GCLS Con, Minneapolis – June 16, 2012

The final full day of the conference – what a whirlwind of a day!

We started out the day with our Keynote Speaker, Lambda Award winning author Jewelle Gomez.  Gomez added to the tributes to Barbara Grier by sharing some of her memories with the ground-breaking publisher.  She also called upon all of use to leave our mark; to leave signs.    Here are just a few of the things I jotted down:

Unless we tell the stories, others won’t know what it took to get here.

Every piece of literature we threw out there was a salvo against the patriarchy.

It is only at the ;margin that growth occurs.

We have to dream a better world to make a better world.

The future often depends on what we know of our past.

Gomez started our day off right – totally inspirational.

Next up was the Membership Meeting.  As usual, this meeting went long…our membership always has things to say.  That’s a good thing, for sure.  It means that everyone is invested in the organization and its success.  That’s always a good, good thing.

After lunch, we came back to more panel breakouts.  I attended the author readings.  I just love listening to authors read their works.  It’s great to get introduced to new books and new authors.   There were two authors who really stood out for me in this group – Melissa Brayden and Mari SanGiovanni.  Their books sound incredibly good…and they are both very easy on the eyes. 🙂

Following the readings, I moved to the panel called “Romance:  How Do You Keep It Fresh?”  The panel was moderated by Mary Philips and included Kenna White, Karin Kallmaker, Rachel Spangler, Georgia Beers, and Karen Badger.  It was a fabulous group of romance writers…oh, yes.  The aim of the panel was to discuss how these authors are able to keep the romance fresh in each of their subsequent novels.  All agreed that there is a definite formula that is followed in romance novels, but that the challenge is to keep from writing the same book over and over.  What began to irk me were the questions that people started to ask.  “Where are the books about…?” types of questions.  It always gets me when readers get demanding of authors to write books with certain types of characters – older characters, younger characters, richer characters, poorer characters, characters in particular professions, characters living in particular locations, etc.  “Why aren’t you writing about…?”  All I could think was, “If you want to see a book like that on the shelves, then write it!!”  Fortunately, Rachel Spangler spoke up and provided a much more eloquent response than I ever could – but basically said, “If you want to see it, write it!  I can only write what comes from my heart and my experiences.”  Go, Rach!

I had free time until the Goldie Awards.  So I decided to head back to my room and rest up a bit before the ceremony.  What I didn’t expect to do was take a nap. It’s the beds in this hotel!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…they are way too comfortable.

Fortunately, I woke in plenty of time to make it down to the awards.  This group of women really cleans up nicely!  Whew!  We got to mingle for a bit in the lobby area where there were finger foods and drinks.  But then it was time to enter the ballroom to get the event started.

Pol Robinson made room at her table for me – since my mom wasn’t there with me, Pol wanted to make sure I wasn’t completely dateless.  That Pol!  She’s a gem.  So I sat between Pol and Erica Abbott (a new author at Bella Books).  We had a great table…in the center, but near the back.  So, if we needed to stand to take pictures, there was no one behind us. Also, I got to enjoy the company of MJ Lowe and Karin Kallmaker during the awards.  Things were good in my world!

Elaine Mulligan was our Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening – and she did a fabulous job!  The first order of business for the evening was to give tribute to our Lost Sisters – women who have passed away since the last time we all met.  This year we honored 5 women:  Rosemary Keefe Curb, Sarah Dreher, Barbara Grier, Akilah Oliver, and Adrienne Rich.   Each was a remarkable woman.  Each is a great loss to the community.

It was time for the individual awards.  I’d gotten Tweetdeck set up on my phone so that I could post the winners on both Facebook and Twitter at the same time.  I knew that there were people who couldn’t make it to the conference this year who would want to know who received awards.  So, I did my best to get all of the winners posted as quickly as possible – while also trying to take pictures.  It was not an easy task and I’m glad there were so many others there with cameras.  I’ll be mooching off them soon.  (I can’t post pictures right now – they were taken with my regular camera and I need to wait until I get to my desktop computer to upload them.)

Here is the list of nominees and winners for 2012 Goldie Awards:

Debut Author

  • After The Fall – Robin Summers
  • Dark Wife, The – Sarah Diemer
  • Faithful Service, Silent Hearts – Lynette Mae
  • Girls Club, The – Sally Bellerose
  • Open Water – Pol Robinson
  • Slayer, The – Nadine LaPierre
  • Unbroken Circle – Mary Griggs
  • Waiting In The Wings – Melissa Brayden

General Fiction

  • Before It Stains – R.E. Bradshaw
  • Faithful Service, Silent Hearts – Lynette Mae
  • Marching to a Different Accordion – Saxon Bennett
  • Maye’s Request – Clifford Henderson
  • Sarah, Son of God – Justine Saracen
  • Shaken And Stirred – Joan Opyr
  • Stealing Angel – Terry Wolverton
  • What’s Best For Jane – Bett Norris

Historical Romance

  • Fearless – Erin O’Reilly
  • For Me And My Gal – Robbi McCoy
  • Hidden Truths – Jae

Lesbian Erotica

  • A Ride To Remember and Other Erotic Tales – Sacchi Green
  • Best Lesbian Romance 2011 – Radclyffe
  • Collectors, The – Lesley Gowan
  • Girls Who Bite:  Lesbian Vampire Erotica – Delilah Devlin
  • Women Gone Wylde – Beth Wylde

Mystery/Thriller

  • Beyond Instinct – Lynn Ames
  • Bingo Barge Murder – Jessie Chandler
  • Buyer’s Remorse:  Book 1 in the Public Eye Series – Lori L. Lake
  • Dead Ahead – Jen Wright
  • Deadly Intersections – Ann Roberts
  • Hell’s Highway – Gerri Hill
  • Scapegoat – Amy Dawson Robertson
  • What Happened in Malinmore – Kate Sweeney

Paranormal Romance

  • Before The Dawn – Kate Sweeney
  • Blood Hunt – L.L. Raand
  • The Dreamer, Her Angel And The Stars – Linda S. North
  • In Sight Of The Seer – Linda Anderson & Sara Marx
  • Lunatic Fringe – Allison Moon
  • Scarlet Masquerade – Jett Abbott

Poetry

  • Birdland – Kathy McTavish
  • Cloud Birds – Sheila Packs
  • Head Off and Split – Nikki Finney
  • In The Silence Of The Unspoken – S. Anne Gardner
  • Things I Say To Pirates On Nights When I Miss You – Keely Hyslop

Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure

  • Cresswell Falls – Kerry Belchambers
  • Damaged In Service – Barrett
  • Decoded – Sara Marx
  • Dust – Ann McMan
  • Dying to Live – Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou
  • Nothing But The Truth – Carsen Taite
  • Sheltering Dunes – Radclyffe
  • Tats – Layce Gardner

Short Stories/Essays/Collections

  • She Stole My Heart and Other Stories – Milagros Silva
  • When We Were Outlaws – Jeanne Cordova

Speculative Fiction

  • After The Fall – Robin Summers
  • Dark Wife, The – Sarah Diemer
  • Eat Your Heart Out – Dayna Ingram
  • Heiresses of Russ 2011 – JoSelle Vanderhooft and Steve Bermen
  • Hellebore and Rue:  Tales of Queer Women and Magic – Catherine Lundoff and JoSelle Vanderhooft
  • Immortal Longings:  A Vampire Novel – Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse
  • That Voodoo That You Do – K. Simpson
  • When an Echo Returns – Linda Kay Silva

Traditional Contemporary Romance

  • 96 Hours – Georgia Beers
  • Camptown Ladies – Mari Sangiovanni
  • High Impact – Kim Baldwin
  • Leaving L.A. – Kate Christie
  • Roller Coaster- Karin Kallmaker
  • Storms – Gerri Hill
  • Taken By Surprise – Kenna White
  • Waiting In The Wings – Melissa Brayden
  • Wildfire – Lynn James

Ann Bannon Popular Choice

  • Beyond Instinct – Lynn Ames
  • Bingo Barge Murder – Jessie Chandler
  • Blood Hunt – L.L. Raand
  • Jericho – Ann McMan
  • My Soldier Too – Bev Prescott
  • Shaken and Stirred – Joan Opyr
  • Tats – Layce Gardner
  • Unbroken Circle – Mary Griggs
  • Waiting in the Wings – Melissa Brayden
  • Waking Up Gray – R. E. Bradshaw

Directors’ Award

  • Lori L. Lake

Trailblazer Award

  • Marianne K. Martin

Lee Lynch Classic Award (This is a new award that was created to honor books published before GCLS was founded and began presenting awards.  It’s been named for it’s first recipient)

  • The Swashbuckler – Lee Lynch

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners!

After the ceremony, it was time to party!!!

I ran up to the room to drop off some stuff and did a quick check on Facebook to make sure I congratulated people who aren’t here.  Then, I went back down to join the fun.

And what fun it was!

I was asked to dance – or hauled to the dance floor –  by Pol Robinson, MJ Lowe, Karin Kallmaker, KG MacGregor, and Elaine Mulligan.  I got Rachel Spangler to dance with me for a quick song by Uh Huh Her…who I happen to love.  There was lots of laughter and lots of fun!

Ultimately, however, it was time to leave.  I needed to get back to the room so I could work on this blog … and also so I can begin the process of packing.

It was another great year at the Golden Crown Literary Society conference!  Next year, we are on our way to Dallas.  I’m really looking forward to that – I went to college in Fort Worth and I love the area.

I’ll try to post something about tomorrow, but it may be a while since I’ll be traveling tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “GCLS Con, Minneapolis – June 16, 2012

  1. Great job of reporting. I really appreciate you took the time. Thanks for dancing for us who couldnt go. Until next time.

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  2. Awesome Con reports, all. I, too, succumbed to the lure of the hotel nap attack and thus missed the romance panel. I’m glad you recapped it here, I was looking forward to reading your comments, and yes…if you don’t see what you want to read on the shelves, write it.

    I did, others did, that’s how it works. And, of COURSE there was room for you at the table, there always is! I’ve been at the back of the room looking for space and don’t like that feeling.

    Safe journey home and hugs to Mom.

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