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Why Authors Love Book Clubs

January 12, 2011

Today we are thrilled to host Pulpwood Queen Author, Kathryn Casey, who writes a guest blog on Why Authors Love Book Clubs, and in particular—since we are all in a frenzy of anticipation for Girlfriends’ Weekend—The Pulpwood Queens…(Kathryn is also a cast-member in our skit on Saturday—but more on that next week…) Cheers! BCC

 Why Authors Love Book Clubs

By Kathryn Casey

On January 13, a collection of authors, young and old, bestsellers and not-yet bestsellers, novelists, memoirists, the famous and the obscure will overrun the historic, small town of Jefferson, Texas. The grand event is the Pulpwood Queens’ annual Girlfriend Weekend, a four-day extravaganza of books, a celebration of reading and literacy.

We will arrive via plane and car, toting our laptops and smart phones, happy to be invited. The chance to socialize with readers and our fellow authors is not to be missed. This will be my third GF weekend, and I’ve been looking forward to it for months. I even have my costume ready, hanging in my office closet, waiting for the final night, the Big Hair Ball. I won’t divulge exactly which character out of literature I will be on that all-important night, but let it suffice to say that I shall be grinning from ear-to-ear.

In truth, there aren’t many events I allow to remove me from my computer and my current manuscript for a full four days, but this is one that’s not to be missed. Any author in the know lucky enough to be invited packs his or her suitcase and makes the trip. Why? That’s easy: the Pulpwood Queens. Picture a room full of best friends, women of all ages intent on supporting each other, promoting literacy, and having a darn good time. Women who love to read!

The truth is that it’s easy for writers to forget why we write, to trick ourselves into thinking that we’re working for our agents, our editors, or ourselves, or for the joy of searching for a perfect sentence, paragraph, chapter, or plot. But that’s not the objective. We write because we hope others will find value in what we’ve written. Above all else, we want to forge a connection, enlighten, reveal our vision of the world, or simply share a good story and bring enjoyment. (In my case, since I write mysteries, I’d also like to scare you a bit.)

How do we know if we’re succeeding? The best way is to personally interact with readers, to talk to the source. What better venue than at book clubs, especially Girlfriend Weekend, where we’re able to hobnob with those who are reading our books?

So, I love book clubs. I thank all of you who participate in one. And I’m sincerely looking forward to Girlfriend Weekend. I’ve become friends with many of the PQs I’ve met in the past, and I’m hoping to renew those relationships and make new ones.

On a lighter note, Girlfriend Weekends aren’t just educational but entertaining. Here’s just a sample of what I’ve learned at the last two:

1)    I can still dance the funky chicken, if perhaps with somewhat less posterior motor action.

2)    PQ founder Kathy Patrick is not only an inspiration but makes a dynamite cheese spread.

3)    That Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet author Jamie Ford is rather dashing with my red feather boa draped around his neck.

4)    That Man of the House author Ad Hudler actually looks comfortable with his face painted green (a la The Wizard of OZ).

5)    And that Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On! author, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, really can dress to look like a rainbow.

I can only imagine what I’ll discover this year!

If you’re attending GF weekend in Jefferson make sure you say hello. If you can’t make it but you’re a member of a book club, I may not be able to attend your meeting, but I’d love to discuss my books with your club. Just contact me via my Web site,, to make arrangements for a 20-minute phone event. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Kathryn Casey is a best-selling true crime and mystery author. Library Journal named her most recent book, THE KILLING STORM, the third in the Sarah Armstrong mystery series, one of the best books of 2010. And Kathy Patrick just selected it as the Pulpwood Queens’ Main Selection for July, 2011.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 3:29 pm

    Great post, Kathryn! You did a perfectly mah-ve-lous job of recounting the wonders of PQ! Can’t wait to see everyone there.

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