A Fort Wayne book club recently selected my debut novel Armed With Steele as their book of the month. To say I was thrilled when I heard this would be a slight understatement. And when they asked me to come and be guest of honor at their next meeting? Yeah, I was doing back flips with joy.
Well, I would have been if I’d ever mastered the art of back flips. Oh, sure, I could do front flips all day (in my younger years). But back flips? Argh! They were the bane of my existence in seventh grade. So technically I was only figuratively doing back flips with joy when I got the call. Ah, I digress…
At the thought of being in the spotlight at a small group that’s been meeting for over 11 years, I was both nervous and excited. But a few hours focused on friends, great food, and chatting it up about my debut novel was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up. Seriously, it was like a dream come true, and these lovely ladies did not disappoint.
Throughout dinner we talked about writing inspirations and processes, the wild world of publishing, and my upcoming projects. It was incredible. But the piece that will always hold a special place in my heart was the look of excitement each wore when they shared their favorite parts of my novel. They loved that it was set in Fort Wayne, where they lived, worked, and raised their families. They loved that it was a fun read, with just the right mix of romance and suspense. They loved that Jessica was determined yet slightly naive. And they loved that Brutus was, well, Brutus. 🙂
Earlier that day, my friend Shirley Jump shared a blog written by Susan Meier about “Books that get Noticed“, and how those types of books pull readers in, kick up their heart rates, and have readers jumping off their chairs at The End to call their friends and say, “You have GOT to read (x)!”
Susan makes a great point. We’ve all been there, all read a book that we hated to see come to an end, and one we couldn’t wait to share with our friends and family. They are the books that reserve a special place in our hearts.
And on Monday, if just for a moment, I got to experience a taste of what Susan had written about. Not only was I surrounded by encouragement and support, inspiration and excitement, but I also got a peek into how my readers truly felt about my novel. And let me tell you, it was incredible.
I can’t thank them enough for such a wonderful gift. Hopefully, they’ll at least get some free cheesecake at their next meeting–I dropped plenty of hints to their usual wait staff. 😉
So here’s to what I hope and pray is a bright future, full of many more “book got noticed” moments. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.