Yesterday I had one of the most satisfying and exciting nights of my professional life: I joined a book club that discussed my novel AFRICA.
I was stressed when I reached the restaurant where I was going to meet that wonderful group of ladies: did they like AFRICA? What did they think about it? What would they think about me? I couldn’t stop my brain from circling those questions around, and having no idea about the answers was extremely scary. Then I met them, and my doubts turned into recognition: they were thrilled to meet me, they had all loved the book and they had prepared lists of questions they wanted to ask me. I had never felt that way: they truly filled my heart with deep appreciation and thankfulness for the emotions and feelings that perspired from my novel.
The first question they had was the same for all of them: how had I found the inspiration for the story, how do I usually find my stories and my characters? It’s a very interesting question, and I think it allows readers a peek into the author’s truest self.
They had great insights and observations about Amber, the protagonist of AFRICA: they way she is described, mostly through her emotions and feelings, rather than her actions; her evolution all along the novel; the relationships she builds during her trip with the people she meets, and how these influence her final resolution. They wanted to talk about the other main characters in the book, Mike, Amber’s fiance, and Rachel, Amber’s best friend, and how they found both their relationships with Amber very honest, real, and fulfilling.
It was so important for me to see that they have been touched by those same events in the novel I had felt the most compelled to write and describe, and it was such a deep satisfaction for me to realize that they had understood Amber, and they had loved her and her adventure.
I am so grateful to these ladies!