My husband “R” was sitting next to me as it happened, and even my Vulcan husband got a big smile on his face. It was amazing.
For those of you who don’t know, the countdown begins and there are only 70 slots. The little button says “Product Not Available.” And you hit refresh and you hit refresh and you hit refresh. And if you computer doesn’t freeze up or suddenly decide to do an update or if the site doesn’t crash then during all those refreshes, that little button suddenly says, “Add to Cart.”
So you madly push the button and if you are lucky and fate swings your way and your Karma is good or statistics go your way, suddenly you are in your cart and you have it! You have it you have it you have it and you SCREAM and your heart slams into your throat because it’s too good to be true and you go to pay and — OH — MY — GOD! — You made it!
And the only thing that hampers that joy is when you see good friends and amazing authors who for some reason didn’t get in. For one wondrous author it was that silly “My computer suddenly made up its mind that that moment was when it was going to update itself” and it took four minutes and the author slots were gone in three minutes! THREE! Three minutes! For one it was that crash. So many reasons.
Many have complained that it isn’t fair. I felt a bit of that last year when I didn’t get in, but I realized that wasn’t the case at all. It was just the way it was.
Some people think the organizers should allow the event to grow. I am happy to announce that Carol Lynne has addressed this issue on her Facebook and it makes sense. I understand. I wish there were another way, but I understand. Hoping she doesn’t mind that I quote her, here is what I think are the most important answers:
Why don’t we get a bigger venue for GRL so we can have an unlimited number of authors and readers?
That’s a very simple one to answer. I’ve answered the question many times and will do so again.
1. GRL Retreat was never, ever meant to compete with a big convention like Romantic Times. Our publishers have been extremely generous with their time and money for GRL. Many do not have unlimited funds to support an event of 700 to 800 people.
2. The amount of hours involved in organizing an event for 400 people is incredible. Can I see us moving to 500 in the next year or so? Absolutely. However, the organizers do not have time to plan an event to compare with RT. Do you realize they get paid to do RT? It’s a fulltime job.
3. I sign my name to hundreds of thousands of dollars as it is. I am not willing to go beyond my comfort zone, and I will not. However, if you, yes, you, the one complaining, would like to sign your name, please contact me and I’m sure we can work something out.
So there you go. Until there is a World Con or an RTW or a World Fantasy Con (or whatever) for MM Romance/Fiction, GRL is what we have. And I can tell you as someone who came as an attendee for two years instead of an author, it is a damned amazing and wondrous event. If you can ever go, then go! You will love it!
The events, the panels, and so much more are great. But meeting the writers and fellow readers and the constant outpouring of love? That is what keeps me going. It is wonder wonder wonder!
Peace and Namaste,