Originally Published: July 26, 2013 6 a.m.
Praise for the novel, "The Wednesday Sisters," placed author Meg Waite Clayton firmly on the New York Times best-seller list, and earned her an international fan base.
Earlier this month, Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, published her third novel, one her fans have been asking for since "Sisters" was published in 2008. "The Wednesday Daughters" dropped into bookstores and onto digital devices July 16.
On Friday, July 26, Clayton will pay a visit to her Prescott fans for the first time. It will mark the author's first visit to the tri-city area. Clayton said she is looking forward to her visit to the Peregrine Book Company on July 22. She'll offer a presentation and signing at 7 p.m.
"What I like to do is talk for a few minutes about what I'm writing and how I came to write, which has a message encouraging everyone who wants to write to write. It's a lovely way to explore the world, appreciate the world and learn about yourself," Clayton said. "My favorite part of these things is to talk to the people who are there, answer any questions and engage in conversation."
Besides her Friday night trip to the Peregrine, Clayton will visit Mostly Books in Tucson at 1:30 p.m.
"The Wednesday Daughters" is a sequel "of sorts" to "The Wednesday Sisters," Clayton said.
"It's a standalone novel. No one needs to read "The Wednesday Sisters" in order to appreciate The Wednesday Daughters, but they are connected by the characters," Clayton said.
The "Wednesday Sisters" tells the story of a group of Palo Alto women who, for 35 years, meet in a local park. While all quite different from one another, they all share a love for literature. Their story begins in the 60s and carries on through much of their lives.
"'The Wednesday Daughters' is centered around three daughters of those original moms, all of whom appeared in 'The Wednesday Sisters' as young children and now they're adults," Clayton said. "Some of the characters from 'The Wednesday Sisters' also play critical roles in it."
Beatrix Potter is also featured in Clayton's newest novel, through the research of one of her original characters, Ally. Journals written in code, similar to Beatrix Potter's coded journals, also play a part in the new novel.
"(Potter) wrote almost 200,000 words in code. The code wasn't deciphered until years after she died, so that was the inspiration. It's a bit of a mystery," Clayton said.
The release of the latest book was timed to coincide with Potter's birthday on July 28.
Her readers, she said, are the ones who encouraged her to undertake another "Wednesday" story.
"I got a lot emails from readers. It's amazing to know that your work is out there and its touching people's hearts. The emails almost always end with 'Is there a sequel and when will it be coming out?'" Clayton said.
Following the release of "Daughters," many could ask about a third entry. Clayton said it is entirely possible.
"If you think about it as a whole 'Wednesday gang,' There are a lot of characters that can be explored there," Clayton said. "I can dip into that well, from different angles and all from different places, all within the Wednesday angle, so the idea of there being a Wednesday 3 is not impossible or necessarily even improbable. I have reached an agreement, with basic terms, for my next book with Ballantine. The title I've picked for it is "The Girls of Paris," and it may or may not be a Wednesday book. I'll really start writing it when I get back from promoting 'The Wednesday Daughters.'"
Follow Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier.