THE DEATH OF RAFAEL–Another Amazing Book Club Meeting

Monday, September 10, 2012 I had the privilege to be the guest of the local San Clemente book club hosted in a beautiful and welcoming home in the Tolega hills,  to discuss The Death of Rafael. I was accompanied by good friend, and advisor on Latin American ‘stuff’, Edda.

The gathering started with half an hour of  ‘meet and greet’, nibbling of goodies and sipping of wine (or water).

Getting acquainted with some of the women of the club

After the initial introduction, the group (of about a dozen) began the discussion of the novel, questions and opinions flowing like good wine. The questions I was asked at this meeting and the discussion of some of my answers turned inward into the character and motivation of the protagonists, but more , it revealed to me my own subconscious and choices for the personalities of the protagonists. Some of the questions I was asked almost had no answer because of how deep I had to dig into my own mind. There’s a large part of writing and creativity that is un-deliberate and uncontrolled, that streams from some place in us that is hidden even from our own selves. This became sharply evident during the discussions. I must admit there were a couple of occasions when I squirmed a little when I realized how deeply I had to dig into my own personality to come up with an answer.  One question that took me aback had to do with the choice in social status of my protagonists. While the explanation had to do with historical events but also effectiveness of the story, it did reveal to me quite starkly that indeed, from somewhere in my subconscious and my own upbringing, and family history, I was projecting into the characters of my novel.  I guess one writes what one knows… 

Bottom line–I delighted in the wisdom and incisiveness of the questions and discussions. I was left with a lot of thinking to do. I learned so much about my writing! Nothing helps a writer’s craft like a good discussion. It has directed me and refreshed the story I am composing for my next novel. (Stay tuned… 🙂 ) 

The women of the book club surrounded me with their excitement and their interest in the story of Rafael.  It was stimulating and encouraging. It seems that I wrote a good story after all.

And the incredibly delicious raspberry tart was the fabulous ending to a fabulous evening.


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