Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bits & Pieces: A Book Festival Grows in Brooklyn and Beer Gardens

This past Sunday was the 5th Annual Brooklyn Book Festival, and despite the inclement weather (it was pissing down rain), I went out to support two of New York's finest romance authors Donna Hill and Sarah Maclean.  While the book festival has all sorts of panels on everything from manga to historical fiction, this is only the second year that I know of that they have included a romance panel.  Last year Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches (with an assist by Ron Hogan from Beatrice.com and Lady Jane because she was stuck in traffic) hosted a lively panel consisting of authors Donna Hill, Silhouette Desire author Anna DePalo and Rochelle Alers.  This year's panel was hosted by someone who clearly didn't know a hoot about romance.  I'm surprised that RT Book Club (which has been located in Brooklyn since it's inception) didn't have a table at the festival. Or maybe it did, since it was pissing down rain, I scurried back to the train after the Romance panel.  RWA has a NYC chapter and certainly it would be nice for the chapter to have a presence as well. Sarah and Donna gave a great talk, but it would have been nice to have perhaps 1 or 2 more authors on the panel and a moderator who could actually keep the flow going a bit better. Although the festival supports mainly Brooklyn authors, I'm sure that Hope Tarr or Leanna Renee Hieber could have been squeezed in as well.

Speaking of the multi-talented Hope Tarr, congratulations on the successful launch of Beer Gardens NYC, an amazing App that she co-created that gives the rundown on all the Beer Gardens in the Big Apple. I'm so proud of her! I don't drink beer myself but if I did, this app would certainly come in handy! The app even got a mention on The Gothamist in the food section! New York Times here they come! For the latest news, you can fan them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or both. This caps a very busy summer for Ms. Tarr, who saw the release of her Harlequin Blaze Historical THE TUTOR in July, as well as re-releases of MY LORD JACK and  A ROGUE'S PLEASURE from Carina Press.

And this Thursday, RWA NYC hosts the Golden Apple Awards, and I'm pleased as punch to say that my good friend Leanna Renee Hieber has won AUTHOR OF THE YEAR.  She will be celebrating with the likes of our LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT winner Mary Jo Putney, AGENT OF THE YEAR, Lori Perkins, and PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR, Sourcebooks. Like Hope, Leanna has had an amazing year, winning not one but two Prism Awards from the Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal chapter of RWA.  This makes her third Prism Award. I"ve told her that she needs to make a necklace and earrings out of her awards so that she can wear them all the time!  The award ceremony is $35 for non-members, so if you are in the Big Apple stop on by!

Also went to a reception at Angus McIndoe for the new head of the Drama Department at my alma mater Syracuse University. In yet another example of how small the world is, Ralph Zito the new head, knows two people that I know very well.  Plus the head of the Visual and Performing Arts school, Ann Clarke was wearing extremely cool sandals.  The food was plentiful and the drinks were free, which was the perfect reason to come in out of rain on Sunday!  I'm hoping that VPA will have me to speak when my book comes out, about making the transition from actress to writer.


Hope Tarr said...

Great post, Elizabeth. Thanks for the mention of m/our app, Beer Gardens NYC. With Oktoberfest fast approaching, New Yorkers are looking to get their beer on and the buzz is buzzing. No beer for you, but mayhap a nice Rhine wine? ;)

And good point about broadening the representation of romance fiction at the Brooklyn Book Festival. I may not, technically speaking *live* in Brooklyn but I go there. A lot. I'm sure Sarah (MacLean) was great, tho.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I do love a good Riesling or Gewurtztraminer! I think that RWA NYC and RT should think about getting a table next year, and then they can have authors come in throughout the day to sign books, the way that RWA does at BEA. There are so many published romance and women's fiction authors in NYC, that it would be a shame not to capitalize on it. Perhaps even Lady Jane could get involved!!