For example--this month, I've attended a book club meeting, where SILENCES: A NOVEL OF THE 1918 FINNISH CIVIL WAR was discussed. It was interesting to hear local readers compare notes: "Did you know about that?" "No, not until later." "I had no idea." "We walked back there often." "We went to the circus ever summer!" "My husband's grandmother refused to talk about her life before immigration." Et cetera.
The books have been disappearing from the local chain bookstores, which means people are buying them. (Or they're lost in a back room somewhere--we are coming out of the busy season for all retailers, so that's possible.)
I've been chatting with many other writers working on books of history--fiction and otherwise. Having a book out there for people to read helps give me gravitas, though who knows whether I have earned it.
Although "having written" and "having published" is fun, so is working on another project.
For my companion novel to SILENCES, I've researched symptoms of lung disease, medical terminology from 1955 and earlier, the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths, and phases of the moon.
My publisher and I are looking ahead to 2019 events. FinnFest, the celebration of Finnish culture, is in Thunder Bay this year--stay tuned to hear about our plans.
Writing is a lot of fun--but it wouldn't be possible without readers. Thank you to everyone who reads, especially those who read the work of your friends and neighbours!