Last Thursday, a group of nine women met to talk about my young adult novel, Wilson Mooney. For the lack of a better term, let’s just call it a book club meeting. (He he he)
WOW~ talk about needed a couple of days to decompress. It was a real dynamic and informative group of people. It was amazing how each person had their own interpretation of Wilson and Max. The personal investment each reader wove into their analysis of Wilson was incredible.
I had women there who have read it so many times, they knew the story like the back of their hand, and I had people there that only had the opportunity to read it once through. My readers ran the gamut too. Some were ferocious readers of young adult, a couple that never cracked a YA novel ever, and some that never read fiction or young adult. But what was amazing was that they all liked the story, I could almost say they loved it. They agreed it was a page turner and they also agreed that the book held their attention up through the end. They also had some good constructive advice that would help make the novel a better read.
I asked specific questions and they answered them. I wanted to know what they really felt, and they told me. I asked them to be brutally honest, and I could say, I really think they were. It was important to me, and they knew how important it was, to give me the criticism that would drive me to polish my book and get it ready for submission.
I sat at the table listening to them talk about these fictional characters like they were their own teenagers, or their friends kids, even as family members. Protective, frustrated, happy and worried, I saw that they all were invested in the story. I can’t tell you how miraculous that experience was. It comes close to the euphoria you feel when seeing your new born baby for the first time and you realize, wow, I created that.
Thank you my beta book club readers. Thanks for the hours we sat and talked about my novel. Thanks for the kick in the pants to keep going and thanks for agreeing to meet with me again for the next book!
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