Saturday, January 24, 2009

What is Lady Jane's Salon and why should I care?









It started, as many great things do, over a drink with good company.

Regency romance author Maya Rodale, romance author Hope Tarr, Beatrice.com's Ron Hogan and I were discussing the state of the New York City reading series scene and the fact that there wasn't a space for romance fiction and areas of women's fiction.

"Let's start one." Maya said.
She may have used slightly more elaborate language but you get the idea.

Maya happens, also, to be co-founder of the charity Share the Love, which donates gently used books to women in transition and need. Hope has a long history of philanthropy, as you can check out from her website. Ron Hogan, in his involvement with MediaBistro, GalleyCat and Beatrice.com has championed all kinds of literature for well over a decade. I'm involved with service projects at my church and environmental and animal rights causes. So you've got four people with two things in common: a love of books and philanthropy. Hence, in the span of just a few short months and somewhat of a "Yes We Can" philosophy, Lady Jane's Salon was born.

Why "Lady Jane"? We knew we wanted Salon in the name, because it's just one of those words one wants to use. I dubbed it "Lady Jane's" because Jane makes us think of our beloved Austen, and tea, but it's also an everywoman name. Jane Doe. There's a bit of everywoman in romance, in the way that the genre, no matter the sub-category, seeks to lift up the core value of loving, dynamic, committed and familial relationships.

Lady Jane's launches on February 2nd with award winning and multi-published authors. Andrea Pickens and Hope Tarr will kick off what will be a monthly offering of rich storytelling and great community. Some invaluable friends of romance, such as Barbara Vey and RomanceNovel.tv will be there to help us celebrate, and the generous and vital RomanticTimes, who have been incredibly supportive so far. Not to mention our respective current publishers, Berkley, Harlequin and Dorchester, who have been incredibly supportive too!

Mark your calendars! Every first Monday of the month, from 7-9 at the fab Tribeca venue Madame X. Admission is $5.00 or a gently used women's fiction novel - all admissions benefit Share the Love!

Madame X is located at 94 West Houston Street, on the north side between LaGuardia Place and Thompson Street. You must be 21 and have a valid photo I.D. to enter.

We hope you'll join us not only on Feb. 2nd, but every first Monday!

Stop by RomanceNovel.tv tomorrow the 25th, we'll be talking all about it!

6 comments:

Hope Tarr said...

Good summary, Leanna, and yes, it's time, okay past time, to broaden the New York lit scene to include our beloved romance genre--and Lady Jane's is just the forum to do it. The building buzz would seem to support that readers are hungry for what the Lady is offering. And like you, the opportunity to give back, in this case to Maya's nonprofit, Share the Love, makes it a must-do for me.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I am so there. Also I will do a post on my blog about the awesome event. :D

marciacolette said...

I guess this means I'll have to make my next visit to the city on a Monday. This is such a cool idea.

If we donate a very heavy box full of used books, does that mean we get a free lifetime admission? ;-)

Kwana said...

What a great time I had. This is THE place to be!

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Hope, cheers m'dear!

Katie, thank you, can't wait to see it.

Marcia, yes, get your lil' butt up here.

Kwana, YOU are the place to be!! We were so blessed to have your wonderful energy with us for our launch!

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Hope, cheers m'dear!

Katie, thank you, can't wait to see it.

Marcia, yes, get your lil' butt up here.

Kwana, YOU are the place to be!! We were so blessed to have your wonderful energy with us for our launch!