I’ve been thinking a lot lately about comfort zones, so I thought I’d ponder out loud. I’ve been so busy in the past year that it feels like I’m stepping out of a comfort zone to do that publicly. This blog has mainly been used to promote my fellow authors, and to be honest I’m much more comfortable promoting someone else’s book than one of mine. Same goes for discussing my thoughts, which risks boring the hell out of everyone brave enough to read them.
So, comfort zones. If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of them in different areas of your life. Some overlap, and others are so far removed they’re like an island where you take your vacations. I’m working on bursting out of two of my writing-related comfort zones within the next few months. Not sure if i’m more excited or more afraid…
The WIP I’m working on is the most intimidating story I’ve started in at least the last fifteen years, which is really saying something. My first LGBTQ+ Romance will be released in February by Samhain and the WIP, which i’ll call SB, is for my editor there. Christa is amazing—she’s a crackerjack developmental editor whose idea of “fringe romance” lines up well with my own. But SB is farther afield from Male-Male Romance than Torque, the Bisexual/Ace/Trans ménage I just finished edits on. SB deals with some gender issues that hit close to home, and believe me, I never thought I’d go there. One of the reasons I started writing Male-Male Romance in the first place was to get a little more distance from my writing, in the (however vain) hope that every story wouldn’t smash my heart into little tiny pieces. A minor reason, yes, but it was still a consideration. My new MC, however, has thrown all that out the window. Apparently, a part of me still believes an artist has to suffer and bleed occasionally.
The second comfort zone i’ll be leaving behind will be over in an hour at the end of the month. I’ll be moderating a panel at the Gay Romance Northwest (GRNW) Conference. It’s a departure for me because I’ve intentionally signed on to speak in front of people. I’m not shy but am introverted, so that’s not something I usually do outside of a work environment. The panel is about kink, which is one of my favorite subjects that I don’t really write much about. No spoilers here—if you’re interested and will be at GRNW, we’d love to have you attend and bring your questions. The panelists are authors who do write kink, and do it very well: Morticia Knight (click to go to her blog on the subject :)), Amelia Gormley, Grace R. Duncan, Joseph Lance Tonlet, and Viktor Alexander.
If you do attend, please bear with me. I’ll be nervous, but only mostly because I’m so excited. I’ve never been on an author panel before, so being asked to moderate was a huge deal. If you see me wandering around GRNW or pass my table at the Book Fair, stop and say hello. I might not say it first, but that’s not because I don’t want to chat with everyone at GRNW, it’s because starting a conversation with someone I don’t know well is also outside my comfort zone. I might look like I’m suffering but will be enjoying the hell out of the con. It’s just all that self-promotion that will be scaring and exciting me. 🙂