I just got back from an amazing experience at the National Leather Alliance-International AGM Awards for Fiction. It was a huge honor to be awarded the prize for excellence in BDSM fiction for my novel, Submission Times Two. James Buchanan won honorable mention, with the novel, Hard Fall. The press release is posted as a separate blog entry.
I met a lot of really terrific people, including Dart, who writes an amazing blog chronicling his leather journey and sharing his experiences and insights. You can check out Dart’s Domain here!
Vince Andrews, president of the NLA-I, took me under his wing and made sure I had a table set up for my book signing event after the awards ceremony. I only brought about 25 books with me, which was all I could cram into my suitcase. I had no real idea what to expect, having never attended an NLA event before. The awards ceremonies came at the tail end of a weekend-long BDSM play and learning weekend called Tribal Fire, which was hosted by the Oklahoma chapter of the NLA-I.
The AGM (Annual General Meeting) was held in a small room filled with about 50 brothers and sisters in leather, who carried on a general meeting, discussed elective offices and committees and mundane matters dear to every organization’s heart (If I closed my eyes to the leather and chain, I could have been in a library foundation meeting or the local PTA—that is, until they started discussing the previous night’s play party.
Though I knew I’d been chosen as the recipient of the novel award, my heart was beating fast when the presenter and Awards Chairperson, Steve Vakesh, announced that Submission Times Two had won. I walked up to the podium and accepted the lovely plaque (which will hang above my writing desk and I know will inspire me in the days and years to come). I made a brief thank you speech, though I couldn’t really tell you now what I said. After gracious applause, I returned to sit behind my books at my little table, and once the meeting was concluded, folks came over to check out my books.
There were people from all walks of life and all orientations, including straight, bi, pansexual and gay. I have to say the most fun to sell my wares to were the young gay men, who picked up the books and handled them with awe, laughing and giggling with delight as they exclaimed, “Oh, I just love cowboys!” or “Sign it for my boy, Patrick.” As far as I know, none of the guys there had ever heard of me, so it’s possible this may be the start of something new and wonderful – a new market of gay leather men! I sold out my inventory in fifteen minutes, and I was absolutely tickled pink.
This is the third annual competition. Next year the NLA hopes to raise money so they can award cash prizes. In order to raise money, authors are encouraged to donate their work for an auction that will be held later this year. I donated a number of books and plan to donate more. They would like them signed by the author, as that increases the value. I strongly encourage other authors of gay BDSM fiction to consider donating. It’s a great marketing opportunity.
I feel so honored and delighted to have been included in their wonderful event. The writing contest is open to
all BDSM fiction and nonfiction. There are several categories. Authors are encouraged to enter their own work. It’s wonderful exposure and doesn’t cost a dime. Email Steve Vakesh, awards chairperson for details.
Here are a few pictures from the event. As you can see, I just couldn’t stop smiling! I’ll have more pictures in a few days, as a lovely woman named Caroline was busy snapping away throughout the awards ceremony.
The handsome guy without the hat is Dart (see link above) and the dashing young man with the hat is Vince Andrews, president of NLA-I and the rest are all me, grinning like a banshee!
Thanks for sharing in my excitement!