Book Clubs

Last week I attended my first book club meeting with a group of women discussing my novel, Jennifer’s Garden.  First and foremost, it was a privilege to be there and second, I was thrilled to take part!

Writing is a solitary endeavor and connecting with readers is done primarily via the web, book signings and the like.  So when I had the opportunity to meet and chat with readers in person, I jumped on it.  Unabashedly.

girl reading

In light of this, one woman asked, “Do you ever get lonely?  Spending so much time by yourself at the computer?”

I laughed.  Me?  Lonely?  Never!  I have too many characters to keep me company and not enough hours to write about them!  I also have kids and a husband and a part-time dog.  Who has time to be lonely?

But I understood the point she was making.  So many writers do spend hours upon hours alone, with no feedback, no validation, no connection to those enjoying their books.  It’s tough.  Very tough.  But we write, because we have to write, don’t we?

As a reader, I love book clubs because they introduce me to stories I would never experience on my own.  There are certain departments in the bookstore I never venture, certain books I’d never pull from the shelf.  I think everyone can attest to having their favorites.  So when I hazard out of my comfort zone, I’m the better for it. I’m exposed to new and wonderful authors, interesting trains of thought…

It’s mind-opening.  Glorious!  But one of the greatest rewards I gained from attending the book club meeting as the author of said book was listening to women “get” my stories.  They understood the theme, agreed, disagreed and discussed

It was awesome.  Authors:  have you ever attended a book club meeting this way?  Readers:  ever thought about asking the author to attend?  Works especially well when seeking “local authors” in your area.  That’s how I was discovered!!

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Posted on January 21, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Thank you for the prompt, Dianne. I started two books clubs in the distant past but haven’t been involved in anything like it in a long time. I should really look into one in my area for promoting my novel. Thank you.
    Patti

  2. My book club buddies are one of the support groups that keeps me from getting lonely as a writer. I agree that being in a book club expands my comfort zone by reading books I don’t ordinarily gravitate to. What I’ve found is that I really love some of those genres I wasn’t reading!

    I haven’t explored attending a book club as an author, yet. Now that would be really out of my comfort zone!

  3. I’ve never belonged to a book club, Dianne, but have been thinking about joining one of the clubs on Goodreads.

  4. I’m so sorry I missed this! I was planning to attend and it completely slipped my mind!

  5. My book club has kind of fizzled, but this reminds me I need to get it going again.

    So thrilled you got to attend a club discussing your book!

  6. Definitely an experience I would recommend.

  7. It is awesome, isn’t it Dianne?? I’ve done it 3 times now. Twice with REASON and just recently one with BEFORE. It is a blast…and yet so surreal. All these women batting about your story and talking about “why do you think such and such happened” and “what was her motive there?” and you are sitting there thinking how bizarre it is that these people are talking about a story that came out of your head. LOL. And I get such a kick out the questions I get, asking me about “did I get the idea for that bar from our local one down by the river?” because my local peeps here all seem to think I write about our area. I do not, but there are some vague similarities. It’s just such an honor to be invited to these things. Makes you feel like a “real author” for a night, lol! Like you don’t (in my case) actually still have to get up the next day and go to the day job. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed it Dianne! May many more of these meetings be in your future!

  8. Very cool, very bizarre. I explained that how every day my husband went to work after the release of Jennifer’s Garden, the nurses would ask him, “Are you Jax?” (The delicious hero.)

    Then after Lust on the Rocks, “Do you do those things?” (he, he Now THAT’S funny!)

    As writers, we blend reality and fantasy, places, people and things to create our novels — and it’s SO much fun!! Here’s to many more in my future!!

  9. Way cool! I think that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it, a connection with the readers. Their understanding of your words, and relating as a whole.

    And you’re right, we write because we have to, no matter what form it takes.

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