I would like to welcome Jenna Kendrick to the blog today, as we continue on the road to GRL 2016 in Kansas City. Jenna talks about her first GRL in San Diego and she also is giving us an inside glimpse at her upcoming release, Stuck with You. There is a book spotlight along with an excerpt of the book.
Last year, I attended my first GRL. A couple of my friends were going to be there, but I essentially flew from upstate New York to San Diego to spend five days hanging out with a bunch of strangers. As a writer, I spend a lot more time living with the fictional characters in my head than interacting with the real world, so attending conferences is always a battle against my introverted nature. I may seem outgoing, but it’s all smoke and mirrors, trust me!
I arrived at the hotel to find my room wasn’t ready yet. Everyone else seemed to be arriving in pairs or groups, and there I was sitting in a corner of the lobby all alone, feeling like I was on display. I happened to look across the entrance and saw someone holding up another corner of the building. So I pulled from my limited resources of courage and took a chance. Saying hello to that first stranger, who also happened to be a first-timer, opened the door to an amazing five days of making new friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. Not a day goes by when I don’t get a message from someone I first met in San Diego or see a post from one of them on Facebook that makes me smile.
My book, Stuck with You, is about two college students who are handcuffed together for a sociology experiment. But aside from telling Seth and Jamie’s love story, it’s also about the friends who stick with you, the ones who have your back when you’re low, celebrate your successes, and kick your tush as necessary. Those are the kinds of friends you can make at GRL if you take a deep breath, take a chance, and say hello.
The Assignment: Discover if forced proximity leads to increased intimacy by being handcuffed to a partner for five days.
Jamie O’Connor’s closet is tightly closed and full of secrets. Attending college on a baseball scholarship, he’s hiding an injury along with his sexuality. A college degree is the key to escaping his family’s oppressive expectations. Until he graduates, he needs to play ball, both on the field and off. Being partnered with an openly gay classmate for a sociology project threatens to put more than just his free college ride at risk.
Seth Lerner’s closet is empty, but that’s because his baggage is always right by his side. Managing his severe ADHD while trying to overcome an earlier setback leaves him little time for any kind of social life, much less a relationship. He certainly can’t afford the distraction of falling for his closeted project partner.
Neither Jamie nor Seth plan on letting this assignment get in the way of their objectives. But secrets come out and goals change when you’re stuck together.