5 Little Steps to a Successful Book Reading
I have come up with 5 little steps for a successful book reading. This is illustrated with pictures from my own reading — you know, for edification purposes only, of course.
Have a dear friend (I’m talking to you, Donavon Lowe) invite you to have your book party at a unique spot in New York City.
Donavon started talking to me about having a book reading a few months ago once he began working at the esteemed Kropps and Bobbers Salon, located on Clinton Street in the edgy and fashionable Lower East Side of Manhattan. I was stunned at his generosity and jumped at the chance. I hadn’t seen the new location (I knew the old spot on Orchard St. from years ago), so I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived. There were four work stations in the small, square-shaped space, which was warmly lit and quite cozy. My eye was immediately drawn to one of the chairs, which looked like a straight-up barber’s chair. It seemed like the perfect fit to the story I was going to be reading from entitled “Skinhead on the Subway.” I could see myself getting my Dr. Martens shined in that chair or receiving a close head shave from a beautiful bald boy with tattoos, tight jeans, and heavy boots. To be honest, either scenario was a turn-on. That chair was mine. See? I swiped it for my reading:
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s first take a look around this darling spot. As you can see, not only was the barber’s chair perfect for my reading, but the artwork dotting the walls couldn’t have been more appropriate for an erotic reading. Check out the framed black-and-white pictures of tasteful female nudes from the turn of the century.
Wait, what am I saying? Those aren’t tasteful, they’re crude and dirty! Yet absolutely essential to the overall feeling of the night. Wouldn’t you agree?
Once again, thank you Donavon. As the real estate mantra goes, it’s all about “location, location, location”!
Not only did Donavon hand me this beautiful locale on a silver platter, he also supplied all of the wine. Which leads me to the second little step to a successful book reading…
Make sure there are lots of hors d’oeuvres and liquid libations!
Seriously, this is key. Once again, Donavon led the way. Not only did he generously provide us with bottles of both white and red wine, but he also recommended that I utilize the services of our dear friend, chef John Williams. He couldn’t have been a better choice. His hors d’oeuvres were out of this world! The presentation itself made quite a statement. Besides a bountiful fruit and cheese plate, John prepared homemade guacamole with light and salty chips, two kinds of fresh bite-sized wraps, and a quinoa creation with sour cream and caramelized onions on top. Scrumptious! Oh, and let’s not forget that besides the wine, my friend Devon Perry was nice enough to bring beer too. Yes, the libations were flowing.
Invite all of your friends and watch the gorgeous folks show up.
I was lucky enough to have the following lovelies attend, besides the aforementioned Donavon Lowe, John Williams, and Devon Perry: Michael Bailey, Camille Cha Cha, Richard Mishell, Marisa Franco, Krystal Serrano, Walter Butscher, Marc Athens, Kris Soong, Megan Koontz, Fiona Silver, Melissa Constandse, Samantha Riott, Vicki, and Indrani.
Be talkative! You’re there to entertain, after all.
Once I sat in my barber’s chair and was displaying my hardcore boots, I looked up to survey the room. Every single person was looking right back at me, waiting, Expectant. Involved. A sense of love and peace seemed to coat the room at that moment, and I completely relaxed. These were all my friends. They all wanted me to do well. They were excited to hear me read the words I had written, words and sentences and paragraphs that had actually been published. (Shout out to Go Deeper Press!) So first off, I thanked everyone involved, from Joni the owner of the salon on down the line until I concluded by thanking each and every person sitting there. Even on the floor.
And so I began. It was one of the best readings of my life.
After your reading, live it up! Celebrate!
Drink a shitload of wine and sign a dozen books, all while holding court in a barber’s chair. Oh wait, that’s just me.
Here’s my gorgeous husbian Michael hugging me as I sign a copy:
The entire gang congregated and gabbed and discussed and laughed and, get this, even complimented me. That wasn’t the best part though. The best part was that I found myself describing the reading by using the same two words, over and over again: the words I used were “magical” and “spellbinding.” It’s true. I felt it. There was some white magick going on in that space, lemme tell ya.
When “living” at your reading, make sure you have an open mind. Case in point: I was asked to sign my best friend’s boob. To be more precise, her left breast, the one that covers her heart, the one she’s named “Dario.” I’m not kidding. Her other tit is named after my husbian Michael. Anyway, after much cajoling, I finally agreed. To be honest, I felt like Billy Idol or something. Here’s the proof:
In continuing to live it up, once everybody had gathered their things and John Williams had packaged up all the leftover food and placed it into a tote bag for me, the majority of us took off to a nearby bar to celebrate. The destination: Botanica on Houston St. as our friend Dan Donahue was bartending. We ordered drinks and camped out in the very back room. Just look how stunning my friends are:
It was a perfect ending to a perfect night!
(Well, actually, it didn’t end until several hours later, after we went bar hopping in Brooklyn post-Botanica – because, you know, we were living!)
And there you have it—5 Little Steps to a Successful Book Reading.
To find out what all the fuss was about, go ahead and check out Squeeze Pants on my publisher’s website here.
Read an excerpt from “Game Set Match” here.
Read an excerpt from “Spongebath Squeezepants” here.
Read an excerpt from “Skinhead on the Subway” here.
Read an excerpt from “Marble Sentinels” here.
Read an excerpt from “A Hotel Hookup, Haunted” here.