1. Which do you prefer? Live, on the phone, or the on-line author chat? Why?

About half of the book clubs I’m invited to are live with real readers, and I’ve enjoyed some wonderful evenings spending time with book clubs over the phone. To tell you the truth, I like both. I love being in the same room with people who’ve read my books, exchanging ideas, hearing their thoughts, impressions and ideas. They bring their dog eared copies and we talk, eat and laugh together. I can’t speak for other authors, but meeting with readers in book clubs actually influences my writing. I think book clubs are fun and readers shouldn’t hesitate to ask authors to come for a visit. I’ve never turned one down, and many authors feel the same way.

2. Please describe a book club experience that really moved you, encouraged you. Why did it touch you?

Book clubs happen in Christian book stores, small shops, and large chain booksellers with café tables and baristas. I’ve met with reading groups in churches, and even in a reader’s private homes before. I once took part in a book club by phone while I was vacationing in the farmlands of central Michigan. I was standing in the middle of farmland in Summer, a wheat field on one side, corn growing behind me. There were red barns, grain silos, and miles of blue sky above. It was the middle of July and everything looked spectacular, fresh and alive. I covered one ear with my hand while listening to questions from eight or nine ladies in someone’s home in Arkansas. It was a lot of fun and I’ll always remember the contract of two worlds coming together.

3. What sort of surprises have you experienced with "Live" in person book clubs?

 I remember one book club in Atlanta preparing “themed foods” that went along with the afternoon tea party scene from A BEAUTIFUL FALL. I think they’d gotten recipes from Southern Living magazine since that novel is set in South Carolina. I’m such a fan of people who put so much time into small details, and in book clubs, often it’s the little things that make the difference. That’s always thoughtful and unexpected, but so appreciated. It speaks to the kindness and friendships that takes place within book clubs, which is probably another reason why they’re so popular.

4. Please explain your phone-book club experience with me. Did they ask you a bunch of questions or let you talk? Or Both. Could you hear ok on the phone?

I visited with a book club once who had it all worked out to put me on speaker phone so everyone there could hear me. For some reason, the phone system worked in such a way that they could all hear me, but I couldn’t hear any of them. The host would pick up the phone to ask a question. Then she’d put me back on speaker phone, and all I could hear was a deafening silence! It felt like they’d all left the room!

5. Were book club members passionate about one of your characters and weren't happy about how you treated them?

I love it when readers connect with my characters. Sometimes I’m asked about a sequel for PROVIDENCE, my best known novel, and there have been other times readers when readers have said they didn’t like something one of the characters has done. In my new novel, SCREEN PLAY, there’s an advanced, special features sections and readers will actually get a chance to vote on which character they’d like to see a new novel based on. It will be fun seeing the results.

6. What would you like to try at a live book club meeting that you haven't attempted so far? Maybe we could make that happen, you never know.

Great question! I think it would be a hoot to see people act out a scene from one of my books. They could hold open the pages and read from it like a script. Maybe we’ll video tape some of those and post them on your web site, Nora! : )

COULD HAPPEN CHRIS!! I do know some of my book club ladies do have drama experience, others are looking for their big break. We'll let the Lord lead. He's always full of surprises. :D

All the best to you and your new book Screen Play. I can't wait to read it. CONGRADULATIONS to you and Christa Parrish as you've recently married. I'm so excited for the both of you.  Thanks for sharing this picture of the two of you.

BLESSINGS to you both. Hey maybe we can get you both to book club.

Thanks for stopping by and telling of your book club experiences. Fun!!


Nora :D



  1. Nora

    Such an open interview. Though some of the questions I may have known the answers asked many questions that were really thought provoking. I hope you use it in your book one day...

    Barb K

  2. Loved the interview. As always Chris was very interesting. Can't wait to read Screen Play.

    Gail Mundy