Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chick Lit and Chocolate in DC

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

Last night, I attended an event in Georgetown, at BCBG MaxAzria. It was to check out the store's fall clothing line and meet two chick lit novelists from the DC area (From left to right in the picture, Sarah Pekkanen and Beth Harbison) while snacking on chocolate and drinking champagne.

Originally, they wanted us to buy tickets to attend the event. These tickets were $25 each, but there was the promise of a swag bag worth $175. I bought a ticket and then received an e-mail that the host of the event was unable to make it and wouldn't be bringing the swag bags, but all ticket buyers would get a refund. And I am so glad I am getting that refund.

While it was great to chat with Sarah Pekkanen again and finally have her sign my copy of "Skipping a Beat" and while it was nice to meet Beth Harbison for the first time and have her sign my copies of "Shoe Addicts Anonymous," the event was not worth $25. First of all, there was no semblance of organization to the event. The people working at the store didn't even seem to know what was going on and made us feel like we were invading on their territory. I was also under the impression that the authors would be doing a speech or presentation, but it was just a lot of casual mingling. No one provided copies of the books for the authors to sell and sign, so Sarah went to Barnes and Noble and bought a few copies of Beth's latest book to have available.

While it was nice that they had the champagne and (Godiva) chocolates they promised, they also served little desserts from Target (or a grocery store), even though Georgetown Cupcakes was down the street! I found the desserts to be amusing more than anything else, again validating why I'm glad I got the refund. When I got home, I found out that the host will be sending swag bags to people who bought tickets, just for showing interest. If that happens, I will gladly tell you about what is in them.

The positives of this event were that I wasn't stuck in the city for a long amount of time, given that I don't like to go home late on the train. The casualness of the event allowed me to talk to whomever I wanted, get some pictures and leave. Aside from Beth and Sarah, I also got to meet two other really cool women. First I met Dana Bate, who will be publishing a book next spring. Her book will definitely be a hit amongst foodies and chick lit fans, based on what she described. (There are also elements of Judaism, which scores brownie points for me.) She is very nice and I enjoyed talking with her about books and other topics. (And I will figure out why she looks so familiar if it takes me all year!) Next, I met Kristin Durham, a.k.a. Kritter. She has a great blog called Kritters Ramblings, where she reviews a lot of books (mostly chick lit). She is very nice, as is her mom (who was also at the event). She opened my eyes to the diverse amount of tastes in books out there. What works for one reader doesn't always work for another, which is why we present such a variety of books here at CLC. Finally, I confirmed for myself once again why I love living in DC. After the event, I was walking to get back to my train and there was such a "laid back" feeling in the atmosphere. The city is beautiful and historic in so many ways and I'm proud to be associated with it for almost two years now!

In the future, if someone wants to host a chick lit event in a specific city, they should invite all chick lit authors in or around that city. They should also allow time and space for the authors to talk about themselves and their books or even to have a panel where people can do a question and answer session. They should also do it in a bookstore where there is more space allotted for such events. This type of event didn't have the same kind of feel in a clothes store. Even a shoe store would be more fitting since Beth wrote some books about shoes.

Speaking of which...I have a copy of "Shoe Addicts Anonymous," signed by Beth Harbison, to give to a lucky reader. And because I feel bad about all these US only giveaways, I'm making this one international! Just tell me what author you'd like to meet in person and include your e-mail address or some other way to contact you easily. Good luck! (Giveaway ends August 2nd at midnight EST.)

With the lovely literary ladies from DC!

With Kristin from Kritters Ramblings


Linda Kish said...

I know it's not a chick lit author but, James Patterson.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Georgina said...

I would love to meet Jane Green, she is my favorite chick-lit author

sarah pekkanen said...

Hey Melissa - so nice of you to come last night and great to talk to you! Unfortunately the folks at Glamazon Media fell through on all their promises to provide swag bags, raffle prizes, organize the event etc.... our publishers won't ever work with them again and neither will BCBG. It's too bad, because none of us knew they couldn't be counted on and we really left the event details in their hands (then they didn't show up! agh!) But I'm really glad you had some fun, and I promise the next event will be much better - and better organized! xoxo, Sarah

Kat said...

I would love to meet any author, but Mauve Binchy is at the top of my list. She introduced me to the world of chick lit when I had no idea what it was (and I'm not even sure she would consider herself part of that genre). Plus, she gave me my literary soul sister, Benny Hogan.

Jeryl M. said...

I would like to meet Judy Blume because I loved her books as a kid and now my daughter is reading them.

Kim W. said...

I would LOVE to meet Jennifer Weiner!!

FranceRants said...

So glad for your honesty regarding the event and glad you got your money back!

Amy said...

I'd luv to meet Lauren Weisberger. I luv all of her books and can't wait till her next one comes out, which according to her twitter profile description, she's currently working on number 5.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that the event didn't go so well, but at least you got your money back! I'd love to meet Isabelle Lafleche, who wrote J'adore New York!
emond (dot) c (at) gmail (dot) com.

Lisa said...

How awesome that you got to meet Kristin of Kritters Ramblings!
And what were the desserts from Target? Do tell. You mentioned they were amusing =)... and usually that's not a good thing.

♡♥♬ Raven In A Blue Room ♬♥♡ said...

I'd like to meet Mary Higgins Clark

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

Bec said...

I'd love to meet Marian Keyes - I love her books and I suppose she's less 'accessible' than many authors who frequent social networking sites. She also doesn't churn books out every year so it's always a case of good things come to those who wait with Marian's books.They never disappoint.

be204ever AT

Krystal Lynn said...

Well, Jimmy Fallon is an author. He wrote a cute childrens book and a hilarious book about pessimism with his sister. And then there's the Thank You Notes books from his late night show. I would love to meet Jimmy!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I am soooo sad to hear it wasn't a well-organized or planned event. That makes it harder for authors to want to attend, and for readers to want to turn out.

Still, we have to give them brownie points for the effort and the initiative. Hopefully they'll learn from their mistakes and get it right next time...

(No need to enter me, doll. I still have that TBR pile problem!)

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I would love to meet Meg Cabot!

I first discovered Meg Cabot's book shortly after the first Princess Diaries (starring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway) movie came out. My mother walked in and saw me watching it for the millionth time and said to me "You know that's a book right?" At the time I hated reading, but that statement was all it took for me to go running to the library and take out the book. I fell madly in love with them. I soon discovered that not only did she write the Princess Diaries books, but she also used a pseudoname, Jenny Carroll to write The Mediator Series and the 1-800 Missing Series (re-released under the name Meg Cabot). I read every single one of the books almost immediately and counted the days until new books were published. As I got older I began reading her Adult books including the "Boy" books and one of my favorite series, the Heather Wells books.

faithspage said...

These are the authors of my all time favorite books:
Sarah Pekkanen
Jane Green
Emily Giffin
Kaira Rouda

kyfaithw at aol dot com

Magda said...

I'd love to meet Guillaume Musso and thank him for his wonderful ideas (in his books)! :)
As for chick-lit author I'd like to meet Meg Cabot or Maeve Binchy.

Thanks for a not-only-US/Canada giveaway! :)


Megan @ Book Brats said...

Madeleine Wickham is my ultimate dream meet! Thanks for the contest :D

bookbrats at gmail dot com

PoCoKat said...

I would love to meet James Lee Burke someday.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

karenk said...

would love to meet elin hilderbrand.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jel said...

id be basing the authors i want to meet on my fave movies from books.. the authors of twilight, harry potter and sweet valley high :)

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Colleen Turner said...

I would LOVE to meet any of the following authors (there are so many I would love to meet): Camille Noe Pagan, Sarah Pekkanen, Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Jio, Sophie Kinsella, Philippa Gregory...there are just too many!

So sorry the event wasn't organized and the place it was located was rude....that isn't fun for anyone! Hope you get the swag bag AND the refund...that would make it a little less annoying :).

Allison said...

I'd love to meet Jen Lancaster!!! She is hilarious!!!!


Nic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic said...

My fave chick lit author is Lindsey Kelk.. I follow her on twitter and she seems such a great laugh, I'd love to meet her for a tour of her fave NY clubs ;)

Nancye said...

I would like to meet Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, or Melody Carlson (and lots of others!) I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Snitz said...

I just read my first Beth Harbison book and loved it (Always Something There to Remind Me). I'd LOOOOOOOVE to meet Jen Lancaster!!!!

snitz76 {at} gmail {dot} com

Jennifer L. said...

I'd love to meet Janet Evanovich.
jentam777 at gmail dot com

Dolly said...

I guess it would be Jen Lancaster I'd most like to meet in person - she pointed me down this chick lit path!

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

StereoQueenBee said...

I would love to meet Maeve Binchy. It seems like she has had an interesting life!

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com