Bonded Book Club Visit

Bonded; Three Fairy Tales, One BondOn Wednesday night, I went to a book club run by my friend Ilima Todd. It was her month to choose the book, so she chose Bonded, which makes me feel all sorts of special. Thanks, Ilima!

I’ve done a few book club visits now. I think this was my fifth visit, but the first one I’ve done for Bonded. I was a little worried about how it all might work with three different books. Would it be too much to discuss all of those? Turns out several readers didn’t have the chance to finish all three books, but it was still easy to have a great discussion. Everyone was so kind, even when we discussed things not everyone particularly liked. Mostly, the discussion revolved around questions everyone had about the characters or the plot. What I find most interesting is that these questions are ones I’ve heard time and time again (especially when Cinders was first published). It’s fascinating because readers seem to gravitate toward the same issues every single time. At first, I worried this is because I’ve done something wrong in my writing. Did I not spend enough time on certain aspects? Did I leave a few things too vague? Did I do it all WRONG? (That’s like my greatest fear, ever, mind you).

I’ve realized over time, though, that I haven’t written anything wrong. As I’ve discussed before, there are no right answers. Everyone brings different things to a novel when they read it, but that’s why it is so interesting how different readers ask me the same questions over and over. To me, that means I did something right. The story I’ve written obviously begs different questions and different themes that make a large group of readers stop and think about those same things in a critical way. It’s more than entertainment, and that’s something pretty great.

I think attending book groups is one of my favorite things to do as author. It’s not because attention is focused on me and my book. It’s because I get an insight, in person, how my book has affects readers. I’ve heard the highest praise in these book groups and the harshest criticism. I’ve grown a lot because of it. Wouldn’t trade any of it for anything! Book clubs are awesome. I don’t belong to one, but someday I might. Do you belong to one?

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

7 comments

Kathryn Purdie

I had a great time at your book club night too. And I think you're right–the questions were definitely not because you should have changed something, but because your book challenged people's usual way of thinking. And that is a high compliment!

I just read that past post about the Cinders book club. I loved that book, as you know, but I can understand how some people might hate it — and I mean that as a compliment! It's just so, so exacting at what it does. A physician's knife. A lot of the art I adore, other people can't stand. (See: The Tree of Life.) It's just so funny how some kinds of art are so divisive to people. This should be a testament to your brilliance, my dear. You told a true story, without shying away from anything. Cinders, just like real life, divides people. Or brings like-minded people together.I would rather have a book that some people love and some people hate than a book that most people go "meh" on.

How great that they chose your book. =) It is a learning experience. Thanks for sharing this.

Haneen I. Adam

Hehe lucky you, what I love about your writing is that it shows that you worked hard on it, not that it's forced, but that it's a work of a professional, and it's deep enough to make you think about it days after your done. I still didn't read Bonded but I hop I will be able to do soon because seriously I'm dying to too know what have you done with Cinderella's story 😀 Yup the same old thing hehehe. Keep writing ,you make me happy.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

@Katie — I'm SO happy you could come! It was a fantastic night. :)@Jaimie — I love your comment, thank you! Sometimes I forget the reasons why people might hate my books (Cinders specifically), then I remember things like what you've said and I feel better. That book came from a courageous place inside of me. It's a place I want to keep finding each time I write. Sometimes I find it, sometimes not. At least I always try! @E. — You're welcome! Thank you for coming by. :)@Haneen — Thank you for the compliments. Hope you can read Bonded sometime!

Michelle!!! You were the best at book club. Everyone raved about you. Thanks so much for agreeing to come. I hope one day if I ever go to a book club for one of my own books, I'll be as amazing as you were! 🙂

Michelle Davidson Argyle

@Ilima — It's one of the best visits I've done! Okay, it WAS the best I've done. Your group is fantastic. 🙂 Thanks for choosing BONDED and having me over! And of course you'll be amazing!

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