Top 10 of 2017

Welcome to my 12th annual Top 10 list. Each year after Christmas, I look back over my calendars, social media posts and blogs, and try to zero in on the most noteworthy bits and pieces so I can memorialize them in one place. If you’ve followed me at all this year on social media, you’ve probably seen plenty of evidence of my despondency over the politics of the day. I’ll address that soon in my resolutions for 2018, but for now I want to focus on the author side of this KG MacGregor character, whose real name is Sue.

2017 Lambda Literary Board

10. I kicked off 2017 in February with a Lambda Literary Board Retreat in Palm Springs, a gathering of the board of trustees for Lambda Literary. Stewardship of such an important organization is both a challenge and a trust. Volunteer boards give a ton of time, intellectual energy, and in many cases, financial support to keep alive these organizations that mean so much to all of us. I was always thrilled to get face time other board members, and this was one of our favorite ways to commune.

9. The joy of being part of the Xena: Warrior Princess fanfiction community (the Xenaverse) is honestly one of the highlights of my life, as it lit a fire under me to start telling stories. This year, my publisher Bella Books sponsored a Fanfiction to Published Author contest and asked me to help judge. I’d slipped away from the fanfic world, so it was especially exciting to get back into it and see all the marvelous new shows and pairings. If you’re one of those people who reads faster than all of us can write, you really must check out all the fun stories online.

Bridge of Sighs, University of Cambridge

8. In March, Jenny and I traveled to England so I could do research for a book set in Cambridge. We checked into our hotel in the Bloomsbury part of London, and on our first foray through the neighborhood, stumbled into the iconic bookstore, Gay’s the Word. Now it’s eight months later and that book is taking shape. Here’s a big shout-out to all my Facebook friends who weighed in with suggestions for a title. Come next summer, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of A Proper Cuppa Tea.

7. In the digital age, the task of marketing and promotions for books is shared by the publisher and the author. It’s important to have a web presence, either through blogs like this one or social media, where most of you picked up the link to this site. It’s a lot of work on top of, you know, writing, so I’m ever so grateful when someone steps up to help, especially for those whose labors of love create communities for readers of lesbian fiction. I got an extra nudge this year from The Lesbian Review, The Lesbian Reading Room, and the Lambda Literary Review. And thanks also to all of you who help promote by posting reviews and spreading the word about books you enjoy.

Laurel Bookstore crowd, photo purloined from Pol Robinson

6. What I said earlier about how important it is to get face time with a board … that goes double for getting face time with fellow authors and readers. The wonderful Laurel Bookstore in downtown Oakland opened specially on a Sunday afternoon in February for an event with Bella authors that included Karin Kallmaker, Jaime Clevenger, Heather Rose Jones, Laina Villenueva and Pol Robinson, with a sneak appearance by Robbi McCoy.

5. Moment of Weakness — I had one release in 2017, this romantic thriller. It’s a story that’s been lying low for several years and finally bubbled to the top of my to-do list. Thanks to all who talked it up and posted reviews.

With Susan Meagher, 2017 Goldie Awards

4. Trial By Fury was my 2016 release, a dramatic (and also romantic) story about getting justice for victims of campus rape, especially those rapes committed by the privileged star athletes whose skills on the gridiron, in a pool, or on a basketball court put them above the law. As a romance writer, I know that a happy ending represents the ideal, the outcome we want reinforced again and again. It’s also gratifying when justice prevails. I was honored to win a Goldie Award for this one.

3. Early summer, the glamorous and exciting Lambda Literary Awards in New York. That’s my Mecca. This year was another blowout gala honoring the best in LGBTQ literature, with special honorees Jacqueline Woodson and Jeanette Winterson. The Lammys celebrate not only queer literature, but the queer community itself. You’ll not find a more vibrant, diverse group gathered under one roof.

2. How is it possible the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference gets better every year? We met in Chicago in July for five days of informative master classes, thought-provoking panels and entertaining readings. Along with hugs, sisterhood and taking care of each other. Whereas the Lammys are my Mecca, the annual GCLS conference is my family reunion.

With new Lambda Literary president Amy Scholder

1. Number 1 on my 2017 list was finishing my term as president of Lambda Literary. Not to be rid of it, but to celebrate the accomplishment. I was honored to lead this organization during the last two years of my 6-year term on the board. Believe me when I tell you that I’ve never really thought of myself as “presidential material,” and I truly thank the board members who placed their confidence in me and worked overtime to make my tenure successful.

Thanks for coming along for the ride in 2017. In a couple of weeks, I’ll look back on my 2017 resolutions and see how I did. Then I guess I’ll have to set new ones for 2018.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Resolved for 2018 | KGMacGregor.com - January 2, 2018

    […] the heels of my Top 10 list comes my other annual rite — resolutions for the coming year. I’ve always appreciated […]

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