The Intergenerational Book Club met today to discuss Guitar Notes by Mary Amato. The time flew by. We had a bingo game as an icebreaker. We had to walk around the room and talk to each other in order to find people to satisfy a square on the bingo card: are you left-handed, have you been to Paris, can you whistle a song, etc.
We also had food, with pomegranates prevalent because they were important in the story. While eating we conversed with the author, who was on live via video chat.
Mary Amato is a wonderful, fun, and open person. She told us how she goes about writing. Her method is more or less cloud gathering. She takes large easel size paper and writes her characters on different sections of the paper. Then her ideas that go with the characters are written around the character. That's what works for her.
It is not unusual for her to make 40 revisions, or to scrap an entire book. She sometimes writes two stories at once. Her work schedule usually is set but if the spirit moves her, she'll stop writing and grab an instrument for a break or write a song. But she is a disciplined perfectionist, like Lyla, the character in Guitar Notes.
That was one of the questions we asked; "are the characters based on real people?" The answer was mostly "no." Although Lyla had that one trait of perfectionism.
The interviewing with the author flew by. All too soon, Mary Amato said, "just one more question." I think the author had a good time with us. I know we all did. It was great fun.
Personally, I enjoyed the book. I thought the telling of the story was unique. Mary Amato told the story through messages passed between two people, Tripp and Lyla. So there were two points of view. The characterization was well drawn. Tripp and Lyla were real typical teens. The storyline appealed to all ages. We, seniors, were once teens and parents so we could identify. The teens are living the same story, presently. The book was a hit.