I got to attend the virtual Fiction, Fantasies, & Epics Book Club event yesterday evening discussing The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner hosted by Oxford Exchange Book Club. First off, I have to say that I had a blast. The hosts were very welcoming and started us off with an intense ice breaker question that had to do with the book. Then Sarah Penner got to join us and we were given the opportunity to listen to her answer some of the questions that we had pertaining to her book and herself as a writer. I learned A LOT. But one of the most interesting things I had learned for myself was how much editing changes can happen in the book publishing process. I have always been curious to hear at what level personally it can happen, so I was happy to get to hear an experience pertaining to that from the author. To know that an ending that the author first had in mind can completely change along with the fate of a character because an editor believes it needs to change is just so interesting to me and cool. I love that authors can get help from editors that know the industry better than they do.
Another thing that I had learned and found interesting was how different every reader is. The Lost Apothecary in my opinion attracted such a wide range of readers, which I easily saw in the book club last night. This showed me how each reader pays attention to and focuses on such different things in the novels they read. What upsets some people, others may not even care about. What intrigues some people, others may not find an interest in at all. It was so interesting to see the different levels people took the book in emotionally and also what some readers clung to from the story and what others didn’t.
I had an amazing experience. Someone brought the symbolism of a bear to the discussion and many worked together to figure out what exactly that symbolism could have meant. The hosts were kind enough to make sure that they would check in with the author about that question to give the ones who really wanted to know that contentment. We discussed easily forgotten characters, which was nice to try to figure out why they were so easily forgotten. I felt very welcomed and I loved the group. I had walked away all smiles and had felt so filled up inside that I tried to stay away from anything that could bring my mood down so I could keep that feeling into sleep. 😊