Books and Boots Gather in Dallas November 10!

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 0 Comments

books and boots dallas gcls logo

Feeling like the barbarians are at the gate, and it’s nonstop? Gather with likeminded people, get some hugs, breathe easy. I recommend it with all my heart, and it’s how I’m coping in this very difficult times. If you can get yourself to Dallas on November 10, I will hug you and that’s a promise!

It’ll be a great day with a lot of wonderful authors you can talk to, and plenty of other readers who like what you like: stories about women who love women. The stories where women are the heroes of their own lives. The stories where strength, wisdom, love, and tenacity win in the end. It’s free, but you do need to register here.

Lynn Ames, Barrett, Georgia Beers, Saxon Bennett, Melissa Brayden, Julie Cannon, Linda Crist, Layce Gardner, Roselle Graskey, Gerri Hill, KG MacGregor, Laydin Michaels, Jaycie Morrison, Carsen Taite, Shelley Thrasher, Barbara Ann Wright – and yours truly.

In addition to general merrymaking, there will be two panel events: Barbara Ann Wright will be moderating Romance and Mystery and Thriller, and Carsen Taite will be moderating Fantasy, Historical and Comedy.

This event wouldn’t exist without the hard work and squirrel herding by Sandy Thornton, and the support of the Golden Crown Literary Society Board of Directors.

Please join us. I know it’ll do me a world of good to be among friends, and sharing our love of the books and the stories – and each other.


Books and Boots

GCLS Southwest Regional Event co-hosted by the Resource Center of Dallas
November 20, 1028, 9am-6pm
DoubleTree Hotel (near Love Field), 3300 West Mockingbird Lane, Dallas TX

Books and Boots Details 2018
michelle yeoh in crazy rich asians

Crazy Rich Asians – a RomCom that Takes Love Seriously

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, Craft of Writing 2 Comments

Box office blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, which I saw this week, succeeds so well as a romantic comedy that I was left wondering how it is that so many romcoms don’t. I think this is the core of the problem:

You can poke fun at the couple’s foibles, and you can put them in awkward situations, but you can’t make light of love itself.

Therefore your story people must be worthy of love. If they’re not worthy, then the story diminishes the value of love, and builds the plot on a foundation that won’t support a genuine romantic premise.

theatrical poster crazy rich asians

Lots of Tropes. Used Well.

To be honest, Crazy Rich Asians deploys several predictable romantic tropes: disapproving-mother, fish-out-of-water, poor-girl-in-rich-town. They are nevertheless entwined for a story with near perfect beats that’s made fresh with a beautiful setting, rousing soundtrack choices with a light supportive score, plus strong primary and secondary performances, not to mention a couple of “busy-ness” choices that surprised and delighted like a good romantic story should.

theatrical poster Monster in LawWhile the characters occasionally were foolish or momentarily not their best selves, they were never unworthy. For example, they didn’t tell stupid lies, attempt payback, or try to be people they’re not for the sake of the relationship. Even the disapproving mother acknowledges love exists even as she disapproves of her son’s choice. With a wedding as a centerpiece of the story, over-the-top decor, bachelor and hen party antics, plus social bitchiness, it never once questions the reality that the celebrants love each other.

As I watched Crazy Rich Asians I compared it in my mind to Monster-in-Law, which failed for me precisely because its disapproving-mother trope was played out through cardboard characters built on sexism. No story that hates its women can convince me that anyone in it believes in love. How is it possible to admire a woman who gets even with her addict mother-in-law by slipping drugs into her food? How about a man who shrugs off the vicious catfights with an “oh you women” air? Nobody deserves good love in Monster-in-Law.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians’ unabashedly forthright, sumptuous take on established romantic tropes – to the point of thinking, “wish I’d written that” once or twice. I haven’t read the book by Kevin Kwan (yet), but I surely enjoyed the screenplay by Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli.

michelle yeoh in crazy rich asians

Besides, Michelle Yeoh

I’m a long time fan. It’s the primary reason I looked forward to the movie. She can tell stories with her eyes, and she does so in this movie. Her complexity is another reason the disapproving-mother trope goes beyond cliché. It’s always delicious tension when the “bad guy” isn’t entirely wrong. (I yearn for the day CBS releases Star Trek Discovery on DVD.)


For the record. My work-in-progress, Because I Said So, already included Mahjong as part of Kesa Sapiro’s social network. I was jazzed that I’d learned enough about the game to understand the significance of certain plays and how they underscored the scene’s main points.

Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture

Land o’ Book Love – Upcoming Events in Minneapolis

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 0 Comments

Road Trip!

Hello Land of 10,000 Lakes! The North Star State! And home to an astonishing quantity of out and proud queer writers. My wife and I are undertaking an epic trek this fall, and it includes a swing through the Twin Cities where I’ll be reading my work and talking about books at two different official venues.

There will also be unofficial meetups in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Stratford that I’ve announced on Facebook, so visit the link if those locations intrigue you. Read More

publicity poster for 2018 Western Women Writers of New Mexico annual event

WWW of New Mexico – A Day of Writing and Women in the West

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 0 Comments

publicity poster for 2018 Western Women Writers of New Mexico annual event

Treat yourself and join us! These women love books. They love to write. They love Albuquerque*. And every year they put that all together for an annual event featuring a variety of authors across genres and identities. So I’m really pleased this year to be appearing at the WWW Conference with literary luminaries I’ve fangrrled for years. Read More

quote dorothy allison tell your truth

Dorothy Allison: Burning Hot Hope

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 15 Comments

It was a physics problem from the get-go. How could I condense a universal force of nature like Dorothy Allison into a PowerPoint presentation of ten minutes? The truth is that it can’t be done, though I tried.

When I was asked if I’d present the Golden Crown Literary Society 2018 Trailblazer Award on behalf of the Board of Directors to her, I of course said yes. It was my honor, and a privilege. Secretly I thought it would be easy. Read More

GCLS 2018, Las Vegas, July 4-8

So I Had This Idea 2018 – From Idea to Published Work

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 0 Comments

There are many right ways to finish a novel. Over the years I’ve seen over and over that there’s only one wrong way: not to finish. Lucky me, every year I’ve been honored to moderate a panel of authors who tell us how they personally got it done. The light bulb went off and they took that idea and transformed it into a finished story. Read More

gold boot on purple velvet for Vegas

Vegas Baby! GCLS2018 Class – Chase Your Own Success

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 4 Comments

First thing first. Awards Gala attire chosen. Is that a purple velvet jumpsuit? Yes. Are those my beloved gold boots? Yes. Am I serious? Yes. VEGAS BABY!

Now that the all-important attire topic is out of the way, I was super excited to hear that the class I proposed to the Golden Crown Literary Society for GCLS2018 had been accepted. I don’t have date and time yet, but it’ll be somewhere between July 4 and July 8. The session is Thursday, July 5, 2018, at 11:40 a.m.

Read More

10 diverse women pose as Rosie the Riveter photos by Ilana Spiegel

Thank You Courtney Milan – Representation is Our Job

Karin Kallmaker Craft of Writing, My Lady Lipstick, Sisters of the Pen 1 Comment

four people spell love with their hands

Reading is an Act of Empathy

There’s even science that backs this up: People who read are more readily empathetic about people who don’t live the way they do. As Elizabeth Anderson told me in a recent radio interview, reading allows us to know people.

Because of reading I have strong empathy for little girls who grow up on prairies and all the challenges they fictionally face. However, I didn’t get much empathy for the people who lived on that prairie before the family arrived. For the most part, their authentic story wasn’t told, not by anyone. As a child, I had no way to know that these untold stories even existed. Read More

Karin's superpower - knows where the chocolate is

Sommelier of Chocolate – Ask the Right Questions

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, LIFE + STYLE 4 Comments

milk chocolate bordeaux by sees

More than once I’ve been asked how to find a good chocolate. I don’t know why people think I would know, but I usually ask a question or two, or three, and use their answers to send them the right direction. After all, procurement is a matter requiring analysis of palate, allowances for shipping temperatures, humidity and due consideration of personal tastes.

You might also want to check out It’s All Good, my blog about buying great chocolate on a budget. Read More

painted vintage no

Lacking in Graciousness and Generosity? So Be It.

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books 6 Comments

Female figure angry

Nothing New Under the Sun

1/17/2018 Update: It’s hard to believe I wrote this blog going on nine years ago. Not only do I still get requests like the one below from New Acme, it’s gotten worse. Now it’s a continuous stream of offers to “crowd promote” and “create viral visibility” through a mailing-funnel-follower-stream a.k.a. unicorn dust magic a.k.a. trendy sounding method that has zero proof-of-concept. Read More

cherry chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe Karin Kallmaker

Cheery Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, LIFE + STYLE 0 Comments

cherry chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe Karin Kallmaker
I don’t do recipe blogs often, okay, this is only the second one ever. (Here’s the first, Turkey Brine.) I usually save a great recipe for use in a book, but oatmeal cookies with cherry and dark chocolate is a winning combination I find irresistible. All the good things in life: Oats, brown sugar and butter, with bright pops of cherry and melting not-quite-bitter dark chocolate. Read More

cover-our-happy-hours-lgbt-voices-gay-bars-bess-lynch

Our Happy Hours – How LGBT People Thrive(d) and Survive(d)

Karin Kallmaker Anthologies, Sisters of the Pen 1 Comment

Our Happy Hours

This week marks the release of Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars. I’m proud to be a contributor to this anthology. The stories, essays and poetry collected between its covers represent diverse voices raised to celebrate and commemorate what our bars have been and are for our community. Read More

Fingerless gloves on keyboard

Why #SWRepMatters – Disposable and Invisible Equals Unsafe

Karin Kallmaker Craft of Writing 1 Comment

Pride Flag in the wind

“We have a lot of work to do, and choosing not to do it is no longer acceptable.” #ChuckWendig #SWRepMatters

I’m on the Interstates between Colorado and California, slowly turning the brain from vacation to writing mode. It’s hard, but blogs like Not Being Inclusive is Also a Political Choice from Chuck Wendig help. It has given me both a lens and a mirror, and these are helpful tools to my writer brain. Read More

Fish Out of Water favorite little mermaid

A Fish Out of Water – The Little Mermaid for Lesbians

Karin Kallmaker Book News, Fish Out of Water 0 Comments

The Little Mermaid is one of those fairy tales I never understood. No matter how I interpret the original Hans Christian Andersen story I can only see the usual female who can have no value unless she is loved by a man. The Little Mermaid has no soul, and can’t enter heaven so she can’t be loved by God, the ultimate male.

book cover fish out of water by Karin Kallmaker Read More