In an attempt to provide readers with a unique and compelling experience, author John Shors is making unheard-of efforts to connect with book clubs across the country. Shors is the author of "Beneath a Marble Sky," a work of historical fiction based on the remarkable story behind the Taj Mahal's creation. "Beneath a Marble Sky" has been hailed by book reviewers as a "work of art," is being made into a major motion picture by Hollywood and won a "Book of the Year" award from ForeWord magazine.
For the past two years, Shors has been asking book clubs across the country to invite him to participate in their meetings. By his count, he's spoken (via speakerphone) with about 200 book clubs. Says Shors, "I grew up reading several books a week and after finishing many works wanted to ask the author questions. Unfortunately, I only had a few such conversations, usually at a book signing with a roomful of strangers. Feeling that readers deserved more, I promised myself that if I ever had a novel published that I would go to great lengths to connect with readers."
"Beneath a Marble Sky" was published as a hardcover in 2004. As his book hit best-seller lists, Shors created his book club program, through which he called into book clubs across America. Clubs needed to simply contact him in advance and have a speakerphone handy. Shors promoted his program via his Web site (www.beneathamarblesky.com) and was soon chatting with several book clubs a week.
"My book club program has been extremely enjoyable, both for me and readers," Shors says. "Readers are able to ask me any sort of question about my novel, the publishing industry or the process of turning 'Beneath a Marble Sky' into a major motion picture. They get to talk with me among their friends and in a manner that is extremely casual and open-ended. Most every group, as our call winds down, tells me that this has been their all-time favorite discussion."