I’ve just finished a couple weeks of book signings at Springfield’s Big-E. I did the same thing last year and it remains one of the highlights of my year. I get the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people and to dedicate books to eager readers.
I have met authors who say that they write their books for themselves and care little what others think of them. If they are satisfied with the end result, that is sufficient. I am not that kind of a writer. I don’t write my books for myself. I write them for the readers. When someone has finished my novel, I want them to sit back, take in a deep breath, and smile because they have had a satisfying experience reading my story and getting to know my characters. Getting the opportunity to meet the readers directly, help them to connect me personally to the book, and point out ways that will make their reading experience more fulfilling is a pure joy for me. When a reader comes up and says they bought a book the previous year, read it and loved it, I am ecstatic.
In addition to the book signings, I love to do book readings. There I have the opportunity to share my experiences writing the book, provide some background on how the idea developed and give some insights on the joys and challenges of the writing life. I also read passages in a way that underscores the emotion that goes along with the scene. I think that aspect is vitally important since a book is much more then words on a page. Written well, a book captures and shares the emotions, values, aspirations, trials and triumphs of the characters. Even more than reading is the pleasure of hearing the reader reactions and answering their questions.
Finally, and for me perhaps the most satisfying, is participating or leading discussions of my book for book clubs. Here, the readers have already finished the book. They have formed opinions about the characters and the story and are eager to share their own insights with the other in the group and with me. Here, they often re-write the book in their own minds and sometimes infuse meaning into scenes the even the writer didn’t anticipate. What a delight to realize that your book has positively impacted another in a way you could never have envisioned. It’s like hearing your own story for the very first time.
I am looking forward to producing the audio book version of my current novel, “Amanda’s Room,” so that I can immerse the reader more fully into the experience of the book, hopefully combining words with dramatic reading, music and even sound effects. At the same time, I hope this vehicle will help those who do not read but would rather listen, to experience my book for the first time. Then, I hope to find opportunities to interact directly with those readers as well.
To all those readers who have taken the time to read my books (the next is in the works), to comment on them to me directly, to rate and review them on my book sites (Amazon, etc.), to attend my signings, readings and/or book club discussions, I thank you for the privilege of sharing a little of yourself with me and for the opportunity to share a little of myself with you.
You can find a listing of my upcoming events on my website, AuthorChuckMiceli.com