I love book clubs!
I joined my first one nearly twenty years ago, and it was such fun to read new books that other members had chosen, especially when their reading tastes differed from mine. I loved hearing the variety of opinions on our monthly selections and discovering themes or insights that I had completely missed. Several books were ones I never would have chosen on my own, but I was glad I read most of them. I can also remember a few books that our club unanimously disliked. I once struggled through 3 or 4 chapters of a William Faulkner novel and just couldn’t finish it in time for our meeting. I went to book club anyway—only to learn that I had made it through more pages than anyone else!
When my own books began to be published and were being chosen by other book clubs, it dramatically changed the book club experience for me. I was a little nervous, at first, but soon learned that book lovers are very kind and encouraging people. The leader of one club asked if I’d like to come anonymously and listen to the discussion before she announced who I was. I said yes, but told her if they hated the book, just say I’m your cousin from Australia. It turned out they loved the book and I didn’t have to converse in my fake Australian accent.
I really enjoy talking about my plots and hearing how my characters have “come alive” for readers. It’s very helpful to know what readers like or dislike about my books so I can write with future readers in mind. And I love to answer questions about the book or about my writing process. Most of all, book clubs are a wonderful way to socialize with other book lovers.
Whenever I’m able, I like to visit in person, especially if there’s food! Some clubs are very creative with decorations and treats that relate to the story in some way. But when distance (or Covid-19) makes it impossible for me to meet with a book club in person, I sometimes visit via Skype or FaceTime or Zoom to answer readers’ questions. Afterwards, I like to question them and ask which other books have been club favorites. It’s a great way to add to my personal reading list.
If you belong to a book club and are compiling this year’s list of titles, I’m very excited to announce that my novel, “If I Were You” has been chosen by Books-A-Million to be a Book Club Pick for the month of August. My book will be sold in Books-A-Million stores and their online website.
Here’s the link for the Books-A-Million Book Club group you can join on Facebook. I’ll be checking in this month to answer your questions and read your comments.
Book Club Kit Available!
Do you belong to a book club? What are some creative things your group has done? Are you still “meeting” in new ways because of the virus restrictions? I’d love to hear your ideas and comments.