BAIPA has teamed up with Senior Center Without Walls (SCWW), an award-winning program of Episcopal Senior Communities, which allows seniors to participate in more than 70 groups by phone or online, all from the comfort of home.
The newest, Authors Read Aloud, gives independently published authors, like us, an opportunity to read selections from their books and then answer questions. Each week features a new author. I read this past Friday, from Bones in the Wash: Politics is Tough. Family is Tougher.
BAIPA President Becky Parker Geist set this up with SCWW, with BAIPA as the host for this weekly reading, and with the focus on independently published authors. She was not able to participate as planned for the first one, so she asked me to step in.
Though this was my first reading over the phone and also the first session of this new program, it went smoothly. I introduced myself, then the folks on the call did the same. There were about eight people on when we did the introductions; and then more joined once I started.
I had the chance after the introduction to ask folks if they read novels, if they paid attention to politics. Everyone was a reader, though some preferred nonfiction, and some weren’t able to read like they used to because of macular degeneration or some other condition. I was told that SCWW avoided politics, religion, and sex in their programs, but I assured them that even though the book I was reading from was a political thriller, the first chapter had only a hint of politics.
I talked about how I came to write my book, then read the back cover blurb before I plunged in.
I stopped after about five minutes, at a break in my first chapter, to see if they wanted me to keep reading. They said yes. So I read for a little more than ten minutes.
The only disconcerting thing was hearing beeps now and then, and thinking that was people leaving the call. (That may have been true, but the SCWW host said it was common for people to join the call after it started.)
There was time for some discussion, about New Mexico among other things, and the part I enjoyed the most was talking about the challenge of balancing all the fun, creative parts of novel writing — the ideas, the characters, the themes — with the more brain-busting structural and organizational parts — making sure the towers hold up the bridge. I used one of my favorite metaphors for writing a fast-paced book, which is the combination lock, each scene a click of the combination.
I sold a book too, within five minutes of hanging up the phone. (Not the one I read, however, but Wasted, my second book, which I talked about for less than a minute.) I hope to read again, but first, let’s get some other authors in the mix.
Please contact Becky Parker Geist if you’re available to read on one of the open dates below.
1/12 John Byrne Barry: Bones in the Wash — Politics is Tough. Family is Tougher.
1/19 Beverly Scott: Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness
2/2 Jason McDonald: The Password Book: Internet Security & Passwords Made Easy