The first rule of Book Club: You do not talk about Book Club. The second rule of Book Club: You do not talk about Book Club.
“What happens in the book club, stays in the book club.”
Ha! I’m going to break these alleged rules and blab about the Old School Romance Book Club. So there!
OSRBC is a Facebook group created by Best-selling author Sarah MacLean in July 2014.
We choose one romance novel (published pre-2000, the crazier the plot, the better!) at the beginning of every month to read and discuss, but we talk all kinds of romance all the time.
I joined in August 2014 while I was in Bangkok, one of the first 50 to do so. Three years later, the group has 5,300+ members from all over the world. In the club are some of my favorite romance writers: Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Kerrigan Byrne, Lorraine Heath, and Cathy Maxwell. Many of my co-members have become my personal friends, not just on Facebook, but in real life as well. Mostly women, we are military spouses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, librarians, nurses, full-time housewives and mothers, artists, students, writers. All of us are readers.
This group is my tribe. They speak my language, they understand me. There is no book-shaming, everyone’s opinions are respected. The group members are respectful, fun, and funny. They reinforced my love for my old school loves: Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Sandra Brown. They introduced new-to-me authors who have become instant favorites. Aside from the ones I already named as members of the club, I also discovered Tessa Dare, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Courtney Milan, Kate Meader, Sherry Thomas, and Laura Florand.
More than enabling my book addiction and thereby causing my to-be-read pile to become a mountain, OSRBC is the reason I became a writer. This group put the idea in my head that I can turn one paragraph into a whole novel. This book club encouraged me and cheered me on as I pantsed my way around NaNoWriMo in November and Camp NaNo in July. They believed I can do it. Because of their confidence, I too, believed and completed my first novel.
This week, I’ll be doing final self-editing before I send Boracay Vows to a professional editor (a co-member at OSRBC, naturally). After that will be securing an ISBN, engaging a cover artist, more revisions and proofreading. Then, my book baby will be born.
One thing I will always remember is that it was conceived with the help of the Old School Romance Book Club. And that is why I love my book club. OSRBC Rocks!
Photo credits: I Love My Book Club -cafepress.com, Rules of Book Club – Tumblr.com, What happens… – Zazzle.com, OSRBC logo – Facebook.com