by Shirley Hailstock
This month, as you know from all the Valentine's Day blogs, we celebrated a day of love. Harlequin Enterprises, as the largest romance publisher, joined in the celebration of that day by sponsoring a promotion for authors and readers. They set up a program called Romance Trivia and Terri Brisbin and I hosted it. Terri writes Harlequin Historicals.
We went to a bookstore, a real store with shelves and clerks and other readers to meet in the stacks and talk about what books we've read and recommend. (The experience online is not the same.) Booktrader of Hamilton is an independent store in Hamilton, NJ owned by Joan Silvestri. She is super romance friendly and whenever I go in her store, she and her staff make me feel like a queen.
On the Saturday before Valentine's Day, Joan had put up signs, sent out texts, emails and posted on her Facebook page about the Romance Trivia event. Harlequin sent a box of materials, including the trivia questions and answers and prizes for the winners.
After Terri and I set up the area, we started the three rounds of questions. And then the fun began. Joan started passing the chocolate and cream puffs around. Terri read the questions. I partnered with one of the teams and Joan kept score.
The questions weren't always on books, some were about movies or popular culture figures (ala Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez). There were a few questions we disagreed with, like; After seeing Niagara Falls, who said it was the second greatest disappointment for American wives? (Answer: Oscar Wilde).
There were teams who got logical and started using our old high school methods of test taking to rule out the obvious wrong answers. And in several cases, we were wrong. But the laughter was worth it.
There was also the questions on which we needed a third opinion. There was Joan with her computer open and Google ready. When we argued over if Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward met on the set of The Long Hot Summer, Google informed us that they met in 1952. The movie was filmed in 1957. So Harlequin's answer was correct. Do you think they used Google, too?
There was the need to find a song and let the group hear it. The question was: A popular song from the movie, The Bodyguard is I will Always Love You sung by Whitney Houston. Who wrote this song? (answer: Dolly Parton). Since the group couldn't imagine Dolly singing it (we'd heard the Whitney Houston version too many times), Joan pulled it up on Youtube and we listened.
Here's a link if you want to hear Dolly sing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_utP1mGoutQ
It was a wonderful day, with great readers. They were so good that we sat around talking for two hours after the program ended.
They were all A+ readers and trivia buffs.
Glad to hear it went so well. There was one here in Toronto I wanted to attend, but I was booked in a meeting, and since I was presenting the financials and it was AGM time, I had to be there. But next time!ReplyDelete
If they do it again, go. It's a great way to contact readers.Delete
So much fun! What a good idea.ReplyDelete
Must have been a fun day for all, Shirley! Wish I could have been there. Love that quote from Oscar Wilde!ReplyDelete
Yes, sounds like a lot of fun. Lucky you to have a bookstore like that near you!ReplyDelete
True. they wanted to do it at Barnes and Noble and B&N was willing, but Harlequin got the materials out so late, that their corporate office couldn't approve and make it a success. I am thankful for the indie store.Delete
This is so great. I miss the book-signings in brick and mortar stores that we used to do. As many as 70 to 80 women sometimes used to show up. Now, it's like no one wants an autographed book. Or they want it generically signed. This was such a good idea Shirley.ReplyDelete
I have to say I was glad I was asked. Terri volunteered and asked me if I'd like to be the other author. So glad I said yes.Delete
How fun! Good for you for providing all those readers with a great experience!ReplyDelete
And for what I learned during that two hour session. One woman worked in security and I learned a lot that I can use in future books.Delete
I'd Sounds fun! I'd love to have a bookstore like that in my town...well, I'd love to have any kind of bookstore!ReplyDelete
That sounds like so much fun!!!! And how funny that people hadn't heard Dolly sing that song. I heard it so many times as I kid that I can't imagine anyone else singing it. (Sorry Whitney).ReplyDelete
That's the way I feel about the song Midnight from the play CATS. I heard Barbara Streisand's version so much that when I saw the musical, I didn't think the woman could sing.Delete
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