I was recently invited to speak a local book club about my experience writing my book The Broken Tree: How DNA Exposed a Family’s Secrets. It’s one of 3 invitations I’ve received so far to come speak to book clubs in the valley. Apparently, word has spread and it seems to be the “choice of the month” for several clubs.
I have to admit that I totally enjoyed doing a book club gig. Instead of standing in front of large groups as I have when speaking at several family history conferences, in the book club venue, you are seated right in among your audience. It’s so much more intimate and engaging.
The club that I spoke with last week was made up of about 15 moms who get together once a month at 9pm. I asked them why the late start. The answer was obvious after they told me. By the time they get their families fed, help the kids with their homework and finally get everyone to bed, it’s getting late. By 9pm they are free to meet at someone’s home and discuss the book they read the previous month.
When I arrived, they were all waiting for me. Everyone one of them had a smile on their face. I knew I was going to like this group. There was little in the way of introductions. It seems the ladies were more than ready to pepper me with questions. The conversations went on and on through the evening. It was wonderful. We laughed, we shared stories and we even had a few emotional moments.
When things finally settled down we all realized that it was already 11:30pm. Where did the past 2 hours go? It honestly felt like we were there for no more than 45 minutes. In almost every case, speaking at a ladies book club is an amazing and delightful experience. By the time I leave I feel like I’m leaving a bunch of friends that I’ve known for years. With this last book club, as one of the ladies was leaving, she quietly mentioned to me that her husband found out that he was not his father’s son as his dad was baptizing him. The boy was only 8 years old at the time. His dad was baptizing him using his birth father’s last name, not the name he knew all his life. She said that it really traumatized the poor little guy. Can you believe that! It’s amazing to see what stories people are willing to share with you when they find out you have something in common with them. Amazing!