The UK Meet 2015, Bristol, High Heeled Airplane Chases and More!
Eureka! This time I actually get to write a post about an amazing event I attended, and it’s only days away! I still owe you guys posts on my Euro Pride and Second City Singing experiences! I’ve not forgotten, I promise.
Back to the #UKMeet! I only registered in late January, so I was on the waiting list for a while. If you’re asking why, it’s because I didn’t know what my year would look like and whether I’d be able to make it in the first place. But yes, bad Alina! You don’t wait that long to be part of the UK Meet! Then suddenly, two days before leaving for Munich and Euro Pride Con, I get an email from Charlie with amazing news: I was in!
And the madness started. I had to wait till I got back to book the flight, hotel, etc. It all got sorted, but I realized my priorities are… a little crazy. As in, I had the outfits for the entire weekend sorted long before I had the swag picked up from the printers. Whatever, I made it! And with nothing but a carry on! Why is that a big win? Well, just ask Aimee just how I stuffed my little mushroom for two weeks on the road.
And now we get to the high heeled section of our story. Two and a half days, four flights, long ass walks from parking lots to boarding gets and all that jazz. Everything happened in 4 inch heels, of course! Cause I just needed to look put together and perfect and professional like. Especially since I was going to once again try really hard not to squeal around my author crushes. I get star struck a lot around authors. Other stars? Not so much. Authors? I’m a goner.
To make it all even nicer, I never sleep during the first night in a new place. So I loaded up on coffee (tons of it, especially since whatever the UK is drinking is not as strong as what we drink here in Romania). It got Taylin to call me Energizer Bunny. I however went with Squirrel on Crack 😀 Another big win – outplaying Aleksandar Voinov on number of coffees on Saturday. Also, managing to just gush about his books and not try and kill him (or pull a total tantrum and cry like a baby over an incident that almost ended with my tablet being smashed against the wall). And for those of you who know me – No, I did not abduct any authors, did not tie them to a desk, and force them to write more. I am saving that for next year!
I was at the UK Meet as an author (yay, I am a real one now), presenting my first ever gay romance novel, Strength to Let Go. I may or may not have been heard saying it was the best book ever whenever someone was glancing in my book’s direction. *Shrugs* I have to market myself, right?
The other part was me being Taylin’s right hand at the Wayward Ink Publishing table. Let me tell you, it’s a unique feeling to look at a table filled with books you’ve read, loved, and helped promote! And then to see people stopping by, saying they’ve loved them, or asking what your favorites are… That backfired a bit, cause I loved them all. Thanks again, Lily Velden, for trusting me with this!
Taylin and Cheryl Headford, with quite a bit of help from the amazing Dawn Mayhew, totally babied me. They made sure I was with coffee at all times, that I wasn’t hungry, and was stuffed with delicious goodies. It was amazing! Also, totally felt like the kid in the group.
I caught up with a lot of amazing friends I’d known online for ages and (at least in some cases) had met at Euro Pride Con. Rhys, Teodora, Louise, Lily, AB, Susan, Marc, Dani, Anyta, Kaz, Petra, Antonella, KC (I.Did.Not.Squeal this time. Well, not out loud), and so many others made this such an incredible event for me! It is that wonderful mix of work, passion, and hanging out with besties that makes the community around LGBT fiction and romance such a brilliant one.
Also… totally forgot to drop off a signed paperback that I’d promised to LA Witt. I did better than Birmingham though, I remembered while there was still time to track her down and add it to the auction she’s organizing to raise money for refugees. If you are going to GRL and want to be part of it, talk to her!
I had so much fun, it was worth the lack of sleep, the races in heels and the 30 minutes it took me to cross the street on Sunday 😀 Yup, a marathon right between my hotel and the one where the venue was happening.
I had to leave kind of abruptly on Sunday and I hate not having taken the time to hug everyone and say good bye properly. But I did share a taxi with the amazing Feliz Faber and we figured out half way through we were on the same flight. We also shared a mad dash to catch our connecting flights in Amsterdam.
I got back home at 2 am, checked emails and Facebook, as you do when you are shattered, and then spent yesterday recovering. Totally worth it, though! Every single minute spent there was pure awesomeness and I can’t wait for the next event. Well, Berlin first, cause it’s earlier in the year, but the Euro Pride Con and UK GLBT Fiction Meet make for a powerful combo that you should definitely try your best to experience!