Hello from social distancing! I hope you’re all doing as well as can be expected in these topsy-turvy times, and that life is giving you as many breaks as it can from this ongoing anxiety and pressure. If you’re feeling a little down about the lack of conventions and Pride (totally valid to feel that way, even knowing it’s the right thing to do), I have what I hope is some good news for the next few weeks.
As an author, one of the most awesome things you sometimes get to do is conventions, retreats, and events. Gathering with other authors and with readers—and, in my case, other queer authors and queer readers especially—is an amazing feeling. That 2020 seemed bound and determined to cancel everything (again, for good reasons), it’s hard not to feel down about it. But technology can be wonderful, and in fact, thanks to technology, I’ve been able to “attend” more conferences and events than I could have in a non-digital sense.
And a bunch of them are coming up over the next two weekends.
Romancing the Capital
I missed the last Romancing the Capital, hosted by the wonderful Eve Langlais, and I’m delighted to be taking part in a couple of panels for the ongoing digital events the RTC people have been putting together this year. Saturday, May 30th, I’m going to be taking part in two panels: one on Christmas Romance, from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, and one on Queer Representation in Romance, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. You can find all the information you need to watch here.
Spoiled for Choices
After RTC, I’ve got one heck of a weekend coming up on Saturday June 6th and Sunday June 7th, as both the Bold Strokes Books UK Bookathon and the Renaissance Press Virtual Conference are happening at the same time, but thanks to the wonders of technology (and a five hour time difference), this means I can attend both. Unexpected upside for the win!
The Renaissance Press Virtual Conference
The Renaissance Press Virtual Conference is a free virtual conference, hosted by Presses Renaissance Press! There will be readings, panels, an online vendor room, and more. The events will be held from the evening of Friday, June 5th through to Sunday 7th, 2020. You do need to register, and early is better because spots are limited.
I’ll be popping up in two places: At noon on Saturday June 6th, I’m on “Bury Your Tropes,” talking some harmful tropes, and why they cause harm. Our goal is to call out harmful tropes and offer a different story path. If you’ve heard me talk on the subject at all before, you’ve likely heard me talk about some of the queer tropes in specific, but this panel is taking a much wider approach than I usually get to talk about. I can’t wait.
Then, on Sunday June 7th, at 10:30 am, I’m taking part in “Literary and Genre Fiction: Can’t We All Just Get Along?” Why is there a divide between literary and genre fiction, and between certain fiction genres? What can we do to celebrate all fiction? Is cross-genre fiction changing this? I can’t wait to find out the answers to these questions, which I assume the other panelists all have. 😉
The Bold Strokes Books UK Bookathon
LGBTQ fiction publisher Bold Strokes Books is hosting a two-day webinar bookathon live from the UK for your viewing pleasure. The event will be held on Saturday June 6, 2020 and Sunday June 7, 2020. Connect with your favourite authors as they read from their latest and forthcoming books, and discuss this year’s theme: CHANGE.
I am beyond chuffed I get to “go back” to the UK for this event, which was one of the best convention experiences of my life a couple of years ago. I had to sit down with my calculator and a clock and a map to remind myself of what-time-it-is-here-when-it’s-that-time-there, but happily the organizers have done that work for you with a few time zones listed on the information at the website, where you can register for the individual panels and download yourself a full schedule.
So what am I doing? A lot! On Saturday June 6th, at 8:30 am here in Ottawa, I’m on “Crossing Borders: Writing Across Culture and Difference,” where some authors are going to discuss how we’ve approached writing different characters and settings from the more broadly seen. And at 1:00 pm here in Ottawa, I’m taking part in an author reading and Q&A session—any preferences as to what you’d like to hear me read?—along some amazing authors, so that’s not going to be nerve-wracking at all.
Then, on Sunday June 7th, at 11:30 am, I’m talking Creating Characters, where the authors admit we totally do have a favourite, and what goes into making those characters (hopefully) pop right off the page for a reader. Finally, at 1:00 pm, we talking the nuts and bolts of the book world, where I don my slightly-dusty bookseller hat for “The Art of Publishing” and the group of us bring our POV from every stage of a book’s life from concept to reader’s hands.
That’s… a lot.
It is. Okay, here’s the bullet-point version of where I’ll “be” and when (in local Ottawa time), with links to the registration/information for each convention):
- Saturday May 30th, 2020:
1:30 pm — Christmas Romance (Romancing the Capital)
3:00 pm — Queer Representation in Romance (Romancing the Capital)
- Saturday June 6th, 2020:
8:30 am — Crossing Borders: Writing Across Culture and Difference (Bold Strokes Books Bookathon UK)
12:00 pm — Bury Your Tropes (Renaissance Press Virtual Conference)
1:00 pm — Multi-Author Reading and Q&A (Bold Strokes Books Bookathon UK)
- Sunday June 7th, 2020:
10:30 am — Literary & Genre Fiction (Renaissance Press Virtual Conference)
11:30 am — Creating Characters (Bold Strokes Books Bookathon UK)
1:00 pm — The Art of Publishing (Bold Strokes Books Bookathon UK)
I hope to “see” you there, and, seriously, if you’ve got any preference on what I should read for the author reading, do let me know. Like, as soon as possible.