**TCO is so excited to be back as a Featured Blogger with the 2017 GayRomLit Conference, to be held in Denver, CO in October. We will be hosting quite a few GRL authors here over the next few months with what they have to say on GRL. Also, we’ve set up a giveaway for all the GRL Featured Posts, so make sure you enter, there are some fantastic prizes ahead!!!**
Welcome to J. Scott Coatsworth!!!!
Surviving Your First GRL
by J. Scott Coatsworth
I am a GRL survivor.
I attended GRL last year, and I learned a few things, a few bits of knowledge I hope to impart to you, my future GRL virgin friend. So here it goes:
- Whore Yourself Out Early: If you are a sponsored or featured author, find out who wants to buy your books at the con before you go. Contact your mailing list, and use the GRL Denver Facebook page. This will create some presales, get your fans excited about meeting you, and give you an idea what and how many to bring.
- Save Your Babies: There’s nothing worse than having to make those end-of-con choices – which of your new books to leave behind when you fly home. So save some room in your bag or take a spare, or plan to ship those books back via UPS. You can probably steal an empty box from one of the publisher tables. 😉
- Plan Your Costume: Think about your costume for the big party ahead of time – watch for the theme announcement. Seriously. I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that there was a Wizard of Oz-themed party at GRL, and ended up having a great costume idea – Flying Monkey Repairman – come to me on the night of the con. So instead of having an awesome costume to wear, like Angel’s head-to-toe-green wicked witch, I went with a badge sign that said “Flying Monkey Repairman”. Less than inspiring.
- Be a Local Foodie: It’s easy to spend a lot of money on food at these cons – hotel restaurants aren’t cheap. So when you first get to the Marriott, chat up the concierge about local places to eat, and check out the menus of the on-site eateries early to figure out where you can shave off a few bucks. You’ll seem like a restaurant whiz to your new GRL friends.
- Network Network Network: Make plans early for lunches, coffees and dinners with the folks you want to spend time with. Most of them will want to spend time with you too – that’s what the weekend is all about. Don’t know anyone? Not a problem. Hang out in the lobby at dinner time and pounce on author groups as they head to dinner. A sad, hungry face works really well for this – practice it at home until your kids/spouse/live-in parents can’t see it without bringing you food. 😛
- Closet Therapy: Most of us writer folk are introverts by nature who force ourselves to be extroverts at cons. This is sustainable for a few days, but if you find yourself wearing a bit thin, take your desk chair, your laptop or tablet, and one of those little hotel bottles of rum or vodka and make yourself a dark little writer cave in your hotel room closet. Write your brains out for an hour (or until you run out of rum). Then return to the con a little saner and more centered. Rinse and repeat as needed.
- Be Warped and Wonderful! You spent a lot of money and time to be at GRL. For many of us, this is one of our two or three chances during the year to spend time with others who are as warped and wonderful as we are. Go to the Cock Walk (if there is one this year) and bid on some wonderful penis art. Engage in as many conversations as you can with other writers and readers. And soak it all up like sunshine to last you until your next hit.
If anything goes wrong, don’t sweat it. Just remember—next year you’ll be a GRL pro.
J. Scott Coatsworth
Scott was first indoctrinated into the worlds of science fiction and fantasy by his mother at the young age of nine. He devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the stories he was reading.
He decided that if there weren’t enough gay characters in his favorite genres, he would write them himself.
He runs two community websites—Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink—with his husband Mark. Both sites celebrate authors and fiction that reflect queer reality.