To places near or far, my partner and I love to travel. I especially love the adventures I get to have as a newly published author, meeting readers and finding comraderie with fellow writers. Last Monday was one such adventure. I was scheduled to read an except from my book, HOUSE OF THE RISING SON at Lady Jane's Salon in New York City. Since parking in the city can be a nightmare, we decided to take the train--and because we are pathologically early we timed the trip to include a two hour window to relax before we needed to be at the venue.
We neglected to factor in the "police activity at the Botanical Gardens", which was announced over the train's loudspeaker. At the first notice that the train would be delayed, we smugly congratulated ourselves for building in ample time for just such emergencies.
When not at a complete stop, the train inched along. We checked our watches compulsively, growing more anxious as the minutes ticked away. Finally, we arrived at Grand Central Station at precisely the time we should have been walking into the doors of Lady Jane's.
Our short little legs sprinted to the street for a taxi, not bothering to stop at a restroom despite a desperate need to do just that. Given my increasing stress level (due in part to all of the police activity lining the streets and part to the sands of time streaming to the bottom of the hour glass), it's a wonder I didn't have an accident.
Speaking of accidents, once in the taxi we seemed to court death and barely avoided hitting pedestrians as they nonchalantly crossed the terrifyingly busy streets. Apparently NYC folks believe that if they don't look at the vehicle or driver, they won't get hit. New Yorkers, I offer you a word of advice: Do not visit Connecticut. Just stay home. Hit and runs are a pastime here. The streets are not your friends.
Miraculously we made it to Madame X's, the sexy, sultry bar that hosts Lady Jane's. To enter, you have to walk down a short flight of stairs to a door below street level. Once in the club, you have to walk up a long flight of stairs to the Salon.
The space for the reading was cozy, filled with low, ornate sofas and an eclectic array of chairs tucked into dark alcoves around the room. At the far end of the room and up a short wrought iron stair case was the small stage.
There was a great deal of excitement in the air, as the night also celebrated Lady Jane's seventh year. The room was packed with readers, writers and other industry professionals. Representatives from Women in Need, a nonprofit organization serving homeless women and children were on hand to receive a contribution from Lady Jane's. A contingent from Tor Forge Books was there to support their author Katie Lynch, and sponsor the anniversary celebration. In addition to Katie and me, Hope Tarr (Lady Jane co-founder), Leanna Renee Hieber (Lady Jane co-founder) and Lauren Willig were on hand to read excerpts from their works.
I'm not going to lie to you. I was so nervous. I mean...who the hell am I to think I belong among these multi-published, award winning authors? But I did it. I read the first chapter of my book and guess what? I didn't faint, and the audience laughed in all the right places. Maybe they liked it. Liked me?
After the readings and a champagne toast (courtesy of Tor), people headed downstairs to the bar. We debated grabbing something to eat, or going home. Home won.
By three a.m. the adventure was over and we were back in Connecticut, humbly walking our dogs and dreading the six a.m. alarm. Back to the day job.