Books, Wine & Song: One Author's Adventure at Reading Club
Early on, during this revelatory process of "self publishing," a writer friend told me she spends 2-4 hours a day on "social media." At the time I thought she was nuts. Now, I understand. She is just hungry, like every writer I know who has written and has one goal: to be read. I'm pretty sure most people who enjoy reading understand that writers do not get rich off of books. We have other jobs. We write other things. That pay the bills. So we can write. More books.
I have been so honored, thrilled and plain ol' pleased to grow a readership with FOOD FOR MARRIAGE -- a book that does not exist in a bookstore (yet!) -- by simply reaching out in every conceivable way I know, to attract people to the pages and give it a look-see. In return I get emails from strangers on planes. I sometimes get to read in public places. And I have been fortunate enough to attract the interest of friends' book groups. Several of these friends have asked if I would come join them for an evening. So last week I decided to stage my own mini-version of a Book Tour. Arlington Heights, IL and Longwood, FL. Back-to-back evenings as it turned out. I confess: I was a little nervous. What if they hated my novel? What if they hated me???
My fears, of course, were unfounded. In reality, I just was lucky to be admitted to two really cool clubs. Sure, we talked about FOOD FOR MARRIAGE and I learned plenty -- about marriage, relationships, parenting, romance, intimacy and friendship. I was thrilled to experience the sparks that my words ignited, as these women who love books launched incredible conversations off the backs of characters I invented. I got to encourage a 14-year old daughter to fight back her fear of failing and pursue her own writing craft. And long after we'd retired the dog-eared pages of my novel, I got to sit up late with really interesting women, drink a little wine (well, a lot of wine), tell some stories, laugh, and also, celebrate books.
Maybe the best part of all was watching each group make their next selection. For those who read the writing on the wall and think books are dead, they need merely join a book club to learn otherwise. And for all my writer friends who paper their garrets with the heartbreaking string of knowing rejection letters (and believe me, I have plenty of wallpaper!), take hope. Two dozen women in two different states, far from the cubicles of NYC, convinced me. Real readers are hungry for great characters, great stories and a great time.
My new novel is complete and making the rounds. To the passionate readers -- my newfound friends -- who ALL asked, when's your next book coming out? Save my seat at the table. The answer is soon, and I can't wait to see you again.