I love book clubs.
They are more than groups of women who gather together to discuss literary works every month. They are a bonded sorority who meet to support, cultivate friendships, vent, share beauty tips and yes, drink wine.
When I was still knee-deep in writing and editing Both Sides of Love last year, one group of women, who refer to themselves as Booked For Drinks, agreed to read my manuscript and offered thoughtful critiques that were extremely helpful. Then they invited me to join them at one of their meetings – my very first invitation to a book club as an author. I was and still am grateful.
This past month, I enjoyed the privilege of being invited as a guest author to two vastly different book club meetings.
The first comprised of six lovely women, who immediately put me at ease. We sat around a dining table and enjoyed an intimate discussion of the book where I learned, much to my glee, how each woman connected to the story, their thoughts on the relationships of the characters, and their responses to the conclusion. We then segued into comfortable conversation and I reluctantly left.
The second club had twenty members, the largest I’ve seen. We filled a large living room – chairs stacked behind one another – as I sat on the couch, slightly frazzled, and answered questions thrown at me from all angles. Not quite the intimate experience of the previous week, but it was wonderful. These women were kind, inquisitive, funny and they seemed to really enjoy the book, which is all I want. Then they presented me with a gift. For once, I was speechless.
Both Sides of Love, my first novel, was a labor of love. To think that people are reading it, enjoying it and welcoming me into their homes to talk about characters I created in my mind is a dream come true.
Thank you Anita, Fran, Christine, Lisa, Chris and Tina for opening your hearts to me. I still think you should have a name. How about Coco-Nuts for Books?
To Jill, Colleen, and the amazing group who welcomed me with enthusiasm, smiles and made me laugh (ever see three wine-filled, giddy women try to take a selfie?), my heart is full.
I’ve been invited to another book club event in July. I can’t wait.
Here’s a spoiler…I show up with Beth’s crumb cake. 🙂