Dec 2, 2011

My very first book club

A few weeks ago I was a guest at my mum's book club as my debut romance, Secrets & Speed Dating, was the topic of discussion. To say I was a little nervous would be a huge understatement.

Me with the book club ladies. My lovely mum is third from the left.
My mum has been a member of a book club for years, and the idea has always intrigued me. I love to read, after all, and an event that combines a love of books, wine, cheese and multiple desserts... well, what's not to like?

For me, it's all been about the type of books read. I'm an unashamed lover of genre fiction, mostly romance, and struggle to enjoy the literary novels which are the staple of most book clubs. What can I say - I love happy endings :)

My mum's book club has the typical literary slant, but my mum is just awesome (and a typical proud mum), so her book club ladies all got to read my book. I know some members were sceptical, but they all read the book, and turned up at my mum's place ready to talk all about it.

So, as mentioned, I was very nervous. I had prepared by printing out the fabulous 10 Myths of Romance by Anne Gracie, and readied myself to go into battle for romance.

As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. The book club ladies and I chatted for over two hours about my book, and I can tell you - I've never experienced anything cooler than a group of people discussing my story and my characters with so much enthusiasm. It was amazing! There was a lot of interest in the romance genre as a whole, and also the publishing process, but mostly we talked about Sophie and Dan and their story.

Yes. Very cool!

I was even asked to sign everyone's books. I felt like a real author... albeit totally unprepared and lacking an appropriately fun and flirty signature or anything vaguely witty to write. But hey - it was still a thrill :)

So, are you a member of a book club? Does your club read romance?

Or - have you had a recent experience that's reaffirmed your belief in... something? My mum's book club couldn't have come at a better time - I was knee deep in second round revisions, convinced I was a terrible writer and wondering what was the point. But, the book club reminded me why I write - to share my character's stories with readers. Thank you, my mum's book club, for a fabulous evening and for giving me a memory to hang onto when writing feels impossible.

PS That book I was revising has since been accepted - A Girl Less Ordinary, June 2012. Hooray!


  1. Fabulous Leah! My two friends are members of a local book club and have made them read my stories too - but I'd be way too terrified to find out what they said!
    congrats on book 2 x

  2. How wondefurful Leah - and yay to those ladies for realizing how great romane novels really are!
    And congratulations on book two!

  3. Scarlet - Thank you for the congrats! It was scary, but worth it :)

    Helen - Thanks Helen! And yes, it was so lovely to share how awesome romances are :)

  4. Leah, that's fabulous. You get to be an ambassador for all of us and touch base with readers.
    I don't belong to a book group though if there was one not too far away I'd love to join.

  5. Leah, I can imagine how excited and especially how nervous you must have felt! But how cool to visit your mum's book club!

    I've got quite a few friends who are in book clubs and they really enjoy it. I haven't joined one - I'm undecided... I think maybe I like choosing my own reading material too much! LOL

    Congratulations on your second book being accepted!

  6. Hi Leah! Your mom must be so proud of you. I think that's so neat that her book club read your book. Congratulations on getting your second book accepted as well. There are a lot of authors who have only had one book out.

  7. Hooray on the acceptance of your second book, Leah!!! And hooray on such a fabulous book club evening. What a great way to celebrate your first book! (And how brave of you to do it -- you must have been so nervous!)

    I can't wait to read Secrets & Speed Dating -- I know it will be an excellent read!

  8. Hooray indeed!! I need to find a book club I think. It would be loads of fun.

  9. Sorry I'm a bit late to reply, had a lovely day at the Perth Zoo (day job team building day), but needed a bit of a lie down after all that sun!

    Sue - Yes, I think I did end up a bit of ambassador for romance, simply as I had an answer for all the questions. I don't think I'll turn any of them into romance readers, but hopefully they left with a greater respect for our wonderful genre.

    Sharon - Ha! Yes, it might feel a little like having to read a book for school, I'd imagine :) Thanks for the congrats, too!

    Kaelee - My mum is my biggest fan, I reckon! It's really lovely, as I know that romance is not really her style of reading.

    Emily - I hope you enjoy Secrets & Speed Dating Emily! It'll be out in Australia mid next year.

    Marybelle - If I could find a romance book club near to me, I'd be keen! Only trouble is finding time to read, most of my reading time is full of writing, now :)

  10. Hi Leah,

    my mum lives in a tiny town that has it's own book club (mum's not part of it) and I've often wondered how it'd be having a chat to them =)

    Congrats on book 2!

  11. Leah, I love the sound of a bookclub! And what a buzz to have *your* book the centre of discussion. I wonder if there's any groups I could join on the sunshine coast? Might force me to get more reading in. That's the curse of being a writer - less time to read!!
    Congrats on your latest going through!!!

  12. Thanks Mel! Such a relief to get Book 2 done and dusted :)

    Robyn - Yep, it was definitely a buzz! And surreal for me, a year ago I was unpublished... it's all happened so quick :)

  13. I've only recently become a member of a book club, Leah, and it's been great fun so far. But I'm sending you much kudos as I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to make the other members read one of my books.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on selling Book 2 -- that's wonderful news!

  14. Hi Michelle! I think if it was my book club I'd find it much harder, but as it was totally my mum's decision, and I never have to see the members again (in case they hated it!), I figured it was worth being brave :)

    Thank you for the congratulations!

  15. Leah, how fabulous! That book club sounds so much fun. And it's heartwarming to see how supportive your mother is. =)

  16. I doubt she'll ever turn into a true romance reader, Rachel, (I'm so jealous that you share romance novels with your mum and sisters!), but she is wonderfully supportive. She's bought copies of my book for pretty much all of her friends :)

  17. Romance is just a state of mind, but love comes from the heart.The main objective of a first date is to have fun in a casual and non-pressured atmosphere.