*So* the Drama!

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.

Posted in giveaways, party girl, writing life

27 Responses to *So* the Drama!

  1. May says:

    Having someone(s) act out a scene instead of doing a reading was a fabulous idea on Paula’s part!

  2. Annie says:

    Sounds like you had an awesome weekend. Have a terrific time in NYC this week!!

  3. Miri says:

    Wow! That sounds like loads fun. (And yes, the acting-out-a-scene idea is genius.)

    (Also: long YA! Yay!)

    I wish you continued tolerable weather. If it ever gets to cold, you’re always welcome in Georgia. 🙂 We treat our authors right down here.


  4. Teresa says:

    Have a great time in New York this week and count me in for the draw!

  5. Wendy Roberts says:

    Wow what a wonderful weekend! So glad I’m not the only writer who does readings as a fast pace.

    These book sound wonderful!

  6. Jaci Burton says:

    Oooh I LOVE the cover! It’s pink! Congrats, Paula! The pics are great, Diana. Looks like y’all had a great time.

  7. Celeste says:

    Paula CH’s blog is awesome. She has a fabulous voice! I would so love to read her book. Looks like you had some fun on this leg of your busy-season journey. Take care and stay well!

  8. Jessica Burkhart says:

    Aw, what great pics! I can’t wait to read the book. 🙂

  9. sharon says:

    Book looks great! have a wonderful time.

  10. Mary says:

    It’s always good to hear about a new author off to a great start! I’d love to have her book. 😀

  11. Rhiannon says:

    How fun!

  12. principessa says:

    What a great weekend! Enjoy your NYC week. Sounds wonderful.

  13. phyllis towzey says:

    Sounds like a great launch — enter me in the drawing before I run out and buy the book! 😉

  14. Heather Harper says:

    “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.”

    That is funny.

    Sounds like you had a fabu weekend. You look lovely, even when blurry.

    And sad to hear you will not be at RWA Nats. 🙁

  15. Katherine E. Hazen says:

    I’m working on finishing my first book now and I hadn’t even thought about having to read it aloud for anyone…maybe I’ll have to rethink this writing thing lol

    I think if I ever get anywhere with my writing I’ll get over my fear of reading aloud to an audience if it means my book gets to be published. Seems like a fair trade. 😀

  16. Paula says:

    Diana you crack me up!! I swear I was dead on my feet Saturday night, but SB having to take a couple hundred photos of us to get the one shot you posted was some serious Senifeldian humor.

    So glad you came down for the day. Too bad I didn’t get to spend more time. I second the warning to writers preparing a release party -make time (take it by force if you must) to have fun!

    Oh BTW, Meg was’t a pro photog. But her pics came out nice. I’m just having a friggin hard time getting them to enlarge from Kodak Gallery. I’ll have the CD by Wednesday though!

  17. Maria, Lover of All Things Romance says:

    That really sounds terrific, and congratulations Diana on your win 🙂

  18. Patrick says:

    Paula, are you trying to win your own book?

    Are you trying to claim 40-60 is good? What are you a northerner or something?

  19. Amanda Brice says:

    I totally wish I had gone! We were supposed to look at houses on Saturday, but we ended up going on Sunday instead. So I totally could have gone! Boo!

    I plan to pick up a copy of Paula’s book next time I’m at the store. And yes, her website rocks! When my website designer asked me to name 3 websites I liked (so she could get a handle on what my tastes are), hers was the first one I mentioned!

  20. diane says:

    Sounds like a great week in NY. Love the pics. Book looks wonderful.

  21. emily says:

    Paula’s book looks good, and thanks for the tips on the book launch party that made it a success with attendees. Sounds like it was fun!

  22. Maggie says:

    *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!*
    I thought that you did a wonderful job of reading aloud at your release! I would drive the almost 4 hours to hear you read aloud again anyday…

  23. TJBrown says:

    What a fabulous launch party!

  24. ERiCA says:

    Wow, everything sounds super-fun! Especially acting out the scene. I would SO love to be one of the actors.

    As far as I know, I have no fear of public speaking, but then again, I’ve never had to do dramatic readings of my own work (or listen to anyone else do so). Who knows what fun awaits if/when I ever get published. =)

  25. Little Willow says:

    I’m so glad that her launch party went well, and the book is swell! 🙂

  26. Amy S. says:

    Have a great time in NYC this week!!

  27. I very much to like and agree with your point of view.