Dena Hankins - Author

Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up in Seattle

by , on
September 21, 2014

My GRNW experience was great, worthwhile, and valuable, but slightly overshadowed by the emotional impact of coming home to a place that has both changed and stayed the same.

First, the conference or meet-up.

The first author-centered panel went quickly.  Only 45 minutes long and I started to realize how very little we would get to say in the next one.  I was a panelist on the Writing Diverse Characters panel and we could have gone for hours.  Firstly, because the topic is broad and deep and necessary.  Secondly, because the other panelists were bright and thoughtful and had tons of valuable insight into the needs of writers and readers in bringing intersecting oppressions to the table when planning a book.

As a genre that has some diversity by default – mainstream books don’t feature a lot of queer characters – we all agreed that it isn’t enough.  That was our starting point.

From there, we immediately talked about ways of writing outside our personal experiences of color, gender, ability, etc.  The author-attendees had great questions and the moderator, Marites Mendoza, didn’t even begin to get through the prepared questions.  As I said, we could have gone on for a long, long time.

Pearl Love (who doesn’t keep her blog up to date, but has a Goodreads Author Profile that can get you to her books) is smart, sensible, and well-spoken.  She was on later panels as well and should be considered by anyone looking to book panelists who can speak to writing both outside their personal experience (as a female M/M writer) and within personal marginalized experience (as a person of color).

Alex Powell (who does update her blog) was also a font of good advice.  She has a lot of intersecting identities that aren’t usually featured in books, so she could speak to what it feels like not to read yourself and how much value there is in finding characters even remotely like you.

Panel

Pearl is fourth from the left and Alex is last on the right.  This is from a later panel.

Heidi Belleau (midrange on the blog updating) did a great job helping everyone understand that intimidation is not a good reason to avoid diversity in your writing.

I hope to see more of them all as I keep making the rounds.

One particular point I brought up was about knowing more than you think.  While the old saw goes write what you know, it’s also important to recognize that we also tend to write what we’re comfortable with.  It’s true that most white people have mostly white friends, but it’s a rare person indeed who doesn’t know any people of color.  Pay more attention in your real life and you’ll find that diversity is all around you.  Learn from it, and get help making sure you’re hitting the right notes.

BookFair

The book fair went…fair.  I had some great conversations, but didn’t sell a ton of books.  Oh well.  Sitting next to Ginn Hale was a gift.  She was warm and encouraging…and she’s the first person on my mailing list for Shriving, the science fiction manuscript I’m working on between romance books.

GoodCompany

And the rest of the trip was strange and nostalgic.

Mama’s.  An important location in Blue Water Dreams.

Mamas

The loft, crucial to Oly’s life.

Loft

The falafel shop where Oly tells Lania about his youth.

AladdinFalafel

But then there were the purely personal ones.  The madrona trees all over town.  I have a madrona backpiece tattoo so I could take home with me when I left.

Madrona

Also, a place I used to get lentil soup for a dollar – all I could afford for lunch at that point in my life – and do the homework I’d allowed to pile up.  I worked full time during college and took a full load the whole time.  It’s a good thing I went for an English degree.  I wrote so many of my assignments the morning they were due.

LentilSoup

And, once again, what’s a visit to Seattle without excellent coffee?

Vivace

Seattle, WA Book Tour Stop – Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up

by , on
August 23, 2014

Dena Hankins will be a panelist on writing diverse characters at the Gay Romance Northwest conference for readers and writers of queer books.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her new queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, her debut novel, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

 Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 20, 2014, 10am
Gay Romance Northwest
Seattle Public Library-Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA
Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/669883
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/268040953400205/

Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up 2014 will consist of a full day of activities on September 20, 2014, including an afternoon conference with panel discussions and Q&As, writing workshops, pitch sessions with attending publishers, and a reader meet-up in the morning, a post-conference book fest with author signings and bookselling, and a fun after party following all the festivities featuring more short readings and time to mingle with attendees.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Book Tour for Blue Water Dreams,
a Queer/Trans* Romance Debut Novel,
Hits Seattle on September 20th

 

Contact: Dena Hankins, Author of Blue Water Dreams
Email: dena@denahankins.net
Phone: (509) 793-6411

www.denahankins.net

SEATTLE, WA, August 12, 2014—Dena Hankins will be a panelist on writing diverse characters at the Gay Romance Northwest conference for readers and writers of queer books.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her new queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, her debut novel, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies. 

 

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 20, 2014, 10am

Gay Romance Northwest

Seattle Public Library-Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA

Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/669883

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/268040953400205/

Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up 2014 will consist of a full day of activities on September 20, 2014, including an afternoon conference with panel discussions and Q&As, writing workshops, pitch sessions with attending publishers, and a reader meet-up in the morning, a post-conference book fest with author signings and bookselling, and a fun after party following all the festivities featuring more short readings and time to mingle with attendees.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Gearing Up for Seattle’s Gay Romance Northwest Meetup

by , on
July 9, 2014

The Meetup is a one-day conference with both writer and reader events.  See me there on the 20th of September, or somewhere else on that coast around that time.  I’m talking to the Gender Justice League in Seattle and Orca Books in Olympia, plus I have dates penciled for Good Vibes and the Center for Sex and Culture later that month in San Francisco.

Fun!