Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Thrill Of The Book

Book Clubs in Atlanta are alive and well!

I spoke to a group of lovely ladies Friday night in Suwanee, Georgia. Just outside of Atlanta, these women are serious about their books, let me tell you.

Great food, wine, and laughter filled the room of comfy sofas, chairs, and tables of four where the ladies sat, ate, laughed, and shared their reviews of books. I was in heaven. After I spoke, the questions were thoughtful and right to the point, like ... "which character in your stories do you most resemble?" and "how long did it take you to write each story?"

They shared with me their ideas of what makes a good book, why they put books down after the first few pages, and which books they've read recently they can't get out of their heads. For me, as a writer, it not only captured my attention, I took out my paper and pen and made a few notes. It's my opinion that if you want to hear your reader's voice, you need to get out there and find the book clubs. If women are your target market, you need to plant yourself in the midst of a room full of bookies, and I don't mean the betting kind. I mean the kind that keeps their noses between the pages of a good book. That's where you need to be.

My mother and my sister were there to hear me speak for the first time, which was fun. Since they live in the area, it was great to have them with me. Mom just couldn't get over how many women actually lined up afterward to buy my book. I guess it's not just "that writing thing" I do anymore, is it mom? It thrilled her to see me in action, and I think, after all these years, she's beginning to understand why I do what I do.

Southern Fried Women was published in 2006, and I'm still selling it. I sold 33 copies Friday night, as well as touted my new novel, The Sanctum. The buzz has started and I'm looking forward to returning to this same group of women when The Sanctum is published.

It's going to be an exciting winter for me and Michael. There is something new to tell you on the horizon. I'll keep you posted!


Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Book Club Excitement

There are two major book clubs in Suwanee, Georgia who have united forces and invited me to speak this month. I'm ready to head to the Atlanta suburb where I understand the wine will be flowing. You can't imagine the fun I have, speaking to a rowdy group of baby boomer women who love to read. They've booked the clubhouse, hired a cop, and bought their wine. Now all I have to do is show up, and we've got a party.

I'm grateful for opportunities like this to sell a plethora of Southern Fried Women. It's not unusual to sell 50, or even 100 books on a night like this. Especially before Christmas. Word of mouth is an author's best friend. That is what has sold this book more than anything else. The publishing industry is frustrating at best for most writers, and when you're published by a small press, there is no budget for promoting books. To say it's a challenge is putting it mildly. But I'm proud of the work Michael and I have done to sell thousands of copies of this book. And I'm more than appreciative of my readers. So when I'm asked to show up, sign books, and hang out with a book club, my answer is always a resounding, you bet'cha!

November is filled with Thanksgiving. It comes in different forms for me. As a writer, there's nothing better than to gather with your readers, tip a glass, and talk turkey. It's why we exist.

Blessings to you and yours.