Jack’s Wednesday guest post is actually on Wednesday again – – –
Last night Wendy and I were the guests of an informal book group in Abingdon VA.
As we followed one of the members along the winding road to the house where they were meeting we passed more and more exceedingly imposing residencies and speculated on what might be awaiting us.
However any fears we had were quickly allayed as the rest of the members trickled in. We had forgotten that the group had visited the bookstore earlier in the year, had all bought copies of ‘The Little Bookstore’ and were very well versed in our adventures.
They all came in clutching their copies of the book – each copy with post-it notes sticking out from favorite pages and passages. We were among old friends!
We have often remarked upon how completely different these occasions tend to be. Of course there are book clubs, reading groups, friends of the library groups and writing clubs and they are each bound to have a different focus. We certainly never know exactly what to expect, which is why we tend to be a bit nervous of them. what’s interesting is that I see similarities to my singing career over the years – gigs were often like that too.
Whenever we attend an event we start off by trying to judge what folk want to hear. Will it be writing advice, getting an agent advice, finding a publisher advice, more about Big Stone Gap?
But this was close to being unique – a whole group who had already read the book and visited us in the bookstore. We proceeded to have a really great evening of personal stories, reminiscences, parallel experiences and our own continuing adventures beyond ‘the book’. Unusually, we were even able to open up a bit on some less happy things that were hinted at in ‘The Little Bookstore’ or followed on from its publication. That’s something we would definitely only do in the company of old friends!
To finish, I should say that the evening started with me as the only man in the room, but we were eventually joined by our host’s husband and his name is Moffat – and that’s also the name of a town in Scotland that I visit every two years on my group tour.
Oh – and we ended with some songs!