Minnesota 2018–Blizzards and Book Clubs

Me and most of the Columbia Heights Book Club showing off their prized possessions

My cousin-in-law, Deb, graciously invited me to meet with her book club last evening to discuss my novel, Castle Danger. As is usual in Minnesota, one must factor weather into travel plans, which leads to most plans being tentative–as in, “I’ll see you at seven, presuming the weather cooperates.”

A lot of that 17 inches stuck to anything it touched (and still hangs on tenaciously two days later!)

Of course, most of southern Minnesota got nailed by its first major snowstorm of the winter–seventeen (17) inches in twelve (12) hours–THE DAY BEFORE THE BOOK CLUB MEETING! When that happens, it’s a matter of the road conditions whether or not one travels or doesn’t travel. Sometimes staying home is the only option. But our road crews are experienced and efficient, so all but the worst storms only slow us down.

Backyard shed with interesting drifts and holes.

After monitoring road conditions all day, I estimated my time to drive about 80 miles to Deb’s house at a generous two hours. That would mean I’d have to average 40 miles per hour to make it on time. That trip is 95% freeway. On a dry day with moderate traffic, I’d cover those 80 miles in about 80 minutes. As it turned out, the roads were better than I’d expected. Even though I started a bit late and stopped for a short break, I still arrived at Deb’s house only a few minutes past seven.

My house from the street after 17 inches of wet, heavy snow. Curbside piles are about 4 feet high.

And the slow, bumpy, slippery trip was worth it. The “Columbia Heights Book Club“–I just made that up, I don’t know if they have an official name– consisted of nine delightful, charming women who obviously love books and peppered me with insightful questions and unique observations. AND, they served Castle Danger beer as one of the libations! 🙂 I’m getting to smell a tradition building here (hint, hint for future book clubs!)

If you belong to a book club in the southern half of Minnesota, western Wisconsin, or northeast Iowa, I would love to meet your book club and talk about Castle Danger and the life of an author. Drop me an email or leave a comment below with your contact information.


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