With gas prices threatening to rise past four dollars a gallon, Skype is my new best friend. I don’t have to fill the gas tank, hit the highway and drive hours to meet with book clubs or schools.

And I don’t have to listen to my 11-year-old daughter scold: “Where do you think you’re going now Missy?”

With Skype, I can park myself in my writing room, remain in my pajamas (bottoms anyway), and chat with school children or book clubs three hundred or three thousand miles away.

Over the past few months, Canadian and American book clubs have been invited me into their living rooms and kitchens. With the help of a computer camera and the Internet, I’ve shared some lively conversations with some good, book-loving people.

Though I can’t guarantee our conversations won’t be interrupted by my curious coonhound or a daughter demanding a hug or the chance to offer her opinions on her book-writing mommy, I look forward to Skyping into more clubs and hearing what readers think about August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm.

If you would like to set up a book club or school Skype session to discuss writing or my children’s book Sammy in the Sky, please contact me at: bwalshauthor@gmail.com

SAMMY IN THE SKY. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Jamie Wyeth. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.