This is my favorite moment in the life cycle of a book. It’s the moment the book leaves the author’s control and makes its way into readers’ hands. Up until this moment, the book has been a private matter between myself and my publisher, and we’re a very small circle of insiders. Now it’s being published. It will be made public. Readers will find it in the library. The bookstore. The discount store. Online. Wherever books are sold. If you’re one of those sainted readers who knew Sugar and Salt was coming out and preordered it, then maybe the book will magically appear at midnight on your e-reader, or arrive by special delivery on your doorstep on the day it’s published. By whatever magic means a reader finds an author’s book, it has now been released into the wild!
The story doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to readers. It takes on a life of its own, because reading is a fundamentally creative, collaborative process. When you read a book, it becomes a part of you, because you bring in your own unique experiences and perspectives. The story plays out differently in your mind than it does in the mind of anyone else who reads a book.
One of my favorite things about book club meetings is that we get to see this phenomenon in action. We discover that every reader reads a different book. Some of you will read Sugar and Salt (oh my gosh, I hope you read it), and you’ll read a woman’s coming-of-age journey through the key moments of her life. Someone else will read the same book, and it will be a love story. And another reader might relate to a story of trauma and recovery. Some of you will read a heartfelt interracial romance. Others will be intrigued by the story-within-a-story about a forbidden love that happened during the unrest of the late 1960s. And I bet a lot of readers will flip straight to the recipes and get cooking, because Sugar and Salt is about making people happy with tasty food.
Sounds like there’s something for everyone in this book.
Sugar and Salt is a good choice for a book club discussion, because it’s multifaceted in that way. When my editor created The Reading Group Guide for Sugar and Salt it turned out twice as long as a typical guide. I think that’s because there’s so much to process in this novel. And I’m not sure I should say this, but it’s the truth, so I will. The events in this book are even more relevant in the current news cycle. The drama Margot faces in Sugar and Salt involves issues such as body autonomy and freedom of choice, justice inequities, racial matters, and diversity in families. Also, cocktails, snacks, and dessert, but those are not controversial.
We read to escape the grim news of the day. But we also read to frame the things in the world around us and to make sense of them. That’s one of the reasons I wrote Sugar and Salt, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
I hope you’ll read my latest novel. I hope you’ll prepare some of the tasty dishes mentioned in the story, and share with your friends. I’m especially fond of Baja Oklahoma–a refreshing, powerful margarita. Cheers, yall! Look at this amazing recipe booklet for all the great recipes from the book: Recipes from Sugar and Salt
If you are considering ordering SUGAR AND SALT and want to check out an excerpt you can read it here!
#fiction #newreleases #newbooks #reading #writing #readSusanWiggs