I had a reading at a local retirement village this past week. I won't mention the name of the establishment because I learned that there appears to be a retirement home circuit among writers. Authors attempting to market their books can be a bit overwhelming to some of the staff. The Activity Director told me, “My name must have gotten out there somehow. I get about six calls a day.”
The reading went very well. I had eight people in attendance, which is a perfect amount for the type of reading I like best. We sat in a circle. I read three excerpts and between the readings I talked about some of the concepts in the book and about the process of writing.
My book doesn't appeal to everyone because its plot deals with past lives and that idea conflicts with the religious beliefs of some people. (I've heard that from a couple of reviewers who declined to read it.) At first glance a North Carolina retirement home seems to be a poor choice for an appearance, since most are associated with churches. But my book is a novel and I think the majority of people recognize that novels are places where readers can get lost in fictional lives.
This particular home is Moravian, but that doesn't mean the residents are all members of that church. Retirement homes are no different than any other large groups of people. The residents have a variety of backgrounds and interests. In the group that attended my reading there was a former chaplain, a woman who had once been hypnotized, and a writer who had spent her career as a journalist. The writer had lost her sight, but still enjoyed audio books. She also had a finished novel she had never sent out. I think she liked my reading. Of all the people in attendance she was the most involved in the conversation.
I always enjoy hearing the opinions and stories of the people who attend my readings. The reason I enjoy doing readings is because they are give and take events where I can learn as well as share my experiences.