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The GCLS Con is Gone…Until 2019

The GCLS Con ended two weeks ago, as I write this. My wife and I took a redeye home, landing early Sunday, morning, July 8th after a week of fun and frolic in fabulous Las Vegas. Our wallets were considerably lighter, and not just from the slots, but we had a great time and we both got a much-needed break. Just as important, during the conference portion of the trip, I learned a ton, made several new friends and felt a kinship and a camaraderie¬†with authors and readers that you just don’t get from social media, no matter how much effort you put into it. We’ll never replace the connections we make bonding over shared experiences.

If we’re friends on Facebook, and even if we’re not, you can see multiple photos from our trip (vacation shots!) and of some highlights of the Con on my timeline.

Here are a couple of the GCLS Con highlights for me:

GCLS Con Virgins 2018This was taken by a pro on Tuesday night, inside Buca di Beppo at Bally’s. My wife (front, left) and I had dinner with a group of ‘Con Virgins’, women who had never been to a GCLS Con before. One of our group was a late arrival given her arrival at the con hotel in total. She’s not pictured, but everyone else seemed to be having a great time. Most of us headed over to the Tequila Taqueria (conveniently right next door) for drinks afterward, too. My wife and I ate there for dinner later that week. Great food! And wow, were we stuffed! Everything is expensive in Vegas – no more $7.77 steak dinners just for sitting down in a joint, but they make up for the prices in food quantity and quality. That was evident everywhere we ate.

Indie Author Panel GCLS Con 2018Other highlights happened early Thursday morning, on the first full day of the Con. First, I sat on the indie author panel and we talked about going indie to about a half-full room of aspiring authors. The panelists pictured from left to right are the accomplished authors: Lila Bruce, Karen Badger, me, Michele Reynolds and Suzie Carr. Moderating was hybrid indie/trade published author, Cindy Rizzo.

After that, I got to meet face to face with the crew below, all active participants in the Lesfic Marketing Alliance group on Facebook.

Lesfic Marketing Alliance Members at the GCLS Con 2018

Members of the Lesfic Marketing Alliance: Suzie Carr, Lynette Beers-McCormick, Annette Mori, Anne Hagan and Vanda

We got to chat just a bit that day about books and marketing. Over the course of the conference, I got to have individual talks with all of them. That was both fun and enlightening. Our perspectives are so different, but we all love lesfic or, as many now prefer to call it, women loving women fiction, and we all want to see it grow and continue. I know it will. My author friends – those pictured and so many more – exude enthusiasm for genres found within WLW fiction. Readers are becoming more of a presence online and at the Con that features the books we love.

Looking Ahead to the GCLS Con in Pittsburgh in 2019

I was born and raised in the small town of New Castle, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh. It’s a city I love. I’ve already registered for the 2019 Con in Pittsburgh. It’s July 10th-14th at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. You can’t stay any closer to where the three rivers meet.

I’ve got a couple of author friends to talk to about proposing another indie panel (or a presentation) and maybe even a master class on marketing. I’m already thinking about a vendor table too and splitting that with a couple of indie friends. Plus, I have a special release planned for just in time for the con.

Want to go? Come on, then! Let’s talk books and writing and have a few days where WLW fiction and the women who love it are all that matter in the world. We’ll rock the Steel City.¬†Register for the Pittsburgh Con right here. See you there!