Thursday, August 2, 2007

Book Clubs add rocket fuel to my pen...

Two nights ago I had yet another 'book club chat' with a group in Ohio and, as usual, I hung up an hour later feeling completely revived. The reason? These ladies enjoyed The Penny Tree and they were kind enough to take the time to tell me so.

Better yet, they aren't friends or family or blogger buddies or fellow authors who might feel the need to do so out of obligation. Their input is 100% honest and open, which helps reaffirm that I'm on the right track, especially on days when I could use a good boost.

Thanks Chris, Heather, Lisa, Emily, Jill, Tara, Angie & Shannon. It was great talking to all of you. I look forward to chatting with you again in September after you've finished reading The Tin Box. And thanks again for choosing it as your next book club pick, by the way. I'm honored.


kyla-dale said...

Nice to see that you are back!

That was a long wait for a new post. I think I'm going to have my book club group get together this fall to read Penny Tree and then
arrange a call with you ok?!
Do you do it only by phone
or also with Skype?

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm so glad they enjoyed it, Holly. And I bet that gave you the energy to go home and write!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I wish more authors were approachable to do call-ins to book clubs. Maybe it's that my club does off-the-beaten-path fiction; I don't know. We have a lot of fun with it, usually because we don't talk much about the book and more about books and literature in general.

Larramie said...

How terrific is that? You literally have eight more individuals in your fan club. ;)

wordman17 said...

I keep telling my
group we should spread
our wings and add a few
solid women's fiction titles
to our book club list, then we
could phone you up and have
a good visit via IChat!
I'll keep workin' on 'em.

alex keto said...

This is interesting. Are you doing a conference call? Are they in a group and you phone into a speaker phone?

I stopped by via Travis's blog.

M. G. Tarquini said...

How cool that they're going back to read your first book after reading your second! Goes to show just how much they enjoyed The Penny Tree.

Kim Stagliano said...

Interesting = how do you get "into" a book club chat? How did you find this group in Ohio, no less? When my book is published (she says getting down on knees and praying) I would LOVE to call book clubs like that. What a great way to connect with readers. Tell me more!


Trish Ryan said...

That's awesome! Isn't it amazing how readers can re-energize your creativity? I guess it shouldn't be amazing, but to me, it is...

Glad to hear it went so well!

Holly Kennedy said...

Kyla-dale: We can arrange it where it's held at one member's house and they use speakerphone if you like. This has, to date, been the most common way that I've done my book club chats. I'm not yet but will soon be set up with ICHAT and SKYPE too, so in future we can hold video conferencing-type chats.

Hi Melissa -- I hope all is well at your end and that's everyone's healthy and having a good summer :)

Susan Helene Gottfried -- I don't understand it, either, but many authors like their privacy and prefer to be 'inaccessible' to their readers. I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to talk to them.

Holly Kennedy said...

You've got it, Larramie -- I love doing these book club chats but I keep it very laid back and friendly and those who attend often say, "Can we can back when your next book comes out?" or "I'm telling my sister's book club about you." All good stuff!

Wordman17 -- I'm honored that you keep working on them. Don't give up!

Alex Keto -- As noted in my post above this one, it can be accomplished many ways. However, that said, lots of book clubs aren't equipped with Skype or Ichat and getting their hands on a speakerphone is easy to do. I'm sure this whole process will evolve with time even more so.

MG (Mindy) -- I thougth the same thing. How nice that they'd go back and read The Tin Box too, huh?

Holly Kennedy said...

Kim -- I have a BOOK CLUBS CLICK HERE button on my website and I consider it ESSENTIAL to showing readers who pop by that I'm accessible. From there, they contact me, and then I add them to my newsletter/mailer list for future books. You must do it! It's great.

Trish -- Thanks so much for popping by! How are you doing this summer? Resting and relaxing or getting much done? It flies by so fast (I cannot believe it's already August) that I'm feeling every inch my age these days *smile*

Mia King said...

Holly, it's taken me a while to get my TBR pile going again, but I am pushing Penny Tree and Tin Box to the top!

Pat raved about you on debut day - you were definitely there in spirit (not to mention the fancy pen - it really suited her!). Plus she was completely dragonfly-laden ...

Holly Kennedy said...

Thanks Mia. So nice to hear from you. I'm looking forward to meeting you in Maui. I hope you'll be able to swing by for a drink with all of us. :)

The Anti-Wife said...

Holly, loved "The Penny Tree". A review is on my blog.

Heidi the Hick said...

Holly, I have to comment over here on what you wrote on Therese's blog.

I kind of chuckled because I couldn't really remember there being a lot of swearing in The Penny Tree.

Right away I thought, that's because it worked. It suited. It was right for the context, rather than sticking out and waving the old "offensive language" flag.

I am stunned that anybody would be offended by six blinkin swear words in that book, when it is one of the most uplifting feel good books I've ever read. Geez. But I guess that was the point- to each their own.

And as for this post, to get back on topic, I think it's very wise that you've reached out to book clubs. Your books have such a personal feel to them that I'm sure lots of readers want to reach out to the woman who wrote them!

Holly Kennedy said...

Anti-wife: I left a comment on your blog. Thanks so much for posting a review.
That's very kind of you!

Heidi -- How goes your summer?!
Ack, I'm not bothered by one reader sending me an email to complain about too much swearing (especially in The Penny Tree).

Yes, as I said on TF's blog, sub rights were sold to Thorndike Press for their 'cleaning living, large print' line and they sked for permission to change or remove a total of SIX swear words.

When writing I refuse to worry about what other people are going to think. If I did that all the time, my work would lack realism and become a vanilla version of a story I don't aspire to write.

Heidi the Hick said...

Holly, you know what, I have to keep that in mind. I'm convinced half my family will be horrified if/when this thing is done. But I had to be true to the characters and the story!