Author On The Bookcase: Claire Cook, author of Seven Year Switch
I'm so thrilled to welcome Claire Cook to On the Bookcase. Claire is the author of seven novels, including The Wildwater Walking Club and Must Love Dogs. Her seventh novel, Seven Year Switch, has been released today!! Claire chats about reading groups, crafts, and a trip to Costa Rica?
MUST LOVE READING GROUPS
I love speaking with reading groups! After months spent glued to my computer, it's just so much fun to connect with nonfictional people again! Also, I think reader response is key: I never fully know what my books are about until I hear what resonates for readers. I've learned so much about my own writing from talking to book clubs. And hearing things like "I can't remember when I laughed out loud like that!" or "OMG, you're writing my life!" always gets me psyched up to write my next novel.
I've had so many great book club moments via phone, Skype, and when book clubs take field trips to my book tour events. Book clubs tend to pick my novels after they've read something dark and depressing, and they're ready to have some fun. Me, too!
I just love hearing about the book-related food and drinks, the decorations, even the crafts. I’m already getting reports that book clubs are planning to serve Huli Huli chicken and fill piñatas for my new novel, Seven Year Switch, and I’m hoping at least one of them will take a girlfriend getaway to Costa Rica (and invite me!)
The Wildwater Walking Club has just gone into paperback, so I’m hearing from lots of book clubs who are reading it this summer. The Kansas book club in the photo started their Wildwater meeting with a walk, played “Walk on By,” and served lavender bundt cake. The clothesline in the background is fabulous – especially that animal print bra! After the meeting, they posted the photo on my Facebook author page, and I’m so glad they did!
Other groups have painted shoelaces for The Wildwater Walking Club and made sea glass jewelry for Life's a Beach. They've done group makeovers for Summer Blowout. This doesn't mean they don't have serious discussions about my novels, and when I write my book club conversation starters (which I always do myself) I make sure to provide a mix. But I think we all need more play in our lives, so I always love hearing that my books have inspired some!
Thanks so much, Claire, for your thoughts on one of the key elements in writing -- the reader!