First, a confession: I have never belonged to a book club. This might be because I spent quite a long time at university and so had many years of focused and sustained discussion about a book/poem we’d all recently read (or pretended to read). Most classes were adequate-to-fine. A few were dismal. A very few were spectacular. So while I do love talking about books, there’s something about the formality of a Book Club that gives me classroom flashbacks.
As a result, I’d no idea what to expect at my first book club meeting as an author. What can I tell you?
First, that it may be all about the food. Seriously: 8 women. Snacks for, ooh, 16? It was heaven.
Second, that they had all read Spy (or did a great job pretending) and had tons of questions. And they asked me things I’d never thought about – for example, what’s the backstory on the primary agent whose territory Mary Quinn treads on? My brilliant answer: “Um, I haven’t thought about her much.” I think I’d better get on that.
Third, I totally cracked: I’m not supposed to reveal the Candlewick cover for The Body at the Tower yet, because it’s not quite ready. (Soon, soon.) But I brought an ARC and flashed it around shamelessly. The bookclubbers were very kind and humoured my delirious babbling about the story behind the cover. Thanks, ladies.
I had such a great time, thanks to Jennifer O’Donnell who invited me, and Marcia Irving who hosted. It was terrific to meet all of you and I hope you keep in touch! (And thank you very much for the lovely bottle of wine! You really shouldn’t have, but I’m secretly very glad you did.)
This week in reviews:
Bookseller Ben McNally says Spy is “accomplished and believable. Mary Quinn and her supporting cast are developed with care and craft, and the plot is polished and quick.” Notes from a Book Addict, at BookLounge
The charmingly named NerdGirl is “on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book”!
And Ria at Tea and Tomes says the characters are “wonderfully real” and the period detail “made the story just that much more believable”.