Writer Jason Fisk recently became the first CCLaP author to officially travel to another state in order to attend a bookclub discussion; specifically, up to suburban Minnesota, which for international readers is about six hours by car almost due north of us here in Chicago, to talk about and help analyze his new story collection with the center, Salt Creek Anthology. I asked Jason if he would snap a few photos and send along a little report, and this is what I received from him:
Dear Twin Cities Book Club,
The day before we met, I spent six and a half hours in a car listening to the following movies: Stuart Little, Snow White, Rango, and Despicable Me. My wife and I believe that it's just so much easier to keep a three year old and a five year old quiet for that length of time if they are entertained and occupied, and by quiet I mean not fighting or asking how much longer. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that during that time, the six and a half hours of drive time listening to kids' movies, I thought about you a lot.
To be honest with you, I had no idea what to expect. I had never talked to a book club before. There was a mixture of excitement, apprehension, and anxiety that I had not felt since I was a teenager. The feeling was comparable to going on my first date, or my first kiss, or the first time...well you get the idea.
I wondered what kind of questions you would ask. I wondered if you had actually read the book, or were you just there for the drinks and company? I wondered if you liked the book. I imagined the worst case scenario where I would open myself up to you, where I would share my thoughts, my ideas, and expose my heart, and you would think that the stories were twisted, or demented, and that you didn't care for them at all. I imagined you being too polite to actually tell me that you didn't like them, but I would be able to see it in your body language and hear it in the tone and/or the brevity of your questions. Anyway, that's why I drank so many sangrias.
I just wanted to let you know that when our time together finally arrived, I thought it was wonderful. It surpassed all of my expectations. From the appetizers to deserts, and from sangrias and wine to coffee, it was truly beautiful. I want to thank you for choosing my book and for taking the time to read it so carefully. Thank you too for your insightful questions. And thank you for making me feel so comfortable. It made it easy to share my process, thoughts, and hopes with you. Anyway, our time together gave me a lot of pleasant things to think about on the six and a half hour ride home, when my kids listened to the exact same movies.
Thanks, Jason! Remember, folks, CCLaP's authors are willing to work hard for your patronage, and all of them are at least open to considering traveling for bookclub meetups if the proper time and resources can be worked out; simply drop us a line here at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com to propose a trip yourself. And in the meanwhile, if you still haven't downloaded your own free copy of the electronic Salt Creek Anthology...why the frak not?