It was the day before Christmas of 2019, and Ann Y.K. Choi and I were having lunch, reminiscing on an eventful year for each of us. Ann had worked hard on her new novel, and was still in the midst of relentless edits; she had completed a children’s book, to be released the following year; and there was all her other regular work: mentoring young writers, working full-time as a teacher, and speaking about her first novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety. I had released my first novel, Undercard, that February, and had spent the year adapting to being a published author, a thrilling, rewarding, and often overwhelming experience.
Ann is the first person I met at my first literary event as a published author. It was at the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) 2018, just a few months before my book would be released, and entering the building my publicist bumped into Ann, whom she had worked with previously. Ann was immediately personable, encouraging, and friendly, and I thought, wow, people in the literary community really are nice (they are, although Ann is at another level). Since then Ann has been a supportive friend, and a wise counsel for a new author.
During lunch she asked me if I was speaking at many book clubs. While I have spoken at some, I found it difficult to connect with them. I would gladly speak to many more, but there’s no repository I know of where book clubs are listed, or where I can list my name as available to book clubs. Ann said, someone should do that. And it was only moments later that we both agreed we should do that. And so began the concept of The Authors’ Book Club.
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