May 4, 2014

For An Author, Book Clubs Are The Best!

Some of the members of the Beverly Book Club
As an author there's nothing more satisfying than being present at a book club discussion about a book you wrote. I was recently invited to attend a book club in Beverly for a discussion of my novel, What More Could You Wish For. One of the members had won an auction at the Beverly Arts Center that included copies of my book! Unfortunately some of the members had left before I remembered to take a picture but here I am with some members of this hospitable group.

Skyping with Norfolk book club
Another favorite experience was Skyping with a book club in Norfolk, Virginia. One of the members happened upon my book in a book store, chose it for a book club selection, and then contacted me for discussion questions. I not only posted discussion questions on my website (which I'd been meaning to do forever), but I offered to meet with them, virtually. And voila! a Skype meeting. What fun!

I love interacting with people who have read my work. It's fascinating to hear what resonates (or doesn't) with my audience and to discover how people interpret things, even if I didn't intend that interpretation. What it reminds me is that once a book leaves an author's hands it's no longer ours alone. Now it belongs to the reader, and you have no control over what they see. I really love that.

When I was with the Beverly group they talked about an incident in Libby's life, the main character in What More Could You Wish For, something monumental to her, something that happened when she was seventeen. Later in the story when Libby's fifty she's discussing that incident with her mother, who doesn't remember it at all. One of the book club members said, "Oh come on...really? How could she not remember that?" I thought she was saying I should have changed that in the book, that it wasn't believable. But it turned out she thought the mom was pretending she didn't remember. Which says to me that the characters were alive for her, and that's so gratifying.

So, one last thing they did was cast the movie. Here are their picks:
Libby: Diane Lane or Julia Roberts
Patrick: Kurt Russell or Sam Elliott
Michael: Stanley Tucci or Colin Firth
Mom: Helen Mirren
Dad: Clint Eastwood or Michael Caine

If you've read the book what do you think of their casting? Not to prejudice you but I think it's brilliant!

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