Bonnie Schroeder and I posed yesterday in the local authors section of the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, holding copies of our books. Bonnie's book, Mending Dreams, just came out; it's available in print and ebook form. You can read the first chapter at BonnieSchroederBooks.com. I haven't read it yet but I now have a signed copy!
The photo was taken by author and journalist Susan James Carr. Bonnie and Susan were both instrumental in getting me invited to the Flintridge Bookstore's Brown Bags & Books club, which meets once a month. Yesterday they discussed Camelot & Vine over delicious scones (homemade by head of Marketing, Advertising and Authors, Sandy Willardson) plus cookies, smoothies and gourmet coffee. There's always food and drink at a book club because sharing food is as convivial as talking about books. (In my experience there's usually some gossip and chat to start things up, too.)
It helps if people like my book, which they did, but it almost doesn't matter. So many other things made it memorable: the simple fact that they invited me to talk about it for one, and that they all read it and asked interesting questions and wanted to know more, and meeting the individual readers--all these things are valuable to an author. I had an absolute blast, which as you know is a very authorly thing to say. "Authorly" not being a word, and all.
I'll be visiting another book club on Friday via Skype. I'd love to fly to Chicago to meet with them, but Skype will have to do! I'm told there will be wine and food at their meeting so I'll have something at my desk to ingest and imbibe while we chat. Just to be in the swing of things.
I've read recently about authors charging fees for book club visits, but I'd be delighted to visit your club for the price of a few convivial comestibles.