Here’s what happens when your book club agrees to read a novel by a local author, and to meet with that author at the brand new, local bookstore.
Here’s what happens when you suggest your book club read an historical novel by a local author, a friend of yours, a former teacher, actually: you coordinate the calendars of 12 book club members, via email, two months out, and hope you can get this in before the holidays; and then you coordinate the ordering of books and nail down the date with the writer’s publicist; and then you email a bit with your writer/teacher/friend to make sure it all works; and the new bookstore owner agrees to keep her brand new store open on a Wednesday night, just for you, even though they usually close at 6:00 pm and your being there for a private party isn’t likely to sell any books; and you send a note to the local town paper because you’re sure they’ll want to stop by and take some photos, which will, in turn, help out the new bookstore and promote the local author.
It all works out spectacularly. *
You spend the evening drinking champagne and eating chocolates with a dozen women who have all read FATHER JUNIPERO’S CONFESSOR ** and have a ton of great questions for writer Nick Taylor. You ask questions about how he writes historical fiction, how much research vs. when to get going with the story, what’s made up and what’s real, how the book was edited based on 70% of book buyers being female, why he decided to end the book the way he did, and more. He tells you how much fun it is, how different, to meet with a group who has already read the book vs. the standard promotional reading. And then he tells you all about his next book, THE SETUP MAN, a thriller scheduled for release in March 2014 under the pseudonym T.T. Monday.
And lastly, did I mention the bookstore owners left you there alone to mind the store while they went out to dinner?
Yes, while we were having champagne on the patio — because it still feels like early Fall here — they handed me an index card with a cell # and said, “You can have the place for the night. We’ll be down the street. Call if you need anything.”
See. I told you it was spectacular.
* The newspaper didn’t show up (shame on them). One woman unexpectedly brought her giant dog, which made it … well … interesting. And someone sounded the alarm that afternoon that maybe we had the wrong night (what?!) so that raised my blood-pressure for about an hour. But how much fun was it to read a really good book, talk about it with friends while visiting with the writer, and promote a local bookstore, all in one night? I’d do it all again tomorrow…
** Loved the book, and I can see it was especially fascinating (enlightening?) for those raised in California who first learned about Father Junipero Serra in middle school.