Welcome to the wide crazy world of TJ Klune

As you can see, this is a blog (a blog, you say? You're like the only person in the world that has one!). Here are my promises to you: I promise to up date this as much as I can. I promise that at some point, you will most likely be offended. I promise you may suffer from the affliction the Klunatics know as Wookie Cry Face. I also promise to make this some place where you can see how my mind works.

You've been warned.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Shenanigans of GRL 2012

So, in case you couldn’t tell by the overabundance of posts regarding the matter, GayRomLit 2012 was held in Albuquerque NM last week.  Yes, I attended.  Yes, there were shenanigans of the highest order.  There were smiles and hugs and tears and hickies and tattoos and gross strippers and carpel tunnel syndrome and alcohol and getting stuck in elevators and ghosts and more alcohol and legitimate psychos and books and authors and readers.  And so much, much more.  Here’s some of my highlights over the course of the week.

--I hate flying.  I will always hate flying.  But it helped that for some random reason, I was upgraded to first class both to and from GRL.  Did you know you can drink for free in first class?  As much as you want?  I didn’t know that.  I do now.  That was awesome.

--In my layover in Las Vegas, I made friends with a Korean business man named Fong (Phong? Carl?).  We had bloody Mary’s together and he told me about the time he held a baby panda.  I said “awwww.”  I didn’t hear the end of the story because I had to go, but I hope it didn’t end with him eating said baby panda.  That would have been tragic. 

--I got to the hotel and walked past a group of people and heard “That’s TJ Klune,” whispered excitedly and for a second, I thought, “Who?”  Then I realized who they meant and I started blushing and mumbling and wondering if being at GRL was such a good idea.

--Anne Tenino was the first person I met at GRL after she walked up to me and introduced herself while I was checking into the hotel.  Therefore, she is my first GRL person and I worship her.

--I got stuck in the elevator because it wouldn’t take me to the sixth floor.  Supposedly, it was broken.  I think I was just told that and the real reason I couldn’t get to the sixth floor was because I don’t know how to work elevators.  And to make matters worse, the elevators were glass and everyone could see me not knowing how to work the elevators.  Fail.

--Nothing like being brought back to a cold, stark reality when going to your own publisher’s table on the first day and asking if your books will be out anytime soon for people to buy, only to be asked “Who are you?” by the person behind the DSP table.  Ouch.

--Getting multiple contracts for new books while on a GRL vacation is the equivalent to having simultaneous orgasms.  It rocked that hard.  

Blurb for Tell Me It’s Real (February 2013):
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Paul Auster sure doesn't.  As a matter of fact, Paul doesn't believe in much at all.  He’s slightly overweight, just turned thirty, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides at life as it passes him by.  His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasi-bipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket.  He works a dead end job in a cubicle that is sucking his soul dry.  His parents are nagging him to settle down with a nice boy and his grandmother's homophobic parrot  keeps insulting him to the point Paul is pretty sure he's going to wring that stupid bird's neck.  He’s stuck in a monotonous routine that he doesn’t know how to escape.
Enter Vince Taylor.
Vince is everything Paul is not: sexy, confident, and dumber than the  proverbial box of rocks.  And for some strange, astonishing reason, Vince begins to pursue Paul relentlessly.  Paul thinks that Vince is playing a trick on him because there is no way someone like Vince would want someone like him. It's not until he hits Vince with his car in a completely non-intentional if-he-died-it'd-only-be-manslaughter kind of way that he realizes that maybe Vince isn't being totally insane with his declarations of being half-way in love with Paul already.  The only thing blocking Paul from believing in Vince is himself, and that is one obstacle Paul can't quite seem to overcome.  When tragedy strikes Vince's family, Paul must find the courage to put aside any notions he may have about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he's perfect just the way he is.

Blurb for Into This River I Drown (April 2013):

At once an exploration of grief and faith, Into This River I Drown is one man's journey into the secrets of his father and discovering the strength to believe in the impossible.

 Five years ago, Benji Green lost his beloved father, Big Eddie, who drowned when his truck crashed into a river.  All called it an accident, but Benji thought it more.  However, even years later, he is buried deep in his grief, throwing himself into taking over Big Eddie's convenience store in the small town of Roseland, Oregon.  Surrounded by his mother and three aunts, he lives day by day, struggling to keep his head above water.

 But Roseland is no ordinary place.

With ever-increasing dreams of his father's death and waking visions of feathers on the surface of a river, Benji's definition of reality is starting to bend.  He thinks himself haunted, but whether by ghosts or memories, he can no longer tell.  It's not until the impossible happens and a man falls from the sky and leaves the burning imprint of wings on the ground that he begins to understand that the world around him is more mysterious than he could have possibly imagined.  It's also more dangerous, as forces beyond anyone's control are descending on Roseland, revealing long hidden truths about friends, family, and the man named Calliel who Benji is finding he can no longer live without.
Ooooo, exciting!

--My GRL Posse: SJD Peterson, Scotty Cade (and his lovely husband), Stacey, Amanda, Lannie, The Canadian, Ely, Erika Abi Roux, and, of course, Eric Arvin.

--Speaking of Erika, there is no way I could have survived the trip without her.  She totally played the thankless role of my assistant.  Without her, I would not have known where I needed to be, who I was supposed to be talking to, or even how to walk on my own.  She fucking ROCKS.

--What I heard constantly:
Whoever: “You’re so fucking funny in your books/blog/FB/wherever!”
Me: “Thank you?”
Whoever: *Stares at me*
Me: “What?”
Whoever: “Say something funny.”
Me:  “Oh.  Uh.  You see… uh.  There once was this man from…er.  Maybe?”

--It was discovered that I am, for lack of a nicer word, retarded when it comes to technology.  My phone randomly died and I was freaking out, sure I was stuck in the middle of the desert of New Mexico, to be trapped there for eternity.  I just knew I would never get home again and WHAT IF THE WORLD ENDED AND I DIDN’T HAVE MY PHONE?!?!?  Well.  Uh.  My phone apparently didn’t just conk out.  I was apparently pressing the “Volume” button rather than the “On” button for thirty minutes straight.  Yikes.

--But, before you judge me harshly, know this: Eric Arvin doesn’t know how to open pens.  I am not fucking kidding you.  He sat there for minutes trying to click open a pen that instead needed to be uncapped.  Between him and I, I think the whole human race went down a few IQ points.  I’m surprised we weren’t drooling in each other’s presence by the end of the trip (and no, not that way either—get your mind out of the gutter; well, until we get towards the end of this post and I shove your mind right back into the gutter.  That’s called a teaser.)

--Some people cried when they met me.  I didn’t know what to do with that except hug the crap out of them.  That was a crazy feeling to have.  Especially, in all seriousness, I was trying hard not to cry in return.  That would not have been okay for me to make Wookiee Cry Face in public and to have us wailing on each other like we just found we’re giving birth to a litter of otter-bears  (Haha! References).

--Dreamspinner sold out of my books they brought to their table in two minutes.  TWO MINUTES.  Holy Hannah Montana.  The ones I brought with me to the author signing last about ten minutes.  Mental note: next year, bring more books.  And Xanax.

--That moment when the doors open up so readers can come meet the authors and get books signed and someone comes to my table and I look down to autograph their book and look back up again only to see thirty people now standing in line to meet me, well… that moment was insanity.  I must have made an “oh my crap” face because everyone started laughing.

--I signed boobies:

--Apparently, someone figured out I was the most photographed author at GRL which is surprising since normally I’m not photogenic in the slightest.  I usually end up looking like I am uncomfortably snarling at the camera in any picture I take.  So please, don’t let all the photos you’ve seen fool you.  For all those that are “good” there are ones that I have threatened the photographer with death if they are ever released.  There is one in particular that shows me looking like a deer caught in the headlights that literally makes anyone who sees it howl with laughter. That picture will never see the light of day so help me God.

--This moment:

Which led to this (nerd points if you know what this is):

(and yes, I know it is small, but it still hurt like a motherfucker!!)

 --Jo Peterson and Scotty Cade made me lose forty dollars in fifteen minutes on nickel slots.  Damn you both straight to hell!

--Jo and I had a game called the thunder game where we tried to one up each other’s reader experience.  I don’t know who won.  Or maybe we both lost for playing such a game.

--Abi Roux dives at elevators to keep them open, only to sacrifice her body in the process.  Thanks, Abi, for being so selfless.  Next time, wait for another elevator.

--The beds at the Hardrock were SO uncomfortable…. until I wasn’t the only one sleeping in them.  *wink*

--Kaje Harper promised to sing with me at karaoke next year (and don’t let her tell you otherwise because she’s lying!).

--The “cowboy” strippers that were supposed to grace the stage?  Wow.  Just…um…wow.  I don’t know where they went shopping for strippers at, but I’m pretty sure it was a discount warehouse of some kind.  In Chernobyl.  That was not attractive.  At all.

--JP Barnaby is a foul-mouthed badass.  I love her to pieces.  

--I drank.  A lot.  And got maybe six hours sleep total.  I don’t know how I stayed upright but I managed it.  Except for those times I didn’t.  It wasn’t my fault I was stumbling at any point.  It was because there were earthquakes.  Lots and lots of earthquakes.  That only I could feel.

--Damon Suede licked my face:

--I’ve been asked a bit where I disappeared to at times.  To be honest, I was a tad overwhelmed at certain points during the trip and took a break every now and then.  I spent most of Friday away from the hotel, wandering around with some people and causing a ruckus.  We then rocked a casbah at a different hotel that was supposedly haunted, but I didn’t see jack shit.

--Did not get to go to Roswell.  Disappointed.  Aliens, you’ll have to wait for me to hunt for you another day.  And this time, I’ll be doing the probing.


--Which lead to Hickey-Gate and Makeout Nose-Gate.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more knowing looks or squeals of glee directed at my person more than after people started figuring things out.  Not like it was that hard to figure out: Arvin pretty much jumped my bones in front of everyone.  Hey, Arvin!  You’re welcome.

--And finally, of course, comes to the end, the burning questions that people seem to have about Arvin and me (BTW, who ever thought of the name Klarvin needs to be given a medal.  We laughed our asses off at that).  So, what happened?  Well… a good boy doesn’t kiss and tell.  Most of the time.  Suffice to say, there isn’t anyone quite like Eric that I’ve met before and it was a bit rough after spending four days wrapped up in him only to realize that we live on opposite sides of the country.  That part sucked.  A lot.  And for a moment there, due to a mix up, we got separated at the airport and it looked like our goodbye would have been just a flippant see you in a few minutes.  But we connected in the end, even if it was hard.
So then it was one of those moments that you know you have to say good-bye and then you think really?  Really?!?!?! THAT'S IT???

Maybe it is.

Or maybe it’s not.

You don’t meet someone like that very often, especially someone like me who’s a serial dater and normally doesn’t do “romance”.  It’s almost clichéd, right?  Like a story you’d read out of an m/m book.  I realize this.  I know this.  But I also know I’ll be damned if I let him get away without trying my hardest to hold on.  So, we’ll take it as we can and hope for the best.  It's a good thing I have a lot of hope.

GRL 2012 was the first time I’d ever gotten to go out and meet readers and other authors face to face and it was an amazing experience, one that I will be doing again next year in Atlanta for GRL 2013.  If you couldn’t make it this year, do your damn best to make sure you can go next year.  I promise you, it’s completely worth it. To all the readers who I met, thank you for making my first time one of the best times of my life.





  1. Ah, Teej :-) That was sweet. Sweet and hilarious and...I can't wait to see you again.

  2. Sniffle, sniffle... oh and I totally admit to starting the lobby whispers upon your arrival.

  3. Awesome post! Note to self stay away from pop while reading TJ's posts!

    Oh and for the record I think you and Eric make an awesome couple. ;)


  4. It was great to meet you, but folks?? About that karaoke thing? He's a lying liar - I said I'd hold his coat, music stand, maybe his drink, and clap hard. I never said I'd sing. But now Sammy will make me. Damn you TJ ((hugs)).

    Best of luck to you and Eric. I did long distance for a year and a half - it can work.


  5. You ROCK TJ :) And I have hope for you & Eric too!


  6. Love this post! Good luck to you both!


  7. I was terrific meeting you, TJ! What a great weekend. You gave the best hugs of anyone at GRL. :)


  8. You and Eric were the highlight of GRL for me, my boobs and I thank you and look forward to next year :)

  9. Really? I win a medal!!! I did post the Klarvin name on your facebook way back on Oct. 20! As for the tattoo...nice. I'm going Tri-Force, honestly the first thing that came to mind was the Black Triangle Badge that the Nazi's used. Although, that was really for lesbians and it was the first thing my mind popped over to when I saw black and a triangle. LOL I'm really happy for you two and wish you the best in a difficult situation. Long distance sucks

  10. Sounds like an awesome time. I am so going next year. Kaje, if it would help, we could do a few karaoke practice sessions with the MN goodreads crew?

  11. Oh, GRL, wouldn't have been the same without you and Eric. TJ, you were so approachable and you do give the bestest, bestest hugs. I wish you and Eric all the best...long distance sucks...but it can work.
    I was at Dreamspinner went your books finally arrived! They never hit the table! NO kidding! GONE!
    Can't wait to see you and Eric in Atlanta, and I can't wait to hear you and Kaje doing karaoke!

  12. Great post! I love reading your blog! I am so glad I was able to meet you even if for a second. I probably made a fool of myself because I was so excited but it was one of the highligts of GRL...much to my sisters amusement because all I kept saying was that I HAD to meet you! LOL. I learned that when meeting authors that I love I turn into a giddy teenage girl again. I can't wait for GRL 2013. I agree that anyone that missed this years is able to make it next year. Totally worth it! Thanks so much for the tee.

  13. Thanks for the post, I'm enjoying getting to at least experience it a little bit vicariously! Sorry I wasn't able to make it this year. Would've loved to have met you, and everyone else. Hope I can make it next year!

    Long distance sucks (in the bad way), but it can work. I have faith you and Eric will find a way to make it work.


  14. Awesome post! Made me full of smiles and laughter! Thank you!

    Reading this makes me excited about going to GRL, hopefully next year *crosses fingers*. I'll be the one on karaoke night cheering you on from the sidelines because if I were to sing, the room would clear out in 0.2 milliseconds!

    Take care!
    Chris (C.L. Miles)

  15. Loved this post and I really enjoyed meeting you in person. You were just as nice in person :-)I had the best time at GRL meeting all you cool authors!! Both you and Eric look so sweet together. Good luck:-)
    Take care...Leaundra

  16. Hickeygate? I wanna know what you did to make Eric Arvin's tits sore...

  17. long distance relationships can work! My husband and I live 1000 miles apart while I'm getting my (hopefully) last degree and we've been making it work for 2 years now. So it's totally possible if it's worth it :)