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:
* She began writing because she ran out of Amelia Peabody books to read, and had read all of them to that point (around the time of He Shall Thunder in the Sky) twice.
* She secretly hoped for a long series, and one that would eventually be set in Venice. To that end, she included a minor character in the first book who runs off to Venice with a Count, hoping that someday she would appear again. That character – and longtime enemy of Lady Emily, does indeed appear in Death in the Floating City.
* The two authors honeymooned in Venice, and Ms. Alexander returned there for six weeks to do research for Death in the Floating City.
* She read Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor when she was 18 and vowed that she would someday name a hero Colin, hence, Lady Emily’s husband Colin.
* The next Lady Emily book will be set at Emily and Colin’s country estate.
* She labeled herself a history junkie and said that it’s easy and tempting to get so caught up in research that you never finish a book. She does a combination of primary and secondary research when in “idea, plot” mode. However, she doesn’t put any details into her first draft. She stressed that she doesn’t know what details she’ll need until a first draft is done. She used an example of a dinner party Emily gives in the first book. She said you could read entire volumes about Victorian dinner parties, meat courses, table settings, and so on. It turned out that for her story, all she needed to know was what they had for dessert. Putting in excessive details too early, while tempting, wouldn’t be appropriate.
* He noted that David Trevellyan is different from Lady Emily. While Lady Emily changes and grows over the course of the series, he wrote David as he likes a main character, one shown in different settings, different angles, from book to book, but whose essence remains the same.
* Unlike David, Mr. Grant doesn’t have military experience. He gets a lot of David’s attitudes and thoughts from his father who was in the military. For the details of recent military actions he reads military memoirs.
* He said that often when a writer steps away from a series it’s because they’ve boxed themselves in to one place. So far his series has been set in New York City, Chicago, and England, and he intends to have David keep moving around the world.
* He recently changed publishers and isn’t certain when his next book will come out, stressing that it’s a learning process for editors and writers.
This was truly one of the best author events I’ve been to over the past few years. The two are charming, entertaining, and intelligent. It’s obvious they care about their readers, and the readers present clearly care about them and their books.
I’ve managed to find a number of events around the country that AAR readers may be interested in. But, as always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-November, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-November, please send them to us at aarbooksign AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-November post.
Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive web searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.
Upcoming Booksignings: October and Beyond
Sally Swanson, October 28, Katy Budget Books, 3:00 p.m., 2450 Fry Rd, Houston, TX.
Jennifer Chiaverini, November 1, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 7:00 p.m., 641 E Forest St Oconomowoc, WI (other events at the author’s Web site including Madison, WI, Naperville, IL, and Omaha, NB).
Cassandra Clare, November 2, Indigo Yorkdale, 2:00 p.m., Yorkdale Shopping Center, 3401 Dufferin Street Unit #29, Toronto, Ontario.
Debbie Macomber, November 2, Shelton Timberland Library, 5:00 p.m., 710 W. Alder Street, Shelton, WA.
Shiloh Walker, November 3, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2:00 p.m., 161 Lexington Green Cir # B, Lexington, KY.
Jamie Freveletti, November 3, Warren Newport Library, 2:00 p.m., 224 North Oplaine Road Gurnee, IL.
Nora Roberts, Wendi Corsi Staub, Addison Fox, Sara Humphreys, Jill Archer, and others, November 3, Turn the Page Bookstore, 12:00 p.m., 18 N. Main St., Boonsboro, MD.
Karen Rose, November 5, Waterstone’s East Kilbride, 4:00 p.m., Unit 1 Princess Square, East Kilbride, U.K.
Lois McMaster Bujold, November 8, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., 98 Middlesex Pkwy., Burlington, MA (also event in Willow Grove, PA at Barnes & Noble Web site).
Sara Humphreys, November 9, Barnes & Noble, 6:00 p.m., Palisades Mall 4416 Palisades Center Dr. West Nyack, NY (other events at the author’s Web site).
Spotlight on Romance Authors (Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean, Cathy Maxwell, Wendy Corsi Staub, Elizabeth Boyle and Lauren Willig), November 11, Barnes & Noble, 3:00 p.m., 2601 Preston Rd Unit 1204, Frisco, TX.
Fall Into Romance Signing (Lydia Dare, Sabrina Jeffries, Virginia Kantra, Beth Williams, and others), November 11, Southwest Regional Library, 4:00 p.m., Durham, NC.
Rhys Bowen, November 13, Powell’s Books, 7:00 p.m., 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR (other events at the author’s Web site including Phoenix and Seattle).
Maureen Jennings, November 17, Aunt Agatha’s, 2:00 p.m., 213 South Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI.
Jessica Slade, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Terri Reed, and Maggie Jaimeson, November 17, Jan’s Paperbacks, 1:00 p.m., 18095 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy., Beaverton, OR.
Sheila Roberts, November 23 & 24, A Book for All Seasons, 1:00 p.m., 703 Highway 2, Leavenworth, WA.
Darynda Jones and Sandy Williams, November 24, Murder By the Book, 4:30 p.m., 2342 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX.
Margaret Maron, November 27, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., Cary Commons, 760 SE Maynard, Cary, NC.
Carola Dunn, December 11, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 12:00 p.m., 117 Cherry St., Seattle, WA.
– LinnieGayl Kimmel