But I was sure that I had blogged about what was happening last week. I was invited to talk to a book club who had all been reading my book (Walking On Chalk) over Christmas. I think I used lots of ditsy words to describe how ridiculously nervous I was about it. Hmmm… but now it’s disappeared. Oh well. I’ll just tell you what happened then…
I was surprised at the number who came. I was even more surprised how many were not expecting the author to be there. Strangely, my nerves evaporated with the help of a glass or two of red wine whilst I listened to them talk about other matters and then they started talking about my book. After fielding the questions about how it came about, who my inspiration was, etc., they started discussing amongst themselves their own experience of the book. It was surreal to hear them arguing about my people and my story. The men loved it almost without reservation (one admitted he didn’t like the name ‘Ern’ and it irked him throughout) and the women were of the opinion that Ern had chickened out, cowardly. They thought he should have stuck around and worked it out (sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone). They loved the community around them but felt that was a condensed experience and the women also questioned whether Kate would have slept with Ern on the night of his revelation. I loved hearing them talk about it. I didn’t feel defensive but I did feel exhilerated that my people had come alive in these readers’ heads. Can you imagine? I explained about the name (in Ireland, it is commonplace for the babies to be named after the last relative that died, hence many of the old fashioned names still being used to this day) and how I believed Kate was as flawed as Ern with her life’s experiences, hence their quirky way of resolving their problems. And I got a round of applause, haha. Ohhhh, it was a lovely feeling. Unreservedly, they all agreed that it was a good book for ease of reading and feel-good factor. (Hey, I didn’t set out to change the world… I just want to entertain people!)
The men were happy with the way the book ended – the women wanted a sequel. So I am still undecided. What I am decided about though is that at some stage in the near future I will publish the book online again. I have bought back the publishing rights and I will hug it to me for a little while longer while I decide.
Kate and Ern are alive in people’s heads. It’s a wonderful thought.