Drinking Coffee with the Stars
Having moved back to Texas and to Round Rock in 2005, I don't qualify as a newcomer. Still, I only recently managed to discover the Round Rock New Neighbors book group.
Yesterday's wonderful discussion featuring guest author Amanda Eyre Ward prompted me to get the word out: you, too, new resident or not, can get in on this prime reading/discussion opportunity.
RRNN began as a private newcomers group meeting in members' homes but is now open to the public. The current venue--Barnes & Noble at La Frontera--is easy to locate. B&N public relations manager Frank Campbell hosts the event and even provides fresh Starbucks coffee and straight-from-the-oven cookies. Sessions start at 1:00 on the third Monday of each month (but November will be an exception; check out upcoming events on the RRNN blog: http://rrnnbookblog.blogspot.com).
Novelist (Sleep Toward Heaven, Forgive Me, How to Be Lost) and short story writer (Love Stories in This Town) Ward was a definite hit yesterday. With her warm and chatty responses, the Q&A exchange shifted into conversational mode, touching a variety of topics related to the writer's life and books. Among other items, Ward divulged that her office is actually her son's closet (which displays her Violet Crown Book Award); that those who create children's books must possess special word crafting skills akin to poetry; and that at a young age she read both Nancy Drew books and John Updike!
RRNN doesn't promise visits from critically acclaimed authors every month, but the discussions are first-rate. And you never know who might drop in....