Shall We Gather by the River?

I’m completely amazed at how many river songs there are.  Obviously I’m obsessed.  One of my all-time favorites is When I Went Down to the River to Pray, sung by Alison Krauss in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (One of my favorite movies.)  The sweet purity of her voice, and the images of people in white walking down to the river is one of those film moments that replays at will in my head whenever I hear the song.

But today another river song occurred to me when I sat down to write about the terrific book club shown here that interviewed me by telephone a few nights ago. Shall We Gather by the River? 

Thumbnail image for Mothers in Love with Fiction.jpgThese days so many people are gathering by the “river” of creativity and dipping into the 
 waters. Book clubs like Virginia’s own Mothers in Love with Fiction gather all over the world to enjoy each other’s company and discuss a variety of books.  This club with a dozen members has been meeting for six years.  After we spoke they sent me their booklist, and it contains such a wealth of reading material, (including some of my own novels, thank you) that I’ve saved it, just so I can enjoy some of the books I’ve yet to read.  

My own book club, nameless, everchanging, but in existence since 1998 “meets” online.  We are a diverse group of authors who, for the most part, discuss fiction.  Since I’m taking a break from writing, I’ve been logging on often, chatting about this and that, enjoying their company and their insights.

And that’s another in my list of jump starts for creativity.  Being with friends who love what I do.  Enjoying their thoughts.  Thinking about my own responses.  My book club doesn’t come with luscious ham dinners, like the one Mothers in Love with Fiction served a few nights ago.  But for busy writers who span the country and still want to be “together,” it’s another welcome lifeline.

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned from all those novels and all those discussions?  No book will please everybody, but each book will please somebody.  No matter what I write, someone will love it, and someone will not.  That frees me up to write my book my way.  I can just let the river flow where it will.

If you’re in a book club and would like to chat with me, too, please contact me through the “Get in Touch” link on my homepage.



  1. Julie Compton on November 24, 2008 at 9:17 am

    What a nice post! As the newest member of your online book club, I’m excited to join in the discussions. And yes, you’re right, there’s something comforting about discussing books with others who also write them. It gives a whole different perspective.
    Love the new website!

  2. Emilie Richards on November 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for the nice comment, and I’m looking forward to all our future discussions. Am enjoying your book, too! Tell No Lies is going with me on to Cleveland for Thanksgiving.

  3. Kathy Butler on November 26, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I am one of the members in Mothers In Love with Fiction, and spoke to you just last week. I wanted to say thank you so much for speaking with us! It was just fantastic of you to take the time. We all appericated it very much, and will of course continue to read your books! The one’s I have read are just great. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

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