Things to know about Penny -
Penny Warner has published over 50 books, both fiction and non-fiction, for adults and children, including over a dozen party books. Her books have won national awards, garnered excellent reviews, and have been printed in 14 countries. Her first mystery, DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, in her Connor Westphal series featuring a deaf reporter in the California Gold Country, won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery and was nominated for an Agatha Award. Her non-fiction book, THE OFFICIAL NANCY DREW HANDBOOK, was nominated for an Agatha Award. Warner writes for party sites such as OrientalTradingCompany.com, BirthdaysRUs.com, iParty.com, and BalloonTime.com, and with her husband Tom creates interactive murder mystery fundraisers for libraries across the country. She can be reached at http://www.pennywarner.com/.
HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY - A Party Planning Mystery
Party Planning Tips Included
By Penny Warner National Bestselling Author
Mixing fun and fundraising for charities seemed like the perfect job for Presley Parker when she’s suddenly downsized from her position teaching abnormal psychological at the university. Pres is psyched about her first big gig—hosting a “surprise” wedding for the San Francisco Mayor at notorious Alcatraz prison.
But the party’s over when the bride bolts faster than an escaping prisoner, and is later found dead floating in the bay, a victim of poisoned chocolates. When Presley becomes prime suspect, she looks to her quirky Treasure Island co-workers for help, but it’s the attractive, mysterious crime scene cleaner Brad Matthews who helps tidy up her tarnished reputation. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, she’ll be exchanging her party dress for prison stripes.
HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY is the first in the series featuring reluctant party planner, Presley Parker and set on Alcatraz, Treasure Island and other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The book offers party tips throughout, and a complete party plan at the back of the book. A second book in the series, HOW TO CRASH A KILLER BASH, set at the de Young Museum, will be published in August, followed by HOW TO SURVIVE A KILLER SÉANCE, set at the Winchester Mystery House
Penny Warner has published over 50, including more than a dozen party books. Her books have won national awards, garnered excellent reviews, and been printed in 14 countries. Known as the “Queen of Parties,” she’s planned over 500 parties, including interactive murder mystery fundraisers for libraries across the country. Visit her at http://www.pennywarner.com/.
And Now, Let's Hear What Penny Has to Say About Surviving The Dreaded Book Store Event -
HOW TO SURVIVE A BOOK STORE EVENT WHEN NOBODY’S HEARD OF YOU
By Penny Warner
If you haven’t done a book signing recently, here’s how they typically go: You cold-call booksellers, ask if they’ll host a signing for your upcoming “bestseller,” and show up at the appointed time to sign autographs for your adoring fans. At least, that’s the idea. Here’s what really happens:
You email the booksellers asking for a signing because there’s not enough alcohol in your wine cellar to provide the courage you need to actually speak to them, certain they will laugh in your face at this ludicrous idea. When a bookseller surprises you by asking when you’d like to come in for an event, you blurt out a date, which has already been booked by JD Salinger or JK Rowling. He counters with only date he has left this year and you gratefully accept, only later realizing that it’s the same time as the Super Bowl, the last episode of “American Idol,” or Christmas.
You send out handcrafted invitations to 200 of your closest friends, including the grocery clerk, the five-year-old boy next door, and the new neighbors you haven’t even met yet. You email the rest of your fans, creating an eye-catching flyer that doesn’t convert on anyone else’s computer and reads: “*^$&((%##& *&$^#*&^($($*(!”
You bribe your future readers to the event by promising them an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet and free bookmarks, then search the knock-off stores for a “literary outfit” that makes you look like Sue Grafton. You realize after you purchase it you look more like Barbara Cartland so you change into a T-shirt featuring an ironed-on copy of your book cover, pull on a pair of black jeans to hide your less-than-literary fat, and skip the fake glasses.
When it’s “book-signing time,” you arrive at the bookstore to stage your themed display. You find yourself at the kiddy-sized table in the back, next to the Books That Never Sell. You sit down and try to look busy by constantly rearranging your book stack, while shoppers give you a wide berth and never make eye contact. Finally someone approaches your table, smiles, and you get your Mont Blanc pen ready to sign a heartfelt passage, personalized to the reader. That’s when she asks you where the restrooms are located and you point with your outrageously expensive pen. Suddenly you’re flooded with table-visitors, all asking questions like, “Do you have any books on bird-watching?” “Have I ever heard of you?” and “What’s Stephen King really like?”
Between “customers” you browse the bookstore shelves and end up buying more books than you sell. You wonder why you bother to write books that nobody reads, and ask the bookseller if he needs any part-time help, since it’s time you got a “real job.” Just as you’re packing up, someone approaches and asks if your latest book is out. You smile proudly, point to the stack of unsold books on the table, and give her your well-practiced pitch: “It’s a kind of a Sherlock Holmes meets ‘Girls Gone Wild’ set on Alcatraz, featuring a love story between a feisty party planner and a muscle-bound crime scene cleaner, who overcome misunderstood, socio-pathological murderers, barely escape death by poisoned chocolates made in the shape of handcuffs, and achieve happiness as the new Bickersons.” She puts your book down, says she only reads chick-lit cookbooks, and heads for the free snacks.
Hey, don’t feel sorry for me. I love every minute of it. In fact, you’re all invited to my gala publishing party on February 8 at the Peasant and the Pear restaurant in Danville, California. That’s when I’ll be launching my new mystery series, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, featuring—don’t laugh—a party planner/sleuth.
There will be free snacks...
Please leave a comment below to welcome Penny, or, maybe you'd like to share one of your own experiences at a book store event.