One of the really fun parts of being an author is meeting and spending time with readers. Last night I got to hang out with the Rockin’ Bookworms. They had just finished reading Dog Gone, so we had lots to talk about. Such fun! And yes, they are rockin’! We chatted about reading, writing, and Dog Gone (of course), but not necessarily in that order.
I answered all kinds of great questions. Everyone wanted to know if I have a dog now. When I said yes, we talked about his name and how he got it. We talked about others who had dogs, too.
We also talked about how I got the idea for Dog Gone. The Rockin’ Bookworms seemed pretty interested to hear that Dead End, the dog in the novel, was based on a dog my family had when I was growing up. A great pup with some really bad habits. Just ask the sheep that he and his doggie pals terrorized.
My new reading pals also wanted to know how I came up with the names for the characters, whether I had a sequel in mind for Dog Gone, what my favorite book is, and what I read when I was a middle-grade reader. They also wanted to know how it felt to see my name on a book cover. This was the easiest question of all to answer--exciting, but scary.
Our time together even included a snack break of cookies baked in the shape of dog bones, which, by the way, included the names of each person in the group as well as Dog and Gone. How impressive is that? Plus, they were yummy. During our treat time, we talked about publishing and how a story goes from being on a computer to being made into a book.
After eats, it was group discussion time. Thought-provoking questions were presented and each reader was encouraged to offer an answer and discuss it. Some questions included: What other ending might have worked for Dog Gone? Which characters did you most relate to and why? What did you like best about the story? Everyone agreed that the ending had to be the way it was written, to which I responded “Phew!” Ana answered the second question by saying that like Dill, some of her best friends are boys. Bella, though, most related to Dill because she understood the kind of struggles this character was going through regarding being honest about Dead End's bad behavior.
What a fun night! I think the best part of events such as meeting and greeting fabulous readers is their excitement and enthusiasm for books. It makes me want to kick into high gear to finish my latest work in progress.