Welcome to the GayRomLit 2017 Blog Tour! We’re so pleased to have Featured Author Garett Groves joining us today as our guest in the countdown to the big event. Whether you’re attending or not, I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Garett a bit better!
The GayRomLit convention is almost here!
Yay, awesome, I’ve been waiting and planning for this for months.
Like literally months.
From what clothes I’d like to wear on each day of the convention, to how I’m going to get there early so I can find my way to the hotel so I don’t have any directional accidents the first day, all the way down to making my rounds of the venue so I can find all of the doors.
Yeah. Some people might call that being responsible or say that they admire me for thinking so far ahead, that they wish they could show up so prepared. Other people might think it’s a little crazy, and maybe they’re right. But it’s not quite as simple as that.
It’s panic. The kind of panic that’s always sort of buzzing in the back of my head for months in anticipation of a social event but that doesn’t become a deafening roar until I’m standing in front of another person trying to say words. You know, easy ones like “Hi, I’m Garett. What’s your name? It’s nice to meet you.” The kind of words that evaporate out of my head almost instantly like rain on the asphalt at the start of a summer storm.
Oh, and speaking of moisture, there’s lots of that, too. On my palms. On my forehead. Streaming out of my armpits. Soaking my back. Leaving my throat drier than a popcorn fart because the moisture there has rushed to my eyes where it threatens to come pouring out of my them because I’m on the verge of having a mental breakdown because, oh my God, this person is staring at me waiting for me to say something and my mind has gone blank and what if, when I finally do find words, what I say is so stupid that they laugh and leave me standing there in a quivering puddle of my own humanness? Or worse, what if they see said puddle—I wear black shirts most of the time so it’s rare that that happens, but it’s not impossible—or, God and Heaven forbid, they smell said moisture before I’ve had the chance to distract them with my own stuttering and bumbling mouth? But none of that happens. The person is smiling again and nodding, looking at me like they’re listening. But I’m not talking. Or am I?
Phew. OK. I don’t remember saying anything, but I must’ve because now they’re saying things like “It was so great to finally meet you”—though I’m only registering one of every three of their words—and looking around the room for the next person to talk to because this Garett guy is clearly a weirdo with some major issues.
So they’re gone. And I’m drenched. And my head is spinning like a top because I can’t remember most of the last thirty to sixty seconds. I dunno where I went during it, but I was certainly not there with that person. I didn’t participate in that conversation. Someone did on my behalf, but I dunno who they are or where they came from or where the heck they went because I could sure use their help again right about now because Oh, for the love of all that is queer, there is another person coming to talk to me and they’re smiling and they’re holding out their hand for me to shake and it’s absolutely terrifying.
So, I’m looking at any and everything but that person as they approach—probably one of the nearest doors, whether to the bathroom or to the outdoors; a gate to hell itself would be preferable at this point—all the while knowing I’m doomed and that I’m going to have to repeat this out-of-body experience all over again. So I check out while they’re talking and hope that my little helper-from-beyond will take over again, or at least if he doesn’t I won’t say something really stupid. And they do eventually go away and I come back down to Earth, my tight-as-a-lug-nut shoulders coming down with me. I take a giant, desperate gulp of air, wipe my hands on my pants, and swear that I’ll do better with the next one, already thinking of the millions of ways it not only can but will go horribly wrong.
And so on and so forth, ad infinitum.
In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, I have social anxiety and it’s pretty severe. But if you’re like any of the majority of people I talk to, you’ll tell me after you meet me that you would never have guessed, that you thought I was so cool and collected and funny. You’ll also probably swear that there’s no way in hell that I’m an introvert.
That’s because you weren’t talking to me, you were talking to… Hm, let’s name my helper Sebastian. Sebastian the Social Anxiety Savior.
I don’t know Sebastian much. He only talks to other people, not me. But that’s fine, because I kinda owe him my life. If it weren’t for Sebastian, I wouldn’t be able to attend awesome, enriching, incredible events like the GayRomLit convention. I wouldn’t be able to have a public face as an author. Hell, I wouldn’t be able to be an author if it weren’t for good ol’ Sebby.
It’s Sebastian that’s making me do this, and you know what? I’m glad he is. Because the panic cycle is exhausting and who knows, maybe this crazy, “science-backed approach” of Sebastian’s might actually help me break it? Doubtful, but maybe.
So, come October 19th, you’ll find me/Sebastian waiting for you at the convention. And even though I’m excited and terrified and all aflutter about everything all at once, hopefully Sebastian will be there to keep me anchored with at least a few of my toes on the ground of reality.
About the Author
Garett Groves is a new M/M romance author based in Southwest Florida. There he enjoys spending time with his husband and their two cats. Their hobbies include: being disgustingly codependent, sleeping, eating junk food, and drinking copious amounts of red wine. Sadly, their cats don’t share in the wine drinking—yet!
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.