I’ve been invited to attend a number of book clubs that have chosen The After Days for their book, and I have to say, it’s a fascinating experience to sit with a group of intelligent, well-read women and discuss my novel.
Usually there are some questions — how long did it take you to write the book, how did you come up with the idea, etc. I feel a bit of pressure to come up with profound answers as all those eyes around the table gaze at me. Fortunately, my answers — which I hope are interesting and doubt are profound — have been well-received.
But the part I love most is hearing the women discuss the characters and plot twists. (Ok, I just lied. The part I love most is when they tell me how much they loved the book and what a terrific writer I am. Who doesn’t like a good ego stroke?) It is remarkable to hear people discuss the lives and quirks of Rachel, Zach, Julie, and Christopher, characters I’ve obsessed over for three years, characters who feel as real to me as any people who truly do live and breathe.
The women in book clubs are incredibly bright and thoughtful. I always learn something about my characters at these book clubs — a connection I hadn’t seen, an insight that hadn’t occurred to me previously. And it’s fascinating when the conversation inevitably turns to how each of the participants would act in similar circumstances. Would they be able to survive the Big Blackout? And how would they do that with what they acknowledge is a serious lack of survival skills and tools? Often the discussion quickly elevates to the moral quandaries of survival.
If you’d like to choose The After Days for your book club, I’d love to attend your book club meeting, if I can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org