A couple of weeks ago, I called a local romance-friendly bookseller to invite her to have lunch with the published authors of my RWA chapter. And she invited me, in return, to attend the monthly paranormal readers’ meeting, which would take place that evening at her store.
The kids were at Grandma’s for spring break. And though I did not read heavily in the paranormal genre, I thought it was a good opportunity to get out of the house and meet the bookseller in person.
Did I mention that I don’t read heavily in the paranormal genre? I was surprised when I got to the meeting to realize how many I have read. There was another author from my local chapter at the meeting. Other than the two of us, none of the other readers present had yet to try J. R. Ward. We practically shoved the Black Dagger Brotherhood books into their hands.
During the course of the evening we’d recommended Shana Abe, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian, Meljean Brook and Marjorie M. Liu, among others. And right after I left the meeting, I smacked myself on the forehead. How could I have forgotten Kelley Armstrong?
It was, believe it or not, my first time interaction with other romance readers simply as a fellow romance reader. I joined RWA early on in my journey to publication, and over the years, all the other romance readers in my acquaintance have also been writers. It was different and great fun to discuss books—and not just romance, but urban fantasy, mysteries and general fiction—purely from the standpoint of enjoyability.
By the end of the meeting, I had in hand Jim Butcher’s name written down as an author to try, two new releases that I’d bought at a special 25% discount for attendees of the paranormal readers’ meeting, and the bookseller’s enthusiastic assurance to increase the store’s order for my debut book (Private Arrangements, which hit shelves today).
I will most definitely be joining this readers group again in the very near future.