Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diary of a Lost Girl: So far, and into the future

So far, I have done four events for my new edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl. The first two - at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in July, and at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in October - were book signings. Each went well, and more than a few fans lined up at each event to get a copy of the book.

This past weekend, I did two more events. Each were presentations at which I gave a 25 minute talk accompanied by a Power Point presentation. The slide show included a number of little known images related to Louise Brooks and The Diary of a Lost Girl, including some not in the new edition. Each of these events went well.

Though there was a smallish crowd at the Saturday afternoon event at Orinda Books in  Orinda, they were devoted. We had a 100% sell through on books!  And, there was a lively question and answer period after my talk. That was enjoyable.

The event also gave me a chance to reconnect with my old pal Beth Ann Gallagher. We first met years ago over the internet when she set up the Louise Brooks group on the old social networking site. Then, she was living on the East Coast - but now she lives in the Bay Area and helps with events at Orinda Books, an independent bookstore in the East Bay. I was especially pleased that Beth introduced me at this my first event for the book!

Thanks to everyone at Orinda Books for making this a memorable happening! I appreciate it.

This fine independent bookstore is located near the Orinda Theater, a handsome art deco theater once likely frequented by the 1925 Miss America, Fay Lanphier (the star of the 1926 Louise Brooks film, The American Venus). Lanphier used to live in Orinda in the years following the second World War. Her husband owned and operated a bookstore there. And by the way, Orinda Books still has a few copies of my book for sale for those who couldn't make it to this special event.

The next day, on what would have been Louise Brooks' 104th birthday, I gave a presentation in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Public Library. At least 125 people showed up. And again, things went well. At least, everyone said they appreciated my introduction, and many were very enthused about having the chance to see the 1929 film, The Diary of a Lost Girl.

They was a buzz in the air. I think the event made a few new fans - and drew a few old ones as well. I did spot at least one person wearing a Louise Brooks t-shirt. The specially made Thymain and Lulu pinback buttons also proved popular. Here is a snapshot of me in action at the SFPL.

I especially want to thank SFPL staffer Maureen Russell, whose idea this event was – and, SFPL librarian Gretchen Good for not only making the event happen, but for helping this book of mine make its way out into the world. I hope at least a few of those who attended this event had a chance as well to see the small exhibit of related vintage material on display on the fourth floor. And thanx to the San Francisco Public Library Art, Music and Recreation Center for blogging about the book and event on a couple of occasions.

Next up is Books Inc in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. That event is set for tomorrow, November 18th at 7:30 pm. I plan on giving a slightly modified version of my prepared presentation. Books Inc has been promoting the event heavily, and listings for it have shown up on various local television, news, and radio web sites - not to mention social networking sites.

I am getting excited. A handful of people have already told me they would be attending this event, the last scheduled for this year in the Bay Area. I may do one last book signing next February . . . .

I will be doing one more author event - in Paris at the English-language Village Voice bookshop. My presentation there on January 13th of next year will be followed by a screening of the Diary of a Lost Girl film at the nearby Action Cinema - should all go according to plan. Village Voice is a distinguished Paris bookstore. My event follows one they have scheduled with David Sedaris.

For more on the book, check out this information page, which has some background as well as links to reviews, additional information, and a list of the stores and museums around the country which carry the book. I've also created a special Facebook page for the book.

"Thymian lives."

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