A Gulley Washer & The Book Club

Happy Readers

Last Wednesday we had torrential rains in the late afternoon.  Weather stations were cautioning drivers about flooded streets and roadways.  The skies turned so dark and angry 4:00 PM looked more like 8:30 PM.  When the storms moved out sometime about 6:30 PM, we had gotten 3.5 inches of rain.  A real gulley-washer.

During this storm, I was preparing to leave for a gathering of book club members who had invited to me come and talk to them about Black Ribbon Affair.  They had read my book and extended the invitation through a friend of mine who belongs to the club.

Once again, this event though informal and social as it would start out around a few appetizers and dinner, was a first for me. I’d be in a social situation with people I didn’t know, and really, other than knowing they had read my book, I didn’t know what they might be expecting.

Being Irish, a worrier and a titch superstitious, I hoped the storm wasn’t a foreshadowing of a disaster.   On my drive to the address for the book club meeting, the worst of the storm moved beyond us to wreak havoc on any boaters still unlucky enough not to have made it safely to shore.

As I parked my car I decided the storm moving on was a “sign” that the evening would go well, the local farmers and gardeners needed rain, and anyone on the lake would have gotten to shore.  When I left my car, the rain stopped.

I met the women of the book club.  Interesting, energetic women, and from their conversation, voracious readers.  Exactly what every writer dreams about.  They all appeared as excited to have me at their meeting as I was to be there.

During a dinner which was perfect for a hot, humid summer evening, we talked in general ways about topics readers would chatter about: favorite books, authors they enjoy, bits and pieces of their lives.  About the time dessert was served (the most incredibly delicious bread pudding—and I love bread pudding), I got the first question about Black Ribbon Affair.  We moved into the living room and more comfortable chairs and the questions kept coming.

What questions they were!  Thoughtful, challenging and very helpful to me.  In answering their questions, I learned a few things I’ll keep in mind when I’m doing future revisions.  I also found it so interesting to see how they interpreted my characters: how they looked, what drove them, what they’d love to see if I write another Affair series book.

Author in the Middle

Of course, I had the pleasure at the end of signing their books and adding the stickers representing the book’s recent awards.

We had a marvelous time.  I hope they ask me again when my next book is published.  I decided on my drive home that the evening was a gift.  One I’ll carry with me as I work on future scenes and new books.

I’ve taken another step forward in this journey.  I’ve found fans.

This time the gulley washer brought joy. 🙂

Explore posts in the same categories: Awards, Book signings, Writing

7 Comments on “A Gulley Washer & The Book Club”

  1. Edie Ramer Says:

    What an absolutely wonderful post! Your day with the book club sounds lovely.

  2. Elle J Rossi Says:

    How wonderful, Casey! I can only imagine the pride you must feel. And look at all the great people you’re meeting on this journey. Life is such a pleasure and a gift!

  3. caseyclifford Says:


    That saddest part of this memory is getting a phone call this morning. The incredibly charming kitty in the first photo for my post died in her sleep early this morning. She had such an incredible personality and all of us there were quite taken by her. Her name was Legend and I’m so glad she’s in our photo.

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    I am proud and humbled. These women readers asked such insightful questions. They were so enthused about my book. It has made all the rejections and detours along this journey with it.

    May you soon have the same. 🙂

  5. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Hi, It sounded like such a positive experience for you. I’m also glad their questions gave you food for thought for your writing. Great pictures! It was such a bit of luck that Legend was in the picture.

  6. caseyclifford Says:

    Hey Nancy,

    Welcome back. You would have enjoyed the Q&A and discussion. Too bad we couldn’t do something like that up in Eagle River. And I think you’d love reading books with these women…I would. 🙂

  7. Sandy Says:

    Casey, we need some of that rain our way.

    Your attitude is so positive that you were bound to have a wonderful time.

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of Legend. I’m a kitty lover.

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