Tuesday, October 22, 2013

GRL 2013 experience

I guess I have to start by saying GRL WAS AWESOME. I really did enjoy my time and I wish I had gotten there earlier on Thursday OR arrived Wednesday. So for next year I am keeping that in mind. I find this difficult to blog about only because if I start mentioning people I enjoyed meeting and I forget some names, I don't want someone to feel bad or left out. So... I'm sorry ahead of time. I can't remember everyone. The GRL author list is like a cheat sheet because it reminds me of the authors that were there, but it doesn't tell me which publishers, fans, and reviewers were present and which ones talked to me. So please forgive my human ping-ping brain.

I started my adventure by missing my flight. Not fun. But over all Delta was really great. We got the flight switched and only had to wait another hour. Traffic was crazier then I've ever seen. 8 lanes! WOW. My friend Mel screamed "WADE!" across the floor when I approached the check in desk so it was a nice surprise to get recognized. Mel Leach was also the first person to ask me to autograph one of my books to her. So, what do you think happens? I cried!

Backtrack... Thursday night was the blacklight party. It was fun. I liked the neon and stuff. We (my friend and I) arrived late, probably around 5 something. So the biggest bummer about not being there on Thursday EARLIER was missing TJ's proposal to Eric. I really wish I saw that. I hadn't really EVER talked to TJ before friday night, but I AM ON THE INTERNET, I know who he is and I see his posts etc... He moved relatively close by to me. I have only previously chatted with Eric--minimally. I can be rather shy and I get the impression he can be too. IDK. I like Eric and he was one of a handful of people I was MOST looking forward to meeting. Author-wise, I think Eric Arvin and Kade Boehme were at the top of the list. So... yeah... I wish I witnesses the proposal, but I'm glad I saw pictures. I think they are so cute together. You can just see the love for each other pouring from their faces. I LOVE Eric's smile when he looks at TJ. ADORABLE!

So, Thursday was the black light thing and the music was too loud and not my style. I liked it, but I would have liked listening to All Time Low more!! LOL. So I did. I went back to my room afterward and put on headphones. In the morning I got up early and enjoyed an almost vacant restaurant, my iPod (ATL), and coffee. by myself. I like to chill before chatting all day. Ya know?

Because Friday was a day of tears apparently. 9:00 am Friday morning was when Mel handed me When Love Is Not Enough and asked me to sign it. It was a wonderful feeling. Then I listened to some Q & A sessions and ended up crying again when Amy Lane spoke. She is simply wonderful. I met her at the reception the night before and chitchatted a tad. She is one of my all time favorite authors. (As we all know, if you ask me for a book rec I say: The Locker Room!!) I also got to say hi to Mary Calmes thursday night and many many times over the weekend. She is so warm and pleasant. Love her hugs.

I cried more times too. I did. Shocker! Friday night was the "dine with an author" night. Who do I end up with? The one and only (and adorable) Eric Arvin!!! and his sexy fiancĂ© TJ Klune!!! whoot, lucky me, right? That was really cool because it was the first time I've ver spoken to TJ. And when he left the table for 5  minutes, I got to talk to Eric one on one. I liked that a lot :) Also at the table were David Warner and his husband Mark. They were very nice to meet especially when they live somewhat close and I'll be able to see them again soon. And.... AND.... I met an adorable couple named Michael and Nick. (I'll talk about them later.)

Saturday was more Q&A stuff, but ya know I never made it. I ended up talking in the hall the entire time. I met Will Parkinson, and Tom Webb (again. I hugged him the day before.) Both sweet men! I hugged Geoff Knight, KA Mitchell, & Rachel Haimowitz. My friend Lynn was there and I hugged her every chance I got. And Melanie Marshal. I finally Met Monika V. who lives super far away, and I got a chase to chitchat one on one. I loved that! And Sara York!!! I spent a good deal of time at breakfast saturday with her. (Rachel and I also spoke at length after Sara slipped away.)

I got to meet the lovely and quiet Kaje Harper. AND I spent some one on one time with K-Lee Kline!!!  Very enjoyable! I finally met Piper Vaughn, and chatted with Rhys Ford about her cat. (The one in the FB icon) So many people. Madison parker was the official/unofficial photographer! So fun. and so cute! Andrew Grey I had met several times, as well as Damon Suede, both men were a joy to see again and hug!! :) I met Cate Ashwood and her sister. Two very lovely women whom I wish I had more time with. Shira Anthony I had met in DC, along with Ken Murphy, Andrew Gordon (not at GRL) and Zahra Owens. But I got to see Shira again and meet her friend and co-author Venona Keyes. Both delightful women I will MISS!!!

Metting Elisa Rolle was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know she'd be there. I have to say she is one of the most elegant women I have ever met. Lovely. Truly lovely!

TA Chase has the most beautiful tattoo I've seen. (And she is adorable.) I thoroughly loved chatting with Jordan Hawk and her husband, I only wish I had more time with them. NEXT TIME!! I hugged the effervescent Clair London, and danced with Erica Pike. (And a beautiful, almost naked young "Angel" at the after hours party at the pub in the hotel. Downright scandalous!) I chatted many times with Lynley Wayne and her husband whom I dubbed "quiet man." Kris Jacen was extremely sweet and very pretty. And so many others I met and hugged: Jordan Castillo Price, Rowan Speedwell, Ally Blue, Charlie Chochet (I can't spell that.), Poppy Dennison, Eden Winters (and her opossum), Anne Tenino, Shannon West, Rick Reed, Jon Michaelson, Cherie Noel, Tara Lain, Ariel Tachna, Jacob Flores, and Silvia Violet. And yes, I did meet and hug Kade!

And personally, it was awesome to meet ZA Maxfield because Crossing Borders was the second M/M book I EVER read. She is like an inspiration! (1st ever was Without Reservations by JL Langley)

I took 4 books with me to get autographed, and I came home with 12. (very heavy to carry!)

These were the authors I met. Then, there were the fans!!! I am pretty sure about 20 came up to me to get something signed. That was so fun and unexpected. I remember meeting and/or hugging Barb, Kat (Raevyn, who apparently read WLINE 7 times. Craziness.), of course MEL and Monika, Becky, The sweet and wonderful and lovely Frances (whom I got to spend time with too), Mary, and another Mary, Jackie, Ank, and, and??? Remind me. Please. Leave a comment if I forgot your name. (Sorry)

I also invaded the personal space of Alex Whitehall. Sorry about that. I'm not good with social queues so hopefully next time I will not scare you. (Not that I did this time.) I'm glad I got a hug from Alex before i left :p (And a picture) *Apparently he's the production manager at Riptide! Cool. I did some stalking. Yes I did. I like people who don't fit into a box/mold. *Although Alex might being nicknamed "Pocket Alex" ;) So, adorable ... :p

Now I'm down to Michael and Nicholas.... Probably the most delightful surprises of the weekend. Michael is a first time published author. The Descending Darkness is m his first book. (Which he gave me a copy to read.) He and his fiancĂ©  Nick were so kind and wonderful to meet. I think I will miss them most of all. (Like Dorothy missed the Scarecrow.) Something about these guys sunk into my heart. Maybe it had something to do with Nick also liking All Time low (haha) but I think my fondness for them would have probably been solid without that commonality. And then Michael writes the sweetest message inside the book he gave me, which, yes, made me cry again!!! Can't wait to see them again! Michael and Nick, you guys are very special!

So yeah, I had a great time. If I forgot something. Ask. It is a lot packed into a few days. Next year it is in Chicago. Yes, I plan on attending and an official AUTHOR!!!! :)

Over and out,



  1. Wade, I am so glad you enjoyed it. I knew you would. There were people going home gushing because they got to meet you. And your smile. The joy was so evident on your face, especially when you were with Michael. I hope I get to meet you in Chicago next year.

    1. They gushed over ME???? Really. oh wow. It means a lot!

  2. Wow I just fangirled all over your photos and now reading your words ... gaaahhh .... i'm just a reader with no talent other than reading A LOT but i would have just probably been in tears over so much talent in one space at one time!! And you've dropped a few author names that now i will have to go check out immediately! thanks for sharing your trip!!

    1. you are welcome! I hope you like the authors. I have to admit, though, I haven't read Eden Winters, Ariel Tachna, K-Lee Kline, or Daniel Kane. The books were recommended. My trip was so fun!!!

  3. Wade, I loved meeting you. I'm so happy that you happened to be standing in that exhibition area when you were pointed out to me. I LOVE your work and would have been so bummed if I missed seeing you!

    Barb (aka Zany Thoughts)