When I began writing Masquerade in 2015, I had no idea it would become so much more than some fictional characters’ love story. As I told Celine’s and Dinah’s stories, Masquerade became the story of my heritage. The story of the struggle People of Color, women, and the LGBTQ community dealt with in a time of both freedom and intolerance. I was determined to make sure that the historical facts were correct and that they were interwoven in Masquerade’s story respectfully without throwing a history lesson at readers. It was a painstaking process that stamped a special place in my heart for this novel.
Since Masquerade is so special to me, I knew that its debut would have to be just as special. I dreamed of holding a grand drag masquerade ball like the ones held during the Harlem Renaissance, the time in which Masquerade takes place. Of course, this past year has had other ideas, but it hasn’t stopped me from bringing my dream, and Masquerade’s story, to life on a smaller, virtual scale.
On Saturday, February 13, 2021, I will be celebrating the release of Masquerade with a Virtual Drag Masquerade Ball that will be free for anyone wanting to attend. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best drag or Roaring 20s attire. There will be a contest for best dressed femme and butch drag, readings, spoken word, and a special performance that will bring Celine and Dinah to life in more than just words. Masquerade is near and dear to my heart and I look forward to sharing Celine’s and Dinah’s "heartbreakingly beautiful" story, as a reviewer from LESBIreviewed put it, with you all.
If you would like to attend the Masquerade Virtual Event, you may register for free at https://www.anneshaderomance.com/news-and-events.