Last month, I was thrilled and honored to be the featured guest at two book club meetings. The first was at the Principal Financial Group, a financial services company in downtown Des Moines. I used to work there and my husband still does; he’s been there since the ink was barely dry on his college degree. He was the one that told the book club about On the Island, and I was thrilled when he said they had selected my novel for January.
I drove downtown over my lunch hour to join them and I was kind of nervous. It’s not like I’m shy or anything, and – hello! – I’m a talker, but this was my first book club and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I needn’t have worried. Stefanie met me at the reception desk and from the minute I walked into the conference room I felt at ease. I signed some books and they asked me lots of questions about the writing process. I also talked a little bit about Covet (the book I’m working on now) and explained the difference between contemporary romance and women’s fiction. They were all so nice and they made me feel very comfortable; I had a blast. I did, however, forget to take a picture of them and didn’t remember until I was on my way back to work. *face palm*
The next book club meeting I attended was with the members of A Novel Idea. Linda had read the book and then pitched it to the other gals. Linda and I used to work for the same company and we’d once been in a meeting together although I have no memory of this for several reasons: one, it was 13 years ago, two, our tenure at the company overlapped by only a short time, and three, I was suffering from a horrendous case of the PREGNANCY STUPIDS. This is the same affliction that caused me to jump on the wrong shuttle bus when the shiny new park and ride system opened during the final month of my pregnancy. I spent a lovely 15 minutes touring downtown Des Moines until I finally shouted at the bus driver, “Hey, that’s my building. Stop!” He let me out and probably wished I had taken another bus (the short one, I bet).
Anyway, I showed up at the book club meeting the other night and Linda said, “We weren’t sure you were coming. I saw your tweet. Didn’t everyone in your house just have the stomach flu?”
Curses! Foiled again by social media. Must remember what I’ve announced and who might see it.
Me: Oh yeah. We’re totally over that. I went back to work yesterday and everything (possibly sparking a company-wide flu pandemic). I brought crack dip (great! flu-girl shows up with food). The members of A Novel Idea weren’t scared off by a little recent norovirus so they ate the crack dip and said it was awesome (and so are they).
We drank wine, I signed more books, and we talked about On the Island. They also shared some of their previous book club selections and talked about next month’s pick. And this time, before I left, I remembered to take a picture.
I had a wonderful time with both of these groups, and I sincerely appreciate that they selected On the Island and invited me to join them. Writing is a solitary endeavor and sometimes I need a little incentive to put down my laptop and get out of the house.
And an excuse to make crack dip, of course.