The Hardest Question at the Book Club

I was lucky enough to visit the Columbia Park book club last week in my old hometown, Minneapolis, to discuss “Painting With Fire.” To get insights from almost a dozen readers at one time, to see my book through the eyes of so many others, at once, was illuminating. They grilled me, in a good way, asking me questions about every angle. It was fun to hear about their favorite characters and descriptions, what they found surprising and the suspicions they brought to the table.

The most difficult question came from my mother, who basically wanted to know why the book was dedicated to my husband and not my parents… Awkward. Ok, so that’s not how she phrased it and she was laughing but you know that’s what she was wondering. (Side note, I love my parents and they had a major hand in shaping me into the person I am, for which I am extremely thankful, but my hubby played a major role in helping me shape and release the book. Without my parents, there would be no me. Without my husband, there would be no book.) Anyway, my mom asked me about the dedication, why I called my husband “my ocean.” How personal can you get?

My husband is my ocean, an ocean on a calm day, soothing and serene, blue and clear, a love that’s vast and limitless. And here I am at a book club trying to explain all that with a handful of clumsy, little words.

So anyway, I guess the morale of the story is with book clubs anything’s on the table. No question will go unasked, so be prepared, especially if your mom is there.

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