Post-vaccination, I’ve been so happy to get back to doing in-person book events. And let me tell you one of my absolutely favorite things about doing talks here in Alabama: I love when someone raises a hand and names a town in one of my books and asks me about another nearby town. So you set your book in Carbon Hill…do you know anyone in Dora? Have you been to Brilliant? Do you have any family in Guin?
It turns out that’s where the reader grew up. Or her grandmother grew up. Then someone else calls out that her sister lives in Brilliant. And someone else says their brother got a speeding ticket there. Soon enough the whole room starts naming various towns and relatives, and THAT, my friends, is something that never happens on Zoom.
Another thought: when a new book comes out, you always anticipate what people will bring up in interviews and book clubs. Sometimes you’re right, and sometimes you’re wrong. With FAMILY LAW, one topic that I didn’t expect to surface so often is Lucia’s joy in her work. It’s interesting to me that readers find a woman’s joy in her work to be an unusual thing in fiction. And you know what? They’re right.
It really mattered to me to convey that Lucia’s both good at her job and that she finds pleasure in doing it well. She’s not wracked with guilt or full of self-doubt—she just loves her work. It’s a scenario I think we grant male characters far more often than we grant it to female characters. As someone does find great joy in my work, I like that trait in characters. 😏
(By the way, if you’d like me to come to your book club–either by Zoom or in person–just send me a message through the Web site.)