Last Wednesday night was the book club meeting I attended, for The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover. I made a special trip to New York City for the event; later on, I’ll post photos of the nifty hotel where I stayed.
I knew ahead of time that August was the club’s “trashy book” month. What I didn’t know was that their definition of “trashy book” was a bit more classic than mine! Previous year’s August readings had included Lady Chatterly’s Lover (“full of social commentary!” they mock-complained), The Stepford Wives, and Valley of the Dolls. I can only aspire to such classic trashiness!
I left around noon from my dayjob, got lunch, and then took the MegaBus to New York. I had enough time to check into my hotel and get something to eat before the meeting; I knew they would have food, but wasn’t sure if I’d have enough chance to eat it. (I learned this from my book launch parties.)
After a great deal of mental debate, I decided I should be a little bit early, just in case. To my relief, I wasn’t the first one there! I was given a tour of the three connected apartments owned by the host, all creatively and gorgeously decorated, and by the time we were done, most of the rest of the club had arrived. I was told that usually it was a larger group, but people tended to travel in the summer. Six attendees, not counting me, seemed like plenty, though!
Because none of the members were erotica readers, or romance readers either, their expectations were different; for the most part, they sounded as if they’d enjoyed this peek into another genre. I did let them know that the book was not typical of Erotic Romance (and in fact it isn’t really a romance), and ended up talking a bit about markets and the Spice line itself, seguing into how I’d begun to write erotica, and why, and how I’d sold my first story.
I wish we’d had more time to discuss the book as a literary work, though that wasn’t really the point of this particular meeting. The other major group of questions I got were about the worldbuilding, and how I’d made some of those decisions, for instance why I’d chosen to include eunuchs among the characters. One of the members really loved that I’d slipped in a bit about legalized prostitution and the taxation thereof. I love hearing that someone’s appreciated a detail like that.
I had a good time meeting the club members, and if it wasn’t such a distance, I’d be pleased to go back.