Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ready or Not Book Launch Party Recap

Ready or Not...

The mission of the Ready or Not...They're Gay Book Launch Party was to provide:

- A memorable experience
- A night of inspiration
- A call for action

The Experience

May 21, 2009 will be remembered as a night filled with the loving support of our family, friends and community.

We want to thank the over 420 attendees, event planners, entertainers, speakers and sponsors for their overall contribution to the evening. A special thank you to The Firm, Evolution, Borders, PFLAG, Beyond Chocolates and the W Hotel Minneapolis for their partnership; this would not have been the evening it was without their support. Additionally, Victoria, Darrin, Belladiva, Soul 2 Soul Dance Conversion, Esera Tualo and Candi Stratton took it out of the park with their performances. Thank you all!

How did this all happen? An amazing event team of Mark Schultz, Brooke Jordan, Marie McKay and Rich Gonzales spent four months of their spare time in an effort to make this a night to remember. In addition, 22 volunteers ensured all of the details were taken care of so all went well for our guests. Thank you!

Are you ready to go back to this beautiful night? Click Here for a video recap of the evening. We would love to hear your comments and feedback. Kudos to Life Image LLC for their talent in recreating the amazing evening for you to enjoy time and time again.

For those who attended, are you ready to see your sassy self in a photo? The talented Toby Sprague captured the evening in still photos that you can view, download and have printed for a nominal cost. Click his name above, click client access, select Ready or Not, and enter your email address; all the photos will magically appear for your review.


The heartfelt stories shared by Todd Savage, Deb LeMay, Carol Curoe, Gary Mazzone and the always entertaining Doug Melroe gave insight and inspiration to the future of GLBT acceptance. Thank you for your courage to publicly share your stories. Do you want another good read? Carol Curoe's book, Are There Closets in Heaven, can be purchased on

A call to action: You may ask, “What's next for Hjordy & Paul Wagner?” The answer is exciting - more book signings and a Ready or Not Road Tour of the U.S.A. Wait until you hear about this! :)

Friday, June 19th, 7:00 pm: Rosedale Borders Book Signing & Meet/Greet
866 Rosedale Center
Roseville, MN 55113

Saturday, June 20th, 1:00 pm: Richfield Borders Book Signing & Meet/Greet
800 West 78th Street
Richfield, MN 55423

Note: Are you in the Cities June 19 and 20? Email us for a voucher which entitles you to 15% off your purchases at Borders and is good for the entire weekend of June 19th - June 21st. The proceeds (15%) will go to support PFLAG St. Paul Minneapolis. Time to shop!!!

And, more appearances at:

Saturday, June 21, 2:00 pm: PFLAG Presentation - bring your friends and family!Mayflower United Church
106 E Diamond Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN 55419

Saturday and Sunday, June 27th and 28th, 10:00 am -5:00 pm:
Twin Cities Pride
Loring Park
Minneapolis, MN

The Ready or Not booth is next to the Target booth in the Children & Family area. There will be book signings, a children's activity, and drawing each day for a Border's gift card. Thanks, Borders!

Can't make any of the appearances but still want to buy the book? No problem, just visit to buy the book online.

Ready or Not...Road Trip
You heard it right, Hjordy & Paul are going On he Road Across the U.S.A.

You know the mission, we have heard your voice of encouragement, and now it is time that we get the message out to the rest of the country. Their focus through September will be in the tri-state area of MN, WI and IA.

Starting in October, Hjordy and Paul will begin the first leg of the U.S. tour traveling west. There are 3 legs to this tour. We will share more with you as our plans develop.

How you can help...We will be circling back with you in the upcoming weeks once we have the Ready Or Not Road Trip Itinerary. In the meantime, please let us know if there is a city in the U.S. that needs our special attention.

Thank you again for your support, love and encouragement!

For more information on Hjordy & Paul Wagner and their upcoming events, please visit:

Facebook Fan Page: Keyword: Ready or Not or Click Here

Here are the direct links for this blog:

Book Launch Video Recap:
The Firm:
Beyond Chocolates:
W Hotel Minneapolis:
Soul 2 Soul Dance Conversion: Keyword: Terry Kuehn
Esera Tualo:
Candi Stratton:
Life Image LLC:
Toby Sprague: http://www.tobysprague.coma/
re There Closets in Heaven: Keyword: Are There Closets In Heaven?Facebook Fan Page:

Thank you,

Hjordy & Paul Wagner

Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Expo America was Unbelievable!

We (Paul, Hjordy and Brad) don't need much of an excuse to go to New York so when we had the opportunity to have an author package for Book Expo America (BEA) from Phenix and Phenix, our publicist, we jumped on it. The first and last part of our week was fun time. We went to some plays and a few daytime talk shows when we weren't busy with BEA. We were in the audience of The Mike & Juliet Show and were sorry to hear that the show was closing.

The first day we went to BEA we were overwhelmed with the sheer volume of people and booths. We talked with some vendors and just walked the area. We left feeling we hadn't been too productive. After debriefing about the day, we decided the next day (Saturday), we would hand out bookmarks and cards to book store owners, librarians, and teachers. The strategy served us well. We heard a lot of good feedback about our book and stories were shared about someone they knew who was gay. The stories were sad, surprising, and heartwarming. At 1:30 we took our place in booth 16 and had a solid line of people waiting for their book and signature. Our strategy worked. All of our books disappeared with people standing in line wanting our book.

One young man broke our heart. He didn't speak English very well but the essence of his story was his family had shunned him. There was no communication from his family over the past year. He wanted our book with the hope that his family would see a different point of view and accept him for who he is.

After the author signing, we went to the podcast area. We answered questions for about 5 minutes. The interviewer was great and we left with a sigh of relief. We continued to network but we also decided it was time for us to get some of those coveted author signatures. We ended up sending a box of books home, or so we thought. Our box ended up in Deleware. All was not lost, however, because the man who had our books told us his story. He didn't want to be defined as the homophobic guy. He became friends with a gay man and he saw that he was wonderful person. He is now on the aother end of the spectrum as a strong advocate. We met and talked with the most amazing people since our book has come out. He was one of those amazing men.

Sunday at BEA was slow. The volume of people was diminished so we had time to talk with the exhibitors. It was relaxing and fun. We left around noon to meet the sons of our good friends in Red Wing. We don't know if we'll be at Book Expo again but it was a learning experience and we will hopefully come back in the near future.