If you know me or have read The Pecan Man, you’ll know that I give a lot of credit to Gainesville Poets and Writers’ group for helping me complete the work. Their feedback and edits were invaluable, especially for the route I eventually took – self-publishing through Amazon’s programs. Recently, GPW member Donald gave a copy of my novel to Don Smith, who heads up a couple of book clubs in Gainesville. Long story short, they picked it up for their April meeting and invited me to attend the discussion. A first for the group and a first for me.
The meeting was held at Books-a-million and the group of approximately 12-15 people gathered in a cozy corner. I noticed as each sat down, they reached over and put slips of folded paper into a golden goblet. These, I learned, were questions the group would use to randomly discuss issues or observations they had with the story.
My job, for the first hour, was just to listen and take notes. I would have time to speak or answer questions later. Have to say, as far as writing goes, that hour was as golden as the bowl of questions on the table. To listen to a group of people discuss the characters I birthed, and the story I wrote, was nothing short of a gift. To say that it was a positive experience for me is like saying the Suwannee River holds a few drops of water.
This is a group of people who read an amazing range of literary works, and have credentials I’ll never touch. And yet, a majority of them connected to the story and the characters and had mostly positive comments to make. Even the negative comments weren’t really negative…especially since it always helps to know what works for some people and what doesn’t.
I came away from the meeting feeling encouraged and motivated and validated. What a blessing I received.
Onward and upward!!