But a local book club chose The Secret Mistress Arrangement as their book this month and invited me to their meeting. I was The Author—the guest of honor. I’d heard of such things happening, but hadn’t really counted on it happening to me any time soon.
Bear with me for a minute – you have to understand that life on the Playground is a little surreal at times (in many ways, yes, but stay on this track with me). Pretty much everyone I know writes books. Many of them have written way more and far better books. So, saying “I’m a writer” has about as much punch as saying “I breathe air.” Finishing a book is always met with a cheer around here, but there’s always the undertone of “Thank dog, if you’d whined about that winery one more time we were going to string you up by your toenails.” The Playfriends are pleased and proud, but they’re not terribly impressed by it. After all, it’s what we do. (It’s a tough crowd on the Playground!)
Even the friends I have who don’t write aren’t terribly impressed any more. It’s cool and all, but I’m still just plain ol’ me and now writing is just my job. The “Wow-how-nifty” factor wore off about the time I posted my fifth cover on Facebook.
I’ve lived in this world for so long, I’ve kind of forgotten that not everyone on earth knows a writer and has them on speed dial. And let’s not forget how low on the totem pole I am – why on earth would anyone want to meet ME? (I’m still reeling from the fact people sat with me at the Readers’ Luncheon on purpose –not just because they were overflow from Rhonda Nelson’s table.) I’m not that interesting, I tend to obsess a lot over small things, and I’m known to stick my foot in my mouth without even trying.
But the book club wanted The Author, so I put on pretty shoes and went to the book club meeting.
And I had a blast.
It’s amazing how much I learned about my own book – what their expectations were, what they were hoping I’d deliver, questions they had about the characters. (Like why my heroine broke up with her last boyfriend – I had to admit that honestly, I didn’t know. Hadn’t thought about it. Unfortunately, I also found out my heroine’s last boyfriend has the same name as a character in my 3rd book. I really need to get to work on that spreadsheet I mentioned yesterday. And get a baby name book…)
Most of the group was new to romance, but they were enthusiastic and so much fun to talk to. And I guess I wasn’t too boring or too much of a dork because they’ve invited me back. The food was so good, and the conversation so great, I’m definitely in.
While everyone thanked me for coming and really made me feel like they’d enjoyed meeting “The Author,” I’m the one thanking them. Suddenly, all that time I spent staring at the screen and cursing became very worth it. These ladies enjoyed my book. I made them happy.
I love this gig.
Would you want the author of the book at your book club meeting? Would you feel you had to act differently because she was there?