Among the extraordinary things that are happening in my life these days is this initiative on the Infinite Conversations site (www.infiniteconversations.com) to form a reading group for the first book of my Ido Chronicles series, Plenum : The First Book of Deo. We held the first meeting of the group this evening. Five people were present, and two others may join the group in the coming weeks. The discussion shifted across several perspectives - remarks as readers, remarks as fellow writers, and editorial remarks, but in general stayed focussed on the reader's perspective. I learned a ton of stuff about my own characters, about how my writing is received, about what flies along and what stumbles! Not everything that people loved were things I would have expected, and some of the stumbles were also interesting in that way.
As an experience, it was wonderful. To hear someone say "I loved that the character did this!" or "I noticed such and such" when they are right on the button is extraordinary. Also the range of what things were liked - one person loved one aspect while another loved a different element. I suppose for published authors this kind of thing is par for the course, but for me it is still rather exceptional!