By Cat Grant
For the first time? I just got home, and I’m still overwhelmed. The French Quarter is insane! Imagine a 24-hour party, with streets full of people walking around with drinks in hand, rainbow flags flying overhead and gay bars on every corner. The natives are friendly and hospitable - I even had a nice conversation with the guy who worked at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo! (And brought home three voodoo dolls in my carry-on bag, but that’s another story…)
In short, the city’s pure Southern Gothic – hot, ripe, dripping with mystery and wisteria. Every street is lined with “for sale” signs, and for one wild, crazy moment, I actually thought about moving there, if not for the sticky heat. Even in October, temperatures hovered in the mid-eighties, with super-high humidity. Not something this born-and-raised California girl could ever stand!
And then there was the reason I’d come to NOLA in the first place – GayRomLit. From the moment I walked into the opening reception, I knew I was home. Everyone in that room either wrote or read what I write. Sure, I’ve been to other romance writers’ conferences before – where the m/m writers are usually shunted off to one side like red-headed stepchildren. Here I was amongst my people.
I gave my very first public reading of my work – and I don’t mind saying, I was pretty nervous. But everyone was very gracious and patient with me fumbling around with pages that wouldn’t turn and a jackhammer blasting away outside. (Naturally, the hotel was undergoing construction while we were there.)
Riptide authors: Rachel Haimowitz, Damon Suede, Brita Addams, Bryl Tyne and Cat Grant (picture stolen from Cat's blog)
Met so many wonderful readers, and a bunch of my colleagues. One reader actually SCREAMED when she saw me – which I found both flattering and unnerving. Now I know how movie stars feel most of the time! Sat next to Marie Sexton at dinner one night, and didn’t even realize it was her until halfway through the meal. Hung out with a bunch of awesome people poolside Saturday night. We ordered pizza, drank hurricanes and generally had a blast.
But there was one moment that simply made the entire convention for me, when a fellow author who also happened to be an ex-soldier told me I’d nailed my portrayal of my Marine hero Cole Hammond’s PTSD in the selection I’d read from Once a Marine. In fact, I came that close to crying!
It was an amazing experience – easily the best-organized and most fun writers’ convention I’ve ever attended. Can’t wait for next year in Albuquerque! :)
Riptide Grand Opening Giveaway
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win your choice of Cat Grant’s Allegro Vivace, Sonata Appassionata, The First Real Thing (Icon Men #1), Appearing Nightly (Icon Men #2), A Fool for You (Icon Men #3), or Entangled Trio!
Riptide is having a Grand Opening tour, of which this blog post is a part. At the end of the tour stop, Riptide also awards one lucky commenter a big Riptide swag bag, US resident only. If an international winner is chosen, they will substitute for a gift certificate to All Romance E-Books.
The best part is, that each comment in the blog tour earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle.
Website Riptide Publishing | blog tour list | website Cat Grant | Weblog Cat Grant