I can sum up the meet in Bristol as a series of connected surreal moments. From meeting people I'd only spoken to via facebook or email, to being transfixed by a trio of rather stunning bums (and the guys they were attached to!) to the fact it seemed like the whole weekend was set to make me reevaluate everything I am as an author.
The meet was awesome and I had so many high points. I was anxious before I went because of a couple of things that may or may not have ended with me hiding in my room. But, if I can sum up the entire weekend in one word it was realisation.
Realisation that when you are sat at your desk on your own you are actually not alone, in that there are hundreds of us all over the world with the same feelings of isolation. I also listened when people said that the isolation is worse when you are *blocked*. Hell, yes. When I'm writing, I could be living on the moon and I wouldn't notice (apart from having Meredith and Amber *virtually* by my side!). But blocked as I am this last week I feel very isolated.
Then the realisation that I have had success where some haven't, and failures where others are achieving great things. I was asked for advice on marketing, and writing, and I enjoyed that part, apart from feeling like I sounded like I have all the answers (I don't) or that I am qualified to talk (I'm not!)… ROFL… a few people looked to me for advice and at the same time I looked to others.
When Aleksandr Voinov stood up and gave his awesome speech about inclusion, he made the point that we should own who we are. And that who we are is what we should be. (I think he made more sense when he said it!). In the main, if you are a straight woman writing Gay romance, that's cool, and likewise you can be gender fluid, gay, straight… whatever you are… people should respect who you are and there should be no judging. (I am crap at summaries, but his speech made me emotional…)
I still get people ask when am I going to write *normal* books, or do I write *fifty shades of grey* type stuff. All I know is I am happy, more than happy to be doing what I do.
And lucky. Jeez. I am a full time writer, I make a good living from what I do, I am at home for the kids, here when Matt comes home from school. If I want a day off I take it. I spoke to people at the meet who were just starting out, or hadn't had the luck I have had, and balance writing with family and a full time job. Hell, I have it easy.
So what was UK Meet about?
Was it a marketing opportunity, a sales opportunity, a chance to drink wine and ogle mens bums? (Did i mention bums again?). I laughed so hard with Garrett and Meredith, and ate so much bacon at breakfast I probably am 50% pig. I drank wine and cocktails and doodled great pieces of art in the speeches and panels. I made life changing decisions on the direction of my writing (mostly under the influence of alcohol or bums). So in summary, was that what UK Meet, and other *get togethers* means to us all?
Nah, UK Meet was, in summary, a chance for every one of us to learn about our inclusive community, and that we are not alone. That we are writers, and readers, in a genre that is only just beginning to bloom in ways we can't imagine. That every one of us has had failures, successes, good luck, bad luck, good publishers, bad ones, stories that sold, stories that failed. That the community is a spectrum of writers and that we all have each other's backs.
I like that.
I like it a lot.
I had quite a few people comment on the fact I have the coolest fans and friends who support me in everything I do. I didn't think anyone else noticed except me about how awesome my readers are.
Guys, if you talk to me on FB, or buy my books, or review me, then I would say to you that other people apart from me notice, so I thank you so much I don't even know how to put it into words just how much your friendship and support means to me.
All of which leads me to up to date news about my writing
My head is splodey… seriously… I have tried for a week to start Last Marine Standing… and I just CAN'T… Ask anyone, I've tried. I have a story, I have what I think are two strong characters, and I even know how it ends… BUT… I can't get the motivation for the *reason why* certain things happen. Every time I look at the piece of paper, or the screen, my head is just full of nothing. It's not quite as bad as the complete block at Christmas, but it's bad enough that I have today woken up utterly inspired by two decisions.
1. I'm not writing Last Man Standing now (ducks from missiles). Yes, I said it would be with you end July, but I am thinking Autumn (Fall) instead. I hope that isn't too bad and that everyone can see I have a good reason for not wanting to write you all a shit story.
2. I'm going to pick up Something Else (TM).
- Maybe my story for a series of linked books I agreed to (see news below).
- Maybe my book for the portal series.
- Maybe something different altogether.
I was hoping that being in among all the wonderful authors and readers in Bristol I would find it easy to be inspired for Last Marine Standing. Nada. However, I do realise from discussions I had that I need to get my head straight and make some decisions. Forcing myself to write something that doesn't feel *right* at the moment is just going to produce a book that will be crap.
The Ex Factor (Bodyguards Inc #2)
Book 2 is out end June… Erika is currently tearing her hair out editing it and it should be with proofers soon… So excited for you all to read it… 🙂
Love Lane Books
LLB has a new author. Kay Berrisford will be joining the LLB team with a new series… coming soon, more news to follow…
Diane Adams is *this* close to finishing her new paranormal book for LLB.
Meredith and I are *this* close to finishing Sapphire Cay 5. Also Meredith is *this* close to finishing her book, Alter Ego, a contemporary in her new Knowles Brook Series, set in the fictional town of Knowles Brook in the UK.
Chris Q and I are *this* close to finishing Heat…
Lots of cool news… and another author *this close* to coming on to the LLB team (fingers crossed).
The trouble Amber gets me in to
So, I get a PM from Amber when she is at RT…
Was I interested in writing a linked novella with Amber, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes and Marie Sexton…?
So after I considered it carefully (I think it took about half a second) I was like… very casually, like I wasn't as excited as a kid at the adult table… *That would be so cool* followed swiftly by, *are you sure they want me in it?*
Anyway. I am writing a story set in a book shop, which ironically is where my first ever published story was set (Ascension in *A Brush Of Wings* from Dreamspinner). I love book shops and all the hope and promise that sit on the shelves.
And… the books are going to Dreamspinner and would be available as a paperback with all five stories, and ultimately available as individual stories I believe… I am so excited.
So… watch this space…
As usual… hugs you all so tight you squeak…