Normally during a book club meeting, questions people raise cannot really be answered. Instead, guesses and unsolved wonders hang in the air.
But at the Friends of Foxboro Recreation Book Club’s September meeting, all questions were instantly answered because the author of the book was there.
The get-together took place in the Foxboro recreation meeting room last Thursday, and Ken Paiva of Mansfield, who published his WWII fiction book “When Night Awakens” in 2017, agreed to attend after the club decided to read his book.
Shannon Suess, one of the members, said she was very excited about the meeting because it is unusual to meet the author of the book.
“I think it was more engaging than our regular book club meeting because we were able to ask questions and get the answer right away,” she said. “Maybe when you are reading a book at home, you were left wondering about something. But Ken was able to answer all of your questions.
“To be able to get an instant feedback and hearing his inspirations of the writing process made it a very engaging meeting.”
Initially, Janice Foscaldo was not drawn into “When Night Awakens,” but as she stuck with it she became fascinated and could not put the book down.
“I was extremely excited to have the author at our meeting. I was glad to meet Ken,” she said.
“Meeting Ken Paiva was truly an honor,” Stephanie Twohig said. She thought it was very interesting to connect with Ken and learn about how “When Night Awakens” was crafted.
“To be able to discuss the writing process with the author and ask questions about the development of the plot and characters was truly a gift. I’ve never been able to do that before and it was wonderful for Ken to come and share his insight with us,” Twohig said.
Jaynemarie Dundulis, who joined the book club in March, said it was interesting to have an author during the book club meeting.
“It provided a different take on the story. You can ask questions and get an actual answer as opposed to just guessing and going by what you think. I asked him about why one of the main characters didn’t go to the hospital, and Ken (gave) the reason and it made sense,” she said.
This was also a new experience for Paiva, to visit a book club meeting and listen to enthusiastic discussion about his creation.
“It was a blast,” he said, adding club members seemed very well read.
“I was asked many great questions even for something I hadn’t thought about when I was writing a book,” he said. “It was insightful for me to get some of the feedback and to look at it from the perspectives that I hadn’t considered initially.”
Many members, he said, found that while the book was focused on World War II, it is really a story about people and the human condition.
“I tried to give the story a universal appeal that extends beyond the war genre. From the feedback I received, both from the book club and other reviews, I believe that was accomplished,” he added.
The Foxboro Book Club meets on the last Thursday night of the month at 7 p.m.