Ness City book talk lends great experience

Murder at St. Alfanus by Todd Vogts

July 24 I went to the coffee shop in Ness City, Kansas. It is called Cuppa Joe.

I was there to give a talk to the Ness City book club. I was invited by the gracious Ron Edington, a former high school teacher. He and the ladies of the book club all read my book, and they all had a lot of positive things to say.

Everyone had great questions, and the ensuing discussion was fantastic. The people of this book club really delved into the story and dissected it. They explained to me the thought process they went through while reading my novel. It was great to hear how certain aspects of my story hit home with them just as I wanted them to.

I loved listening to them discuss how they thought they had the story figured out only to have one of my twists and turns throw them off again. My aim was to make the story entertaining in this way, not frustrating, and it seemed to have worked with this bunch.

After we finished discussing the book, they treated me to a Thanksgiving-style meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing, as well as dinner rolls and a delicious slice of rhubarb pie.

They even gave me a gift for coming. It was a sleeve of golf balls and 14 golf tees. Do you see the significance of the 14 tees? If you do, let me know in the comments. 🙂

The coolest part of the entire day, though, was finding out about how the book talk went before I showed up. Ron, as the host of my book, prepared a three-page study sheet for each reader. It discussed different parts of the plot and gave a bio of each character. It was so cool! It made me feel like I had truly arrived. My book was part of a school lesson.

Then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any neater, Ron told me he had several pages of annotated notes concerning my book. He sent me a copy. They were fantastic! I I read them several times! The insight he had was fun to follow, and it is nice to see how a reader sees the story unfold. It really gives me a lot of good feedback as I work on the next book.

I feel so blessed to have been able to talk to this group. It gives me hope that my dream of being a best-selling author could be achieved as long as I keep working at it.

Thanks for everything, Ron! And thanks to everyone who has been supporting me thus far!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share
About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at