GRL 2017 Official Blog Tour: Exclusive Guest Post C.S. Poe

**TCO is so excited for our final guest post in the GRL 2017 Official Blog Tour. This weekend, we will be working our way towards Denver, and I love that C.S. Poe is our final author. I have been loving her books! So check out her survival list!**

Surviving GRL with Poe’s Characters – C.S. Poe

 

Hello, everyone! I’m C.S. Poe, attending author for GRL 2017. I hemmed and hawed what to write for my GRL post for a while. (And by a while, I mean right up until the evening it was due.) I figured, since this is my third attendance, I should share some tips and tricks for the newcomers. But on the other hand, I’ve only been published since 2015 and perhaps a lot of you aren’t yet familiar with my work.

So how to combine those two ideas into one post…. How about some advice my characters have often had to learn the hard way? I write mystery, romance, and paranormal, so there’s some pretty decent tips here that I feel could be spun on their head and still be practical convention recommendations.

  1. If you find any sort of abandoned egg, animal, or small child in the trashcan of a family bathroom, do not try to adopt it. – Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage

 

  1. Dead bodies turn up anywhere, and when you least expect them. If you trip over one, call the police. – The Mystery of Nevermore

 

  1. If you’re a picky eater, have a food app handy. Otherwise you may be stuck eating fluffernutter sandwiches all weekend. – Joy

 

  1. Definitely dress up for the Wild West party, but with the West comes crazed Steampunk engineers, stoic outlaws, and sassy coppers. Be ready for trouble. – Gunner the Deadly

 

  1. Sometimes liquor can cure all our troubles. Whether you’re overwhelmed from meeting authors, just spent your entire book budget on day one, or haven’t slept in three days— have a whiskey neat. Also maybe a cupcake. – The Mystery of the Curiosities

See? Relevant. I mean— except for probably the dead bodies thing, but I didn’t want to not mention it on the off chance…. Look, just don’t fancy yourself a sleuth in that moment, okay? Bad things happen.

Anyway, I’m psyched to see everyone in Denver! I’ve never been. I wonder if it’s chilly in October? Tip Number 6 should be to pack a sweater. That’s not from any of my books, it’s just a practical suggestion.

C.S. Poe

xo

C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.

She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.

She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful, and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.

C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization.

Social Media:

| Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter |


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GRL 2017 Official Blog Tour: Hans Hirschi

**TCO is excited to welcome Hans Hirschi to the blog, for the GRL Blog Tour. GRL is just a few weeks away, and we are super excited to see everyone again, and meet all the new peeps! Reading Hans’ post, it looks like he has enjoyed GRL since his first time. The countdown really has begun!**

 

And so it begins, the countdown to GRL…

 

First of all, a big thank you for hosting the GRL blog tour and for providing me with an opportunity to reach out to your readers. It’s greatly appreciated.

One of the saddest things I’ve done, every year since 2014, is the brunch on Sunday morning, heralding the end of GRL, or GayRomLit, as it spells out. I know, ridiculous, right, but taking leave of my chosen family is getting harder and harder, every time.

That Sunday in October is also when I begin to look forward to the coming year, and ever since I left Kansas City, I’ve been secretly planning for Denver. In a way, after GRL is before GRL, that’s how good it is… So what’s so special about GRL? Allow me to regress a bit, all the way back to 2014, in late July.

My Twitter friend and author Wade Kelly had just returned from Tampa and RainbowCon. I was  in my second year as an LGBT author and had – very me – no clue about conventions.

I mean, why would any reader want to meet with authors, right? Words like “fan-girling” hadn’t entered my brain and at the time, I’d have waved it off as mere nonsense, a fantasy of a “twisted” author mind at best.

Alas, Wade told me about this con she’d been to and how much fun she’d had. But Wade also added that the con of cons was GRL, which was to take place in Chicago that year. GR-what?

Wade explained and added, sheepishly, that I’d miss it, because all author spots had sold out in a record 180 seconds. But that I should contact them anyway. One never knew, right? I did. Btw, I’ve since met Wade, and she is a hoot, a great friend and an amazing writer.

A thousand sponsor dollars later, I had secured a spot at my very first GRL in Chicago, which coincidentally was during the very height of the M/M craze. People were nuts and publishers were spending big bucks on sponsoring the event, more than one of them no longer among us… I’ve been sponsoring the event ever since, not because I have to, but because the organizers do such an amazing job at creating a safe and fun environment for all of us to meet and share our love of books.

Back then, I didn’t know about the Facebook group, I didn’t know about the costume party on Saturday, or anything else for that matter. I arrived in Chicago like a newborn baby, a blank slate. The first people I met were two fierce Icelandic ladies, Viking valkyries of sorts, author Erica Pike and her best friend Þóra who registered me, gave my my program & badge, and yeah, since they were fellow members of the Nordic cultural sphere, I instantly felt at ease. Later that same day, some lady from Mississippi invited me to her suite for drinks, and despite being ridiculously scared of meeting my demise at the hand of some axe carrying lunatic with every corner I took walking down the hexagonal corridors of the convention hotel, Helen turned out to be another great friend, completely sans axe, and so was her room mate, author Bru Baker. After that first night, it was smooth sailing for me, and for every year that I’ve returned to GRL, traveling from Sweden to San Diego and Kansas City, I’ve made more friends, and some I’ve really grown close to.

I can’t wait to return and see my chosen family in Denver. I may not be the typical GRL author (since I don’t write romance), but I feel welcome nonetheless. There’s plenty of room under the rainbow. I understand that many newbies are apprehensive and “scared”, particularly the so called introverts, but trust me, you needn’t be. We are a friendly crowd. And if you allow me, let me give you just a couple of tips:

  • Join the Facebook group. You’ll get all the information in a timely fashion plus you’ll get to know some people way before you arrive in Denver. There’s information on room sharing, ride sharing, book pre-orders and what not.
  • Consider dressing up for the Saturday night party. It is a I had no idea there was a costume party on Saturday when I got to Chicago and totally missed out. I epically made up for it the year after!
  • Books: Most publishers and many authors will have pre-orders available. It’s usually cheaper to buy than on site plus you’ll be guaranteed to get the books you want. They have a tendency to sell out otherwise. If you prefer ebooks, worry not. Many will have discounts available for you. But do make space to buy at least a couple of paperbacks from your favorite authors to sign as keepsakes.

As I write this post, I’m less than a week away from my spring release of Last Winter’s Snow, a novel about recent Swedish LGBT history viewed from one couple’s perspective. It’s also a story about being a double outsider, with Nilas being Sami and his husband Casper having been raised in an evangelical congregation. How they deal with that is what this story is all about, set against the backdrop of the past thirty-odd years. I hope you’ll consider Last Winter’s Snow as one of your GRL reads.

I also try to have a fall release, in time for GRL. I’ve begun writing it, but it’s far from finished, which makes it a bit odd to talk about. But you can rest assured that whatever it will be called when finished, it will do the Queen of Unconventional Happy Endings justice!

I look forward to seeing you there. I’m easy to find in the book seller room.

Hans

Image Capture

  • The Queen of Unconventional Happy Endings making an appearance at GRL in San Diego.
  • Author Hans M Hirschi

 


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GRL 2017 Official Blog Tour: Guest Post Rick R. Reed

**Today TCO is excited to welcome Rick R. Reed to the GRL 2017 Official Blog Tour. I’m a big fan of his. Psssttt…he mentioned something about a kissing booth at GRL, so here’s hoping! Check out his guest post. I love it! And don’t forget there is a giveaway to enter. (And here’s a little secret, in response to Rick’s post…my husband is coming with me to Denver!!!)**

 

What to Tell People About Your Attendance at GRL

A Guest Post by Rick R. Reed

 

I admit it—to some folks the idea of going to a conference about gay romance literature might seem a little hard to understand. For those of us who are looking forward to it, it’s a foregone conclusion—that it’s fun, that it can be like a family reunion, that it can be an amazing way to mingle with your tribe, with people who get you, and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the reading and writing you love.

But some people in your life might not get it, and it’s for those folks that I offer up these talking points.

I once overheard some people talking about what they tell friends and family about their attendance at GRL, a retreat, as we all know, for lovers of m/m romance. For a reason that’s alien to me, some of the people I overheard felt the need to not be totally open about the event they were attending. As a gay man who’s been out of the closet now almost more years than he was in, the secrecy is a bit hard to understand, but I guess there are still people out there who A. care what someone else thinks about how they spend their off time or B. there are people (like, say, maybe a teacher at a parochial grade school) who knows their association with ‘gay’ literature might be frowned upon. And that’s sad. But I understand it’s a reality for some.

So here are some tips to help you decide what to say when people ask you about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing when you attend GRL.

 

For the straight folks in your life who have never heard of m/m romance

Now, for those of you who are open about where you’re going and people who don’t know your tastes in reading ask something like, “Gay romance? Why gay romance? You’re not gay, are you?” This is such a silly question, as if we have to confine our reading tastes to only who we are. Reading a book with African-American characters and you’re white? Why? Reading a story that’s about aliens from Mars and you’re not one? Why on Earth?

When you put it that way, you begin to see what a silly question it is. It would be like me, as a gay man, saying I don’t read stories with straight characters. I’m not straight, so how could a book about straight people possibly interest me?

Because I’m human! Because we’re all human! And our needs, desires, hopes, aspirations, and despair do not divide us; they unite us.

If someone wonders why you read m/m, you might clue them in that, in the end, you like reading about people falling in love. People. And then you might use the opportunity to tell them what’s so wonderful and different about m/m romance and why it makes sense not only for you to read, but why it also might make sense for them to step out of their comfort zone and give it a try.

 

For the gay folks in your life who wonder why m/m romance and not just gay fiction

And here, it gets a little trickier. I heard someone say on Facebook recently that m/m romance is by and for straight women and that gay romance is by and for gay men. Um, I beg to differ! Putting aside the inanity of trying to classify who reads and writes love stories, you still might have to talk to gay friends about what they might perceive as reading in a genre that’s not gender-appropriate for you, especially if you happen to be a gay man. Again, the same thing I said above applies–we’re all human. And human love stories, whether they’re about gay people or straight people, have a lot more in common than they have differences. Most of us want to find our happily ever after. Most of us have trouble getting there and may even have the misfortune of kissing a few frogs that did not turn into princes along the way. M/m, gay fiction, gay romance (my personal preference) whatever you want to call it, if it centers around two people falling in love, then it’s blind to gender and you really don’t have to defend your reading choices. Tell them that…and tell them that reading or writing about love is about our shared human experience and has very little to do with what’s between our legs, but what’s between our ears. And we all have that in common.

 

What to tell those who simply cannot know

So you may fall into the camp of someone, for whatever reason, must keep your attendance at a gay-related event on the down-low. I wish the world weren’t a place where this was sometimes necessary, but if it is in your case, you have lots of options (and these you can say without even lying). Tell ’em you’re attending a fan convention for fiction, a romance convention, a get-together with other readers like you to compare notes and meet your favorite authors. See, the specifics are nobody’s business but your own. Yet, I urge you, if you possibly can, to be open about where you’re going. Come out of the closet! You might be surprised that people are not as judgmental or surprised as you think. And by being open, you bring the possibility of the good news of m/m fiction more out into the world at large.

 

What to tell people if you’re an author

I can only speak for me, and the answer to that question is easy. I come because I want to connect with my tribe. For each of the now five years I’ve been coming to GRL as a featured author, my experience is always the same: it’s like a family reunion. It’s a chance, for almost a week, to be with the people I write for, the people who ‘get’ me and I them, and to connect with others who write what I do and be go fan boy on them. It’s truly a retreat…into a perfect world where everyone likes the same stuff as I do. I am not big on swag or giveaways. My best giveaway, I’ve always thought, is a smile and a hug. Those are the things that give me my biggest return.

 

Check out all of Rick R. Reed’s books here!

 


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GRL 2017 Blog Tour Exclusive: Sid Love-Guest Post and Giveaway

**TCO is excited to welcome Sid Love to the GRL 2017 Blog Tour. Check out Sid’s post, his books, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Look forward to meeting you in October, Sid!!!**

I am Sid Love and I’ll be attending GRL this year as a supporting author.

To be honest, I’m scared shitless but I know I’ll end up having fun even while doing all the supporting author stuff because … come on, it’s GRL!

I attended my first event in 2015 when it happened in sunny San Diego, CA. Some great memories were made back then. It was overwhelming at first and I cried in happiness every time I met any person I’d only chatted on Facebook till then. I also made new friends and got to know some new authors too. Oh and there were hugs. People at GRL love to hug and I wasn’t complaining because I loved to hug them too! When I went back home, I carried a luggage full of books, a lot of swag and a gazillion pictures with me.

It was my first time in the states too (Did I tell you that I’m from India? Well, I am 😀 ) and California made me fall in love with its beauty.

So, Denver’s something I am definitely looking forward to. I’m quite excited to start planning out my trip. When you see me around, don’t hesitate to come up to me and say hi. I’ll be the only nerdy looking Indian guy there, so you can’t miss me 😛

Do check out my newest release from Cool Dudes Publishing titled “Detour”.

 

Austin Reyes works as a bartender to support his ailing mother in a small town called Eaton. But his life takes a horrible turn when his boss’ son, Caleb, arrives in town and force

s himself upon Austin. There is no end to Caleb’s lustful intentions. Austin leaves Eaton and flees to Denver to start a new life when his mother co

 

mmits suicide after succumbing to depression. There, he meets Dylan Carver.

Dylan is out and proud. He’s also a well-known actor in the porn industry. When haters damage his car, Austin, now homeless and destitute, is injured and Dylan helps him. In the immediate aftermath, Dylan develops more than a passing interest for Austin, and, though they part ways, chance meetings never stop.

Austin lets Dylan in on the secret about his past, but soon realizes that the man who looked so happy on the outside, has his own baggage. Unbeknownst to them, someone is plotting to get Austin killed.

Even while surrounded by danger, Austin and Dylan’s relationship takes a detour that was always meant to be. Will this detour be Dylan’s undoing? Will Austin finally come to terms with his mother’s suicide and follow his own truth? Or will their lives implode?

Trigger Warning: Content includes a rape scene.

 

Sid Love grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics as told by his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back, he has always had an ambitious mind.

In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author someday.

Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word.

He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen’s romance novels and loves to reread them time and again.

AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website: https://sidlovewrites.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sid.love.16?ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FatefulMercy

Email: sidlovethewriter@live.in

 

Holding on to Hope

Dear Stranger

Let it Go

Detour

 


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GRL 2017 Official Blog Tour: Giovanna Reaves

**TCO is excited to have Giovanna Reaves, Supporting Author, joining the GRL 2017 Blog Tour today! Check out her post on Comfort Zones, all the books, and don’t forget the TCO GRL 2017 Giveaway!

 

 

Comfort Zones

Since becoming an author/writer; I’m learning a lot about myself both personally and professionally. I’m learning not to be easily offended if a reader leaves a negative review. Does it hurt that someone didn’t like what I wrote? Hell yeah, it does. But I have to push past the negative and concentrate on the positive. Being a writer is scary and exciting. I’m sure many other authors who were starting out understand where I’m coming from. The mixed feelings we experience as a writer can be overwhelming at times leaving me to wonder if I did the right thing. But then I think about how my life has changed since I became a writer. I’ve learned to express myself through my writing.  I’m becoming more confident by pulling myself slowly away from the corner where I have felt comfortable.

Being a writer, I’m learning to get out of my comfort zone. Such as being a bit more open on social media (not big on talking about myself) and the biggest one, meeting new people or learning to accept that not everyone is going to love my work. Some writers, myself included are very shy and get nervous whenever we are about to do something new by stepping out of our comfort zones. One of the ways that I will be pushing myself further away from my corner will be by attending my first GRL this October! I’m a ball of nerves and excitement. I’m doing this because I think it would be the perfect time for me to learn from seasoned authors who know what the heck they are doing. Not only that I can’t wait to meet all the authors whose books I’ve enjoyed over and over for the past few years. I cannot wait to thank the writers who unknowingly encouraged me by taking the first step in becoming a writer. There are so many questions I

want to ask so many things I cannot wait to see. In my excitement, my only worry is that I will end up being that one annoying fan they’ll run from when they see me coming. I know for certain that I will have a blast and I cannot wait!

Giovanna (Gia) Reaves is my alter ego, who is a dreamer. I spend my days and nights dreaming and thinking of the worlds I want to create with words. I started writing about three years ag

o when I was introduced to the world of fan fiction. I loved the idea of creating a new world around characters that people already knew about. And ones that are original of my own making. I have written four novels and currently working on much more to come. I am a mother, wife, and a military veteran. I enjoy trying new things such as traveling, cooking, and reading. I try to incorporate some of the things I have experienced into my books. Currently living in Newport, RI with my two favorite men. If I am not hidden in my cave writing, I love to read and spend time with my hubby and son. I love listening to R and B along with neo soul when I am writing. When I’m not writing, I am trying to perfect my baking and decorating skills or try to pick up something new. I love spending time with my husband and son playing video games and traveling.

Check out my website www.giovannareaves.com or my books on Amazon.


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GRL 2017 Featured Blogger Post: J. Scott Coatsworth

**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.

Check out all of Scott’s works here:

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK


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