BOOK CLUBS. Planning for a Book Club Appearance.

Recently I received a request from the Toronto alumni of my alma mater, McGill University, to attend discussion of my most recent book, the novel Ile d'Or, at their book club's November meeting. The invitation included a request to speak at the beginning of the evening. 

The email reads as follows: I think it would be a real treat if you would speak for about 10 minutes or so at the start of the meeting. In addition to people having the opportunity to hear from an author (so rare and exciting!), it might also lead to more questions for the group.

I agreed to do this (with pleasure!) and have some possible ideas for a talk, suggested by the questions of the representative of the club, as follows:
  • A short introduction about yourself (where you are from, where you went to school, how you got interested in writing, etc.). 
  • How long did it take you to write this novel?
  • What is your writing process like? For example, do you plan out the plot and characters first in great detail, or do you just start and see where it goes?
  • Anything else you might want to include...
  Please let me know your thoughts about such an introductory talk, she writes... I think it would generate incredible interest.
The questions are similar to those I am asked when I make other public presentations, although the format and audience are different each time. The key difference in the situation of being invited to a book club is the assumption that many, if not most, of the participants will have read the book. This leads to more interesting discussion for both writer and readers. So while the questions suggested are general, more in-depth ones will more than likely emerge in the course of discussion.  So while initially I am guided by a format, I scarcely have to do more than think about it for this part of the talk. Since I haven't reread the book for a few months, I will likely at least skim it before the meeting though.

 I don't think this will be a piece of cake, but every appearance is exciting and gives more visibility to the book. I do expect to enjoy it as much as I did a large slice of the cake below at a recent party.

Posted on September 15, 2011 .