Friday, August 26, 2016
Book Club on the Belleisle
As an author I love nothing more than to talk to readers about my work. I love to read my work. I love to discuss my work. I love seeing my books in the hands of others. And I love hearing others read my work. That is especially meaningful to me when the reader shows genuine emotion while reading it. Last night gave me all that and so much more. I was invited to a book club on the beautiful Belleisle. Even though it got dark soon after I arrived, sitting in the screened in veranda on the shores of the Belleisle was a summer treat. The company was wonderful. Four of the regular book club members were in attendance and because some were unable to attend the hostess buoyed the numbers by inviting her four sisters. I picked up two of the sisters on my way which made the night even more enjoyable. The Howlett sisters are very dear to me. I have often voiced my desire to be one of them. I tend to do that when I meet a large group of sisters. (The Barrys, the Fullertons the Johnstons) This is an only girl thing. I have always dreamt of having sisters but in reality have been blessed with so many good friends and sister in laws that are like sisters to me. That though is a separate topic for another blog. Book Clubs are fun for an author especially one with several teachers as members who take the structure of it quite seriously. They began with talking about the most memorable character. Whoah! That was moving for me as most of them chose Zac. I have made no secret of the fact that I fashioned the character Zac to be the man I imagine my son would be if he were still living. His back story is different but the essence of who he is comes from the essence of who my Zachary was. The qualities he has as a man are the strong qualities my son had as a young boy , a teenager and as a twenty year old before his life was cut short. Not a perfect person by any means but a strong caring, resilient and loving one ready to step up and do his best with whatever came his way. To hear readers embrace that character meant the world to me. Thank you! Then they read their favorite passages. I can not even tell you what that means to an author. Each sentence, page and chapter of a work are crafted after careful thought and scrutiny. Some of course come out as if a tap were turned on and others need wringing out or squeezing out. But once they are on paper they are etched in stone , unchangeable and you hope they work. To hear others read them and get what you intended or what you hoped for from them is a gift beyond description. Last night's book club visit gave that to me. They asked questions , I read, we discussed , we wandered off topic, we circled back. It was wonderful. Then they gave me gifts. Wine, blueberries and money. They understood that the work of an author has value. Thank you book club on the Belleisle for reading Ten Thousand Truths and Waiting For Still Water. Thank you for loving the characters and the words and thank you again for inviting the author.