I spent part of yesterday compiling the Reading Group Guide that will go with my book when it comes out...you know, the 10-20 questions designed to generate discussion in book clubs and other social groups who will have the chance to talk about how I was, in many ways, the dumbest twenty-something they've ever heard of:) (I see this as way to help readers get beyond the obvious first reaction--something along the lines of, "Face it Trish-He's just not that into you!"--and generate enough interesting conversation for everyone to enjoy a glass of wine and some Brie.)
About fifteen minutes into the project, I started giggling. I realized that this whole idea is different when your book is a memoir, rather than fiction. Essentially, what I'm doing is creating prompts to generate the exact conversations I've always feared the most: the worst-case scenario assessments I was terrified people were whispering each time I veered off on some crazy left turn when I was supposed to be going right:
"What do you mean Trish left her law career? What's she thinking?"
"I don't know...Apparently, some bestselling New Age author is taking her on a 'spiritual pilgrimage' to Greece. I mean, who does that?"
"But wait...whatever happened to that nice blond guy she was dating?"
"Oh him--he announced over dinner that he might be bisexual. And you know Trish...she's so picky..."
Too funny (now, at least...) It's challenging for me to stick with the accepted question protocol (which reads something to the effect of: "Trish made a series of unusual decisions in her personal and professional life...What impact did this have on her? Do you agree or disagree with her choices? Discuss.") I can't stop imagining how these conversations are more likely to go:
"This Trish was kind of a wing nut! Why was she dating the semi-bisexual in the first place?"
"Don't you remember? She moved her fishbowl from one end of the living room to another to generate romantic opportunity, and he's the guy who showed up. But he was a Pisces, so his water energy drowned out the fire of her Leo rising."
"Man...if God can sort her out, he'll help anybody..."
I can't be the only one who has wondered about these types of conversations, right? So tell me...if you were crafting the Reading Group Guide for your memoir, what would be THE question to get the conversation started?