Going to the Mother of All Book Club Gatherings

What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?

  1. Upon entering, first address the lady of the house; and after her, the nearest acquaintances you may recognize in the house.

The Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend

Sometimes, some really good things happen to one of your novels, like winningTimber Rose v2 for Kindle an award, getting invited to a book club to discuss it or going on a library tour, but having your novel picked as a book club read by the largest book club in the world (I kid you not) has been one of the most exciting things that has happened to my historical novel, Timber Rose.

I first heard of the Girlfriend Weekend from a tweet by one of my favorite authors, Jamie Ford. Curious, I followed his link to the upcoming events in 2015 and found out it was the annual gathering of Pulpwood Queens Book Club members and authors from all over the place. Most importantly, this organization had over 600 book club chapters and each month, books selected by founder and Chief Inspirer, Kathy L. Murphy, were put out there for book members to read. I decided to submit Timber Rose which had been well received by book clubs and the North Olympia Library System in my state, won a Chaucer 1st place and a Silver WILLA award but I thought that it had no chance against books from published by the Big 5. Much to my shock and delight, Timber Rose was announced at the 2016 #GFWeekend as a back listgirlfriend-sticker February pick.

Meeting Kathy in Person

cac16-kathy-key-note-croppedAs luck would have it, Kathy was invited to the Chanticleer Author Conference 2016 in Bellingham, WA and three months later I got a chance to meet her in person and thank her for selecting my novel. I found her not only a delightful, exuberant supporter of indie bookstores and book clubs and well known to Oprah and Good Morning America book clubs but a genuine person. It was after that meeting, I was invited to be a featured author at the next Girlfriend Weekend.

Girlfriend Weekend

So, in just hours I’m off to Nacogaches, Texas for the writerly adventure of my life. As a featured author. Pinch me. I’ll be seeing my favorite author, Jamie Ford, again and many other authors I’ve gotten to know over the years. This year the events will be held the Steven F. Austin University and will celebrate the life of Pat Conroy, who was a regular here at this gathering of book clubs. To honor him, there will be an auction to raise money for a new literary program in his name and a dinner in which all authors serve the readers— in khakis, ball cap, and button down shirt. Later on Saturday night, there will be the Big Hair Ball whose theme is Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. (I’ve been shopping for that— fascinator from Winsor Castle in England, a tiara, and other sparkly gems) Should be wild. All in the name of book club members meeting authors. diamonds-for-gwfriendDuring that day, I’ll also have my own time to talk about Timber Rose.

If you live in the area, tickets are still available for day passes. And now I must pack my gems. I promise to post pictures later.

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