(Posted 6:18 PM PST, February 12, 2006)
Photo: Julie Kenner, Shane Bolks, and Me, at our signing at Katy Books, Houston, TX
Lots of wonderful things happen when
authors go into bookstores–or library readings–to sign their books.
I had three signings this week, and all were experiences in which I
discovered new things about myself, the other authors involved, and of
those of you who come to listen to us gab about our books:
Discovery #1: Readers aren't necessarily who you think they will be. My first reading was a library panel that consisted of myself (TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES), Karin Tabke (HARD STUFF), and Jennifer Skully (FOOL'S GOLD).
Considering that it was entitled "Heels (Manolos) and Heel (Men): Why
We Love to Read about Hot Heroines, Great Shoes, and Naughty Guys,"
you'd have assumed that the audience was all women, right?
Both genders were represented, and I'm proud to say, guys are not
afraid to ask questions. (Good for them, since the biggest complaints
most women have is that their significant others don't communicate.)
men in our audiences weren't in any way intimidated by the topics of
relationship angst and sex. That's not to say that most men won't feel
more comfortable cozying up with THE HUNT CLUB
by John Lescroart, but give your guy the benefit of the doubt that he's
open-minded enough to read a great story, no matter who wrote it….
Discover #2: Young adults are great readers, too.
In most cases, they are reading older than their ages. At two of my
book signings, the youngest members were teenagers who asked
intelligent questions related to plotting and relationships. Teachers,
thank you for inspiring our students to open books and read….
Discovery #3: Readings in which the authors come out of different genres is fun, for both the author and the audience. My
two bookstore signings had one thing in common: the authors all came
out of the genre of women's romance, but wrote in a variety of
sub-genres under that very very very broad category.
For example, besides my glam lit Hollywood satire (TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES) I was signing with Allison Brennan, whose books (THE HUNT, THE KILL) are suspense; Rae Monet, who writes paranormal romance (BLOOD SQUAD); Karin' Tabke, who writes, as she puts it, "hot cops" erotica (THE HARD STUFF); Amanda Scott, who has written 50 historical novels, mainly set in the Scotland, her most recent being (PRINCE OF DANGER) ; and Brenda Novak, who writes both suspense EVERY WAKING MOMENT) and Harlequin superromances.
these signings, not only was it interesting to hear about the
differences in our plots, but to compare our approaches to research and
plotting. I know that we all have our favorite kinds of books. At the
same time, just hearing about a good book in another genre encourages
us to read something different and fun…and perhaps, discover a new
kind of book to love…
Speaking of love: Men, here's a broad
hint: any book I've mentioned here would be a great little Valentine's
gift for her–and for you, too!
By the way, I have Valentine's tips on my site. Just go to www.josiebrown.com and click onto the scroll bar, to the section entitled: MARRIAGE CONFIDENTIAL: YOUR RELATIONSHIP NEWSWIRE.
Under the category "Valentine's Day" are two articles of interest: THE
SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF VALENTINE'S DAY and AFTER VALENTINE'S DAY.
Hopefully, it will help you celebrate in style….