Last week I was invited to a local bookclub. The absolutely lovely gals chose to read Dark Tide Rising for February and were reviewing it at the end of the month. They welcomed me into their group like I'd been reading books with them for years.
We talked favorite authors.
We talked favorite scenes.
They asked questions about my book.
They made me delve back into that world I wrote two years ago and really think.
They were smart!
They really knew romance and talked openly about their obsession with certain heroes. It was so refreshing to sit back, talk about writing and romance and publishing, with people who "got it". Being President of the San Francisco Area of Romance Writers, I meet tons of people in the industry. We talk writing. We talk about trends and where the market is likely to turn next.
But I'd never seen the Bookclub side of things. These ladies LOVE books. (Apparent by the 4-5 books a week admission by one of the gals.) They get irritated when a publisher lags between releases. (With E-Pubs on the rise, this could be solved...interesting change when books can be released within six months of contract.) They want more author involvement. Steamier covers. Tighter plots. Sizzling connections between the hero and heroine.
Although that's what the author/writer wants too, the bookclub gals really don't have much sympathy for falling out of those expectations. As a writer, I think it could be easy to forget what your readers want. I think it could be easy to get sucked into the "what I want to write" vortex and forget your readers and what they want. It could be easy to sit in front of your computer screen every day and forget to reach out--whether its via twitter, facebook, blogging, or face to face time with bookclubs, readers, or librarians--but it's so important!
I think meeting with readers is what fuels the desire to write...at least that's what happened with me. After meeting with the lovely ladies of the Tracy bookclub, I came home with a desire to write something that they'd love. Something they could gush over.
I hope that feeling never leaves.
Thank you ladies! I had a great time and hope you invite me back.