Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The best of nights with Meg Waite Clayton and friends

When Meg announced her tour dates for her new novel, The Four Ms. Bradwells, I can't tell you how excited I was to see she was coming to the DC area. For one thing, I love her previous novel, The Wednesday Sisters. If you grew up in the sixties and early seventies, the book will speak to you. But from a writer's point of view, there is a lot to love, too (and study): the deft handling of multiple main characters, deft handling of the historic aspect (it's the sixties, after all; it could easily overpower the characters or the story but it never does!) and much more.

Mostly I wanted the opportunity to thank Meg for her generous spirit towards fellow writers. Shortly after my book was sold last year and I didn't really know what to expect, I came across Meg's blog, 1st Books. There, she features other authors, mostly debut authors, giving them wonderful exposure. The feature of the blog that I most appreciate is the series "How A Novel Gets Published." It's the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" for first-time authors, and told intelligently, thoughtfully. You can tell she put a lot of time into the crafting of each post. It was like having a wonderful friend going through the publication process sharing it with you. I was--am--so grateful. It kept me from asking my agent and editor many newbie questions.

Her generosity doesn't stop there, though. She also is one of the sherpas on a writers' social networking site called SheWrites. And joining Meg's group on SheWrites was an opportunity to see how someone builds a community: with a generous spirit, with patience and abundant good nature.

But this will give you an idea of just how caring and generous Meg is: Sarah Addison Allan was supposed to be on tour with Meg to promote her new novel, The Peach Keeper. Sarah fell ill and couldn't go on tour (all our thoughts are with you, Sarah) but Meg is handling promotion for The Peach Keeper on the tour by telling the audience about Sarah and bringing readers up to read passages. It made for a special event.
My friend Judy reads

When I heard Meg was coming to DC, it seemed a good opportunity to thank her and to gather up other people who love her writing and appreciate her generosity. DC-area book bloggers Jennifer Lawrence,  Swapna Krishna, and Kristen Dunham, and author Kathleen McCleary turned out for the reading. The big surprise was that Eleanor Brown, author of the recently released "The Weird Sisters," was in town and dropped in on the reading. Afterwards, we had wonderful time talking all things books and writing. Wine, beer and food was involved. I think we all had a fabulous time. Too bad Meg doesn't live in the DC area and we could do this more often.
Eleanor Brown! Proof she was there!

1 comment:

  1. Just going to say the generosity award here definitely goes to Judy, who did an excellent reading of The Peach Keeper. And 1st runner up goes to Eleanor, who not only took time out of her very whirlwind schedule to come, but also wore pearls!

    You are all so terrific! And thank you, Alma, for posting this.