During this life season as a regional author, there is no greater treat than for a book club to feature one of mine and then invite me in for the wrap-up discussion.
This honor came last night at the Fishers United Methodist Church when its book club discussed That Sweet Place: At Home in the Heartland as the monthly pick.
It was beyond my pleasure to join the group members. They had read my first book, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast, a couple years ago, and I got to attend that discussion too.
It’s interesting how these opportunities present themselves. Since the bulk of Brian’s career was spent at Fishers Junior High, you’d think his connections created my link to this group. Or, maybe it had to do with our daughter-in-law, Allison, being from Fishers, or son Sam and Allison making their home there ...
But no, it all came about through a friend in New Castle, Mary Malone, who gifted my first book to her bestie, Rita. Rita in turn shared the book with her Fishers book club that consists of retired Fall Creek Elementary School teachers. One of the members, Kay, also shared the book with her second book club at church and the connection was made!
As with discussion of the first book, this group had an hour and a half of questions and comments, delving into plot, character, theme, and opinions. They “got” my books. One member shared how she laughed aloud at the chicken-coop-home-tour scene. Another said she thought Oh, don’t do it without consulting Sam! when Stan was offered a special opportunity.
One said his favorite character was Joy, the boarder. Another had a complaint. He said with a minor character, Krista, I switched back and forth from Kris to Krista, and he found it confusing. (I didn’t tell him that while I did that on purpose, and maybe shouldn’t have, I kept forgetting if the character’s name was Krista or Kristin!)
The same gentleman had an idea for a new series whereby I would write short stories about guests who come stay at the inn.
I thanked them for their thoughtful questions, their time caring about the books and the characters and the town as well as for their ideas. One lady gently said, “We care about your characters.”
Thank you to so many – to Mary, Rita, Kay, the facilitator Kim, and to everyone who took the time to read and comment and care about these books. It was a lovely evening.
A book club’s laser-like focus is a reminder of the privilege and the thrill of seeing one’s stories in print and living this dream and this season of wherever this journey takes me.
Last night’s stop was in Fishers, but the ride home was on Cloud Nine.