This past week was the Gay romance Writers Meet-up in Seattle. It was a one-day conference with a short but focused program of panels. I sat on a panel addressing the changing landscape of lesbian fiction, and was joined Jove Belle, Kate McLachlan, and Jill Malone. The panel was moderated by Andi Marquette. I thought it was a lively conversation about the state of lesfic, and there was plenty of input from the audience about why it isn’t reaching a wider audience and, more interestingly, why M/M romance is more popular. This is surely going to be an ongoing discussion.
The night before was an evening of readings at Hugo House, a space dedicated to writers. First up were romance pieces, and then “5 Minutes in Heaven,” comprised of saucier selections. Andi and I both read for that one. I read an excerpt from “Smorgasbord,” the story that appears in All You Can Eat. And I’ll take this opportunity to mention that it will also be appearing in the upcoming Best Lesbian Erotica 2016, published by Cleis Press and edited by Sacchi Green. It’s the 20th anniversary, so it’s doubly exciting to be a part of it.
The day of the conference ended with a bus ride over to Neighbour’s, a club in the Capitol Hill section of town. We were treated to a drag show promoting Banned Books Week. Each drag queen—and one drag king—chose their favorite book that has been banned at one time or another and created a number around that theme. For example, one dressed like Hermione from Harry Potter because that book was/is condemned by ultra-conservative Christians for being “Satanic” and “promoting witchcraft.” It was a popular event, evidenced by the line that wrapped around two corners to get into the place. But it was totally worth it. The music while we waited for the show to start was really good and I had a lot of fun just dancing by myself.
While I was in Seattle, I spent a couple of extra days, since I’d never been. Of course, I went to the top of the Space Needle and enjoyed the most spectacular view of Puget Sound. I visited the Chihuly Glass Museum, which was the most spectacular collection of glass artwork I’ve ever seen. And the Underground Tour in Pioneer Square was a fascinating step back into time and a history lesson of the founding of Seattle.
Many props to Tracy Timmons-Gray for the fabulous job she did coordinating this shindig and the festivities. It’s an overwhelming task putting together something like this and she did it with skill and patience. I look forward to next year’s event.