I love meeting with book groups! If yours chooses Leaving Coy’s Hill I would be delighted to join you for a discussion as calendars allow. I’m happy to jump on platforms like Zoom, FaceTime or a good old speaker phone, or might be able to come in person if you are located within an hour’s drive of 02025. Please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News From Book Tour
I have been having an absolute ball so far visiting with Book Groups to discuss Leaving Coy’s Hill! There have been several in person, and many more via Zoom (including one very international group so far, originating from London and including a member from Ethiopia!). Whether in my backyard, or across the globe, conversations have centered on the theme of women finding their voice, what has and hasn’t changed for women across all these years, and consistent agreement that Lucy Stone deserves to be known far and wide for her impact on women’s rights and on our country. Of course, I completely agree!
I’m always fascinated to hear what comes up for different readers. Some really want to know about my research process, my writing process, and how I land on particular book ideas (all of which I am always happy to talk about). Others really want to dive into the meat of the book, sharing what certain scenes meant to them, or debating why a particular character made a particular choice. I particularly relish those conversations. It allows me to a get a look inside the mind of readers, if you will. I often say that just because I am the author of the book, it doesn’t mean I have all the answers, and I truly believe that. I have put characters out into the world, and their actions and words might invoke something very different for one reader than for the next. I consider that to be an incredibly important “conversation” between the book and the reader, which then becomes a conversation amongst a group of readers. What fun it is to hear that conversation develop! The discussion guide for the book is a good place to start if you are interested in some prompts to get that kind of conversation started in your own group.
While my calendar has been filling up fast, I’d love to to visit your book group if timing allows. Just contact me here, and let’s find a time!
You know you are lucky when one of your favorite friends offers to host a party and book discussion for you, and invites 40 of her closest friends (you live an hour away in a neighboring state, so these are 40 people you don’t know)! You feel a bit luckier when you hear that 35 are actually coming (no one gets response rates that good), they have all bought the book already, and several of them take the invite so seriously that they have been “cramming” to finish the book before they come. The wine is purchased, the gorgeous food is put out in the dining room… and then…it starts to POUR, and I mean torrentially POUR. The rain on the roof is so loud we have to raise our voices in the kitchen, and the neighbor across the street calls to say she may have to find a boat and a paddle to get there. I run out to my car to grab my own copy of my book and I can’t quite get to the driver’s side door without hopping through a puddle that should have a name it is such an impressive body of water. My heart starts to sink a little. Trust me, I have done enough book events to know that on the sunniest of days with not a speck of traffic on the roads, somewhere between 10-25% of RSVPers mysteriously evaporate. I know, I know… life happens, kids get sick, babysitters disappear, an extra long day at work makes an evening out look about as appealing as sleeping in stilettos. But nothing seems to keep people in like the weather. Weather can knock a crowd of 25 down to 7 in a heartbeat. Snow in Boulder keeps people home (yes, Boulder, CO). Rain in RI will definitely do the same. But I tell my friend not to worry. And I mean it when I say that a conversation with even three people is always worth it. The connection with readers is what I am in it for, and quantity isn’t always quality when it comes to connection. Small is good. Intimate can be magical. But then a wash of wind and rain comes in through the door on the shoulders of a huddle of women. And then the door opens again. And then again. And before I know it there are 30 or more people talking and laughing and enjoying a night out in her beautiful (and dry) living room. And who knew that quantity and quality could be one and the same? Every woman I met was engaged, warm, interesting, thoughtful, and excited to talk about the book, my book! What a wonderful night. Thank you Barrington. And thank you Kirsten LaMotte. Being able to call you friend makes me lucky indeed!
Happy as a clam to report that several long-distance book group conversations have been a real success. This group from Portland Oregon in particular was a wonderful treat. We shared wine virtually (me happily ensconced at my writing desk– these lovely ladies in the living room you see here). Fortunately I didn’t know how HUGE my face was in the living room until they sent me the photo! More importantly, the conversation was wonderfully stimulating– everything from the writing process to shared stories of shamanic healing to discussion of particular character traits of the three heroines in Fill the Sky. I had to finally sign off at midnight (East Coast time), but could have talked all night, Thank you Erin, Lara and everyone in Portland who continues to be great supporters of this book!
But, let me not get distracted by the food… From the “Divas” in NJ who consider themselves “ the best book group ever,” to a gathering of women in New York (which I called into) who got together just to discuss this book, these gatherings are about friendship and fun, conversation and laughter. Thank you for having me, and I can’t wait until the next one!