What’s Your Book Club Reading?

Dunthorpe Book Junkies

 

The absolute greatest indulgence in the world for an author is to have an opportunity to connect with her readers. It is a thrill unlike anything else, and so far, in these last 64 days, I have heard from readers in a variety of ways.

Some people have called me. These readers, of course, are friends and family. As it turns out, this is as thrilling for them as it is for me because,  typically, they aren’t able to finish reading a book, then pick up the phone to call the author with a question. Other readers have been in touch by reviewing the book on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes and Noble. Some readers have asked me questions on my Goodreads page or started to follow my blog and have left comments there.

That’s where I recently heard from a reader from Portland, Oregon. She had chosen THE MEMORY BOX for her book club and the meeting was going to be in a few days and she was eager to find discussion questions. If you read the book, you’re probably thinking what I was thinking. She hadn’t finished it yet. This actually reminded me of myself. I’m always reading the book club book the weekend before the meeting. Anyway, she was relieved to hear that the suggested questions were listed in the back of the book. (We had a good laugh about this later!) I also told her that her group was the first book club to read THE MEMORY BOX and that I’d love to join their discussion of the book. This flipped her out. They never had an author join them at a book club meeting. Who has? But I can tell you, this was a mutual treat! She decided this was so exciting that she wasn’t going to tell any of the members beforehand. She wanted it to be a surprise for the night they were discussing the book. Since I appeared via Face Time, I wasn’t able to hear her tell everyone before I was “live,” but I can tell you I was as ecstatic as they were.

In retrospect, it makes complete sense to me that people love to hear the back story of the story. How did you come up with the idea? Why did Caroline make certain decisions? What is your writing process? Why didn’t so-and-so tell the police about so-and-so? (Sorry, can’t reveal that specific question, but it was a good one! In fact, I hadn’t ever thought about it before — they really stumped me.) And they asked the question that I seem to be getting a lot these days, will there be a sequel? If you had asked me that question 65 days ago, I would have said no. But now, I just might reconsider. More on that to come.

Apart from meeting some fabulous, intelligent, fun, inquisitive, fun (did I say that already? well, they were really fun!) women, the other really interesting thing for me was that I got to know my characters even more than I did already. They asked me such thought provoking questions that I had to dig deep and really think about these characters I’ve come to know over the years since I started writing the book. I understood on another level their motivations for their actions. I can’t explain how incredible it was to still have these “aha moments” and think to myself, “Oh, that’s why she did that!”

Thank you, Dunthorpe Book Junkies! I am so lucky to have you as readers. By the way, that’s a photo of them above. For everyone else out there in the world, if you choose THE MEMORY BOX for your book club, please let me know. I’ve heard from many of you who have scheduled it for your September, October and November (you peeps are good planners!) meetings. So, thank you! And, absolutely send me a photo of your group with the book and I’d love to post it here. If I’m available to chat with you and your group via Face Time or Skype, if you’d like, I’ll make every effort. But if I can’t, do let me know about your meeting, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Where in the World is THE MEMORY BOX??

 

tmb beach

Forget about Matt Lauer and Flat Stanley, where in the world is THE MEMORY BOX?

There’s nothing more exciting for an author than to see her book popping up in places outside of her home town (okay, her home…). All authors have a not-so-secret fantasy of seeing someone on a subway or train or plane reading their book. I’m definitely one of them! So in recent weeks, you can imagine my excitement to hear of THE MEMORY BOX being spotted in or taken to the far flung reaches of the globe. You know who you are: Sue Ann in Greece, Katia in Belgium, Jane in Michigan, Sydney in Hawaii, Stacey in Myrtle Beach, Kim in Portugal, Judee in Canada, Aileen in California, Anthe in Greece, Annette in Florida, Hope in Long Island, Renee in New York, Pat in his kitchen. Inspired by your posts, I thought it would be fun to track the book’s location on a virtual map. Help me, please! If you’re reading THE MEMORY BOX or see someone else reading it, tell me where! Leave a comment below telling me the location and better yet, include a photo! Or post them on Facebook and tag me! I love seeing MEMORY BOX selfies!

I was beyond flipped out to see this completely engrossed reader, (photo above) with THE MEMORY BOX on a New Jersey beach recently. Thanks, Elizabeth, for making my day! (Okay, year.)

THE MEMORY BOX downloaded 27,452 times in 3 days

photo by James Cridland

photo by James Cridland

 

It’s been an incredible week. In the last three days, THE MEMORY BOX Kindle edition has been downloaded 27,452 times. It’s been ranked #1 for three days consecutively in its genre on the free Kindle chart and #10 overall. To say that my expectations have been drastically exceeded, is an understatement.

Believe me, I know who’s responsible for this. You are. If I didn’t have the greatest supporters in the world: friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, who read my book and took the time to write a review and posted it to Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble, this would not have happened. I told you that reviews matter and this is proof. Some of you said, ‘I don’t know how to write a review’, ‘you don’t need mine you’ve already got 3′, or ‘who’s gonna care what I’ve got to say’. But people DO care what you have to say. In fact, go look at your review now. Even you are getting ranked!

My goal with this 3 day Amazon promotion was to gain visibility. It’s really hard for a self-published author who’s writing and designing and editing, and distributing, and negotiating, and marketing and publicizing, to have a significant impact reaching people on their own. How many people can one person reach? But, I’m not just one person anymore, because I’ve got all of you. And unbeknownst to you, you’ve had incredible success! You’ve been spreading the word in your individual way: by getting excited, sharing your enthusiasm, cheering me on, telling people about my book and writing reviews that people have read and listened to. Guess how many people listened? 27,452!!! Go you!

Thank you dear friends and friends of friends. I so appreciate you. For all of you who’ve just downloaded THE MEMORY BOX, thank you; I hope you enjoy it. And don’t forget, your reviews matter too! They’ll help reach the next 27,452 book lovers. They’ve already started showing up. Yesterday, I read a review from someone I don’t know. A person from Ohio. It made me cry. I know that doesn’t surprise many people who know me, since it takes very little to get me teary. But, the review made me choke up. To think that something I created (the very thing that caused frequent bouts of uncertainty) could have this kind of impact on someone was incredible. It really got me right there. What an amazing week. I’m gonna remember it for a long time … cause it’s going in the memory box.

It’s official! THE MEMORY BOX is a book!

The Memory Box_3DI’m thrilled to announce THE MEMORY BOX, the newest release in the hottest genre in fiction: the marriage thriller, is finally a book! It’s just been released and is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon worldwide. With expanded distribution in the upcoming weeks.

This book has been long in the making and the road to publication was a pothole-filled journey. If you’re a writer, you know there are one million potential chances to hit a bump in the road, fall out of your car, get bruised pretty badly and decide driving is not for you. And you end up walking everywhere you go for the rest of your life. There are so many possible detours. Red lights that never turn green. Other drivers who swerve into your lane and crush your car to smithereens. Sometimes you’ll think you know where you’re going when you set out, only to get lost along the way. Other times you’ll simply run out of gas. There are as many opportunities to sabotage your success as there are days in your creative life, or even hours. To not listen to those cynical voices, whether they are external or internal, in order to get to this day—the day your flicker of an idea becomes a book—is close to a miracle.

There were many people whose encouragement, both big and small, kept me going.  If those of you can hear me, thank you for cheering me on, holding my hand or paving the way for me to go the distance. To you, I bow my head in appreciation.

This spring, THE MEMORY BOX had the distinguished honor of being a recipient of the Houston Writers Guild 2014 Manuscript award and it has already garnered some wonderful early praise. I hope it will find it’s way into your beach bag, train tote or carry-on luggage this summer. If it does, thank you so much for taking a chance on THE MEMORY BOX. Perhaps you’d also consider writing an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari or any social media platform you’re on. Reviews and word of mouth through social media will be invaluable to the success of THE MEMORY BOX. And every little bit helps tremendously!

Please feel free to share this exciting news with your fiction-loving family and friends. If you or someone you know would like to read THE MEMORY BOX in a book club, I’ll be available for personal appearances at book club meetings! I’d love to share in the book club conversation and pass on some never-heard-before stories about the inspiration for the characters and story. I’ll be available on Skype for book clubs outside the New Jersey area, so tell your friends in Mobile, Manchester and Mat Aafhis. (What, like you don’t know anyone there?)

Thank you so much for your interest and support! And as always, I so appreciate hearing from you. If you had a connection with something you read, I’d love to hear about it.

Here is THE MEMORY BOX book description:

What would you do if you searched your own past and uncovered something shocking?

In this gripping marriage thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know.

The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true.

The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose astory of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello’s page-turning suspense cautions:

Be careful what you search for