My Publishing Journey: Book Club!

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I’m an avid reader, read more than one genre (though mysteries/suspense are my main go-to books) and yet, I’ve never belonged to a book club. So when my friend, Michelle, told me that her sister, Cathy’s, book club had picked The Hanged Man’s Noose as their September read—and that they were inviting me to their book club meeting in Toronto—I was alternately thrilled and a wee bit terrified. What if (horror of horrors) they didn’t like the book? What if they asked questions I couldn’t answer? What if…well, you get the idea, but I said “yes” anyway!

Cathy, book club host

Cathy, book club host

I’m not sure what I was expecting. but it certainly wasn’t the amount of effort that Cathy put into the evening. She made *Treasontinis and pub food (including Full Noose Nachos!) — she even had shortbread cookies (Arabella Carpenter’s weakness, and if I’m being perfectly honest, one of mine as well).

*For those of you who haven’t read the book yet, The Hanged Man’s Noose is the name of a bar and the Treasontini/blueberry martini is the signature drink.

There were about a dozen thirty-something women in all, including a couple of women who no longer lived in the area (one lives in Brazil!) but continue to join the book club discussions. The good news is they all loved the book AND they had some really excellent questions. Here’s a random sampling:

Q: Where do you get your character names?

A: Sometimes a name will just come to me. That was the case with Arabella Carpenter. I’ve never known an Arabella, but I loved the name. For Emily Garland: my favorite book growing up was Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery. And I’m named after Judy Garland. Sometimes I’ll hear a name (first or last) and jot it down as a possible. And sometimes I name characters after a friend using their maiden name.

Q: If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would you cast to play your main characters.

51k0Vu16EhL._SY300_A: I honestly don’t know. In my head, though, real estate developer Garrett Stonehaven is a 40-ish Chris Noth, and Levon Larroquette is a young Kris Kristofferson (At this point, I encouraged them to google the movie A Star is Born. All agreed, Kris was smoking hot!)

Q: What if they cast an actor you didn’t like?

A: Uh…my book is being made into a movie! Where do I sign?

Q: Do you have an outline when you write?

A: Absolutely not. I’m a complete pantser. I’ve tried working from an outline and I just can’t do it. I need to write and see where the story and the characters take me.

There were several other questions, most devoted to the plot, but I don’t want to spoil the book for those of you who haven’t yet read it. As for my first book club experience, it was truly memorable. Thanks, Cathy, for hosting, and thanks ladies for inviting me to join in on your evening.

Toasting with Treasontinis.

Toasting with Treasontinis.

The Hanged Man’s Noose is available in print and eBook directly from the publisher, Barking Rain Press, as well as at all the usual suspects, including Amazon, B&N, Chapters.Indigo, and other fine booksellers.

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12 responses to “My Publishing Journey: Book Club!

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Donna. Yes it was a lot of fun!

  2. Great write-up, Judy, of what sounds like a fun event! –Donna

  3. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi Grace, That was my first book club experience. I’ll admit it made me think about joining one!

  4. Aren’t book clubs great? I’ve belonged to the same book club for over 25 years, and we’ve had several authors join us for a meeting. It is always a thrill to meet the author of a book that we’ve enjoyed.

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    It was fun Sheri!

  6. eightpawswriting

    How fun! Sounds like a great time!

  7. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Susan, yes, it was! Would love to do another.

  8. Judy Penz Sheluk

    It was a real honor, Sheila. A truly lovely group of women, all very well read.

  9. Judy Penz Sheluk

    It really was great fun and Cathy went all out with the theme. She really made it special.

  10. This sounds like great fun, Judy!

  11. Sheila Duquette

    What an honor for you to be invited to that book club.

  12. Judy, this is very exciting! To be a book club choice, and meet your readers. Sounds like a wonderful experience, and they loved your book. Great questions, too.

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