Make the most of summer with a book club

Here on the sand we have bestselling romantic suspense author, Jacki Delecki, who's going to share tips on how to set up a summer book club.

Welcome summer! The warm weather season is officially underway. For many people, summertime is an opportunity to slow down and enjoy life. If personal obligations like school, family, or work keep you too busy to participate with a book club during the rest of the year, consider setting up a summer book club. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips and suggestions.

Identify potential book club members. This can include friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Consider the tone and theme of the club to help determine the best fit of members. Do you want a casual girls’ night out or something for a range of ages?

Determine when your book club will meet. This will depend on members’ availability. Are most people available during the day or in the evening? How about weekends? Where will the group meet? Decide on frequency and how long meetings will be. Don’t be intimidated by logistical details. Book clubs don’t have to be hours and hours long. How about an hour meet-up at the local coffee shop? The goal is to merge your love of reading and time with special folks.

Decide what book(s) members will read. Your book club can be any format you choose. Instead of everyone reading the same book, maybe members share recommendations and brief critiques of books they are reading independently. If you prefer a more traditional approach, where everyone reads the same book and shares a discussion, check a best-seller list or accept suggestions from members. Put the list of titles to a vote and go from there. Here is an article with the year’s most anticipated book club reads.

Recruit volunteers. Invite members of the group to help organize the book club:
  •     Someone to send out meeting reminders
        Discussion moderators
        Refreshments (if appropriate)
        Research, such as author bio, book club discussion notes/questions
Decide on ground rules/meeting format. Will the conversation be casual or is each person expected to contribute to the dialogue? How will the moderator/group handle interruptions, keep the conversation on topic and make sure every person has a chance to be heard? Develop a list of questions to facilitate the discussion.

Read, relax and enjoy!

Do you have tips for setting up a book club or book recommendations? Share your suggestions.

From Novel to the Big Screen!

We have Kim Hornsby on the BEACH today to give us some helpful hints about pitching your novel for a movie deal...

I recently attended a conference called Connecting Writers with Hollywood in Spokane Washington, (a surprisingly ripe bed of film people live or originate there!) and was encouraged that Hollywood wants successful novels for adaptations.
Shawn West, an agent formerly with William Morris, now with the Wayne Agency, represents authors for film deals and spoke eloquently about what the film industry looks for specifically in a novel.
Shawn was talking about a film deal with a large studio out of Hollywood, not a small film company that would make an Indie Film and then sell it to a large studio at an Indie festival.

Here's what they are looking for in a novel or spec script (a tool to sell the premise but not the final script) for a film deal:

1. A Relatable Hero
2. Strong Visual
3. 3 Act Structure
4. 2 Hour Limit
5. Writers that Take Responsibility

He also spoke about franchise appeal. If the book to film is a huge hit, do you have a sequel?
Does it have mass appeal? Young Men, Young Women, Older Men, Older Women
Does it have merchandising potential? Lunchboxes, T-shirts, toys etc.
If it has many hard to reach locations, it will be a large budget film, making it less appealing.

If you get to the point of pitching to a large Hollywood studio, here are some pointers from Shawn:

Don't suggest Tom Cruise play the lead at Sony (he's with Warner Bros)
Pitch to the correct company. Don't pitch a crime drama to Lifetime or a tv drama to Universal
Have a 10 second log line ready.
Know the 3 Acts and where they come in the story.  1 hour dramas have 5 Acts
Be sure to mention if the film is visually appealing. Set the stage.

And a few things I've learned from various people about Pitching:

Sit on the edge of your chair, don't get comfortable.
Imagine telling a campfire story.
Don't pitch only to the men in the room.
Include the conflict. Make it sound life or death.

If you are reading this, I'm hoping you have a pitch coming up or intend to pitch your book. Good luck and remember that what one person doesn't want, another person might see the possibilities.


Kim Hornsby is a bestselling author and public speaker at writing conferences. Her Award-Winning Novel, The Dream Jumper's Promise is a movie waiting to happen, currently under review by a Film Company for option.



Readers & Writers in Seattle

Here on the sand we have bestselling romantic suspense author, Jacki Delecki, who's going to share photos and fun from a recent reader/writer event she attended in Seattle.

Last weekend I attended the Readers & Writers Seattle event. As always, the best part of the event was meeting readers in person. Okay, I lied. The ripped cover models were the best part of the event. If you've ever attended a book signing or reader event featuring cover models, you'll just nod and agree. If you haven't....find one to attend ASAP!

Of course I was so busy enjoying the eye candy that I forgot to get photos with them. I did, however, get pictures with some of my reader and writer friends.


Some of the readers created "memory books" with a page dedicated to each author. They collect autographs and it was an honor to sign my page in this reader's book.


Here's a group photo taken at the event. FYI, tickets for 2018 are already on sale!