It was my first author invitation to a ladies’ book club meeting. It was their first book club meeting with a “real-life” author. I eagerly accepted the offer and looked forward to spending an afternoon with seven of my fans and chatting about my mystery novel, False Impressions.
After we’d gathered in Celia’s comfy living room, I soon discovered that the ladies were welcoming, easygoing, and witty. Laden with paperbacks they planned to exchange with one another later, this energetic group of seniors admitted that they devoured books like candy and that their passion for reading often stretched into the wee hours of the morning. They were open about the sorts of books they liked and those they didn’t. I could only assume that my book fell into the first category; otherwise I’d have a lot of explaining to do.
As the conversation turned to False Impressions, it was clear the ladies had done their homework and were more than prepared with an arsenal of questions for me. This was not a group to be reckoned with if I came up shorthanded in the answers department. Considering the options, I was determined not to let them down and hoped that my memory would stand up to the test.
To my delight, their questions and comments were insightful, thought provoking, and at times surprising. Here are a few examples:
How did you choose the names and descriptions for your characters?
Will Megan and Michael tie the knot in the next book?
How long did it take you to write False Impressions?
Why was that detective so relentless?
I was so sure the killer was _____!
My get-together with the ladies was by no means a one-sided event. I learned about their work backgrounds, their families, their involvement in church groups, and other activities they pursued. Throughout the afternoon, the camaraderie they exhibited was exhilarating, and my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard at their jokes. I kept thinking how their rapid retorts and sidesplitting bantering could have provided excellent material for the cast of The Golden Girls once upon a time.
The meeting wound down, and I said goodbye to newfound friends who shared the same love of the written word as I did. But it wasn’t a final goodbye. The ladies promised they’d invite me to another book club meeting after my second novel, Fatal Whispers, is published this year.
You can bet I’ll be there!