About a month ago a friend of mine told me her local book club planned to read my novel, The WILCO Project, and wanted to know if I would get together with the group and discuss the book. I smiled and told her I would be honored, thinking how cool it would be to discuss my writing, my work…my passion!
As the event drew closer I felt like a kid waiting in line to ride a giant roller coaster, the closer I inched toward the ride, the more exited and nervous I became. What if they didn’t like my story, or found problems with the novel? Some of the same insecurities that I felt just before the novel released came flooding back. What if my writing wasn’t good enough?
A week before the chosen date my friend and I finalized the time and location. We chose to conduct our discussion over lunch. This would be perfect, I thought, I would be able to calm my nerves with a big old glass of Merlot!
I had experienced anxiety at my first couple of book signings. How do I sign? Don’t misspell the person’s name! But with three of those under my belt, I am an old pro ;’) At book signings the questions and discussion is high-level–no time for in-depth analysis. This event would be different and new. An hour and a half dedicated to talking about the story, how and why I wrote it, character analysis, etc. Yes waiter, I’ll have another glass of wine!
I did all that worrying for nothing as the lunch was fantastic! The ladies had great questions and really seemed interested in how and why I wrote the book, how long it took me to write it, what was the process to get published, where I got my ideas for the story, what books do I read, etc. I had so much fun! Yes, I drank that Merlot, but I did not drink it to calm my nerves, I drank it to celebrate! These ladies liked my writing!
I also want to thank each of them as I sort of took advantage of the situation. I brought with me fifteen pages of my new story and forced them to read it! This is not normally something I would do as I have a select few readers I use to test out new material. In fact, before this lunch, only two others have read the opening pages of this new book. I have a huge smile on my face as I type this…they liked it!
You know the euphoria you feel as the coaster eases back into the station after the ride is over? The nerves that built while waiting in line and peaked as the car inches up that first giant hill are long gone, replaced with the adrenaline high. That’s how I felt driving home after my first book club meeting!
Thanks Patty, Kathleen, Kathy and Doris for a great lunch, it was indeed an honor!