In Which I Fan Girl and Oh Yeah, There’s a Literary Cruise


Hi. My name is Karin and I am a goofy doofus fan girl. I’m fairly practiced and blase about meeting readers and bumping shoulders with other writers. But I’ve got an event coming up where all my Grownup Skills will be deeply challenged by my Fan Girl Doofus History.

Books. Hundreds and hundreds of lesbians. Writers, authors. Singers, songwriters. Smart Women. Sheroes. All on an Olivia Cruise to Alaska.

Poof! Magic is going to happen when all of those things are in the same place next June. But what do I Fan Girl first? So many choices my head is spinning.


The entertainment alone is mind-boggling: Kathy & Mo, the smartest women in comedy. Suzanne Westenhoefer, the smartest woman in comedy. Karen Williams, the smartest woman in comedy.* And then there’s Cris Williamson. Suede. Broadway and TV Star Natalie Toro.

One of my first experiences with cruising was with Olivia, and I will never forget the sheer bliss of a floating safe space. No glances over the shoulder to see who was watching before holding hands. The freedom to laugh, dance and sing without the constant inner guard always asking if it’s okay to visible. I am a different person because of Olivia and the women travelers who made merry all over the world. I saw so many icons of lesbian culture on these trips. Out lesbians, making their living with their visibility.

Stop Rambling and Get to the Point

I know, I’m trying.

If you’re reading my blog, that means you like books, are writing books, trying to write books, are a lesbian, or all of the above. And this Majestic Alaska Olivia cruise will be featuring Lesfic Authors with a Literary Adventure at Sea! This main cruise event will feature workshops, meet & greets, book signings, interactive author panels, special events and customized shore excursions sponsored by Curve Magazine. The Literary Adventure is masterminded by Sapphire Books and they’re gathered an impressive group of authors (seriously, go look!).

All that, and the breathtaking, soul-stirring sights of Alaska. Here’s another one, because Alaska.

I was totally on a helicopter and I totally did that on both previous trips and I’ll do it again, yes I will. Picture at top 1993, this picture 2014. I am Fan Girl about Alaska, so much that I set a book there.

Fan Girl Brain Meltdown

dorothy-allisonI’m already going droolish fan girl over the entertainers on the trip. (You didn’t notice, right? Sure.) But the challenge to keep my street cool** gets even harder.

I know I will be my usual mess of a fangirl over Dorothy Allison. Goosebumps. I already had a deep and abiding admiration for her, and then had the privilege of hearing her keynote address to the Golden Crown Literary Society. “You know what’s in your heart and that’s what you should be writing,” she said. There wasn’t a person in the room she didn’t reach with her encouragement and faith. Two nights later, after I presented the Trailblazer award to Joan Nestle, I got a hug from Dorothy and I managed not to say something vapid or outright drool. She likely does not remember the event at all, let alone that I trod on her foot.

So yeah, I’ll be there trying not to embarrass myself as I usually do with luminaries.

But the hard truth is that two of my most embarrassing moments in “brushes with celebrity” were with two of the other women who’ll also be on this cruise: Cris Williamson and Greta Cammermeyer. Neither will remember, sure.

So it doesn’t actually seem real that my name now appears on a list with all of these women as featured participants in this Lesbian Adventure, as if I’m some sort of Dignified Grownup. Let’s not tell them otherwise, okay? They seem happy to have me along.

Intrigued? Go read more:

Just remember that if you want to save $100-$600 per person, you need to use the code SAPPHIRE when you book. If you have any further questions about the Adventure, or need help booking, drop a line to Sallyanne at Sapphire Books.

Questions about cruising to Alaska? I’ve done it twice, and will be happy to answer if you comment.

* THEY ARE ALL SMART, I mean seriously, smart is funny is smart is sexy is smart and this is an amazing gathering of all that and a bike on Christmas morning. Knowing me, I will tell each one she is the smartest woman in comedy and I’ll do it front of all the others. So, so suave am I.

** I have lots of street cool, right? Sure.

Coffee, Meetups and a Big Tease


Anyone following my Facebook feed knows I’m in Canada seeing the eye-popping sights. Yesterday I met up with two passionate lesfic fans, Tara and Patti. (Did we take a picture, no we did not. Bad Karin, bad bad! Instead, you get a picture of Lake Louise.)

As we chatted I admitted that I had, that morning, written the opening paragraphs of the next novel. In their honor I’m going to go ahead and post them. And just leave it there. Still thinking over the title. So I guess, yes, this is a big tease.

Nita Brassley was so angry she made a seven-layer English Trifle, and then two pans of double cocoa brownies.

In the course of her baking tirade egg white had smeared over the letter from Chance, Emperor & Co., but the ink refused to smear.

She’d said “no” once, and now the nerve—the nerve! To send her a first class air ticket, reservations at the Omni Park Central, and the assurance of Hamilton tickets—how rude!

As a matter of fact she’d said “no” twice. Once in the email and then on the phone.

She whipped ganache into submission and coated the brownies. Anita Topaz didn’t make personal appearances. She didn’t care what the contract said.

See You In Carolina, or, I Admit I’ll Sign Anything


LGBT Center in Raleigh

It’s the Fifth Anniversary of the LGBT Center Library and it’s only fitting that the event be celebrated by talking about romance and love, books and writing. You haven’t marked your calendar yet? Tick tock! The event is in one week, next Sunday, September 25, at 1 p.m. There’s dessert! Why would you miss this?

Inevitably at an event like this, there are people who are shy about bringing all the books from home for me to sign. Don’t be shy! If you bring it, I will sign it. Preferably, it’s a book written by me. Some people, I’m not naming names but her initials are KG MacGregor, get a bit testy when I sign their books. (I’ll do it, but let’s keep it entre nous, shall we?)

If you’re hoping to buy a particular book from my backlist, this event doesn’t have a bookseller so you’ll need to order what you want from me in advance and I’ll bring it along to the event. I will have copies of Captain of Industry with me, but it you pre-order you’re assured of getting a copy.

Just visit my store, and at check out pick the shipping method “Hand Delivered to LGBT Event.” Don’t hesitate, just take care of it right now. Your order needs to be complete by 8 a.m. this Wednesday, September 21.

LGBT Center of Raleigh / Library 5th Anniversary Celebration
D. Jackson Leigh, KG MacGregor, Ann McMan, VK Powell, Rebecca Swartz and Karin Kallmaker
1-3 pm. Meet the Authors Romance Panel, Dessert and Shmoozefest
324 South Harrington Street, Raleigh NC

Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville

The luxury of signing in a real live bookstore! Join KG MacGregor and me this Saturday, September 24 at 7 p.m.! If you’re in the area you already know Malaprops is a powerhouse local indie store. You might not know that the boycotts over HB-2 have cost them dearly as collateral damage. KG and I are trying in our small way to return the store’s historic support of our community and books when they badly need it.

So please plan to spend the evening with us! I’m joining KG and pledging for every book of mine sold at Malaprops I’m donating $5 to Equality NC, which is leading the fight against HB-2.

Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe
KG MacGregor and Karin Kallmaker reading and signing
and hugging anyone who purchases books from the store
55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC



Absolutely Work-Related Task


I know you’re killing time until the end of the day so I have a wee task for you.

  1. Check your location. Are you in or near Asheville or Raleigh-Durham? If no, skip to #7.
  2. If yes, open your calendar.
  3. If in Asheville or surrounds, proceed to #4. If in Raleigh or Durham or surrounds, skip to #5.
  4. Add event September 24, 7 p.m. Write something like “Malaprops Books, bring $$$ for books to support local indie business. KG MacGregor and Karin Kallmaker reading and speaking, total bonus!” Skip to #6.
  5. Add event to September 25, 1 p.m. Write something like “Lesbian Romance Goodness! Expect awesomeness from D. Jackson Leigh, KG MacGregor, Ann McMan, VK Powell, Rebecca Swartz and that Kallmaker woman.”
  6. Email, text, message or call friends to arrange total party car pools.
  7. Since that was a lot of work accomplished, take a break with this TOTALLY work-related video. Happy weekend to all!

Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe
KG MacGregor and Karin Kallmaker reading and signing
and hugging anyone who purchases books from the store
55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC

LGBT Center of Raleigh / Library 5th Anniversary Celebration
D. Jackson Leigh, KG MacGregor, Ann McMan, VK Powell, Rebecca Swartz and Karin Kallmaker
1-3 pm. Meet the Authors Romance Panel
and shmoozefest (maybe that’s just me…)
324 South Harrington Street, Raleigh NC

Adorable Video and still shot from DogWatch, Inc.