Support to Book Clubs

Support to Book Clubs

Book Club Discussions

Back in high school, I wrote a letter to an author requesting comment so I could add dimension to a book report. I GOT AN ANSWER! Not only did he answer the questions I put to him, he sent along an autographed photograph. That contact and kindness made writers seem human and accessible, perhaps even sparking a desire to one day become a writer like my new friend.

Since writing Escape from the Ordinary, I have participated in book-club discussions and found it rewarding and fun. It also gives me an idea of which parts of my writing most interests readers. If you would like to have me join your book club discussion on Escape from the Ordinary, I will gladly make myself available in person, via Skype or telephone.

Here are some suggestions based on experience:

I think it’s a good idea for the group members to talk amongst themselves first to organize their thoughts. One group leader sprang me as a surprise to their group (“And guess who’s on the phone? The author of the book!”), but I advise against that approach as it is initially awkward with readers scrambling to figure out what to ask.

As for length of discussion, 30 to 40 minutes seems right. The groups I’ve spoken to have been very smart and congenial and I’ve enjoyed talking at length with them. They asked good questions, and I was happy to answer them!

Details

Current location/time zone: Arizona

Meeting options: Phone, in person, Skype, Zoom

Contact for book clubs/speaking engagements: closereachpublishing@gmail.com

Discussion questions from previous events:

  • What inspired you to sail off into the sunset with so little experience?
  • The book opens with you having marital problems—even considering divorce.  Then, in the thick of a life-threatening storm, you realize how much your husband and marriage mean to you. Can you talk more about that?
  • You mention panic attacks and anxiety in your book. What do you recommend to readers who see parallels in their lives?
  • Do you still have panic attacks and how do you handle it?
  • What was a typical day on board It’s Enough?
  • What were the backgrounds of the other sailors you met on your voyage?
  • How much did it cost to live aboard your boat?
  • Did you work anywhere along the way to supplement your income?
  •  What was the best thing about living aboard a boat?
  •  What was the worst thing about living aboard a boat?
  • Do you think your marriage would have made it if you had not gone sailing?
  • How did your voyage change your life?
  • What was the timeframe for writing this book?
  • Which authors have inspired you?
  • What have you been doing since you sold It’s Enough?

Professional speaking topics:

  • Getting your act together to accomplish your own audacious dream.
  • Beginner’s guide to staying focused on early retirement.