I wanted to let you all know I won't be attending GRL this October.
I’m sure any of you that have seen Amber Kell's decision about GRL were probably expecting this from me, you all know that Amber and I are incredibly close and seeing her is a highlight of my visit (don't tell her that). We have a lot of fun together, and I think that comes over on panels, and meet ups, and in our joint writing on End Street.
Instead of simply saying I am not attending GRL this year and leaving it at that, I felt like I owed anyone that wants to know why, an explanation.
I want to be incredibly honest with you, and it’s a painful thing to write.
The writing world is hard at the moment, everyone can see that. With KU, more authors, authors who plagiarize, groups of authors writing under one name, price cutting, readers expecting low prices, writers selling at 99c, and everything else that I can’t even think to list, it needs a lot of hard work behind the scenes to sustain visibility and sales.
Midlisters are struggling, new authors aren’t even getting seen, and publishers are being hit hard. We’ve all seen that. Then there is this constant need in my little community to drag others down, to find things that cause controversy, and to make others so sad. I don't like that.
Now, I KNOW I am one of the lucky ones. I appear to be riding the storm, I keep my head down, my words up, write the stories I love, with strong men who make me happy, and I hope that my muse never leaves me and that this continues.
Sales for me haven’t dropped, if anything they are increasing (there are some benefits to other MM authors breaking the Amazon 100 to any other non KU author who can get seen in the top 20), and I love every single one of you that buys my stories. I know I am lucky.
I have been writing MM for six years now, with GRL being one of the highlights of three of those years (Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego). The cost of this event to us is balanced by meeting old friends, seeing the US, and generally having a fun time. GRL is a wonderful event, and I am not saying for one minute I won’t miss going, because I will. Any author in MM should attend, because seriously, networking, and laughing, and wine, is just the perfect combination.
But, and this is me being honest, at this point in my career I need to attend some of the other events out there, to work on my craft, to become better, to branch out, to learn. That is why I hope to attend RT in Atlanta next year, and add in some other craft focused events. At RT I will be a little fish in a big pond, and I ‘need’ that right now, to push myself, and to listen and learn. There are also other writing conventions in the North West, and that would mean I could visit Seattle!
I was attending GRL 16 for fear of letting people down, my friends, the organisers, my husband. Not a good state of affairs to get myself into.
I am horribly scared of posting it out on my Facebook and Blog, Brits hate to upset people, but I have to.
Hugs and kisses
p.s. End Street book 6 will be with you, as planned, September 2016 :)