Interview with Stacey Broadbent

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On Saturday, November 24th, the Wham Bam Author Jam is coming to Christchurch. Showcasing both local, national, and international independent and traditionally published authors, this is an event not to be missed: for writers, readers, and those seeking new authors and new talents.The organiser, Stacey Broadbent, has agreed to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about the event.

Firstly Stacey, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself, your own writing, and what inspired you to host the Wham Bam Author Jam?

I would love to! I’m a multi-genre author based in Ashburton. I can’t decide on just one genre, so I write a bit of everything; contemporary romance, comedies about motherhood, zombie thrillers, LGBTQ shorts, and even some picture books for the kids.

Wham Bam Author Jam is a twofold event. Before I started writing, I had no idea just how many authors we have here in New Zealand, and I wanted to create an event to introduce readers to authors they perhaps haven’t heard of before. We’ve also managed to get a few joining us from across the ditch, and a New Zealand publishing company, The Copy Press, for those of you who are interested in pursuing a writing career.

As well as creating a conversation between authors and readers, it’s also about giving back to the community. I’ve chosen the Mental Health Foundation of NZ as our charity because I want to support those who support others in their time of need. I know they have helped my family and friends throughout the years, as well as many of our attending authors. This is our way of supporting them.
Ticket and raffle proceeds are all being donated to Mental Health.

Can you tell us a little about some of the authors that are attending?
We have an almost even split of New Zealand and Australian authors attending, including several from Canterbury. There will be a variety of genres available; children’s books, contemporary romance, mystery, historical, paranormal, and even Mills and Boons. You can find out more on our website www.whambamauthorjam.weebly.com

Organising an event of this scale must be quite daunting – can you tell us a little about how you recruited the authors? What were some of the challenges of organising an event in a city a distance from your home?

It’s a challenge. It’s actually something I’ve wanted to do for several years, but it wasn’t until I’d been to other signings and met more authors that I was able to get it off the ground. Recruiting authors was the easy part. All I did was put up (on social media) an expression of interest form, and the authors came flocking.

As for the distance, it can be a little tricky. Finding people to help advertise and spread the word from another town hasn’t been the easiest, and I’ve had to make several trips up to get posters and fliers out. In fact, I’ve still got more to do.

Finding a venue that was suitable and not priced too high wasn’t easy from a distance either, but Addington Raceway and Events Centre have been fantastic. It took a lot of emailing back and forth, but we made a plan, and everything seems to be running smoothly there.

How can we get tickets? Are their advantages for purchasing our tickets in advance?
Tickets are available online at Eventbrite, but we will also have general admission on the day. VIP tickets are only available online, prior to the event though. VIP tickets are only $10 and you get a goodie bag on entry, as well as three entries in the raffle draws. We’ve had some amazing prizes donated for the raffles, so you want to be in to win those!

Proceeds from the door sales and raffle will be donated in support of a national charity, would you like to tell us a little about the charity you have chosen and why, (if you feel comfortable sharing)?

As mentioned above, Mental Health Foundation of NZ is our chosen charity. A few years ago, I received a call to say my child had been talking about suicide. I was shocked. I had no idea. We had a pretty rough year, dealing with self harm and anxiety. With the help of the Mental Health Foundation, we were able to get through the other side. They were so supportive, and never once made me feel like my worries weren’t warranted. They explained things, and offered counselling to us all.

These issues are prevalent in today’s society, and this is my way of offering help.

How can local authors become involved? Is it too late to hire space and a table?
The expression of interest form is closed now, but I can still fit more in if anyone wants to join us. The more the merrier!
Anyone interested can either message me on Facebook (Stacey Broadbent Author) or send me an email, whambamauthorjam@gmail.com

Any plans to make this an annual event?Because it takes a lot of time to organise, and I’m doing this by myself, I’m looking at doing it every two years rather than annually. But I’d love for it to take off so I could.

Anything else you would like to add?
I always think of Christchurch as the Arts centre of New Zealand, and that’s why I thought it would be the perfect place for an event like this. I’m also excited because, like most people attending, I will be meeting some of these authors for the first time too. I’ll be there as an author, but I’ll also be there as a reader, and I can’t wait!

Thank you very much for your time Stacey! And to all our writers – and readers! – please drop by and pick up a few goodies. Authors will mostly be accepting paypal, bank deposit or cash, so come prepared as there will be a lot of awesome books to tempt you!

And if you want to know more about the individual authors, there’s a Facebook group as well: https://www.facebook.com/whambamauthorjam/

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