This week took me to three book clubs that met to discuss my novel, Receive Me Falling. It was a great joy to sit with book-minded people and deconstruct the novel, share ideas, and recommend books to one another.
My stops started with the Walden Book Club–a great group of women in Crofton who have been meeting for nine years. In honor of the setting of Receive Me Falling, everyone was invited to bring Caribbean themed appetizers, drinks, and desserts. It’s amazing how a little detail like that sets the tone for the evening. We discussed themes from the book and I was able to reveal some of the hidden meanings in the text. I enjoyed the feedback of the readers and had a lovely time.
Next, I went to Rockville, MD to meet with a book club at Barnes & Noble. These women have also been meeting for years and consist of many retired teachers and administrators. This group seemed particularly interested in the historical setting of the novel, and connections in my book to other books they had read. The leader remarked that these connections often seem like coincidence, but may reflect the universal themes about which people are so often driven to write.
Finally, I met with a book club in Hagerstown, MD. It’s a very active group that also likes to view films of the books they’ve read. We agreed that the plot pacing, wide thematic appeal, and visual landscape of the book would make Receive Me Falling a great film. I actually began the novel as a screenplay, but the tedium of formatting the text drove me to prose. I do have screenwriter software that I intend to play with one of these days, but I think I’d rather sell the rights for a hefty sum and let someone else tackle that. 😉
Receive Me Falling is set on a Caribbean island in another time period, which makes it great escapist fiction–something readers crave in this depressed economic climate.
All thirty or more book club members are women, and identified with my strong, female protagonists. I do wonder why more men aren’t in book clubs. When I visit the Spalding teacher’s book club in June, there will be men in that group, so I’ll be interested in their reaction to the book. Both male and female response from reader comments has been very positive so far.
All three groups were interested in a sequel to the book, and I was pleased to inform them that I have one outlined. Once I get through a full draft of my Hemingway book (by the end of the summer), I will begin working on the sequel to Receive Me Falling.
It really is a joy to be able to meet with people, face-to-face to discuss the book. I welcome the opportunity, and look forward to the book clubs I have scheduled in the coming months.