I should have done this on Sunday. My memory is such trash and this will probably not even fully encapsulate everything that I wanted it to and it's probably gonna be all over the place, but y'all...
So Indie Love did a very good job at preparing me for the feels I'd have meeting readers of my work who showered me with praise. I learned to graciously accept compliments and deftly dodge the "when????"s, hahaha. So I went into Behind the Pen feeling like I knew what I was doing. I had a plan, a very good friend by my side, and all of the books to unload, hahaha. I was still a little nervous because I didn't know what the day would bring, but overall felt really good.
I walked over to the venue with my friend Sarah and the Joneses--Christina and her hub Byron. As soon as we walked up, Alex Warren and her bae Donte were pulling up. Seeing all of those friendly faces immediately brought my anxiety down as we walked into the venue and got everything all set up. I was a little nervous about the circular tables, but I was actually able to get my set up brackin' rather nicely and actually took a photo of the table! LOL During set up time, I was able to chat it up a little with a couple of authors and volunteers before it was showtime.
Wait...let me back up a little. Y'all...the space where the event was being held? Honeyyyyyyy...The sistah Girls had it decorated so dopely! There was so much glitter and pink and my heart just about exploded. The aesthetic was hella in line with my personal values and I was super here for it. There was a bevy of food, beverages, and sweet treats arranged so artfully. I'm sure y'all have seen some pics by now, but I was super in love with those sparkly champers bottles. After a pep talk from Puff Mommy aka Sharee, the doors were opened and we were off.
I'd initially planned to sit down and greet folks as they walked up, but after about 5 minutes of that I Was like "nope! that ain't gonna work!" I was up and moving around, grooving to the dope ass playlist that was piped through the sound system and living my best life. I got to meet so many people that I knew from Facebook and/or Twitter and/or Instagram and hug so many of y'alls necks. So...a confession: I don't look at avatars or profile pictures that often, my mind always hyperfocuses on words. I promise, I feel like my brain doesn't process pictures well, but those names are firmly cemented in my mind and as soon as I started writing, it clicked for me. I know that a few times I was like midway through signing a book before being like "OMG IT'S YOU!!!" for a few of y'all LOL.
There were a few times I just took a moment to glance around the room and I know I was probably grinning like a loon, but it was just so invigorating. Every single sista came to slay...there was so much beauty in that room. The love was palpable. The energy was electric and my entire life was given.
Readers of Black indie romance are the best people on Earth, I'll tell you this. I had more than one of you say to me, "I know you got some stuff going on sis, but whenever you ready--we ready!" And that...y'all I appreciate it more than words can accurately portray. This weekend was amazing and Behind The Pen was certainly a highlight.
Saida & Sharee: You ladies set out to make an event that would keep the streets buzzing and represent y'alls city to the fullest and Y'ALL DID THAT. Thank you for the intense amounts of care you put into ensuring this event would not only be great for the readers, but equally awesome for the authors participating. Y'alls dedication to providing a space for black indies to flourish is greatly appreciated. A huge thank you to y'all and the rest of the SGBC crew for a fabulous event.
Me with the head sistah girls in charge, Sharee and Saida!