Starting from June 1, 2015, I will daily feature authors attending the three conventions I will join, Euro Pride in Munich (July), UK Meet in Bristol (September) and GRL in San Diego (October). Moreover I'm taking part at the 2015 GRL Featured Blog Tour
as Featured Blogger.For the 2015 Featured Blog Tour
, today author is Laura Harner:
Are you coming to your first GRL? Nervous?
When I first attended the Gay Romance Literature Retreat in 2012 in Albuquerque, I did the obligatory round of blogs to introduce myself and my books—and felt completely awkward. Not only was it my first GRL—it was my first public appearance anywhere. I couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to meet me, let alone read about me or care what I posted in a blog.
For the months leading up to the event, I scoured the Internet searching for swag—uhm, actually I had to first figure out what swag was—then I had to try to find something unique that would somehow tell readers they should immediately go buy my books. The list of what experienced authors were bringing was intimidating: chocolate penises, condoms with logos, key chains, pens, bookmarks…all with naked men, of course. OMG…what the heck should I bring???
Beyond the swag question, the list of what I didn’t know was endless and daunting. What was I supposed to do? What did “authors” wear? And most importantly…who the heck would I talk to? I didn’t “know” anyone. Well, except best pal Tom Webb who was flying in from Atlanta.
The good and bad side to having a friend at an event became clearer to me much later…when I realized we might have appeared to be stand-offish by hanging out with each other rather than mingling as much as possible. The good side was we were able to see each other face-to-face for the first time. We ate together, talked together, and generally hung out because we were truly happy to be in the same place, at the same time. But honestly, we stayed glued to each other because...it was safe.
The sad truth is, we were just intimidated. There are a lot of people at GRL, and many, many pre-established relationships that can leave you feeling on the outside. Take heart…you really aren’t on the outside, you just need to let people know you want in…
As nervous as you may be, so are many of the others around you. There will be a lot of first-time attendees, authors, aspiring authors, and readers. There are also GRL veterans who will be just as nervous this time as they were the first time they attended. No matter how anxious you feel—from a mild case of meeting-new-people-upset-tummy to a full-fledged panic attack—I can promise you, others have felt the same way.
Just take a deep breath and know you really are among friends and family—even if you haven’t met them yet.
Oh, and I have to tell you…in Albuquerque, I was standing all by myself, feeling completely out of place with my “Author” nametag hanging from my lanyard. I’m certain I looked ready to puke. A woman looked at the tag and said, “Oh, you’re an author…may I have your autograph?”
Now I knew she didn’t know who I was and had never heard of my books, but she saw the “Author” tag and took a chance and asked. My hands shook, but I did it…remembered how to spell my name and everything.
We became Facebook friends and we still talk to each other. In fact, she’s done some beta reading for me, helped with promotion, and even started a Facebook group for the Pulp Friction writing group I’m in.
So, here’s a shout out to Stacia, and all the others out there who are brave enough and kind enough reach out to those of us standing alone at GRL.
*smiles and pours a cup of coffee* Now, let me introduce myself…
My name is Laura Harner and I live on waterfront property in Arizona because I've always wanted to be an oxymoron. I love to tell stories of people who find themselves in unusual situations (attracted to a best friend, in a haunted house, kidnapped for his own good, etc.) and then have to find way to push through whatever it is holding them back from finding love. I'm a big believer that love comes in many flavors, so among my titles you'll find MF, MM, and multiple partners of various combinations. In other words, love outside the lines. Suspense included, no extra charge.
I share my home with an ever-revolving cast of characters—some of whom are actually real—and outside of writing and watching my Diamondbacks baseball, I’m building my own version of the Willow Springs Ranch to turn into a writing retreat.
With over sixty published novels and novellas, I'm rapidly approaching a half million books sold! I am truly humbled to make my living writing full time and I want to thank each and every reader who's taken a chance on one of my books—that makes you family.
Connect with me online:
For my blog, book news, and to read free excerpts visit: http://lauraharner.com
The Willow Springs Ranch Collection Volume II by Laura Harner
Publisher: Hot Corner Press (May 8, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: The Willow Springs Ranch Collection Volume II
This volume contains the full versions of Hanging Chad, Park's Lot, and Whit's End, plus Kismet & Cartwheels.
For Chad Ollom, landing on the Willow Springs Ranch after his teaching career crashed and burned last year was a lesson in irony, considering he'd sworn off all things related to horses and cowboys after a near fatal fall as a child. Now Chad plans to bring critically ill children to the ranch for a special celebration.
Aging rodeo cowboy Jesse Duran lives life eight seconds at a time, and whether it's broncos or men, it's always been get on and get off before anyone gets hurt. When he's required to take a break from the circuit and ends up on the WSR, the enticing ass of a stand-offish teacher turned contractor might just be enough challenge to keep him entertained for a week or two.
As attraction flares, personal boundaries start to crumble, and the lines between seducer and seduced begin to blur. When the series of on-going attacks against the WSR moves from sabotage to arson, Jesse steps up to help, but when Chad is forced to return to his past to face charges of abuse, the men of the WSR want to know if Jesse will stick or leave Chad hanging.
When vegan, peace-loving, social do-gooder Park Williams stumbles across the half-dead cattle rancher who has been sabotaging the WSR in the name of a homophobic militia group...there's only one thing to do. Save his life, then share his tent. Waking to find the man's dick pressed against his ass is just a bonus.
Tanner Triplett is in trouble. Not the your-brother-is-a-sociopathic-murderer-a
nd-you're-his-next-victim sort of trouble. Not even the your-father-is-trying-to-overthrow-the-f
il-for-helping kind of trouble. No...this is the sort of trouble that comes when you wake up with stranger's dick in your hand. Holy fuck. How is he going to get out of this?
A sudden need to run for their lives ought to do it.
Kismet & Cartwheels
For the free-spirited Park Williams, leaving the relative safety of the WSR for a remote cabin near Flagstaff to spend some quality alone-time with his new boyfriend seems like a no-brainer. But Tanner Triplett is having a bad month. After two attempts on his life, he's helped put his father and brother behind bars, lost his beloved ranch, and oh yeah...stepped out of the closet in a big way.
When his three-day marriage ends in an annulment, country music sensation Brody Kent finds himself on the run from paparazzi intent on discovering why. Seeking shelter with his old friend at the Willow Springs Ranch might not be his wisest choice, considering the place is crawling with gay cowboys, but he needs someone he can trust and time alone to look for the joy that's been missing from his music. Although no one should know of his travel plans, before he can make the turn to relative safety, Brody's run off the road by a rogue reporter determined to get a scoop. A very different cowboy rides to his rescue...and Brody can't help but wonder, well, a lot of things.
The men at the WSR might work hard and play harder, but as the long-awaited Ranch Quest approaches, ranch hand Whit Truman needs to focus on preparing to host the sick children and not the oh-so-sexy voice from his past due to arrive at any minute. Not that the singer would have any reason to remember his brother's childhood friend. When a desert storm postpones the event by a week, Whit takes some much-needed time off, only to stumble upon the object of his avoidance in a most surprising place. The walking, talking grown-up version of his teenage crush isn't anything like the arrogant megastar Brody plays onstage--most of the time. That unexpected vulnerability could prove to be Whit's undoing, as he vows to do everything in his power to protect Brody...if he doesn't kill him first.( GRL Blog Tour Appearance Schedule )