So many things about writing are unlucky, even frustrating. While I try to focus on the positive things (and I have many), the negative things are sometimes mind-blowing enough for my wounded psyche to take days to recover. Other writers will probably recognize a few of these gems.

  1. Indie bookstore owner – “I won’t read your book, because I’m sure it’s terrible. People are just telling you it’s good to be nice.”
  2. Vendor I (used to) frequent – “Yeah. I know I told your husband I wanted a signed copy of your book, but now that you dragged it all the way out here, I don’t have time to read.”
  3. Numerous people of the nameless, faceless variety – “I only read non-fiction. Fiction is a waste of time.”
  4. More nameless, faceless people – “I don’t buy books, because I can get so many for free………and they all mostly suck……..why can’t writers pen good free books for me to read???”
  5. Dad: “You a reader?” Random people: “No. I don’t read, and I don’t understand why anybody does.” Or: “I only read motorcycle magazines.” (Is that code for p0rn??)
  6. Infamous South Carolina Congressman – “I’ll come back and buy one.” (He never did. Maybe he didn’t want to read a book set on a famous trail, given his association with famous trails???)

Given how much of this my publisher, my publicist and I hear every day, I savor each success. I can run my Happy Tank for weeks from one positive review or successful event.

And book clubs are starting to honor me with multiple hits to my Happy Tank. In September, I’m traveling to Auburn, Massachusetts for a book club appearance, thanks to the awesome Lisa Kramer. The ladies of the Moncks Corner-Pinopolis Book Club have booked me for February 2015. And I have back-to-back book club appearances in Denmark/Bamberg, South Carolina next May, thanks to Emily Guess.

Book club appearances always lead to stories. How clubs were founded. Fun traditions they follow. What they like to eat and drink.

If you’re a member of a book club, I’m starting a periodic series that will feature YOU. I’d love to chronicle the story of how your book club came to be. If you have a favorite book club recipe, I’d love to share it here. Any other off-the-wall traditions? Send those along, too.

Submit your book club story to mystories(at)andrawatkins(dot)com.

Not in a book club? No worries. You know plenty of people who are. Share this post with your book club friends, and encourage them to participate.

Tomorrow, our first story is from the Beaufort (SC) Book Bashers, the first book club to ever honor me with an invitation. I’m sharing their awesome recipe for Kennedy Punch. (I cannot imagine Jackie Kennedy drinking it, but I love the story of how it came to be.)

Actual fan mail. I read and save every bit of it!!

Actual fan mail. I read and save every bit of it!!

Haven’t heard of To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether LewisThat’s okay. Most people haven’t. Become part of an elite group – People Who Read TLF Before Everybody Else. Download your digital copy for $4.99 at your favorite online outlet below.

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