Lord have mercy, it’s already March. I just don’t know where February went. I’ve heard so many people have said the same thing.
I think part of the problem is the weather. We’ve all been so slogged down with just getting through the horribleness and just getting through each day that we didn’t notice the days and weeks going by. And now we find ourselves at the end of another month and it’s just all going by too fast.
At last year’s con, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Ann Bannon, author of the legendary Beebo Brinker series. She was so humble and sweet, and it was a special moment for me.
This year, the author who will be receiving the Lee Lynch Classic Book Award is Rita Mae Brown. How exciting is that?! Her also-legendary and groundbreaking novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, is a staple of lesbian literature, and has inspired so many women writers who followed. I can’t wait to meet her in person.
Ms. Brown, as far as I’ve seen, has been conspicuously absent from lesbian literary events. I don’t know if it’s because she hasn’t wanted to get involved or if she’s just too busy doing stuff for her mainstream writing career. She has a hugely successful series—the Mrs. Murphy mysteries—and I’m sure that her main focus these days is making the most of that.
And I don’t really blame her. It’s so hard for a writer to make it, especially in today’s market, where self-published books have glutted all categories. It’s especially true of LGBT writers. We have been, for the most part, ghettoized, so if you’re lucky enough to hit on a successful idea, you have to run with it.
The problem with LGBT writers who successfully transition to the mainstream is that they’re often accused of abandoning their community. Amanda Kyle Williams spoke of this happening to her when she began her Keye Street series, a mainstream non-LGBT series. In a speech she gave, Ms. Williams stated that she was made to feel like a traitor and eventually retreated from the lesbian literary community because she felt unwelcomed.
Dorothy Allison, author of the highly acclaimed Bastard Out of Carolina, is going to the Keynote Speaker at GCLS, so I’m gearing up to meet some really great authors this year.
Hope to see some of you there.