The reader’s guide for my novel, Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, is now available. It provides several questions that book groups can rely on for an in-depth discussion of the novel. For purposes of a getting a quick snapshot of what’s inside as well as potential discussion topics, below is a list of questions from the guide. After you’ve reviewed them, you’re encouraged to download the full guide for purposes of sharing it with other members of your book group.
As part of launching the guide, I will also offer any reader who participates in a book group a free copy of Billy Maddox Takes His Shot so that they might consider introducing it to the other members of their group (though, of course, this is not a requirement).
To get a free copy of Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, please click here.
The link will take you to a page where you can download a digital copy of the novel. If you feel the story is one your book club might enjoy reading, each member may pick up a copy on Amazon and then organize a review session at a future book club meeting.
Finally, in addition to offering a reader from each book group a free copy, I would also like to make myself available to participate in your club’s meeting. If you are in the Washington, DC metropolitan region, I can potentially attend in person. If you’re in another location, I’m also happy to call in on the phone or via Skype.
Reader’s Guide Questions
1. Memory plays a huge role in Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, starting with a short flashback on the first page of the novel. How does the memory of Matthew Maddox, Billy Maddox’s brother, impact the current life circumstances for Hector and Billy Maddox? How did they get to be who they are as a result of what happened to Matthew?
2. Are there philosophical differences between how Hector and Billy respond to what happened to Matthew? And what are their similarities? Do those responses compete or complement each other?
3. Billy has struggled with anger issues throughout most of his adolescence and early adulthood. Are the causes of his anger clear? What, if anything, can he do to improve his perspective so his anger issues will become more manageable?
4. How, if at all, does Billy’s friendships with Carl and Pete improve his outlook and allow him to come to terms with some of the pain he’s been holding onto since his brother’s death?
5. Given the circumstances of teenage pregnancy and the current state of Billy and Jessie’s marriage, how likely is it that their relationship can and will survive?
6. What are Rhoda’s conflicts? How does she feel obligated to both her husband, Hector, and her son, Billy?
7. In what sense is grief an easy-to-express emotion for the two Maddox men in the story? In what sense is it buried and what is the outcome as a result?
8. Given the circumstances of teenage pregnancy and the state of Billy and Jessie’s marriage, what is the likelihood that their relationship can and will survive?
9. Describe Jessie’s relationship with her father. In what sense is it similar and in what sense is it different from Billy’s relationship with his father, Hector?
10. What, if anything, does Jessie contribute to the dysfunction in their marriage? Or is Billy primarily at fault? What do they both contribute that strengthens their relationship, if anything?
11. Does Billy’s perspective on border crossers change throughout the novel or largely remain the same?
12. What quality does Nate Brown represent to international border concerns? Is he the ultimate realist or a cynic with a bad heart?
Contact me with any questions using the form in the right column of this page.