My First Live Reading! Lady Jane Salon OC at The Ripped Bodice

July 13, 2016

My reading at Lady Jane Salon OC.

I'm currently sitting on a pile of packed suitcases, ready to drive down to San Diego for the RWA National Conference, but before I leave town, I'd like to share a couple of snapshots from my first live reading this past Sunday.

Lady Jane Salon is a monthly event held in cities all over the U.S. wherein romance authors read their work aloud to audiences. Here in SoCal, we have Lady Jane Salon OC, hosted by author Beth Yarnall. For the past two months, we've been lucky enough to hold the reading at The Ripped Bodice, the only brick-and-mortar all-romance bookstore in the country--a lovely shop that just so happens to be in my neighborhood. This past Sunday's lineup included the authors Laura Drake, Gwendolyn Womack, Kiersten Hallie Krum, and me.

I'm happy to report the reading went well! I got to dust off the old "teacher voice" and speak to the back of a packed room. Thirteen years standing in front of sleepy teenagers, trying to infuse them with a love for iambic pentameter was pretty good public speaking practice, but I was still nervous. I'd never shared my own work with a live audience.

I read a passage from Cowboy Player, a scene set in the Silver Spur where Melody has to look over her inebriated sister while trying to figure out the weird flirtation that's going on between her and Clark. From my own experiences as an audience member at readings, I wanted to share a section that was visual and had some kind of clear forward action.

Romance authors at Lady Jane Salon OC. Back row, left to right: Tracey Livesay, Alyssa Cole, Rebekah Weatherspoon. Middle row: Louisa Bacio, Sabrina Sol, Jenn Le Blanc. Front: Mia Hopkins and Janet Eckford.

The best part of the reading for me was seeing so many friends in the crowd. Authors from my local RWA chapters, friends who've been supportive from the very start, members of the romance community whose names I'd seen online but whom I've never met in person. Writing often feels like a lonely profession, but the truth of my reality is this: romance has given me the chance to befriend many interesting, intelligent people, authors and readers alike. This event reminded me of that.

I really enjoyed my first reading. And the celebratory cocktail at the Culver Hotel with my friends and family was the cherry on top!

For a schedule and more information about Lady Jane Salon OC, please click here. For information about The Ripped Bodice, please visit their website. To learn more about Cowboy Player, please click here.

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