Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Little Night Magic!

Jink, our lovely hostess, and I
There is nothing quite like it in my experience, the occasions when women meet to discuss a book they have read. I’ve had the luck and the good fortune to have my novels selected for this honor on a few occasions now. Last night I met with the Happy Bookers of The Woodlands to discuss EVIDENCE OF LIFE, and it was such a special event. You could say it was the beauty of the surroundings, Jink Willis’s beautiful home and garden, or perhaps it was the lovely weather. We’ve had the longest, coolest spring; there was a delightful breeze, and the mosquitos have yet to come out. Definitely the company would be part of it … a lovelier assembly of woman couldn’t be found, and there was a delicious assortment of salads and desserts, not to, mention wine, but still, that doesn’t quite explain the magical quality there was to the evening, at least for me.

Even when we don’t know each other well, when we have all read the same book, that experience bonds us; it softens formality, bringing with it a certain familiarity. After all what we’re discussing are people we know in common, right? Characters whose experiences we have shared through reading about them, and in talking about them, and the feelings they inspire in us, we know each other. Speaking as an author, I can’t begin to quantify the gift
A few of the 28 Happy Bookers & Guests who attended
of such discussion. Last night we shared our personal stories in relation to Abby’s story in EVIDENCE OF LIFE. I heard from readers all the different places where aspects of her story resonated with them as the result of having a similar experience. We talked about the pain of betrayal and the effect of divorce on older children, how difficult it can be, especially for boys. We talked about a son’s need to protect his mother. We talked about the difficult subject of forgiveness, and the quirks of human nature, how they can lead to odd, even manic, behavior. We talked about what we would do if we were confronted by the choices Abby faces. What would we be willing to do, to sacrifice, to find our missing family? Would we ever stop looking?

Mojo, the flirt!
We touched on so many elements that are intrinsic to the plot that unfolds through Abby’s point of view in EVIDENCE OF LIFE, and it was so gratifying as the author of the book to listen, to join in, to offer my own experience in the flow of conversation. To me, this type of discussion by its very nature brings about a sense of camaraderie, the feeling that we aren’t alone in how we feel as wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, friends. It makes the entire experience, from the conception of the novel, to its writing and seemingly endless editing, to its inevitable and so hopeful public debut, come full circle. There aren’t words to say how meaningful that is for me as the creator. I love hearing, too, how readers view a character’s motive, what they see as that character's agenda. I'm surprised at what I hear, especially when it means I've added a clue or a red herring I didn't intend in that way, at least not consciously. I was surprised and intrigued last night at the variety of insights into the story and characters that were offered. I learned so much! And that is the real gift, what I took away, experience I can bring now to my next book.

Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your experience of EVIDENCE OF LIFE with me, Happy Bookers! And thank you, too, to the Women Readers at Barnes and Noble with whom I met in April, and to readers everywhere, who have taken time to read and to share their thoughts with me or through their reviews of EVIDENCE OF LIFE and my other novels. I am so hopeful that we will continue to grow this connection we’ve established through the next book and the next and the one after that!

I would love to hear from you, and you can reach me here, through the contact page, or through my fan page on Facebook, which I would be thrilled for you to visit. Let’s keep talking! 


  1. I was one of the lucky ladies who was at Happy Bookers evening. It was just as you so cleverly described in your blog. I am always in awe when I listen to you describe how in fact you write a book and how it evolves. Being an avid reader and an extroverted person I fail short on being able to get my thoughts down on paper and really appreciate that someone like yourself can pour your soul into Evidence of Life for my enjoyment. I look forward to your next book. Thanks so much, Nancy

  2. I'm so glad you stopped by, Nancy. It means so much to hear from readers like you. Writing is such a solitary occupation and when the book is finally out in the world, it's so gratifying to have people to talk to about it! The fact that it has the potential to come to mean anything to anyone other than me, the writer, is the reason I persist. I don't think reading or writing or much of anything worthwhile is accomplished in a vacuum!

    I'll be sure you know of the latest news regarding new releases. Thank you!!

  3. Barbara, it was my pleasure to host this special occasion, the release of EVIDENCE OF LIFE! You had everyone mesmerized, grabbing your every word! Yes, there will be many occasions to come together as you continue the amazing writer's journey! jink

  4. Thank you, Jink! So glad you stopped by!