Deb Tawna’s topless book club made her an author

The ladies of the BBB (that's "Bend Book B*tches") strike a pose after discussing Sean Ferrell's debut novel NUMB.

I’ve been part of the same book club for more than ten years.

We’ve read good books and bad ones, classic literary works and racy erotica. We’ve supported each other through marriages and divorces, births and deaths. We’ve laughed together, cried together, and on one memorable occasion, watched our founding member strip off her shirt in the throes of a hot flash and continue the meeting in her bra.

Good times.

In a roundabout way, I credit my book club with the fact that I became an author. It happened several years ago at the beginning of our “summer smut” tradition. Each year, we pick one fluffy beach read to enjoy in July or August, and that year we chose a book by a well-known romance author.

I won’t name the author or the book, but I will say that every single one of us HATED it. The writing was cliché and stilted. The premise was ridiculous. The characters were sniveling idiots.

I say all this as a longtime fan of the romance genre.

At the end of the meeting, I slammed the book down on the table. “If this crap can get published, so can I,” I declared. “I’m going to write a romance novel.”

And so I did.

And so I discovered it’s a helluva lot harder than it looks.

It took several tries, a whole lot of road bumps, and the discovery that my true “voice” lies in romantic comedy as opposed to traditional romance.

Just last week, I realized we’ve come full circle when members of my book club were swapping emails about reading selections for the coming months.

“Well, we all know what we’re reading in August,” wrote one member.

“What?” I wrote back cluelessly.

“Um, YOUR book?!”

Oh. Right.

Are you part of a book club? Do you tend to favor classics, new releases, or an eclectic mix? Are you a wine-fueled bunch that’s prone to removing clothing during meetings, or do you tend to be a bit more reserved? Please share!

And please keep in mind that if you ever read my book and end up slamming it down on the table with a declaration that you could do better, I don’t want to know about it!

17 Replies to “Deb Tawna’s topless book club made her an author”

  1. How many takes for you and Fabio to get that fab cover shot, Tawna? Did he smell like margarine? Would you like to borrow one of the 4000 pink ball point pens I have for my signings for your own to match your title color? Looks GREAT and can’t wait to read it. I am not a big fan of the romance genre per se – but romantic comedy? Well Harry meet Sally and call me Moonstruck! I loved Deb Jenny Gerdiner’s Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, for example. Yours is the LAST Deb book for us to read – no pressure though. I recently slammed down a book by a FAMOUS FAMOUS series writer all of us know and love and adore9d) (think monster sized recent pub house change) and was just sick to my stomach. “How could she put her name on this!?” It was like losing a dear friend. Known authors bear a huge responsibility = and while Freshman year is tough, I hear Sophomore doesn’t even arrive for many.

    1. You know, I really need to find a boat and a hot guy so I can test out that pose and figure out where everything lines up inside the boat. I’ve been dying to find out! 🙂


  2. I’m still dying to find the right book club. The one I participate in now is very low key. We meet in a bookstore (no wine!) and more of the conversation ends up being about potty training than books. Some members never even read the selection. They also sway toward YA novels with some occasional chick it thrown in. I crave some adult conversation about characters and themes and favorite novels and…well anything actually lit related.

    You are fortunate to have found such a fabulous and supportive group of book-loving friends. If I can find a great group of my own I will be sure to suggest your book–I can’t wait to read it!

    1. My book club definitely loves the wine! We take turns hosting, and we read a HUGE variety of stuff. I certainly feel lucky to be a part of the group!


  3. What a great story – both about the lasting relationship in your book club and about your decision to write a novel.

    Having tried my hand at romance myself, I have enormous respect for you. They are TOUGH. And you’ve written a wonderful one.

    1. Thank you, Eleanor! I want to go back and slap my early self for how easy I thought romance writing would be! 🙂


    1. That’s the thing I love best about my book club…we might read classic literature one month, a bestseller the next, a non-fiction title the following month, and a racy smut book after that. Endless variety!


  4. See, yours sounds like a book club I could truly get behind. And if you will consider me for you fluffy beach read in summer 2012, I might even rip off my shirt for your meeting. Via Skype. (Um, can you photoshop Skype? Special effects? Anything?)

    Congrats again on your fantastic cover, Tawna! It is worthy of the fabulous read to be found within it. 🙂

  5. I am the proud member of a virtual book club called Book Hungry. We read books and discuss them online then post a review on our blogs on the third THursday of each month.

    Stop by and check us out !

  6. I have been in a book club for several years as well. Our reads have run the gamut. When I decided to write a novel, my book club wanted to read it as well. They were some of my best editors and encouragers!

    I’m eager to jump into your book soon! Maybe I’ll make it a book club read! 🙂

    1. If you do decide to read MAKING WAVES with book club, give me a shout! I’m certainly up for chatting!


  7. Okay first I have to get past the notion that you didn’t KNOW you should write romantic COMEDY to begin with. Then I have to say, that cover looks great. Dammit August is too far away!
    No, I don’t belong to a book club but looking at that wonderful group of women makes me want to start one.

    1. LOL, nope….I started off writing more suspense-filled, action/adventure romances. It wasn’t until few years in that I really found my voice with the comedy!


  8. I love your book club story! Did they do any reading of your book as you wrote it? I remember from your blog that you have a tried and true group you turn to for that, but were any book club members involved?

    Can’t wait to read your book!!!!!

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