Well, after what turned out to be quite a tumultuous month in the US, I’m now back home after GRL and setting back into the day job, and into a writing schedule that will actually allow me to complete some of the books I’m contracted to write. (Fingers crossed!)
It’s never much fun to be back home after GRL, and it’s more than just the post-holiday blues. Kansas City was my third GRL, and it’s not just some industry convention that I turn up to every year. It’s where I go to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones. Like a lot of authors I’m generally an introvert and not a very confident public speaker, but I wasn’t nervous at all about going to GRL this time because I knew I’d be surrounded by friends. And being surrounded by friends, after the week we’ve all had, seems like a real luxury right about now.
My trip to the US was a lot of fun, apart from the last weird two days following the election. It’s sometimes very difficult to see—and I acknowledge my privilege as a white cis het female here—how there is so much hatred in the world. And now, unfortunately, it seems like the US will have a president who not only ran on a platform of hatred and intolerance, but legitimises the celebration of hatred and intolerance amongst his supporters. It’s a very uncertain time. My social media feeds are full of people wondering if their rights will be curtailed, and if they’re safe, and if their children are safe. These are frightening times.
As a foreigner there’s not much I can do to get involved in the American political process, so I’ll be donating clothing and money to my local charities. It also means donations to Planned Parenthood and The Trevor Project in the US, since they will both be on the frontline when it comes to safeguarding the welfare of those most vulnerable to attack.
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to write books with happy endings. These are more important than ever. Fiction is where we go when the real world gets too dark, or at least it is for me. And I want to make better worlds for readers to escape into, at least until we can make this one brighter again. And make no mistake, we will make it brighter again. I truly believe that.