Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Live Author Chats Can Be Fun by Nora St.Laurent

Nora St.Laurent is all about book clubs. As writers, there may be opportunities to connect with readers through this avenue. Today, on this Writer's Journey Wednesday, she shares one of her book club experiences. Enjoy her story!

Live Author Chats Can Be Fun


I rush to my computer go to my e-mail box and look for an email titled “Live author book chat tonight – come join us!” I can't find it. I can hardly breathe. I yell, "Fred, I need your help! I can't find the web address to the book club meeting. I only have five minutes to get there." I can't believe I’m lost in cyber space.

My husband finds the way - my hands are shaking as I sign in and type 'hi' to the author and a couple of others already there. Ten minutes later several people join in all at once and the greetings go around. The author types, “Nora, Are we ready to start?"

"Yes,” I type back. "Remember everyone, if you have a question, type? And type! when you have a comment. Wait to be called on. Go Ahead!"

I never anticipated what happened next.

The screen filled up with '?s' with full questions attached, and '!s' with full comments included. The author struggled to keep up with the rapid fire questions and comments.

Words filled my computer screen so fast it made my eyes cross. The beeps signaling a comment sound like an alarm! What to do? No one waited their turn.

I’m over my head; I have no idea how to get hold of this crowd. This is very different from a live, in-person author chat. Face-to-face, I could stare at someone or clap my hands to get their attention. What to do in cyber space?

This is like riding on top of an Ostrich. I can’t hold on, I’m about to fall off and be trampled. My neck tightens and I find it hard to breathe.

In the midst of my panic an instant message appears. "Nora, hang in there. I used to help run these meetings. These ladies know the author and are having a blast. Better to have lots of conversation then none at all. You're doing fine!"

Whew! Good news. I type back, "THANKS SO MUCH for your note. I appreciate your calming words. Now I can enjoy this."

I take a deep cleansing breathe and start chuckling at all the grins, LOL's, and smiley faces I see. Something else catches my eye.

"You pet a camel?”

Next they talk of pirates and Jack Sparrow. I must have missed something somewhere because the book I read was about a woman facing hardships on the western frontier. See how things can go when you lose control of the group? This can happen at a live, in-person author chat as well - trust me I know.

Don’t hesitate to join a live chat. You can learn so much about your book. I’m the ACFW Book Club Coordinator and would love for you to submit your book for us to vote on. We promote ACFW members’ books. We have live author chats like the one I described. Check us out. Book Clubs are so much fun.

Nora St.Laurent runs two book clubs near the Atlanta area and this year became ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Book Club Coordinator. She currently writes a Book Club Column for Christian Fiction On –Line Magazine. You can read her reviews and author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog located at Nora also runs The Book Club Network on Facebook


  1. Thanks for sharing such a fun story!

    Readers, I happen to know that today is our guest's birthday. Happy Birthday, Nora! :-D

  2. Happy Birthday, Nora! Thanks for visiting!

    :) Annette

  3. Thanks Dawn for this opportunity to share a little bit about the on-line book club experience. It really cuts down on excuses for not coming to book club when it's right in your own home. Ha! Ha!

    I've had the honor of meeting so many special people through the on-line experience. It's been amazing.

    THANKS for having me here and thanks also for your birthday wishes.


    Nora :D


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