By Marilyn Baron
I’m a member of two book clubs—my neighborhood book club and my synagogue Sisterhood Book Club. Last month, based on the recommendation of a member who had enjoyed the book, the Sisterhood selected my romantic thriller/historical, Under the Moon Gate, published by The Wild Rose Press, to read for their October meeting, which was also their annual luncheon.
As an author, I was honored that my book club, which reads great books every month, would choose to read my book. It was as thrilling as holding a paperback copy of my book or seeing my book on the library shelf for the first time.
The meeting was held at Brio Tuscan Grille in Dunwoody, Georgia, and 26 members attended. After a delicious luncheon and during dessert, I spoke about my book, my writing process and Bermuda, where the book was set.
I talked about why I chose to set the book in Bermuda and why I chose the contemporary and WW II time period. Bermuda is one of my favorite places to visit. I’ve been there about 10 times so I was fairly familiar with the location. My husband only reads WWII spy novels so said that if I ever wanted him to read my book, it would have feature a spy and be set during World War II.
Bermuda is almost a central character in the book so I told the group a few little known facts about Bermuda, like why the sand on the beaches is pink, and that:
- Bermuda is NOT in the Bahamas
- Bermuda is the oldest British colony
- Bermuda is home to more golf courses per square mile than anywhere in the world
- Bermuda introduced tennis to America
- Bermuda is the world’s number one wreck diving destination; and
- Bermuda has a rich literary heritage, attracting and inspiring Mark Twain, Noel Coward, James Thurber, Eugene O’Neill and John Lennon. The rumor is that the secret garden in the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, who stayed in Bermuda before she published The Secret Garden, might be located somewhere in Bermuda. William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, was inspired by a shipwreck that occurred near St. George in 1609, the year before he wrote the play. That shipwreck was also the inspiration for my novella, Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story, which was released in September, and is the prequel to Under the Moon Gate.
Reading the book is almost like being there, so I handed out Bermuda travel brochures.
I related that I started writing the book about 10 years ago and that it was originally called The Bermuda Triangle: A Love Story, because it featured three different love stories. I explained how I researched the book, reading back issues of The New York Times and The Royal Gazette and how I wove information I learned about what people ate, wore and major events during that time period, throughout the book. For instance, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor came to the island, so I had some of the characters gossip about their visit.
I talked about my favorite character, the German sleeper agent, William Whitestone, why I named one of my characters Patience and why I chose to call my book Under the Moon Gate and feature a moon gate on the cover. Moon gates are the national symbol of Bermuda and they’re used as a decorating feature in landscaping and gardening. It is regarded as good luck for newlyweds to step through the gate. And moon gates are significant in my story.
At the end of the talk, I was happy that everyone asked so many questions, mostly about my writing process, and that they were such a welcoming audience.
After the event, I received an email:
“I want to shout out a big Thank You to our guest speaker and book club member, Marilyn Baron, for offering us her time and expertise in facilitating a conversation about a day in the life of a writer as well as a discussion about her book Under the Moon Gate. I think I can mention for all of us, it was an informative, enjoyable and thoroughly delicious afternoon. How special our book club is! So many hidden talents amongst our members.”
And I got many nice follow-up emails from members thanking me and telling me how much they enjoyed my talk.
If you’d like to get a copy of Under the Moon Gate, or Destiny: A Love Story, visit my Web site at www.marilynbaron.com to find out where they’re available.