by Debbie Stevenson.

Book Clubs are like books, they come in many shapes, sizes and genres. 

Our T-Town Book Club of eight women, reads the book, spends some time discussing it, admittedly some books more time than others. We have food and wine and then we tend to go off topic.  It works for us.  We end up discussing the problems of the world or our lives.  It becomes a bit of a sisterhood that we all look forward to every month. Nothing’s wrong with that! 

There is a notable difference when an Author comes to our group to discuss their book, it takes on another dimension. First, with the excitement of meeting the author face to face, everyone actually reads the book. We know we will have the chance to talk directly about what the thought process was in developing a particular character or setting.  I’d go so far as to say we even devour the book because we want to know and understand what the author is talking about and have ideas to propose as questions to the author.  They tell us their inner thoughts. 

We’ve stood side by side with author, Beth Howard and she guided each of us thru making her apple pie recipe, all while discussing her book “Making Peace”. It is when we get to be with the author, the book comes alive because we begin to know the person behind the “typewriter” or computer.

We all have favorite authors, mine is a local author Susan Meissner. When we see she’s written something new, we can’t wait to meet with her as she tells “us” about her characters, settings and plot.  We look at photos she’s taken during research of the setting and development of characters. We hear her experiences as she’s many times stepped in the shadows of the places of the book as she wrote it.  It’s much like getting inside her head, understanding more clearly why she said what she said or had the character say or do what they did. With the author sitting there before us, we get to ask questions, then directly get their answer. 

We as a Book Club have attended many Adventures By the Book events and those are always amazing.  Sitting in a venue with the author as they read excerpts to us is second to none.  Even walking in the footsteps of the characters at an event where the book takes place are moments we will never forget.  I’m reflecting on the time we went to the Queen Mary ship docked in Long Beach Harbor and sitting with the Author and a British War Bride who actually lived the story that the author wrote about in “A Bridge Across the Ocean”.

Having an encounter with someone you admire as an author and a person gives a sense of humanity to a name you’ve only see written on a cover of their books.  I know these experiences are not commonplace events to many. It is when the author comes to our small book club, usually in one of our homes we understand how fortunate we are to be able to have this “one on one” with the author.

There have been times we’ve gone as a group to watch a movie from a book we’ve read. As usual, the book is so much better than the movie, especially when we KNOW the inside scoop of the story directly from the author.

I have many friends who say “I want to be in your book club” and I absolutely understand why they say that. We are a lucky group and I know family and friends who have book clubs who would love to meet with the author but they live far from places that could offer this unique experience.  Yes, we are a fortunate group, but now with NovelNetwork(™) , you can have this experience too.  All you have to do is sign your book club up (for free!), log on, and see which authors are available to chat with you either in person or on video chat.  I guarantee it will add the next dimension to your group as well.

Always keep reading and discovering.