One of the coolest experiences I’ve had as a published author so far was my very first book club meeting. Last month, I invited up to Sacramento to meet with the lovely ladies of Stella Book Club. What a great afternoon! This was the first time I’ve been able to sit in a room with strangers who’ve read my book and get to hear them discuss, opine, emote, and argue about my “baby.”
Over dinner and wine, the group went through the discussion questions in the back of the book. It was so wonderful to see how engaged folks were with my characters. They talked about them as if they were real people, just like I do! What was particularly fascinating was that one woman was very clearly on Team Tony, while another was firmly on Team Damion. The back and forth between these two ladies throughout the afternoon was pretty heated, which amused me to no end. To see people so engaged with my characters to the point that they’re getting emotional and raising their voices to defend their viewpoint? I can’t think of a better affirmation that as an author, I am doing my job.
Of course they had some questions for me, and there was a significant amount of venting about various plot twists, lol. Which was great! I didn’t write a “happy ending” type of book, so I never expected it to generate warm and fuzzies! You should be mad in certain parts – I certainly was! But the fact that they were emotionally-involved enough to get mad was awesome. Once again, it just validated that my storytelling abilities are on point.
The ladies also had some suggestions for what they’d like to see in the sequel, which I did take under advisement. To be honest, my characters have kinda taken on a life of their own, and my mind races with all the adventures I have in store for them. The stories of Samantha, Tony, Damion and the gang are far from over, and responses like this to my work provide me with the fuel I need to get back in there and write the next chapter(s).
So thank you, Ladies of Stella, for the wonderful afternoon, the spirited debate, and for taking the time to read and review my book. I look forward to coming back to hear what ya’ll think about SOUL MATES.