Nancy Lynn Jarvis wrote her Moment in the form of a letter and upon reading it, I decided a whole new mini-genre was born: the epistolary Made It Moment! There are other ways in which this post is unique. I think I can safely say that I’ve never read about another author having quite this experience. As Nancy is about to tell, there probably isn’t much that’s more pure fun for an author than this…
I would love to tell your readers about one of my made it moments. I could tell them about getting an email from a reader saying how much they enjoyed a book of mine, but most writers have had moments like that, so I want to share something a little different. My made it moment was being invited back to Senior Center Without Walls to read my second book to them.
SCWW is an interesting concept. It’s a dial in group serving a big chunk of California around San Francisco. It’s a free service; members need only apply to be given a conference call phone number. The idea is that for one reason or another the members aren’t able to get around easily so they meet virtually. During one of their regularly scheduled spots a group listens to and then discusses a mystery.
I can no longer recall how I found out about the group or convinced them to give me a chance to read one of my books. Many of the attendees have been avid readers and book club members all their lives and it may be that they were willing to let me read my first mystery because the book was fresh meat, a book they hadn’t read during their long reading lives. I was nervous, because reading aloud seemed daunting, and the group had a cumulative history of reading and critiquing enough books that I was additionally intimidated, but I was determined to do the best I could. One day a week I would call in, greet the members who were waiting for me to read, do my bit, and then chat with participants.
I now understand why actors love live theater. Although the attendees were respectfully quiet while I read, every once in a while there would be a chuckle when what I had written was supposed to be funny. Once a very soft, “Awh oh,” slipped out when my protagonist was in danger. When I killed off a character the group liked, attendance dropped the following week and when the audience returned they let me know they were still upset with me for what I had done. I went from almost throwing up before beginning reading to loving what I was doing.
But the book ended, and so, I thought, did my connection with the group. My made it moment came when I got an email from the organizer saying the group members asked her to find out if I had written another book and, if I had, would I read it to them? I now have a standing invitation to read all the mysteries I write. They tell me I write well. They make intelligent comments about the books and ask excellent questions. I’m certain I have more fun with them than they do with me.
I get to read The Widow’s Walk League, the fourth book in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series to them beginning in September and I can hardly wait.
Nancy Lynn Jarvis was a Santa Cruz, California, Realtor® for more than twenty years. She still owns a real estate company with her husband, but she says writing is so much fun that she has officially retired from being an active agent.
Nancy’s work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years. Writing is the latest of her adventures.
She invites you to take a peek into the real estate world through the stories that form the backdrop of her Regan McHenry mysteries. Many of her characters are based on associates and clients she has known — at least until they become suspects, or worse, murderers.