GRL San Diego was fantastic! This was my second GRL and it was miles apart from my first experience last year in Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed last year too, but it was more of a reconnoissance mission than anything. Lol. I had no idea what to expect and all I hoped was to meet a friendly face or two so I wouldn’t be completely on my own for three or four days. From that prospective, the trip was a success. I was able to view the format (Q&As, readings, down time) and choose where I wanted to participate. And yes, there were many friendly, fun people there! So this time around, I had an idea of how things might be. Plus, there was the added bonus of living within driving distance of the venue and being somewhat familiar with the San Diego area. Win, win!Yes! Except… Real life has a way of seeping in and redirecting plans. The week before GRL, a close family friend passed away. He was an older man who’d lived a rich and wonderful life. He’d been suffering at the end and his passing was blessing. However, he’d touched many lives and was a mentor and father figure to my husband for over thirty-six years. When his funeral was set for the Friday of GRL, I knew I had to go. Because I was within driving distance, I did. No regrets. However, when RL invaded, it changed the GRL dynamic for me a little. I was ultra aware of my responsibilities at home (which included a wedding the following weekend…ugh!) in a way I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t had the luxury of driving back and forth. The end result was that I wasn’t able to attend some of the events I would have otherwise. It was a bummer, but I still had a blast! I was on a Q & A panel with Vanessa North and Jet Mykles. This was my second panel in less than a month and my first at GRL. I was very nervous. I remember thinking it wasn’t so smart to have chosen to go last. LOL. But really, it didn’t matter. Everyone in the audience was so gracious. And yes, there was an audience! People wanted to know about the Better Than and Right & Wrong Stories series and damn… that was pretty cool! I loved meeting some of the folks I chat with on FB, Twitter and here :-). Special hellos to Hanne, Gigi, Gina and Dani! <3 Dine with an Author Night was fun too. Our table was right next to the stage, so when the fire dancer’s grass necklace caught on fire, panic set in. The food was great but the company was better. 😉 But my favorite part was the Author Signing on Saturday. It was another first for me. There was a signing room at GRNW, but this one was ginormous! Everyone was so friendly and so happy to be there. I shared a table with the very sweet Rick R. Reed, who’s a seasoned author and GRL pro (I think he said he’d attended all 5 so far). The 2 1/2 hours went so quickly. I’m excited to do it all over again! Lol.
As far as I’m concerned, nothing compares to meeting people who come from all over the world (Norway, India, Iceland, England, Australia…) to celebrate a genre we all feel so passionately about. If it weren’t for GRL I know I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet these readers, publishers, bloggers, and fellow authors. I’m honored to have been part of GRL 2015. A huge thank you to Ethan, Carol, Reese (&Ron!) and Teresa. You all do amazing work! I’m looking forward to next year in Kansas City! Back to my WIP! I am currently buried in edits for book #2 of my new series. I’m hoping to resurface within the week. In the meantime, Happy Autumn, Happy Birthday to Aaron (BTG) and Brandon (The Wrong Man)…(I think it was yesterday 😉 ) and as always, Happy Reading!
*There were far too many people to call out, but please know I am beyond thrilled to have met you all. <3 Btw, the top pic is the view from my room. Not too shabby, eh?