Sport fishing with a feminist twist

I usually post a photo of my guest author’s book first. But today I have to post the author’s photo first – it is so amazing. Thank you, Sarah Stonich, for this great pose and for agreeing to visit while on your Wow! Women on Writing tour and write such an interesting post for Choices.

Drumroll, Please! Here’s Sarah Stonich!

Sarah is the author of Fishing, the first installment in a trilogy filled with hilarity and heartbreak that approaches the essential question…..when should life be steered by the heart, not the rules?

Here’s what Sarah has to say about inviting authors to your book group.

Invite a writer to your book group?


Writing is a solitary business, so getting out to meet readers can be a treat for authors. In these days of social distancing I really miss physically attending book clubs and meeting readers. Thankfully, there’s Zoom, Skype and other platforms, so my schedule of bookclub visits hasn’t slowed down much. Now more that ever, it feels like connecting and interacting over books makes a big difference in our daily lives – I know it does in mine.

It’s always an honor when a group chooses to read my books, and over the last twenty years I’ve attended multiple groups a month. Around the time of a book launch, I visit many more – in all sorts of locations. There have been happy hours; barbecues; café brunches. Groups that meet in golf clubs, churches, nursing homes, libraries, and of course, your homes. Occasionally they are themed around something in the book – one group reading These Granite Islands went ALL out at picnic where members wore vintage hats in honor of the milliner character, and the location was a small island participants had to paddle to in canoes! A number have hosted themed dinners with dishes referred to in the stories. As one host said, sometimes in a book, food is a character. So true! In Fishing! Gran is a chef whose life revolves around food and family, so that many of RayAnne’s memories are food-related.

No matter what sort of book group you have, it’s great for authors to hear firsthand your observations and thoughts, learn what moved you in a story (and what didn’t!) Your opinions, positive or critical, are so valuable to us. Often, the enthusiasm readers bring to the discussion remind me Right, this is why I do this! I’m often surprised at the attention many readers will pay to the details of a story. Readers of Vacationland ( would bring detailed character charts to book group. One woman made a quilt of characters names on a family tree. I love hearing how readers are affected by a story or how they might relate to a character. Some writers might gauge success by book sales and media attention. For me, it’s any time I discover I’ve reached a reader.

See you at book club!

Tips to keep authors coming to your book group:

  • Keep the discussion on the book. Make sure one of you moderates to keep the conversation on topic. Have questions prepared in advance.
  • Ask what the author is reading; about the writing life and process – you have an author in your midst!
  • Don’t be shy about inviting writers but always
  • Thank them. Some book groups offer a gift card (to a local indie bookstore is best). Last week I received one for a local liquor store! For me, by far the most appreciated thanks are online reviews, but that’s a whole post in itself, next on this tour!


Book Summary

Having fled the testosterone-soaked world of professional sport fishing, thirty-something RayAnne Dahl is navigating a new job as a consultant for the first all-women talk show about fishing on public television (or, as one viewer’s husband puts it, “Oprah in a boat”). After the host bails, RayAnne lands in front of the camera and out of her depth at the helm of the show. Is she up for the challenge? Meanwhile, her family proves as high-maintenance as her fixer-upper house and her clingy rescue dog. Her dad, star of the one-season Big Rick’s Bass Bonanza, is on his sixth wife and falling off the wagon and into RayAnne’s career path; her mother, a new-age aging coach for the menopausal rich, provides endless unwanted advice; and her beloved grandmother Dot—whose advice RayAnne needs—is far away and far from well.

But as RayAnne says, “I’m a woman, I fish. Deal with it.” And just when things seem to be coming together—the show is an unlikely hit; she receives the admiration of a handsome sponsor (out of bounds as he is, but definitely in the wings); ungainly house and dog are finally in hand—RayAnne’s world suddenly threatens to capsize, and she’s faced with a gut-wrenching situation and a heartbreaking decision.

Print Length: 280 Pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
ISBN-10: 1517908981
ISBN-13: 9781517908980
ASIN: B085LZ4324

Fishing! is available to purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble , and You can also add this book to your reading list over at GoodReads.

About the Author, Sarah Stonich

Sarah’s first novel, These Granite Islands was awarded a Loft McKnight Award and was a Barnes & Noble Great New Writers pick. That novel was translated into eleven languages. Her second, The Ice Chorus, was also widely translated and won several honors. Her memoir Shelter: Off The Grid In The Mostly Magnetic North won a Northeast Minnesota Book Award.

Sarah is best known for her Northern Trilogy, beginning with Vacationland, followed by Laurentian Divide, winner of the 2019 Minnesota Book Award and the NEMBA award, as well as being a 2019 National Reading Group Month selection by National Women’s Book Association. In March/April 2020, WPRI, Wisconsin Public Radio International’s longest running program, Chapter A Day chose Laurentian Divide to be read on air by Jim Flemming. That novel won the Minnesota Book Award, and along with Vacationland, has been chosen as a community read in two dozen midwestern and Canadian cities including most recently in Willmar, Inver Grove Heights, Grand Forks, and Thunder Bay. She’s currently researching and writing Watershed, the final volume of the Northern Trilogy.

Fishing!, the first installment of her feminist chick-lit Fishing With RayAnne trilogy published by the University of Minnesota Press in March of 2020, is to be followed by Reeling in 2021. Sarah is currently working on Leaping and hopes to see it published in 2022. Sarah is adapting the trilogy to a television series, as well as writing original screenplays.

You can follow her online at:
Twitter: @sarahstonich
Instagram: sarahstonichwriter

Thanks again, Sarah, for being here. Hopefully all our Choices readers and friends will read your books. What’s not to like about feminist chick-lit?

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