- Lacey’s story is revealed slowly throughout the book, and her full blood relationship to Harris is not explained until the end. What do the final revelations explain about Harris’ concerns and motivations throughout the novel?
- Harris’ parents are barely present, but the impact of their decision to leave him over each summer is fundamental to Harris’ fears and character development. How does your understanding of his parents change by the end of the book?
- There are many misdirections and plot reversals throughout the book, and Harris often speaks or acts out of an incorrect understanding of what’s going on. How does his confusion relate to the reader’s experience?
- The author does not explicitly state whether the visions Harris experiences are real or hallucinations. As a reader, what do you believe? How does leaving this up to the reader impact the way you experience the book?
- Harris’ “inner voice” is very different from the way he interacts with others. How would you describe Harris based on his thoughts vs. his interactions?
- Harris’ thoughts are often fragmented as if the reader is inside his head, rather than using devices such as italics or explanatory words such as “he thought.” What effect did this have on you as a reader?
- How does the author balance the fantastical or hallucinatory elements of the story with the rough physical experiences Harris goes through?
- All of the main characters keep secrets and motivations hidden throughout most of the book. Compare that to real life.
- Discuss how the author uses cloth as a symbol. What other symbols or themes does the author explore?
Last night I took a 15-minute stroll down the hill to join about 15 awesome people at the Cool Moms Book Club for the end of their latest book discussion. The moms and their kids (boys around 13 years) read my book HARRISON TWEED!
It was great fun for me to hear their feedback (all of it very positive, definitely thoughtful and meaningfully critical), answer questions about the book and the writing process, and read a short excerpt.
And of course, dessert—including theme-appropriate marshmallows amid several bits of book-inspired cloth. The host wore tweed, naturally!
I’m very fond of young Harris and hope to see him continue his adventures as he enters high school. Meanwhile, the discussion showed the book being enjoyed by both a young adult audience as well as their moms!
I was very impressed by the thoughtful comments as well. Seems like the Book Club Questions I put together for the event were helpful. Definitely interested in doing more events like this, and I was thrilled to be the invited guest!
Have a book club or other group? Want to read this book? I’d be happy to get the book to you in iBooks or Kindle form and speak to your book club if you’re in the Bay Area, or over Skype. It’s fun!
Today I finished the second draft of my new novel, HARRISON TWEED. Quite happy with it.
Here’s a one sentence summary:
When HARRISON TWEED escapes his injured aunt’s attackers, he flees across country with the ghost of a young girl, to find his estranged uncle and unravel a past of lies and occult murder while learning the secrets of his family history.
You can find out more on the Books page for HARRISON TWEED.