, I love stickers and gluing stuff and crafts, so I’m looking forward to it.

And now to figure out one last swag item. How do we feel about refrigerator magnets?

Preorder Books for GRL

If you’re going to GRL and want signed paperbacks of any of my Dreamspinner books (Blind Items, Four Corners, Playing Ball, The Stars that Tremble, The Silence of the Stars) you can pre-order the books and have them sent ahead. I’ll be at the Featured Author signing on Saturday (also around the convention, obviously). Books will also be available for purchase on site at a discount, but the selection will be limited. Here are some details

If you want either of my Loose Id paperbacks (In Hot Pursuit or The Boy Next Door) shoot me an email (kate at katemcmurray.com) and we’ll make arrangements.

#RWA14 Wrap Up

The weird thing about being in charge of something is that you do a lot of work that nobody sees.

You gotta pimp out your badge before you get started.

You gotta pimp out your badge before you get started.

I spent the bulk of my five days in San Antonio for RWA 2014 on Rainbow Romance Writers chapter business. This morning, I wrote up a report of what I learned and posted it to the members-only area of RRW website. Then I thought, “I should write up something for my own website, but… what is there to say?”

I mean, the general populace, my fans, gay romance fans, etc., probably don’t care about RWA policy and procedure. A hot discussion topic at this year’s conference was the possibility of the national organization creating new membership classifications, for example, and if you’re not a member, you don’t care. (Considering less than a tenth of the people at the conference attended the Annual General Meeting, a lot of members don’t care about RWA policy and procedure, either, actually.)

I can say, though, that I got a lot out of the conference, and I left San Antonio feeling really inspired and excited. I feel re-energized to tackle my position as RRW president. I’ve got a short list of things I’d like to accomplish during the rest of my tenure.

Otherwise:

Tara Sue Me, Jennifer McQuiston, and Yours Truly take a selfie before the literacy signing. I do a lot of signings with these ladies because of the alphabet.

Tara Sue Me, Jennifer McQuiston, and Yours Truly take a selfie before the literacy signing. I do a lot of signings with these ladies because of the alphabet.

I did the Literacy Signing this year. It went okay. I wore my dress that has a print of comic panels showing people kissing, and really, where else are you going to wear a dress like that? There were only two other gay romance writers signing that I knew about (Ally Blue and LB Gregg) which made me wonder why there was such a low LGBT romance turnout this year. Was it Texas?

I attended fewer workshops than I intended to because I kept having schedule conflicts, but some highlights for me included the chat with Nora Roberts; a panel discussion on romance and feminism with Lorelie Brown, Tessa Dare, Carrie Lofty, Zoe Archer, and Julie Leto; and a panel on book marketing with Barbara Vey, Eileen Dreyer, and Maggie Mae Gallagher. I liked Sylvia Day’s keynote speech; not as emotionally moving as Kristan Higgins’ speech from last year, during which I cried for real, but still inspiring. At one point I looked around and felt such pride and awe to be surrounded by all of these smart, successful women.

I got to fangirl quite a bit. I think maybe one of my favorite single moments of the conference was going up to Mary Jo Putney at one of the publisher signings. She asked which chapter I was the president of, so I told her about Rainbow Romance Writers, and she said she was really happy with how the definition of romance has expanded to be more inclusive. We chatted about gay romance for a few minutes and I tried not to be too much of a dork. I mean, Mary Jo Putney. She’s one of the elder stateswomen of the genre and I’m such a fan.

That was a recurring theme of the conference. They gave me a Chapter President ribbon to wear, so people kept asking me which chapter I was the president of. Every single person had a positive response. Many told me they were glad RRW was doing the work it does. I had a lot of people tell me about the LGBT activism their siblings or children were involved with and that sort of thing. So that was pretty great.

I remembered to visit the Alamo!

I remembered to visit the Alamo!

I think RWA may be my favorite conference, in fact, more than RT and GRL even. My past experience with those was awesome, but RWA just has a different vibe. Everyone is so friendly and open to talking. I think part of that is that authors are there looking to network, and it’s more of a “we’re all in this together” environment than a reader conference where the purpose is different. Not that RT’s purpose is bad, I just have found it a lot easier to talk to random strangers at RWA than at other conferences. (I mean, I decided to sit with strangers during the keynote luncheon just to meet new people and had a very nice conversation with a couple of sisters from Dallas who had just joined RWA and with a Harlequin editor on diversity in romance. That sort of thing is so well encouraged at RWA that it happens all the time. You make friends in elevators and while waiting for drinks at the bar.)

I even got to see a little bit of the city. I had lunch free Friday, so I walked to the Alamo, only about a block from the hotel. Friday night, I met with an editor from a French publisher to talk about gay romance, and we took a walk on the Riverwalk to a bar that was a fair distance from the hotel. It was a really nice walk. San Antonio is a cute city. I would have liked it even better if it hadn’t been so hot.

So that, briefly, was my RWA experience. I can’t really begin to convey how great it all went.

RWA National Conference Next week! #RWA14

RWA is next week. I’ve been at turns excited and anxious about it. As one is, I guess. I’ll get a shiny Chapter President ribbon, so that’s cool, and I have a handful of meetings set up with various people, so I hope to have lots to report when I get home. I like the RWA conference, though it’s more business and less fun than a convention like RT; it’s more business casual and sensible shoes, basically. Last year, I actually had time to go to panels, though—which is not so much true of RT—and there look like there will be some good ones this year, so I hope to do that again, too.

If you’re in the San Antonio area, I’m signing at the literacy signing Wednesday night. I’ll have copies of The Stars that Tremble and The Silence of the Stars for sale. We have a small enough space that I didn’t go overboard with swag, but I will likely have bookmarks and things, too. And if you’ll be there, let me know so I can say hi. :)

Romance Festival in NYC on 6/14!

I’ll be there selling books and will also be speaking on a panel about the shiny new anthology of multicultural romance stories that we hope to have available for your reading pleasure by Saturday (more on that when it goes live).

This is an event put on by the New York City chapter of RWA, and it’s the first event we’ve ever done like this, so we’re super excited. I think it will be a great day.

Here are the details:

Saturday, June 14th 2014
1:00 – 4:30 pm

The Morris-Jumel Mansion
65 Jumel Terrace
(between West 160th & 162nd Street)

Admission is FREE!

Guest Speakers
Anna DePalo (USA Today Best Selling Contemporary Romance Writer: The Romance Genre)
Elizabeth Mahon (Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women)
Carol Ward (Director Morris-Jumel Mansion: The Loves of Eliza Jumel)

Panel
For Love and Liberty:
Multicultural and LGBT Love Stories during the American Revolution
With – Stacey Agdern, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Kate McMurray

Tours of the Morris-Jumel Mansion will be available throughout the day!

Authors Readings * Books for Sale

Raffles * Giveaways