Con times 2013

04 Jul

WOW!!! What can I say? What an amazing trip! What an amazing Con! Kudos to the GCLS for another fantastic event!

Before I get into my recount of the AWESOME time we had, I want to say: THANK YOU LAYDIN MICHAELS!!!!! Yep – in case you haven’t heard, I was a bad person and forgot to thank her in my awards speech. So, now I’ll say THANK YOU to Laydin for everything she does for me and is for me in my life.

We arrived in the great city of Dallas Tuesday evening. We had dinner at The Old Monk, thanks to Carsen Taite’s recommendation. It was delicious. We had great burgers and fries and sampled local brews. Then Laydin treated me to an 18 year old Jameson. YUM!!!!

After dinner and the pool, we headed over to the con hotel to see what was up. We met up with Isabella and her wife for a couple of drinks. They are such fun people. It was soooo good seeing them again!

The Con officially started Wednesday evening at the Meet and Greet. It had been seven years since my last con and it was amazing to see everyone again. What a friendly, welcoming group! We saw old friends and met new ones. We got lots of hugs and I introduced Laydin to about a million people! Here I am with the awesome author BL Miller!Image

Thursday, the games began in earnest – we started off with a class by JM Redman. She’s an amazing speaker and a wonderful author. If you haven’t read the Mickey Knight series, you need to! The title of the class was “Sex is better than breakfast” which I happen to agree with. We learned a ton!

Next it was time for me to read. OMG! I was a nervous wreck. There was a decent turnout to hear us. Laydin teases me that I speed read. We had five minutes and I must have done mine in about three! LOL I read from Initiation by Desire and it seemed well – received.Image

After lunch, we heard an amazing panel about creating series. That was way interesting. I haven’t written a series book myself. but I think I might like to try that sometime. So I paid close attention.

So, after classes, it was time for brewskis (LOTS AND LOTS of brewskis were consumed over the past week!!!) We hung with Michele Mostoller and Stu Gresh. Michele is an aspiring author and is always fun to hang with. After brews, we were hungry so we hit Humperdinks for dinner and more local brews. I love to sample local beers. I had a great Irish Stout and a delicious Hef. Image


Friday morning we got our booties up bright and early to go hear Carsen Taite speak. Her speech was so much fun, peppered with Vlogs she’s done with different authors. Carsen rocks – there’s no two ways about it.

We took a little break then and hung at the pool. It was so beautiful in Dallas. Nice and warm and just incredible. We stayed for a while then back to the con for more learning. We hit a panel about reviewing books. That was really informative to hear what different reviewers look for when they read books. And it was a real treat for me to meet Salem West, who’s the Rainbow Reader.( She did such a nice review of Forbidden Passions for me. I was thrilled to meet her.

The next panel we hit was Law and Disorder, featuring Carsen Taite, VK Powell, Ali Valli, Renee Bass and Baxter Clare Trautman. SUCH a great panel. It was great hearing about the research they do, how they apply their real life histories to their writing… And I could listen to Ali talk about Cain all day. It was a great panel!

Friday evening was dinner with the Bolds Strokes group. We had a great time. A lot of talent in that room. I want to be like them some day! LOL! Rad asked me what I was working on and she was excited to hear I’m writing a mob story, so that was encouraging.

After dinner was Western Night Karaoke! Laydin dressed the partImage

We heard some amazing singers!!! Chris Paynter was amazing! As was Pennie Hancock! There were other great singers, but they really stood out. We left before we heard Michele, tho. I heard she rocked, too!

Saturday morning – OY VEY! Did it come early! But was it ever worth it to hear Georgia Beers speak! She was phenomenal! And, if you haven’t seen her video about a day in the life of a romance writer, you need to:

After that, was a class that KG McGregor taught. There was a lot to learn, but mostly what I took away was – if my book was chosen for a lesbian studies class fifty years from now, why would it be chosen? Really makes me want to better my craft to be the book chosen, you know?

Next panel was Marketing is Not a Dirty Word….THAT was interesting… Learned how the masters do it – Chris Paynter, Carsen Taite, Georgia Beers and Marianne K. Martin. They talked a lot about social media, etc. It was very informative. I have a heck of a hard time marketing and it was good to get tips from those that do it so well.

Dinner was an impromptu BSB dinner. Everyone was all decked out and we enjoyed great stories from Ali and the rest of the crew. Thank you again to Rad for dinner.

And then it was time for the awards ceremony. I was a presenter so was nervous as all heck, but what a treat it was to give an award to the great Lee Lynch! I was thrilled to tears to read her name and present her.

Then it was back to sitting with Laydin while the rest of the awards were given out. You can imagine my surprise when they read my name for the Erotica award! ImageI was blown away!!! Seriously – I figured I didn’t have a snowball’s chance, so I hadn’t even prepared a speech (hence my slight of the lovely Laydin!) Image

I want to say again – thank you to everyone who made that possible – all the readers, etc, who have been so supportive of me over the years. Y’all are the best!

After the awards ceremony was the dance, which was a blast. We danced a few songs, but mostly hung out and had fun. I even serenaded my girl for a while, during the Pina Colada song.Image

It was another late night, but we got our sad bootays out of bed Sunday and got packed for the airport and Laydin’s drive home. We hit the con hotel for breakfast and said our good-byes. It was wonderful seeing everyone again and meeting all the new friends we made. Thank you everyone for such an incredible experience.

Next year, the con will be in Portland and I hope to see all of you there!

Comments welcome. Please share your memories with us!




Posted by on July 4, 2013 in Writing


20 responses to “Con times 2013

  1. Pam Sloss

    July 4, 2013 at 19:08

    It was great to see you and Congrats again on your well deserved award. See you in Portland.

    • mjwilliamz

      July 4, 2013 at 19:44

      Thank you so much! It was great seeing you again, too! See you in Portland! I can’t wait!!!!!!!

  2. Georgia Beers

    July 5, 2013 at 05:51

    Nice recap, MJ, and thanks for the kind words and the video link. Congratulations on your Goldie win! That was fantastic. And tell your lovely wife that I owe her an email (how did we manage to totally avoid each other for most of the conference???).

    • mjwilliamz

      July 5, 2013 at 06:15

      You did an amazing job, Georgia. And Laydin will be totally stoked to hear from you, I’m sure.

  3. Mercedes

    July 5, 2013 at 05:51

    Great recap, MJ!

    • mjwilliamz

      July 5, 2013 at 06:15

      It was awesome seeing you again, Mercedes!

  4. Yvonne Heidt

    July 5, 2013 at 07:31

    It was so fun to finally meet you! Congrats on your Goldie – this is a memory I will have forever 🙂

  5. B L: Miller

    July 5, 2013 at 09:28

    It was fantastic to see you again, my friend and my heartfelt congratulations on your award. 🙂

    • mjwilliamz

      July 5, 2013 at 09:59

      It was AWESOME to see you, too! Can’t wait til next year!!!

  6. Donna

    July 5, 2013 at 09:29

    enjoyed your blog. Congrats on your Goldie.

    • mjwilliamz

      July 5, 2013 at 10:00

      Thank you so much.

      • mjwilliamz

        July 5, 2013 at 13:56

        It was so nice to meet another Central Coaster!

  7. Baxter Clare Trautman

    July 5, 2013 at 13:38

    See you in Portland!

  8. Isabella

    July 5, 2013 at 22:48

    Great job on the win, buddy! It was fun meeting you and Laydin. See you in Portland!


  9. Salem West

    July 7, 2013 at 05:30

    Hey, MJ, you’ll never know how much it meant to me when you came up and introduced yourself—it was an honor and a pleasure to meet the women who single-handedly made the word “twat” sexy again! Seriously, congrats on your 2013 Goldie!

  10. Ali Vali

    July 8, 2013 at 12:57

    Great recap MJ, and it was great seeing you both.

    • mjwilliamz

      July 8, 2013 at 13:12

      It was awesome seeing you, too, Ali!

      • mjwilliamz

        September 2, 2013 at 18:26

        It’s the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference. For readers and writers of lesbian fiction.It’s a blast!

  11. Diane

    September 2, 2013 at 17:51

    Congrats on your award!!!! From the peanut galary. What is the “con”????? Diane from pride


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