Archive for the ‘Book Signing News’ Category

A Helen Fielding Talk – Mad About the Boy

Monday, November 18th, 2013

helenfielding pic Note: This blog contains spoilers for Helen Fielding’s latest, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. So, if you’ve managed to avoid spoilers thus far(no mean feat), be warned!

Unless you have been living under a rock these past couple of months, you must have heard about the somewhat controversial plot twist in Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, the new installment of Helen Fielding’s famed series. If this is news to you, I apologize for having to be the one to inform you of this terrible news and urge you to escape from beneath your humble abode. (more…)

RWA 2013 – News from the Literacy Signing

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

IMG_20130717_174858_689 There’s no better place to get news than in a room packed full of authors (more than 400 of them), readers and fans. After some Atlanta sightseeing, including – I am not making this up – a stop at the Georgia Aquarium, where you can find a dolphin show featuring a singing sea captain in a light-up cape, Lynn Spencer and I hit the literacy signing, where there seemed to be more authors than usual. I didn’t come close to talking to them all (and missed several I would have liked to chat with), but I did catch up with quite a few.

Two overwhelming messages tonight: Everyone, no really, everyone, is writing an enovella that ties into her next book. After hearing about twelve people in a row tell me that, someone (who prefers to remain nameless) shed some light on the subject: It’s a way that traditional publishers can compete on pricepoint with e-first or e-only publishers. And of course, if you like the novella enough maybe you’ll think about buying a full-length book – and perhaps paying a little more for it. The second message: The market for historicals is challenging right now. Unless, perhaps, they are e-novellas. Anyway, here is more specific author news from the women I managed to catch up with: (more…)

Susanna Kearsley’s Firebird Tour!

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

IMG_20130605_204154_458 I was thrilled when I learned several months ago that Fredericksburg, Virginia had won a spot on Susanna Kearsley’s whirlwind tour for The Firebird. It was wonderful to have a chance to see her, and I really enjoyed having a chance to hear about her research, her writing process, and just some of the fun stories she had to tell. Prior to the event, Susanna had asked me if I would lead a Q&A session, and I very happily agreed. There was a good crowd at the local library, with people of all ages filling the room.

If you’ve not read Kearsley’s books before, they’re reminiscent of books by Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels and I’ve seen them referred to as “modern gothics.” I find that I preferred the description she told us her husband gave them. Apparently, he thinks they are somewhat like old Alfred Hitchcock films in that there’s some mystery but not lots of blood and gore, there’s “something woo-woo” going on but it’s not just a ghost story, and then there’s a love story but it’s not the only thing going on. (more…)

Tasha Alexander Booksigning – and More Author Booksigning News

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

I’ve been a big fan of Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series since the first book – And Only to Deceive – was published in 2005. In fact, I was so enthusiastic about the series that I volunteered to write a DIK review of the first book in 2009. So I was delighted to attend an event promoting the latest entry in the series, Death in the Floating City. Even better, the event also featured Ms. Alexander’s fellow mystery author, and husband, Andrew Grant. I haven’t read any of Mr. Grant’s books, but several audience members had and seem to enjoy his series featuring David Trevellyan, the most recent of which is More Harm Than Good.

Both authors talked a bit about their latest books and then took questions from the audience. The crowd was very animated and had a lot of questions for each of them. Among the highlights are:

Romance Author Booksignings: August and Beyond

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

This month while looking for author booksignings I noticed that a number of authors are going to appear at book festivals around the country over the next few months. I became intrigued and starting searching for book festivals, as well as single-author signings, over the next few months. While many of the book festivals I checked out seem to mainly feature literary authors (not that there’s anything wrong with that), a few also have one or more romance authors, as well as many popular mystery authors.  A quick search revealed the following festivals over the next few months:


RWA 2012: News From Anaheim

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

literacysigningRWA 2012 began early yesterday for Lynn Spencer and me; we started the day at Disneyland (first time for her, umpteenth for me). Only one thing could tear me away: The annual literary signing. I only got to ride Space Mountain once, but I did get to catch up with lots of authors and find out what they’re up to. Here’s what’s new and exciting:

I caught up with Tessa Dare first. Her latest Spindle Cove book (featuring Kate and Thorne) is out in August. After that, there’s one more…featuring Pauline, the serving girl at the tavern. I asked if she’s really a serving girl. Instead of, you know, a secret countess or something. Yep, she’s the real deal.

Kate Noble’s next book is about Bridget, the sister of If I Fall‘s heroine. But she’s also working on The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, a modern web video and interactive adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Sounds like fun.

Carrie Lofty has several balls in the air. She still has a couple of books to write in the Christie series, but is also collaborating on a contemporary erotica series with fighter pilots in Las Vegas. They’ll be released under a new name – Katie Porter. I couldn’t help asking whether her unusual historicals were a hard sell. She said she had a supportive editor at Pocket who enjoyed unusual settings (and signed both her and Meredith Duran). Vive la Difference! (And if you’re not reading her books yet, you should be).

And speaking of unusual settings and characters, Delilah Marvelle’s next project has a heroine who stutters and a bare-knuckle boxer hero. It’s called Forever a Lord. after that she’ll turn her attention to the French Revolution, with a series of books set in both England and France.

Molly O’Keefe is looking ahead to a contemporary series set in a small Southern town. I had to ask whether anyone marries the sheriff…apparently not. So you can write a small town series sans sheriff. I knew it! I told her our reviewers fight over her books, which is true.

Victoria Dahl’s new series is set in Jackson Hole, with cowboy heroes. Apparently they all live in an old farm house that’s been turned into an apartment building and appropriately named The Stud Farm (because of the landlady’s propensity to accept only hot tenants). Obviously, this apartment building should be closer to my house. And yours.


Susan Elizabeth Phillips Booksigning and July/August Events

Friday, July 20th, 2012

SEP1This is the one I’ve been waiting for! Despite living in Chicago for a good part of my adult life, I never managed to make it out to Naperville (far western suburb) to attend one of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ booksignings in her hometown. But finally, after years of hoping, she did an event not just close to my hometown, but in my hometown!

I had a feeling there would be a lot of people at the event, and I was right. However, I don’t think the bookstore was quite prepared for the size of the crowd. I was determined to arrive early in order to get a decent seat. I got there nearly 45 minutes before the event began and already about 70% of the seats were full. Initially the store had as many chairs out for the event as they’ve had for some lesser-known mystery author events I’ve attended. It was clear the setup wasn’t going to work. As people continued to pour into the store, the staff began putting out extra chairs.  The author’s books were in numerous places throughout the bookstore. There was a large bookshelf right next to the microphone filled with The Great Escape; I should say filled until 15 minutes before the event started when one of the staff came and took every book from the shelf, as they were running out up front.


Romance Author Booksignings: June and Beyond

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

After a bit of a break, I’m back with our monthly booksigning post. I’ve found a number of exciting upcoming events around the country in the next few months. I’m also delighted that I’ll be able to attend two myself, the first featuring a new favorite mystery author, Linda Castillo. The second, featuring one of my favorite romance authors of all time, Susan Elizabeth Phillips! Oh boy! I can hardly wait for that one.

I’ve gone to a few booksignings the past few months, but none were particularly remarkable. I generally learn something interesting even from authors I haven’t read and don’t intend to read. Perhaps I’ve been in a bit of a grumpy mood, but my main takeaways from the events of the last two months are do’s and don’ts for authors, readers, and bookstore owners.

First, for bookstore owners (and please know, I dearly love most of you that I’ve met):

  • If you’re going to institute a policy of numbered tickets for the signing (readers get a number when they buy their book before the event and line up to have their books signed in that order), stick to it. And don’t let one number work for ten different friends who come in at varying times throughout the event. At a recent event I was given the number nine. But when the owner called for numbers 1-10 to line up to have their books signed, it turned out there were about 30 people in line, with 5 people linked to #1.
  • Please monitor the sound level throughout the area where readers are sitting. If you don’t have a sound system (and most small independents don’t). Please make certain that readers in the back of the room as well in the front of the room can hear what the author is saying.

Second, for authors (and most of you that I’ve met have been incredibly gracious):


Romance Author Booksignings: March and Beyond

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Sign March 4Last week I attended a booksigning at my local mystery book store, Aunt Agatha’s, featuring two popular cozy mystery writers, Denise Swanson and Casey Daniels/Kylie Logan. Denise Swanson is known for her Scumble River mystery series, featuring amateur sleuth and school psychologist Skye Denison.  The 15-book series began with Murder of a Small Town Honey.  Kasey Daniels has written a number of mystery series, but is most recently known for her Pepper Martin mysteries. Pepper was introduced in Don of the Dead, where while serving as a cemetery tour guide discovered she has the ability to communicate with ghosts.

The authors were in town to publicize new cozy mystery series they have each begun. Denise Swanson’s new series features the owner of a small town dime store, while Kasey Daniels, under the pen name Kylie Logan, has a new series featuring the owner of a button store in Chicago.

Kylie Logan told us that she got the idea for her button store series while sitting at a coffee shop on a previous trip to town. She said she was the only customer in the coffee shop until a couple came in and sat just a few feet from her. They proceeded to have a prolonged, very loud break-up.  Ms. Logan had hoped to spend a long time in the coffee shop, sipping coffee and knitting. But finally she’d had enough of the break-up saga, packed up her knitting, and went into the store next door, which turned out to be a button store. And from there, the new series took shape.


Lauren Willig Booksigning

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Willig3Last week I attended a booksigning that was part of Lauren Willig’s tour for The Garden Intrigue, the latest in her Pink Carnation series. Because many of AAR’s readers are fans of the series, I decided to focus this column entirely on the event and will be back in a few weeks with my usual Upcoming Booksignings column.

While the event was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., by 6:45 nearly all of the seats were full. Showing the broad appeal of the series, the audience – primarily women — ranged in age from teens to 99 years of age. The owner did a brief introduction of Lauren Willig and announced that there was a special guest of honor, the 99 year-old reader who came with her daughter. Ms. Willig thanked her for coming and commented that she is a wonderful role model.

Ms. Willig began by giving a brief introduction to the book. She noted that this is the 9th book in the Pink Carnation series. She said that she feels she’s come full circle with this one. Not only is the historical heroine an American, but the hero is like the Scarlet Pimpernel, a direct reflection of Sir Percy Blakeney.