Last weekend saw the third annual meeting of the GLBTQ writers/readers/publishers UK meet in Brighton. It was my first experience of being amongst a large group of people who wrote GLBTQ fiction and who were as passionate as me about the genre. And it was liberating to be in the company of people who understood why we write what we do; and why we are so passionate about the genre. And make no mistake, it isa passion-and one shared by everyone who was at the meet.
It was a fabulous day albeit a little nerve-wracking at first because I was about to meet other authors who I’d only corresponded with on Live Journal or WordPress or by email. What does one say to people who had had books published and had been writing for years? Bloody good books as well; books which, in my opinion deserve their place on the shelves of Waterstones or W.H Smiths et al along with mainstream books.
But, to get back to Brighton. I needn’t have worried about meeting the others. Everyone was so jolly, welcoming and friendly and there was a great sense of camaraderie throughout.
I arrived at the hotel quite early on Saturday morning after a fairly decent journey from Ipswich via one car,three trains, one bus and a tube train. There, I was greeted by my mate, author Elin Gregory and Jordan Castillo Price-another well established author who also made the keynote speech of the meet; and very interesting it was as well.
We were all soon into the swing of things and the programme opened with a talk on ‘Opening Paragraphs’ and how it can either draw your reader in-or send him off to sleep. Believe me, I really wanted more from these openings especially Alex Beecroft’s opening from ‘Under the Hill-Bombers Moon. That is on my ‘To Read’ list.
All the talks were interesting but being a tad overwhelmed I didn’t take any notes (note to self-take notes next year) 😏 I especially enjoyed the Buffet of Banter where each table was given a subject to talk about. We (our table) were given ‘Who’s Leg is it Anyway’ (I think that was the title.) but obviously we didn’t stay on topic for long. But it was good to hear others thoughts and opinions on the perils of penning erotic scenes. They’re certainly not easy to write in my opinion; and as it turned out- I wasn’t the only one to think so.
My day ended with a lovely evening stroll along the sea front with Elin Gregory. It was such a beautiful evening that I could have walked for miles. But….after two thumping big glasses of a rather nice white wine in Olè Olè , the Tapas restaurant up the road, I was reeling and I think, slurring a bit. So we went back to the hotel for a much needed coffee and a writerly chat. Lovely end to the day.
It was a really good day all told, and a wonderful experience for an amateur writer like myself. I enjoyed every minute of it; and being in the company of so many like- minded folk was a joy which I am looking forward to repeating next year in Manchester. Roll on I say. 😃
My thanks to everyone who made it all possible. You’re all brilliant!
Ooh, before I sign off, I must mention- there was a raffle; the proceeds from which will be donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust. A wonderful organisation which helps GLBTQ teens and young people who may find themselves on the streets and homeless because their families disapprove of their sexual orientation.
Thank you. See you all in Manchester.