I would like to welcome author Robin Maxwell back to the Maiden’s Court with her newest release, Jane. Robin has dropped by previously with an interview about many of her books that were out at that time which you can read here. Below, Robin will tell you about some of the awesome sounding events that occurred this past weekend surrounding the launch of Jane.
A Launch to Remember
Guest Post by Robin Maxwell, author of
Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan
Back in 2003 when The Wild Irish was published, an L.A. Booksellers luncheon was held for me at a wonderful Irish pub/restaurant. About a dozen Los Angeles booksellers from the chains and independents attended, and we had a splendid Irish feast of food and literature. So when I realized that my West Hollywood Book Soup event for JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan was scheduled three days after pub date (on a Friday night) I thought it would be great to have a booksellers luncheon in its honor the day before.
I was beyond delighted to learn that the events coordinator at the Barnes and Noble flagship store (at the Grove) was my old friend and champion, Lita Weissman.
Our fondest memory was the time back in 1998 when, without prompting, she became my author escort and took me on a wild ride in high summer (with broken air conditioning, drinking blue slurpies and stopping for lunch at a revolving sushi bar) visiting half the bookstores in the L.A. basin to introduce me and Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn to everyone she thought I should know. Lita and my publicity firm, Eileen Koch and Company, put the luncheon together. I chose – to keep to an African theme – the best Ethiopian restaurant in L.A. – Messob.
Here you can see us eating the incredible food with our fingers and injera (a spongy flat bread), all to the beat of African drumming. Beside the booksellers were folks from the Koch Company and the Estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs – the gentleman in the back is the president of ERB, Inc., Jim Sullos. He’s the person who jumped the hurdles so that JANE could be be authorized by the estate (no mean feat). Because of his cheerleading, I became the first woman in 100 years to pen a Tarzan classic…and write it from Jane’s point of view.
Then it was on to the BIG EVENT – my Book Soup reading and signing, and the start of casting for “The Hunt for Tarzan and Jane,” a contest to discover the wild couple who will help me promote JANE in the coming months. Organized by Koch and Company, the word was sent out to acting and modeling agencies, as well as gyms in the L.A. area. I admit I was a little nervous, worried that nobody would show up, but Eileen – a veteran publicist – assured me it was going to be a great success, and just the start of the contest that culminates at my Barnes and Noble Grove event on October 18th, when a panel of celebrity judges will choose the two winners.
Contestants had already started lining up when I arrived on Sunset Strip, where Book Soup is located.
This indie bookstore is legendary in Los Angeles, especially since all but a handful have closed down. It’s exactly the same as it was back in 1997 when I had my very first book reading/signing in a narrow aisle near the front window with my friends and family (whom I had threatened with kneecap-breaking if they didn’t show up). Fifteen years later, the front window aisle is the place where they still hold the readings, though now they have six rows of two-chairs-across so a few people can sit down.
One by one the contestants were called up to the front and asked why they thought they should be chosen the next Tarzan and Jane. I was impressed by their enthusiasm and eloquence. Some gave their renditions of the Tarzan yell (one classically trained actor brought the house down with his). Others showed off their costumes or their buff bodies. The judges, among them the granddaughter and two great granddaughters of Edgar Rice Burroughs himself, made note of their favorites.
I did a Q&A about how the book came into being (what I changed and what I kept the same from the original Tarzan of the Apes). Then I did a short reading (oh, how I wished I had a lovely British accent like my friend Suzan Crowley, who performed JANE on the just released audiobook). No one seemed to mind.
All in all it was a wonderful Los Angeles Book launch. Now I’m getting ready for a big party on Saturday night being thrown for me in the high desert by the publisher of The Sun Runner Magazine, Steve Brown. He featured my husband Max and me on this month’s cover, and it was chosen by Gawker.com as 2012’s Best Magazine Cover. Will wonders never cease!
You can visit Robin on her website for more information about all her books.
Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan: Robin Maxwell: 9780765333582: Books
Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court