Hey, gang, welcome to the kickoff of the GayRomLit 2017 Featured Blogger Tour here at TNA. We’re so pleased to have supporting author Meghan Maslow as our first guest on the tour, helping us start the countdown to October in Denver. She’s here to chat about something so many authors tackle year after year, so enjoy and welcome, Meghan!
The Great Swag Dilemma of 2017
Hello, Everyone! I’m Meghan Maslow and I’m guest posting today as part of the GayRomLit blog tour. I can hardly wait to see old friends and meet new ones as more than four hundred LGBTQ+ readers and authors converge on picturesque Denver’s Marriott Tech Center. I’ve been to two previous GRLs (San Diego and Kansas City), so this will be my third time out. But it will be the first time I’m going as a supporting author.
I’ll be honest, I’m nervous. Not about meeting people, or hanging out in the author’s lounge, or even sitting behind a book signing table. Noooo. I’m too outgoing to worry much about those things.
But I am nervous about swag.
From past experience I know that authors put a lot of time and effort—and often money—into their swag to hand out to readers and fans alike. Some authors make things (anyone lucky enough to own one of Wade Kelly’s beaded spoons?). Some come up with really cool ideas that relate to a series they’re writing (Rhys Ford’s Sinner’s Gin guitar picks come to mind). Some go with the more traditional pens, computer screen cleaners, and the like.
Confession time. I’m one of those weirdoes who isn’t crazy about swag. I have kids at home who collect enough odds and ends for any ten people. I really, really don’t need any more.
Unless it’s a coffee travel mug. Hey, everyone has their weaknesses.
Seriously though, I end up throwing out or giving away a good portion of the swag I receive at different conferences and events. I do keep pens, notepads, and a few other things, but for the most part, I try my best to keep household clutter under control. Besides, I need the room for all the books I buy.
Now that I’m going to be a supporting author at GRL, I gotta admit, I’m feeling the pressure. My palms are sweating as I type this. I should do some sort of swag, right? I mean, I might be a swag curmudgeon, but most other readers I’ve chatted with sure don’t seem to be. In fact, I’ve talked with readers who LOVE swag, and look forward to seeing what favorite authors do each year.
In theory, I get this. If done well, swag can help promote the author’s work and give readers a tangible connection to that author and their books. It’s a win-win, right? So, why am I so torn about investing in swag?
I won’t say the cost doesn’t factor into it, because it does to some degree. Swag is expensive. Though the cost isn’t what really concerns me most. I’m willing to put money into something I feel will bring readers (or potential readers) happiness.
No, my hesitance comes from having absolutely no clue what item I’d want to give away. What would I want—other than a travel mug—if I were receiving swag? I don’t mind the more traditional pens, et cetera, but that doesn’t really say anything about my books. I pour a lot of my passion into my work and the thought of just handing out something that doesn’t relate in any way bothers me. That’s on me. I know a ton of authors who would tell me to suck it up, put on my big girl panties, and get the damn pens. Ha! If I show up with pens, you’ll know they managed to talk some sense into me.
But is it so wrong to want something that relates more directly to my passions and my work?
Well, no, except, I can’t come up with an idea on what to make and frankly I’m not all that artistic like Rowan Mcallister—who makes the most divine art quilts. Nor have I yet to think up a little item I could buy that would symbolize something in my books. Oh, God, that sounds so douche-baggy when I say it like that.
How can I be so creative in my writing and not with my swag? Ugh. It just doesn’t seem right. (And why do I feel like this should be a hashtag?). Do I even really need to bring swag? These are the questions that run through my hamster-wheel brain when I can’t sleep at night.
Part of me wants to be like the Soup Nazi and just say, “No swag for you,” but I’m one of those people who could never show up at a party without taking the host/hostess a gift. The thought of not bringing a little something to give away makes my stomach go sour.
I’d love to tell you I have a solution to the Great Swag Dilemma of 2017, but I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see what I come up with. . . Any suggestions? I’m all ears!
Check Out Meghan’s New Book ~ Ride Along
Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.
Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.
It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
About the Author
Her initials say it all. . .
Meghan Maslow is truly a rare breed. No, not a unicorn (although that would be sooo cool). She’s a. . . gasp!. . . extroverted writer. It may seem counterintuitive that as someone who is energized by people, she spends most of her time alone. Yet, that’s the case. And she doesn’t mind.
If she gets writers block or starts to go a little stir crazy, she heads to a coffee shop, a restaurant, a friend’s place—anywhere to fill up her need for human contact. It also helps that she spends a lot of time with the voices in her head. Some of them are really quite opinionated.
She loves writing gay romance because she’s a sap for a happy ending, and she believes everyone—regardless of orientation—should be able to find books that have them.
She believes life is for living, kindness is contagious, and a good book makes the world a better place. She loves travel, reading, world music, Moscow Mules, awkward dancing, dreadlocks, her family, and um. . . writing.
About GayRomLit Retreat
GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.
Each year, the retreat rotates to a new city and hosts tons of events from raucous parties to mellow tête á têtes while still maintaining a spirit of familiarity. GRL is the place to connect with old friends, find family you didn’t know you had, and meet with both newly published and established authors in the gay romance genre.
This year’s retreat will be held in Denver, Colorado on October 19-22, 2017 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.
For more information or to register, please visit Our Website