Top 10 of 2018

You have no idea how close I came to skipping the Top 10 list for 2018. If you’ve followed me on social media this year, you probably know this year’s main event was moving from my native North Carolina mountains to what I hope will be my final resting place — Nashville, Tennessee. The sheer weight of that put me on my back foot this year with regard to books, but anything to do with the lesbian book community is worth celebrating. So here goes:

10 — I love taking part in fan-centered events and contests, and I really appreciate the folks who put in the time to organize and run them. Thanks to Jae for Book Bingo that got everyone reading, and to the gang at Women and Words for their holiday Hootenanny.

9 — When people ask me what I think, I usually tell them. I was glad this year to participate in The Writer’s Edge, a live-streamed discussion of LGBTQ fiction. Many thanks to Christie Stratos for the invitation.

8 — I’m going to shoehorn something personal in here, my most-liked photo on Facebook this year: Jenny and I celebrated our 25th anniversary together.

7 — In conjunction with the GCLS Writing Academy, I took on a mentee this year. I’d forgotten how much fun it was to brainstorm someone else’s work. Congrats to Janeen Ault!

6 — This was my first year since leaving the Lambda Literary board to attend the Lammy Awards in NYC, and I have to say it’s a lot more fun when I’m not stressed about what could go wrong. This year, my highlight was meeting the inimitable Roxane Gay.

5 — Aren’t book clubs fabulous? I know I speak for lots of others when I say how much authors appreciate someone who’ll do the work to organize a book club and bring readers together. I was happy to attend the Women with Pride Book Club in Dallas to talk about A Proper Cuppa Tea. Texas hospitality, great conversation.

4 — Did I mention being in Dallas? I was honored to join authors and fans for the first annual GCLS SW Region’s Books & Boots. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that go into putting on these flawless events that bring writers and readers together. A highlight was Barbara Wright’s romance panel alongside Julie Cannon, Georgia Beers, Melissa Brayden and Karin Kallmaker.

(photo by Erika Witzke)

3 — Vegas, baby! The annual GCLS conference is THE event for the lesbian book community. I stayed busy with several panels, but the best part is always the action in between, when we get face time with friends. If you’ve been to GCLS before, you already know what great fun it is. Those of you who haven’t taken the plunge have a real treat in store. Get there and meet all your new friends!

2 — My 25th Bella book, A Proper Cuppa Tea, was released in July at the GCLS con. I won’t tell you it’s my favorite, or even my best, but it was great fun to write. (Available in paperback, ebook and Audible.) Picked up a nice review in Lambda Literary. 🙂

1 — For those of us who follow politics, these last couple of years have been an absolute hell on earth. I’d been eyeing the midterm elections in hopes of seeing voters deal a rebuke to this current administration, all the while terrified they might not. My friend Susan X. Meagher wrote to me one day with an idea: Let’s do something to encourage the women in our social media networks to get out and vote. Thus was born a collection of short stories called We’ve Got the Power: Stories by Lesbians Who Vote. Our goal was to whip up enthusiasm for getting to the polls, and we were thrilled to reward our readers and fans for their efforts with a free ebook. It’s no longer available, but I’ll give you another crack at my submission soon.

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That’s it for 2018. Before long, I’ll look into whether or not I want to set goals (aka resolutions) for the New Year. Right now, I’m focused on finishing a particularly annoying work in progress.

4 Responses to “Top 10 of 2018”

  1. Here’s to looking for a better 2019 than 2018, politically and socially. Reading has been a balm to the inane situations in our country these days. I began teaching US History I this fall semester and I found Jill Lepore’s These Truths, A History of the U.S. to be a breath of fresh air. Her take on our beginnings refreshed and renewed some of my optimism in the resilience of our country. I am looking forward to a 2019 that will be better all around, beginning with another Women’s March in January! All the authors I have read give me hope & faith that the future will be better. Thanking you and others for that!

  2. Thanks for the reminder that while a lot of 2018 sucked, our community of writers and readers remains awesome.

    • You’re so right, Karin. When I first sat down to do this, it was with the oppressive weight of today’s political and social climate. I went about making my list, scavenging my blogs and social media in search of something I could highlight. Before I knew it, I had a great list to winnow.

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