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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rhode Island Author Night Fun!

Posted by Irish in Misc6 Comments

For those that don’t know me you should know….I am a native of Rhode Island. Look at the map above. Find the star that says Bristol….that is the area that I grew up in. My childhood was spent there, only I was in the WAY WAY cooler town of Warren. If any of you have grown up in a small town then you know what its like to grow up in Rhode Island. As the smallest state there is this off little bond that holds everyone together and when something big happens (and even if its not so big) its no shocker when everyone you, your parents and you 4th cousin twice removed shows up. That is what the Rhode Island Author Night was like this evening and that is part of what made it so much fun.

I drove from my transplant home in Central MA the UBER long distance (in RI terms at least in real life only 30 min) from there to the Barnes and Noble in Smithfield, RI to meet up with Sarah MacLean who wrote the fabulous YA Regency The Season (my review). I got there a little after the event started, grabbed some starbucks and waited in line (yes she had a line!) and before I could say who I was she was all ‘i know you’ and stood up to give me a hug. We chatted for a bit and then she had to great some more adoring fans, who were paitently waiting in line. While she did that I visited with some of the other authors who where there…and of course ended up walking away with some books. (I know you’re all shocked. Me…buying books?!?).

First up was a table where Hannah Howell, Annette Blair and Patricia Grasso were sitting. They spent a lot of time talking amond themselves but did answer some of my questions. Howell’s books looked right up my friend Beth’s alley and so I had her sign a copy of My Lady Captor for her. This book takes place in Scotland and involves ghosts…two of my friends faveorite things so I think I made a good choice. (side note: B she said her books might all deal with same family but that can all be read a stand alone books and so not a series series if you know what I mean). I then chatted with Annette Blair whose book covers caught my eyes and I ended up getting My Favorite Witch. Blair writes contemporary romance that have some comedy as well as cozy mysteries. Witch is a contemporary novel set in Newport, RI – I almost got The Kitchen Witch (set in Salem, MA) but decided to support my state of birth. (B: you might be interested in her The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe). The witch books are all part of a trilogy but Blair assured me that they weren’t dependant on each other…the connection is that the 3 main characters are all friends. Patricia Grasso’s books didn’t really interest me and while I feel bad at not buying one I didn’t feel like spending money on a book I’d never read.

I then chatted with Sarah MacLean some more and her tablemate, Donna Russo Morin. Morin recently published The Courtier’s Secret which is set in 17th Century France & in her words the main character is a ‘bit like a female musketeer.’ I love historical fiction, enjoyed The Three Muskeeters so added it to my fast growing pile. I also have to give a big shout out to her son who dressed up in a Muskeeter outfit and greeted people as they entered the store and wandered around drumming up interest in the author event. His fee: books….Love that!

I then visited with Edward Lee, Jr, author of Ripper, Thomas D’Agostino, author of Haunted RI and Dr. Ed Iannucilli, author of Growing Up Italian. (Mt TBR sees the addition of 3 more books). D’Agostino also signed his book with a real honest to goodness quill pen! Ripper is a true crime book about a Rhode Island serial killer. The events took place in 2004 and I swear I must live under a rock sometimes because I had no clue about it! Note to self: watch the local news more.

It was a lot of fun talking with all of these authors, and to friends of Sarah MacLean that came to see her….and she had a lot of those, along with friends of her parents and family and neighbors, etc…all come to support one of Rhode Island’s success stories. Many bought books and had her sign them while talking about memories from her growing up years. This is part of what makes Rhode Island special…I can’t speak for other states but how often is it that your old teachers and friends of parents that you’ve seen maybe once in your life come to a book sign signing and buy a romance book written for teen girls? Rhode Island is all about the community and connection. There are times when it seems like one huge family. If you leave RI and visit some other far away state and run into someone else from RI…you tend to great each other like old friends. Ed Iannucilli lives in Bristol and Edward Lee grew up in Barrington (both towns that surround Warren) so we bonded briefly over that shared connection. There is just some special sort of bond that seems to exist between people in (and from RI) and I love that aspect of the state!

After MacLean sold out of her books she and I parted company….I was shocked that so much time had passed! I hadn’t planned on staying for the whole thing but I don’t regret the time I spent there. Sarah was loads of fun to chat with. =) After she left I did something I shouldn’t…I browsed the store and ended up picking up the following: The Betrayal by Pati Nagle, The Oracle by William J Broad, Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel, The Pemberley Chronicles by Ann Collins, What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.

And now for some pics from the night:

Sarah MacLean signs Alea’s book.
(don’t worry Sarah I won’t tell her about ‘the incident’)

Alea’s signed book teaser photo.

Inside cover of my book – doesn’t MacLean have the best handwriting?

Photo by ericmortenson (from here) of event, I’m in black in the upper left.

Books mentioned in this post: Widgets

6 Responses to “Rhode Island Author Night Fun!”

  1. Alea

    OMG AHHHHHHHHHHH! You are too good to me, I hope you know that! Ahhhh!

  2. QNPoohBear

    I thought about going but Mom didn’t get home until late afternoon and I didn’t want to ask her to go out again. Glad you had a fun time! There are lots of local authors actually and some illustrators too. (Chris Van Allsberg is the most famous).

  3. QNPoohBear

    Sarah was in the Providence Journal today! There is a huge picture of The Season and a 1 1/2 page article.

  4. lilly

    I haven’t read The Season yet but I will have to pretty soon. Sounds like a good book. Oh, if I could only read faster, my TBR pile is growing bigger by the minute.

  5. Caspette

    Okay I am about to say something REALLY stupid but I always thought Rhode Island was an actual island.

    Sounds like you had a great time.