Since publishing my first novel in 2009, I’ve visited with more than one hundred book clubs throughout Connecticut and beyond, oftentimes in person and many times via conference call, Skype or a similar platform. I’ve video chatted with books clubs in Canada, Finland, Australia and the UK as well as clubs throughout the United States.
Last week I joined 23 women in my home state who had read my first novel, SOMETHING MISSING.
This particular meeting took place on a late Wednesday afternoon, but when the book club meets on a Friday or Saturday night, I make every effort to bring Elysha along and declare it “book club date night.”
Don’t try this at home.
Essentially, I’m asking my wife to join me at a stranger’s home and spend two hours listening to women (it’s always women) ask me questions about my books and my life while telling me how much they enjoy my work.
It’s rare for someone to tell me that they did not like my book. I try to arrive about 15 minutes late to every book club in order to allow any detractors to have their say before I arrive, but there have been a couple of women over the years who have been less than enthusiastic about my work and not afraid to tell me so.
I always admire these women for their moxie while simultaneously questioning their taste in literature.
I’m always honored to be invited to attend a book club, and it’s fun to be able to talk to people who have read my novel already. The conversations tend to be deeper and more specific, and the food and drink is always surprisingly elaborate and good. Book clubs have even gone so far as to decorate the space in the theme of the book and design games for us to play related to the story.
It can be a lot of fun.
But still, asking your wife to join you for a stranger’s book club meeting on a Friday night might not be the best way to win points with your spouse. To her credit, Elysha almost always agrees to join me and always seems to have a great time.
Many times she almost becomes a part of the book club, sitting apart from me and chatting with the women like she’s known them all her life. Occasionally questions will be directed at her as the spouse of the writer, and sometimes she will even direct questions at me as well.
At the book club pictured below, the love seat was set aside for the two of us, but Elysha refused, choosing instead to sit amidst the ladies on the soda and chatting them up all night long.
I complained about her unwillingness to sit beside me, but I shouldn’t.
Getting her to agree to join me is always a victory.