My favorite author visits are those when I can meet with smaller groups, sit in a circle, have a back-and-forth discussion. I will read from my work if asked, but I prefer not to do much of that. People can read for themselves. A live visit is a chance for us to discuss what isn’t printed on the pages.
I’ve never charged to meet with book clubs—groups of people who have already read one of my books—although if we are geographically distant, the visit may happen via Skype rather than in person. I love when questions lead to discussion. When asked what happened to the characters after the last chapter, I like to turn the question back to the audience and hear what readers think. It’s even better when they debate one another over what certain scenes mean, and whether certain characters are really “bad,” and if the flawed relationship featured in The Secret Year was really love, or something else—and if so, what?
My third book, Until It Hurts to Stop, gave me a chance to talk about bullying. My second book, Try Not to Breathe, led to so many people sharing their stories of surviving the suicide of a loved one, or surviving their own attempts. Part of the simple power of stories is just knowing that we’re not alone.
I view my books as the start of a conversation. For me, an author visit is, ideally, continuing that conversation.
(If you are potentially interested in a visit, more details are available at www.jenniferhubbard.com .)