Thursday, January 23, 2014

John Kelley, author of the Fallen Snow and social media

I love how social media has changed our access to publishers, authors and books. I saw author John Kelley's book on Facebook in November and started following him through there. He had a small picture of the cover as the profile picture for the page. It's a beautiful cover (I know, never judge a book by it's cover) and I was interested in the book, because it took place during and immediately following World War One. I enjoy reading about that time period. John was very responsive through Facebook. I ordered the book for my Nook and told him that I would suggest it to my book club. He immediately told me he had a book club guide and would be open to Skyping with my group. That was something our group had done once before.

Last year "Contest Queen" (that's me, I can't resist entering contests!) entered my book club into a contest run by Goodreads. I honestly don't know what I did with my life before Goodreads! So much information there. I can lose all track of time on that site. They were running a contest for Carol Anshaw's new book "Carry the One". The winners got a Skype session with the author. I think several book clubs won and we were one of them! We all loved the book and it's a great choice for a book club. The premise is a catastrophic event happens, a car full of friends are returning from a wedding and the car they are in strikes and kills a young girl. The book follows how this one event impacts all their lives from that moment and continues to effect them over the years. I would recommend it. It was the first Anshaw book I've read.

My book club decided to read, The Fallen Snow" for our January meeting. We meet once a month, normally the last Wednesday, but with Christmas we didn't meet until mid-January. I had been going back & forth with John via Facebook and suggested that if he did a book tour and came to Miami, we'd love to meet him and even host him for our club. He said that his parent live in northern Florida, so there was a chance he might make it down to our end of the peninsula. In early December he emailed to say he was going to be here mid-January and would that work for our group. We were all excited to host an author in person.

We chose to have a Cuban cuisine dinner that we all brought in. The meal consisted of,  green salad, grilled tropical chicken, black beans,white rice, plantains, deviled eggs, with flan and cafecito for dessert. We all had a blast and John was great fun with an easy comfortable style. After dinner we had prepared a list of questions and we went around the room taking turns asking. Our member, Vesna, had a great idea to use questioning similar to, "Inside the Actor's Studio" which was very unique and fun.

I have been following some other new authors on Facebook and we may in fact read the second book by Ellen Marie Wiseman called, "What She Left Behind" for the February book club. I read her first book, "The Plum Tree" over the holidays and found her to be a good author who draws her characters out nicely.

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