It’s part of being a writer. Getting out, going places, meeting the people who read, or will read our books and hopefully, become readers of our future works.
After the release of Annabelle’s Ruth, I contacted the library in the town of Trenton, Tennessee (the setting of the story) and offered them a free book.
The librarian answered me right away: Yes, please!
So I sent her one. She read it, and loved it. When I visited Trenton a few months later, I stopped by the library to meet her.
Connie Bates is the librarian in Trenton, Tennessee. She told me about a group of ladies who meet next door to the library at the Trenton First United Methodist Church to discuss books and asked if I could return and speak at one of their meetings. Of course, I was happy to.
I had no idea what to expect as I entered the beautiful, historic building that houses the church (see embedded photo below). There were nine ladies in attendance on this day. I was treated to true Southern hospitality, made to feel welcome, and even sold some books. A few of them had already read the library’s copy of Annabelle’s Ruth. Connie told me there’s a waiting list to read it. That made me happy. 🙂
Connie Bates took time away from the library’s annual book sale to attend the meeting. I am so thankful to her for the time and energy involved in getting me to the meeting and publicizing the event.
These ladies made comments that will strengthen the next book in the Kinsman Redeemer series, Sutter’s Landing.
I so enjoyed meeting all of them! They asked lots of questions and I ended with one for them. I asked how they ran their meetings. Do you choose a book to read together? They laughed and one of them admitted, “No, we read lots of books then share which ones we liked, so the others will know what’s good to read.”
That’s a different sort of book club, then. I had to laugh. It reminded me of my good friend Cherry, who attends a monthly bunco meeting. The same group of women have been getting together for years to play bunco. But it’s not about the game, she told me. It’s a time to get together, visit, and talk about our lives.
I suspect this particular book club provides the same service. These ladies have shared a lot of moments over the years, and I am especially grateful they shared these moments with me. I really hope they enjoy reading my book, and invite me back when the next one is published.
Once again, I said goodbye to Trenton, with this wonderful sight in the rear-view mirror. I will return to this lovely town. And so will the characters from Annabelle’s Ruth…