Thanks for your concern, Patrick, but the weather in D.C. this weekend was actually quite lovely. I’ll be spending the biggest chunk of this week in New York City, where the weather also looks in the sunny-ish family, ranging from the 40s to the 60s. Big sigh of relief here. However, owing to the travel, my blog entries may be a trifle sporadic. It depends.
So this weekend I went up to Annapolis for Paula Chase‘s launch party. So much fun! I picked up two copies of her debut, SO NOT THE DRAMA — one for me, and one for you — yes, you, blog readers! Enter in the comments section to win. I’ll draw a name on Friday. You definitely want to check out the book Booklist called: a “contemporary friendship story, which revels in rich diversity of race, color, and class.” And did I mention it’s the first in a series?
(Oh, and for you aspiring writers who stress out about book length, Drama is 100k. And a non-fantasy YA. Just FYI. And do be sure to check out Paula’s website by clicking on her name, above; it’s one of the loveliest I’ve ever seen.)
The party was amazing. Food and drink and hip hop performances and gospel singing…the event was held at the Bates Legacy Center, which is an historic black high school which recently underwent a huge ($27 million) renovation and was reopened as a community center, Boys & Girls club, senior center, etc. Gorgeous. Really stunning venue.
And Paula was signing her heart out. This, I think, is the downside of so many author events of this nature. The poor author spends most of the party stuck behind a signing table, instead of mingling and flexing her social butterfly tendencies. I don’t know about you, but I like to spend my party time partying. I’d also dropped by her earlier event at the local Borders, and man, that line was out the door! I overheard a few people on the outskirts wondering if JK Rowling had come to town. Go, Paula!
But my favorite part of the festivities was that, instead of a reading, Paula had enlisted the help of her daughter and another young woman to act out a scene from the book. What an amazing idea! I was so impressed.
I know not all authors are terrified of public readings, but then again, we don’t all get cutesy accents, now do we? I, for one, am unimpressed with my reading out loud ability. Sailor Boy says I like to read out loud as fast as I read to myself. Fine. He’s the actor in the family. I like being backstage. I did do one reading for the release of Secret Society Girl. One. And my nerves were through the roof. I fear having to do it again. Talk in public? Fine. Read in public? Red alert!
Also present at Paula’s launch was YA author Laura Bowers, whose debut, Beauty Shop for Rent, is out the same day as the paperback for Secret Society Girl. Hi, Laura! Laura, her husband, SB, and I sat around and jawed, and SB and Laura’s hubby commiserated with one another about what it was like to live with writers. Lucky men, huh? Sailor Boy even managed to snap a picture of the two of us, and I feel I must share it, especially in light of his skeptical response to any public readings I may be offered:
Artsy approach, don’t you think? Laura and I definitely don’t have to worry about accidentally revealing skin blemishes or wrinkles. And, while I’m on the topic, the picture of Paula and me, above? I don’t want to tell you how many he had to take before he figured out that I was holding her book up for a REASON and actually got it in the frame. (And yes, Laura, that was the best of the lot.)
Fortunately, Paula had a pro photog there, and I’ve high hopes for those pictures. But we’ll have to wait for the newly famous author to recover from her parties to see.
Meanwhile, visit Paula and Laura’s websites and read their excerpts. I bet you won’t be able to resist ordering a copy or three. And if you want a SIGNED copy of So Not the Drama, leave a comment below.