Book Launch Recap: Welcome to Havenport

book launch

Were you able to make it to the Welcome to Havenport launch party at The Booktrader of Hamilton? No? Have no fear I’m here to let you in on all the skinny – the readings, the discussions, the yummy yummy food…

Get comfy my friends and let’s hit it!

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Left to Right: Nicole S. Patrick, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye and Ruth A. Casie

On creating Havenport:

Welcome to Havenport is a continuation from the town created in Timeless Moments, the last book in the ladies’ previous anthology series. They all enjoyed creating that town so much they decided to create a book series about Havenport, RI and thus was Welcome to Havenport created!

It is the ladies’ intention to make the town of Havenport just as much a character as the people themselves in fact. They hope to entice readers into wanting to check out Serendipity (the town’s metaphysical store) for their spiritual and magical needs, or go have a pint at Royce Tavern. With the longer format these books will provide (nearly twice the word count for the stories from the Timeless anthologies), they want to draw in the readers’ imagination.

With the stories interconnecting (through shared town locales, recurring characters and events) the reader will get a sense of returning home and visiting friends as each story unfolds.

On the creation of their publishing brand Timeless Scribes:

For them it was a logical progression. Aside from Nicole, the other three ladies have all been traditionally published (in one way or another), but they realized if they incorporated they’d have a stronger foundation to build off of. Their books would have the “Timeless Scribe” logo, giving readers a chance to know right away what they’re looking at and for their independent projects, they’d have a brand to publish them through for consistency.

For instance one of Lita’s books found a home and was published straight away when her publisher collapsed. Through the Timeless Scribes brand her book was up and ready in a matter of days, whereas some of her fellow authors with the publisher were scrambling to figure out what to do.

As a publishing house this means the work they do is reported and accounted for. They have deadlines to meet, reports to generate, and a tangible partnership to lean on when they need support. This is an endeavor they love; they enjoy working together and are good friends outside of anything else.

On the ‘heat’ level of their stories:

Their Timeless anthologies included one more member, Julie Rowe (who writes medical romances for Carina Press) who is the one who helped them in the beginning to start writing shorter form stories. If you’ve read the Timeless books you know Julie’s stories tended to be a bit higher in heat level then the others. For the Havenport books the stories will be mild, sweet stories.

As Lita said “[…] write what you are comfortable with.” after Ruth mentioned that the old adage “write what you know” doesn’t apply here as she doesn’t want readers to be the third wheel in her bedroom. Nicole said the books are meant to be sweeter, to be more about the relationships then the sex. I’m paraphrasing Ruth here but she said “Sex is a factor in relationships, but that doesn’t mean it has to be described in the story.” It was generally agreed that less is more and the reader’s imagination can fill in the details.

Both Lita and Ruth recounted stories of their children being scandalized at the thought that their mothers would even think about sex never mind write about it.

On writing together, the trials and conquests thereof:

They all agreed the biggest issue that sometimes crops up is naming. While realistically its entirely probable that a small town will have several names used by multiple people, for the purposes of writing a series of interconnected stories that can become problematic. When you name your hero Peter, only to have another story list a completely different Peter, it can lead to confusion at the very least.

Another sometimes obstacle is making sure their story timelines match up. For instance when Lita has her characters (Olivia and Max) pick up a dog at Wag and Walks (the town’s dog-walking business) she had to check with Nicole to make sure Augusta would be there, otherwise the timelines would be wonky. Story continuity is important to the ladies, so they try and make sure it matches. Emma is their go-to guru and last spot checker, having found a few gaffs that went by a couple rounds of editors.

In general though the ladies just stay in communication a lot. Through online chats, phone calls, text messages and every few weeks get togethers. They found while the other modes work well, nothing beats face to face with food and wine to hash out the stories and ideas. “Its a no brainer; we love what we do, we’ll never stop writing.” (Ruth)

On what to expect next:

The next book (which is being written now and has a July 1st deadline – to which their was nervous laughter) is going to feature a Haunted House so the stories will have a slightly more spooky/paranormal edge to them. Release is tentatively scheduled for October!

Otherwise the plan is for four or five books set in Havenport, with some of the stories bleeding into each successive book so it really is like revisiting old friends and new neighbors.

Impressions from their readings:

  • Food. Every single reading had food involved (porterhouse steaks, chicken cacciatore, Italian food, dessert…)
  • From Lita’s Story “New Beginnings”:
    • Max sounds like my kind of man.
    • Olivia is a character that Lita debuted in the Timeless anthology series as a ten year old girl originally (another connection!).
    • Liz and I may need to fight. Like seriously, you’re gonna tell a bookstore owner you don’t read?
  • From Nicole’s Story “Hometown Hero”:
    • Nicole’s hero Evan was inspired by a photograph she found from the Michael Stokes’ photography books (in which he takes gorgeous pictures of men with some sort of disability gained from military service) and his name from a local newscaster.
    • Nicole likes to include animals in her stories because people love them and pets choose who they want to go with, so it can be a good tell if that person is good people. Especially puppies!
    • Men in uniforms are hot. End of story.
  • From Emma’s Story “Under Her Spell”:
    • Christa and I would get along fabulously just because of this line “Suddenly? Love isn’t sudden.”
    • Christa and Jeremy are in a game of mutual destruction; really they are their own enemies at this time. Communication is important…but not moreso than understanding yourself first.
  • From Ruth’s Story “The Game’s Afoot”:
    • A direct sequel to her story in Timeless Moments about romance writer Beth and thriller writer JD.
    • Watson (JD) is a hunk and yes the Sherlock references are totally on point.
    • The anxiety that Beth feels about jumping from genres is something that Ruth felt when she made the leap from historical to contemporary.

Havenport Photos:

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And lest anyone thinks I forgot  – this couldn’t have been possible without my local indie Booktrader of Hamilton. I can’t recommend the store enough; I’ve been a customer for twenty years now and I can’t think of a better place to find what I need. If not for Joan and Jenn I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet the Timeless Scribes, nor honestly would I have as many books as I do (which could be a blessing or a curse…).

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L-R – Joan (owner), Nicole, Lita, Ruth, Emma and Jenn (store manager)

To find out more check out the below links!

Who wants to visit Havenport with me? Maybe if we wish hard enough it will come true?

lexie


Lexie Words

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