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Well, here I am in Regency dress at last weekend’s signing! (I’m not sure why the picture’s so blurry — sorry!) On the down side, I never got my hair right — it looks totally non-Regency (the curl fell out — surprise surprise).

On the up side, I found some cool gloves at the last minute (though they really ought to extend to above the elbow, of course, which they don’t — in fact, they almost look like wrist-length gloves here, they’ve slid down so far) and my nice fan (which Todd painted for me, also at the last minute). Kind chapter-mates in LARA (Los Angeles Romance Authors, my local RWA chapter) tied me into my dress. And also bought some of my books. I love LARA!

There were eight other authors signing, and it was a lot of fun! We chatted and bought each other’s books and joked about copy-editing mistakes and had a great time. And the signing went by so fast that before I got a chance to buy everyone’s books that I meant to, everyone had gone! (Well, that’s what I get for spending too much time fussing with my pens and chocolate and gloves and hair, and trying to fish out the bobby pins that kept falling down my bodice.) 🙂

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see some little rectangles lined up next to my book — those are the Regency chocolates that I gave away. Okay, they aren’t actually Regency chocolates — such did not exist, after all! — they’re Hershey’s Miniatures, covered with Regency pictures. Todd designed them, and they turned out fantastic! Milk chocolate bore the picture of my heroine’s face, dark chocolate had her playing cards, and the other two flavors had miscellaneous Regency-era pictures.

So, here are today’s questions:

1) If you’re an author, and someone asks you to sign your book for them, do you write something inane in the front of it, wishing you could think of something clever to write? Or do you write something clever? Or what? Or are you too experienced or too sensible to worry about these things??? (Is it just me???)

2) If you’re a reader (and we’re all readers, even those of us who are also writers), have you ever met an author you admire and said something inane while trying to say something clever? (Or is it just me???) 🙂

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTERfinalist for the Booksellers’ Best Award for Best Regency of 2005

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged | 13 Replies

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area this Sunday, June 11, you might want to stop by the Encino Barnes and Noble sometime between 12:30 and 2 pm, when ten different authors will be signing their books — including me, Cara! The signing also features Christie Ridgway, Elda Minger, Charlotte Maclay, and a lot of other authors, who will be signing books that range from Regency (me) to chick-lit to mystery to category romance, and more!

There will be lots of fun, free chocolate, great books, and maybe even me in Regency costume. 🙂

More info is at: The store is on the corner of Ventura Blvd and Hayvenhurst, in the Valley, for sure! (I can make that joke, by the way, because I’m a native Valley Girl. So it’s okay. Honest.)

Cara King — author of MY LADY GAMESTERwhich is really good, honest, read it, you’ll like it

I just returned from Long Island, after a weekend visiting first my daughter, then my cousin, topped off yesterday with a wonderful afternoon at Side Street Books in Patchogue, New York.

Side Street Books is a delightful Used and New Bookstore run by a warm and wonderful romance novel enthusiast, Diane Sander, who invited me to come speak to her customers and reading group. It seemed like a great excuse to visit my cousin Margie, who loves historical romance, but it also turned out to be a great afternoon meeting new friends.

There were about fifteen ladies who came to hear me speak, plus one token gentleman, Diane’s husband. My own personal rake, dh Jim put in an appearance, and Margie’s husband, as well. They didn’t last long, because there was a bar next door to the bookstore.

I told the story of “how I sold my first book” (see my interview in the archives) and I then just talked about lots of things. Like, how I almost got a cover model to come with me to the signing–Richard Cerqueira, the “hand” on The Wagering Widow and the very handsome fellow on the spine and inside cover. Unfortunately, he had a conflict. I also talked about how an author gets paid, how film rights work, and re-releases of books, what I did in England, how I developed my “Regency Voice.” All of the women there had read at least one of my books. A REPUTABLE RAKE was one of the reading group’s choices. I gave them each a set of bookmarks, Richard’s and mine, and a little rake of their own, a miniature garden tool. I gave away a Wagering Widow cover flat, signed by Richard, and a Marriage Bargain tote bag.

The ladies brought food. A tasty green salad, fresh fruit salad, and desserts. I had flan that was to die for! I truly felt as if I were talking to a group of friends.

I dropped names as much as I could, other romance authors I know, and did a fair amount of talking about Traditional Regencies, which Diane said are popular among some dedicated customers. These ladies attending the signing were more familiar with Regency Historicals, but I hope I encouraged some of them to try the trads. I saw Amanda’s books on the bookshelf, but I didn’t have a chance to search for my other Risky pals.

The ladies said nice things about my books, asked intelligent questions, and joked around, so that the time whizzed by. I’m hoping to return next year, after I have more books out.

Here’s a picture of some of the ladies and me in front of the store. Note my Marriage Bargain poster in the window.

And, naturally, somebody noticed my Phantom of the Opera watch, giving me the perfect opportunity to talk about Gerard Butler as Phantom. Alas, being so close to NYC, these ladies had all seen POTO on Broadway; some had even seen Michael Crawford in the role, so they were not really listening to me… But I at least planted the seed to go rent the DVD of POTO. Then they’ll know!

Diane (who is now going to unpack and do laundry)

PS I’ll add photos when Blogger lets me!

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged | 6 Replies

Over the course of six books, I’ve had all sorts of book signing experiences.

I’ve had a number of fantastic signings at the Waldenbooks at my local mall. The best two were during holiday weekends (Memorial Day and Labor Day) and the weather was miserable, driving crowds into the mall. I set out a dish of chocolate, smiled at everyone who passed (trying to be friendly but not too pushy) and sold a load of books.

Then there was the time the store asked me and another local author to do a “local authors” event. And scheduled it for the same June weekend as all the local high school graduations. The mall was deserted except for weirdos. Exactly two people approached us. The first a dotty elderly lady who, watching my husband play with my children nearby, expatiated at length that she always suspected men of being child molesters (ugh!). The second, a grungy character who told us he’d never met a woman who could write a book. (We weren’t sure he knew a woman who could read a book.)

Anyway, I didn’t think anything could top that one until I tried to set up a signing for my current book. The local Waldenbooks staff had turned over, but the new contact for book signings seemed friendly and cooperative. Then, about three weeks before the signing, I brought in the draft of the press release I was going to give to the local papers. Only then was I told that the district manager had forgotten to order the books and couldn’t possibly get them in on time. With over three weeks to go.

But wait. It gets better. After Waldenbooks turned down several suggestions I had for getting the books (my publisher would have supplied them), I gave up on the signing. Then, several weeks after the scheduled date, I found out from a friend of a friend that Waldenbooks had set up a table, put out my books and the staff were wondering why I didn’t show. So I missed my own signing!

But all ends well. I talked to the Waldenbooks manager and discovered that someone was supposed to call me to tell me the signing was back on. As it turns out, the manager was very nice, very apologetic about the mix-up and eager to set up a rescheduled date.

In the meantime, egged on by my ski buddy Mary, I started looking into other alternatives. I’m now set to do a signing and Regency Tea at Riverow Bookshop, an independent bookseller dealing in new, used and rare books (including some reference books that make me drool) during the Holiday Showcase in the historic town of Owego, NY.

So now I have two signings set up. If anyone can make it, here are the details:

  • Nov 12, 1-3PM at Riverow Bookshop, 187 Front Street, Owego, NY.
  • Nov 12, 4-6PM at Waldenbooks in the Oakdale Mall, Johnson City, NY.

Wish me luck!

Elena 🙂

Posted in Writing | Tagged | 6 Replies
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