Wednesday, March 30, 2022

It was the best of times... by Cathy Ace

The biggest book club to ever read one of my books" 
One Book Whonnock read
The Corpse with the Silver Tongue almost 10 years ago!
I LOVE book clubs! And that’s not just because they’re often a cunningly disguised way for a group of chums to get together on a regular basis and enjoy some adult beverages…no, it’s because I’ve often read books that I’d never have chosen for myself because of them. And that’s a good thing. Usually. And that's why I'm delighted to tackle this week's question: Business: Book club members are usually free to say anything about the book they just read. People attending author events usually say nice things or nothing. But what about when authors visit bookclubs? Do rules exist? Should we invent them?

The book club I belonged to (yes, in the past tense, I’m afraid) was a fun way to meet and chat, and have a focus for discussion about a certain book – but it was a general book club, not all mysteries, so I often ended up reading a book waiting, hoping, longing for someone to die (in the book!) then for the solving to ensue...but, sometimes, it didn't. *sigh*

But what about book clubs I’ve attended as an honored author? Well, first of all, it really IS an honor to be invited to attend. Then there’s the wonderful aspect that you’re able to talk about your book, denouement and all, because everyone’s read it…which is quite a different experience than attending most other bookish events where spoilers aren’t allowed. So, those two aspects make attending a book club as an author a delight.

Then there’s the other, nerve-wracking part of the experience – what will people say about my work? It’s terrifying…but worth it, I think. I’ve never been to a book club (in person, or virtually) where someone’s been intentionally nasty/dismissive/picky about my work…so I’ve always wondered if there’s been a secret agreement made ahead of my arrival to not slam the author. That said, I've never heard of such a rule existing, but maybe that’s all part of the undisclosed part of how each group operates.

The first book club I ever attended as an author, back in 2012.
Look - I even had gifts! And the members were LOVELY! 

I've been fortunate to visit many groups – often online, via Skype or Zoom – and I have enjoyed every experience, though it’s hard to beat the delight of chatting face to face. I’ve even gone so far as to add a sheet of discussion questions designed for book clubs for each of my books (they’re on my website, if you fancy checking them out, here: ) which I’ve been told are useful – and, no, they don’t include spoilers!

The next book club I’ll attend in person (date TBD) will be the One Book Whonnock group – which really is a very special experience...and not just because I adore the fact that so many of my neighbors will be reading a book I wrote, but also because it's a book that’s set in our neighborhood (The Corpse with the Iron Will, Cait Morgan Mystery #10)! I expect lots of conversations about characters I’ve included, as well as location spotting. I’m hoping no “rules’ will be needed for that one! This is the second time my local community has chosen one of my books to read, and it really gives me the warm fuzzies...and, because I hand deliver a lot of the books, I get to make new chums too!

This is the way I meet with book clubs around the world nowadays - 
with a cuppa, in my office! 

I have dates in the diary to meet with book clubs in various places in the USA, the UK, and Canada - so, if you're looking for a good read, with a set of questions written up for you already, and you'd like me to join you - please don't me and let's talk! Email address is here

Oh, and by the way, my latest Cait Morgan Mystery (the 12th in the series) is set in Arizona…in case you feel the need to virtually experience some heat at the moment. It will be published on 7th April, and is currently available for pre-order for Kindle, Kobo and Nook:

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