I think it’s great how some authors get around and visit book clubs. It really gives the readers a special experience.
During Saturday’s book club we discussed Deafening, but then Elizabeth Ruth, author of Smoke which was our December book, came to talk with us. (She had to cancel in December because of strep throat).
It’s really cool to be able to sit with an author and discuss her works. (Although I didn’t actually say anything at all) Many of the women in my book club also read Ruth’s first novel, 10 good seconds of silence so she was getting questions about both. I’m really intersted in reading that novel as well now.
She told us that each book takes about 4 years to write – 2 of research and 2 writing. That’s a lot of work. No wonder I don’t have the ambition to write. It’s amazing to see how open she was with us. If you read her bio on her site you’ll see that she moved about 40 times as a child and so that always gave her the perspective of the “outsider” which is one concept explored in her books. You’ll also read that she was born in Windsor and she told us that she spent most of her summers there with her grandparents. Living on a border, does provide a different perspective on the world (sure most Canadians are within a few hours of a border crossing, but it’s not the same as being 5 minutes away). In Smoke, there is a pivotal scene when Doc John crosses the Ambassador bridge; the theme of borders, boundaries and crossings are an integral part of the novel.
So I learned a lot and really enjoyed her visit. Afterwards the book club went out to lunch but Ruth wasn’t able to stay. I still had a good time with the ladies though. Interesting getting to know them (the youngest member of the book club [besides me] is still old enough to be my mother). Yet they always surprise me with their openness and knowledge, although I wasn’t too surprised that some didn’t understand the difference between a lesbian relationship and a transexual relationship. (Oops, I probably just spoiled the book for you :p )