Today I joined a book club. Okay, well, technically I joined a book club a month and a half ago, because I had to read the book, The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy, before today. I didn't want to comment on the book here, although I will say that it's nothing like what I usually read and that I found it to be very compelling once it got going. Instead, I'm pondering the book club experience.
The book club is an interesting group of people. They all work at my day job, and with the exception of one, none of them have any clue that I lead my super-secret double life as a fiction writer. (This certainly sounds more glamorous than it is. Maybe I need a cape!) Anyway, it was an interesting experience listening to the things they enjoyed, the things they disliked, what they thought about the characters, and what they thought about the ending. A few of us thought the book was well done, while others hated it and one put it down after the prologue because she just couldn't get through it. It was a good reminder to me that the things I fall in love with as a writer may not be the things that readers would love, so I shouldn't be afraid to edit and cut things that I'm particularly pleased with if it will make the work stronger.
Next month we read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, which I've heard good things about. It will be interesting to see how freely the adults discuss a YA novel in a work setting and whether they enjoy it more than The Black Dahlia.