Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Alexa Land for stopping by today on the 2016 GRL Author Spotlight Tour. Please give them a warm welcome.
Showing Our Stripes
This October, I’ll be attending my second GRL Retreat. I was so nervous last year! As a hardcore introvert, attending a conference was way outside my comfort zone. I talked about this on Prism Book Alliance, in a post you can read here.
Was my first GRL scary at times? You betcha! But it was also rewarding, in ways I hadn’t predicted. I met some amazing people, including several authors and readers who became good friends, and I had a wonderful time.
It was rewarding for another reason, too: not once did I have to explain why I write gay romance, or what the genre means to me and to its readers. This huge group of people just got it. Wow, did that feel good! More than that: it was validating.
I’ve lost friends because of what I write. Even among the people who are still around, their disdain for what I do seeps out occasionally, like when they ‘joke’, “So, are you still writing gay porn?” Or when they say things like, “You know, you’re a really good writer. You don’t have to stick to those gay books, you could write anything you wanted.”
What am I supposed to do with a comment like that? I’m writing exactly what I want! This is my passion, and these are the stories I need to tell. Trying to explain that to people I know ‘in real life’ is exhausting, because no matter what I say, they’ll never really understand why I write what I do.
And that’s one of the biggest joys of attending an event like the GRL Retreat: there’s no need to explain. We all share the same passion without questioning or judging. In the rest of my life, I feel like a zebra in a world full of donkeys. But for one glorious long weekend a year, I get to meet up with my fellow zebras, and we get to run together, happy and proud. We get to just BE. What an incredible gift!
So, to the organizers of GRL: thank you for giving us a place to come together, to meet like-minded people, and to feel accepted and a part of something bigger than ourselves. To my fellow authors and readers, those who’ll be attending GRL and those I only know online: thank you, too, for being a part of this community and for being truly supportive, no explanation required. Keep being zebras in a world full of donkeys, friends! I get it, and I know you do, too.
About the Author
Alexa Land writes the best-selling Firsts and Forever Series. Her most recent book, Who I Used to Be, is available on Amazon and Smashwords.
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