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Monday, 18 July 2011

Book Group

One of the pleasures of joining a Book Group for the evening as its guest author is the range of feedback one receives.  While this feedback is positive on the whole - I don't think many groups would invite an author whose book they hated - I'm keen to get all manner of responses, because these reflect the many different ways in which readers read texts. I also believe that a reader's interpretation of a novel and the motivations of its characters are as equally valid as the author's (more so in some ways), so I occasionally come away from these discussions with new insights into how the story works.  A group, who in the past had discussed The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore with me, recently chose The Grease Monkey's Tale for their monthly read, and it was interesting to hear their responses to Nic, Siobhan and The Gnome as characters, as well as to hear how they believed the stories of the main characters might continue after the novel finished.  A lot of energy goes into discussing these elements, and it's fair to say that there's often almost as many interpretations as there are members.  However, a common response is that female readers dislike Siobhan's personality with a passion and find her conniving, while male readers can understand Nic's attraction to her; female readers find Nic gullible, while male readers rarely comment on this.  One useful upshot of this particular group's discussion was when I was asked about the title for Number Three.  They immediately became my test group and, while the general response was okay, it became clear that the relevance of the title needed to be thoroughly explained.  Needless to say, before I got home that night, the title was ditched and I'm now exploring replacement titles.

4 comments:

Mike French said...

not sure if ...

"replacement titles"

works as a title for book 3 Paul.

Paul said...

You don't think it has a ring to it? Hmm. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Jane Turley said...

As you know PB I have a fondness for quirky titles - if you need anyone to test your titles on I'm your gal!

Paul said...

So now I need to choose a title featuring chocolate.

Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - they've all been taken, so it's not going to be easy :-)