Book club discussion will mull over Amy Roberts’ ‘Remorse’
Novel is Park Record columnist's first book
Amy Roberts never thought about writing a novel until people who read her weekly Park Record column approached her.
“I would run into someone and they would tell me I should write a book,” said Roberts, who is also the Park City Hospital director of public relations. “I thought, you know, why not? Then I thought, ‘I don’t really know how to write a book.’ I mean, there’s a difference between writing a column that is 700 words and a book that is 70,000 words.”
But she did it, and the result is the suspense tale “Remorse,” which will be discussed during a Park City Book Club gathering from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, at Hugo Coffee, 1794 Olympic Parkway at Kimball Junction.
The event is free and open to the public.
After Roberts heard feedback from her readers about the book’s ending, she thought of hosting a book club discussion.
“Many people weren’t too happy with how the book wraps up,” she said with a laugh. “But I wanted people to use their imagination and come up with their own theories, because sometimes life is messy and hopefully the reader is invested in the characters to make up their own ending.”
The author thought the fall would be the ideal time to hold the discussion.
“This is the time of year when new people are moving to Park City,” she said. “So we wanted to have a large discussion and have people ask me questions.”
Roberts is grateful to Hugo Coffee owner Claudio McMullin for offering the venue.
“People can come and bring their own drinks and come with questions,” Roberts said. “Appetizers will be provided by Mountain Town Olive Oil.”
In addition to the food and discussion, the event will include an opportunity drawing.
“The winners will get a chance to write a scene, character or have an editorial say in the sequel,” Roberts said.
“Remorse” centers on a female trauma surgeon, an inner-city youth and a journalist.
“I chose the protagonist’s occupation on purpose because when people ask what I do and I tell them I work at a hospital, the first thing they usually ask is ‘are you a nurse?’“ Roberts said. “While that’s very flattering, I found that I want to tell them that I’m a brain surgeon. So that’s why I came up with a female trauma surgeon.
“While I’m not a surgeon, I do work at a hospital, so I do have some knowledge of that by peeking into the lives of nurses and surgeons and see how they interact with each other.”
The journalist is another character that Roberts has personal insight.
“I had been a journalist for years,” she said. “So one of the characters is someone who was struggling with her journalism career.”
The third character, the inner-city youth, was someone Roberts needed to research.
“He’s a kid who lives in inner-city Chicago,” she said. “While I did live in Chicago and covered a lot of the gang activity when I was a journalist, I had a little bit of knowledge, but needed more.”
Roberts wanted to thank Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez who introduced her to some of the gang detective units in Salt Lake City.
“I also interviewed deputies who were DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents in the past,” she said. “They provided some insights in the past.”
When Roberts finished the book and sent it to the publisher, she realized she had gone about it the wrong way.
“After I had the book close to a final version, I went to a writers conference and learned that fiction writers usually have an entire draft done before they actually start in terms of what happens in each chapter,” she said with a laugh. “They also know how their books would end before they even type the first word. As opposed to me who had no idea how my book was going to end until I typed ‘The End.’“
Still writing “Remorse” was a fun learning experience for Roberts.
“A lot of authors also have the luxury of being full-time writers because that’s their job,” she said. “Me, on the other hand, couldn’t take a year off to sit at my writers cabin in Idaho, so I had to write over my lunch break and late at night.”
“Remorse” can be purchased locally at Mountain Town Olive Oil, 613 Main St.
It can also be purchased in hard copy and on Amazon Kindle.
Proceeds of the book will benefit Leap for a Cure in honor of Roberts’ sister who passed away last year. The October book sales will be donated to Friends of the Summit County Library for the new library that is being built in Kamas.
“I thought it would be nice to have the money go to a local cause,” Roberts said.
A Park City Book Club discussion about Amy Roberts’ novel “Remorse” will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, at Hugo Coffee, 1794 Olympic Parkway at Kimball Junction. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, email this address.
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