Tag Archives: jane austen

Jane Austen High Tea and Regency Reading

AustinPoster (blog)It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author in possession of a new book must be in want of a reading. Thus, I drove to Costa Mesa, CA one fine sunny Saturday in order to participate in the Books on Broadway’s Celebration of Jane Austen Afternoon Tea and Regency Book Reading.

Books on Broadway is a quaint bookstore that specializes in both new and used books. The narrow aisles of the shop create a cozy feeling. The books are stacked from the floor to the ceiling with every inch filled to the brim with an astonishing good selection of popular novels. As I wandered through the tight labyrinth, I had a hankering to take books from the shelves and take them home. Behind the bookstore is ample parking. During the event, a canopy had been set up to provide shade for the guests in the parking lot. It was where all the goody bags and raffle prizes were kept.

BOB - English Tea Service 2015One of the draws of this salon reading was an English High Tea Service. The bookstore owner offered a fine selection of biscuits, jam, and crust-less finger sandwiches along with a brilliant hot black tea served in china teacups. I had two cups of tea with lemon slices and found it set the mood for the afternoon. The silver teapot was fun. It rotated on a gear system that allowed one to tip and pour your tea with a single hand.

I was given a small space in the bookstore to call my own, complete with a cute little table and elegant chair. I set up my swag and books on the table where they could be seen. Throughout the event, I gave away many fliers about my blog, No Wasted Ink, and links to where you could purchase an ebook version of my novelette.

BOB - Wendy Van Camp Swag Table 2015

Dozens of ladies came that afternoon. Many were dressed up, but California is known for its casual atmosphere and some wore their typical weekend garb. We authors were asked to dress for the event. Alina K. Field dressed in a blue regency gown that she had sewn herself and Anne Cleeland wore an English Highwayman outfit complete with a costume pistol! I was somewhat dull in comparison in my black tee and leopard print skirt, but we do what we can.

BOB - Wendy Van Camp Reads From The Curates Brother 2015Since the aisles were narrow, the store owner decided to set each author in a corner of the shop and to rotate in the guests to hear our readings. I ended up reading my prepared excerpt of The Curate’s Brother four times. I did not read directly from one of my books, instead I had printed up the words in a larger font that was easier for me to see and allowed me to use my leather portfolio.

After each reading, I answered questions about my novelette from the guests. Questions ranged from the cultural differences of our time and the regency period and how language had a difference cadence in the 19th century. It was an educated crowd and the conversations were pleasant. It was wonderful to meet so many Austen fans in one place.

BOB - Goody Bags for English TeaAfter the performances, the guests went to the canopied area outside and the raffle began. Several authors connected with Romance Readers Club had donated new books and there were wrapped packages of them on the tables. I had donated one of my regency novelettes and the lady that won it seemed pleased.

Afterward, those that wished to purchase a book from the authors did so. I was kept busy autographing until closing. As I drove home, I reflected that this had been a good time and I’m glad that I was invited to come. I hope to return one day.

Below are the authors and owner of Books on Broadway posing for a photo at the event.

BOB - Authors and Owner at Jane Austen Tea and Reading 2015

Interview with Wendy Van Camp: The Write Stuff

The Curate's Brother on Amazon

I am always delighted when someone asks to interview me and it is particularly pleasant when an author of Raymond Bolton’s caliber does so. I hope you’ll stop by his website, The Write Stuff, and not only take a look at my latest interview featuring The Curate’s Brother, but read the other fine interviews and information he has there.

Interview With Wendy Van Camp

Lady Jane Salon Reader Series: Wendy Van Camp

Wendy Van Camp - Lady Jane Salon 2015All writers eventually go forth to read their work to the public. I am no different. In February of 2015, my first reading occurred at a funky cafe called the Gypsy Den. It is an artist hangout of the city of Anaheim, California. There are fun paintings on the walls, a wall of old books and heavy wooden tables and chairs. Outside is a cement patio where writers and students come to avail themselves of the wifi signal and cups of delicious coffee.

On the second Monday of each month, the Lady Jane Salon holds readings from four romance authors. The performance of each author is recorded for later podcast. The original Lady Jane Salon is in New York City, but there are various chapters of the reading series around the country. The book that I would read that night was “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion”. My novella is a regency romance, unlike most of my science fiction or fantasy based stories, and thus this novella fit their romance theme. It is my first published book on Amazon.

I arrived at the salon early. I wanted to find a table close enough to the front where I could get a clear view of the other readers. Some reading series have a stage for the authors, but this venue puts us in a chair next to a wall of old books with a large snowball microphone to record our performance.

I had been practicing reading from my book all afternoon. While I do have experience in public speaking and being in front of a television camera, I had never read from my novel in public before. I leaned on the advice my husband gave me to speak slowly and to remember to breathe.

The audience were other writers from the local Romance Writers of America chapter and I had a good time networking with them before and after the event. I had publicized the reading at various writing groups I belong to in the weeks leading up to the event. I was happy to discover that a small handful of listeners had come to hear me speak.

I was the second author to read that night. The moderator of the event introduced me and then stepped away. I started my set by greeting the audience, which surprised them and then read from the blurb on the back of my book. This helped to set the tone of the excerpt I would then read.

I read for around 10 minutes in total and afterward I asked if there were any questions. The direct and intelligent questions about the writing process that the audience asked astonished me. It was a true pleasure to answer. How often are we granted the opportunity to talk about the nuts and bolts of the craft with people that understood. Then it was over and there was a short break where I could chat with the audience and sell books.

Two weeks before the salon, a friend of mine had recommended that I bring printed books to the event to sell and autograph. Originally, since this book was a novella, I had not planned to create a paperback version of it. However, my author friend had assured me that the fliers I had planned to bring to showcase the ebook were not enough. People like to hold a book in their hands and to have it autographed.

This meant that I needed to create a back cover and format my ebook to a print version all within two weeks of the reading date. It was a hard scramble to get the work done in time. I decided to use the Createspace for my printed book. Fortunately, there were templates to follow and I was able to put the project together in only a few days.

I tried to place an order of 20 books on Createspace, but because of the press of time, the best I could do was to bring the five “proof copies” the publishing company allowed. The rest of my books would arrive via the mail after the reading, but in time for a science fiction convention I was attending as a dealer the following weekend.

I ended up selling two copies of my book and autographed them for readers for the first time. It was a wonderful feeling and I’m glad that I went through the extra effort to bring those five copies with me.

Lady Jane Salon was a wonderful introduction to participating in a reading series. It was a friendly audience of fellow romance writers that understand the genre. If you are an author, I recommend them as a venue if you write romance. It will prove to be a great way to meet new readers, to have a podcast record of your work and to sell a few books.

At the time of this writing, my podcast is not yet up on the Lady Jane Salon site, but when it becomes available, I will edit this post and include a link to it.

GypsyDenAnaheim

50 Days of Indie: Wendy Van Camp

The Curate's Brother on Amazon

My book “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion” is featured as number 48 of Cheryllynn Dyess’s 50 Days of Indie Authors promotion. Cheryllyn has been interviewed here on No Wasted Ink. Please visit her interview if you haven’t already and gain an introduction to her as an author.

Day 48 of 50 days of Indie….featuring Wendy Van Camp

Featured on OC Author Spotlight: Wendy Van Camp

The Curate's Brother on Amazon

I am the featured author at Lit Central O.C. this week. I speak about my writing process and inspiration for my new ebook “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion”. Lit Central O.C. has many interesting articles about the writing process and events going on in Orange County, California in addition to my spotlight. I hope you’ll stop by and give the magazine a try.

O.C. Author Spotlight: Wendy Van Camp

Lit Central O.C. is an online magazine established in January 2014 with the purpose of strengthening the O.C. writing community and forging better ties among the many O.C. writing groups. It features essays, articles and reviews by O.C. writers, as well as ongoing columns on self-editing, self-publishing and technology for writers. The O.C. Author Spotlight series features interviews with published fiction authors on Thursdays, and an excerpt of their latest or favorite work on Fridays. Lit Central O.C. is also home to Event Central, the most complete literary event calendar in the county.