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I love a good book club discussion. It all starts with an intriguing read, probing questions and a balanced conversation. Throw in some appetizers or dessert, a little wine and an evening away from my kids and I always have a great time.

On my street, some women and I have decided to fire up a new club and we’ll start next month. Our first read is “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown. I’ll be sure to let you know how it is after our meeting.

BQB Author Marla K. Benjamin was a part of a long standing book club as well. But then she dropped out. Following is a guest post from Marla on her inspiring reasons:

I am a Book Club Dropout by Marla K. Benjamin

So, how does one start to write a book or better yet, why? It was something I had thought about for years, but I lacked inspiration . . . and drive. I was reading pretty avidly though and that seemed to initially provide the spark that I needed.

In 2008, my friend Peggy started a book club, aka the Book Club Gangstas, and I was all in at first. We’d pick out a book and then meet the next month to chat it up – pretty standard. Several years in though, I found myself actually not reading at all. I still went to book club, of course, to eat and visit, but after awhile, I started contemplating writing a book rather than listening to everyone else discuss the one they just read (and I didn’t).

lighindarkThat was when my friend Amy invited me to a writer workshop, and I became an official book club dropout. I told the club that I would be back though, and, with any luck, I would have a book they could add to their reading list.

I had had a character in my head for a long time, but I just didn’t quite know what to do with him. Headlines at the time literally propelled me forward with a plot and a full storyline. I felt lucky and overwhelmed, but I just kept hammering away and four months later, I found my ending. It was a great feeling to be finished, but still it seemed a hallow accomplishment for me.

Everyone said, “Oh my gosh! You wrote a book! That’s so great!” And it was, except it wasn’t. To me, it was simply a word doc. That’s not sexy, AND, in my opinion, that’s not a book. So, I began my quest to be published and a year and half later, the wheels were finally in motion.

It’s been a long, tough and trying journey at times, but I haven’t been alone. My friends, my family, my beta readers including the Book Club Gangstas all gave me the support and encouragement I needed. I am so grateful.

So, that’s the story of my story and I have to say, it happened quite authentically. What followed was “A Light in the Dark” and I have absolutely no regrets. The character, the story, the big picture, all of it means so very much to me. There are times when we all need a light in the dark and this book, quite obviously, is mine.

“A Light in the Dark” is available for pre-order and will be released on May 24, 2016.

*** All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N or can be ordered by your favorite local bookstore. ***