As an author one of my favorite things to do is talk to book clubs. For such a long time I was the only person who knew the characters in Waiting at Hayden’s. There were so many times during the writing process where I wished I could talk to someone other than my editor about them. I was dying to discuss the journeys they were on and the choices they were making. It sort of felt like I had all these best friends, but couldn’t introduce them to anyone.
Now that the book is out in the world, it’s so exciting to get to have conversations with people about Gianna, Charli, and Jack and to hear everyone’s thoughts on the story and the themes explored in it.
These past few months I’ve gotten to meet with some wonderful groups of women both in person and over FaceTime. I’m always honored to attend book club meetings and love making them in person when I can. I’m also more than happy to FaceTime groups and answer questions about the story, my inspiration for writing it, shopfiction, and anything else you want to know!
If your book club is reading Waiting at Hayden’s this summer, feel free to send me an email or comment below. I’m really looking forward to the book club meetings I have set on the calendar already and I’d love to make a date work and meet you! Below is a list of discussion question to get you started in conversation about the story:
Moana (left) and I met at a book club on Balboa Island (dress is John & Jenn By Line and can be found in Waiting at Hayden’s or here)
Waiting at Hayden’s Book Club Discussion Questions
Discuss the theme of timing within the book. To what extend does timing play into each character’s decisions about relationships? How has timing played a role in your relationships?
Gianna has had a long string of bad dates and seems disillusioned with today’s dating culture—does any of that resonate with you? How do you wish it were different?
Peter has all the qualities on Gianna’s checklist and yet something seems to be missing. What is that? How important do you think it is to a long term relationship?
Gianna is an overthinker which has served her well career-wise but she worries may have made her overanalyze her relationships. Do you tend to overthink things and if so how has that helped you?/hurt you?
Kendall, Tina and Ellie have an unusual ritual to help them cope with heartbreak. Do you have any rituals that help you deal with a breakup? What has worked for you when trying to move on?
Gianna describes herself as an “old soul”—what does that mean to you? How would that make dating in today’s culture challenging?
After Jack’s mom leaves him in the bar he realizes what he has to do—“ his heart had been certain what he should do all along; he just been too afraid to listen to it.” Have you ever found yourself in that same situation? Who usually wins out —your head or your heart?
Charli and Jack are forced to decide between their love for each other and their love for their careers. Have you ever had to make a choice between a passion and someone you’re passionate about?
Jack loves baseball and decides to pursue a career in the minor leagues. Over time he falls out of love with the game. Has there ever been something in your life that you loved intensely and then fell out of love with? How was that experience for you?
Waiting at Hayden’s examines the different choices people make when it comes to love. What risks have you taken when it comes to matters of your own heart? How did they play out for you?
Do you think each character made the right choice at the end of the story? Would you have made a different choice if you were in any of their shoes?
What do you think happens after Gianna walks out of the restaurant in the end?
What did you think of the shopfiction experience? Did it enhance the story for you? What was it like to see the characters come to life?
Adaeze Feyisayo says
These questions are brilliant. I can really relate to you wanting to share characters with the whole world. And joy of discussing your book with book clubs. My debut collection of stories and poems are being published this month, 18th and I’m so thrilled. Answering questions for the book tour and interview have got me thinking. But your post has encouraged me to create a book club discussion questions. Thank you Riley! PS: you look fabulous. I love the indigo jar of purple flowers.
Riley Costello says
I’m so glad you enjoyed the questions and that they inspired you to create some of your own! Huge congrats on your collection of stories and poems! That is SO exciting. I will be sure to check it out! Great to connect!
Adaeze Feyisayo says