Attending a book club can be a very illuminating experience for any author. Writers engage in their labours of love, sometimes in very lonely circumstances. And so, it's wonderful to connect with your readers and get all sorts of feedback. How else can you really know what effect you are creating? I often thought, before publication, that if I did not get my writing out to people, it would be as if I had spent the last fifteen years in a padded cell mumbling to myself.
A few readers thought that some of the characters were pretty horrble people. Of course! Who would ever want to meet the Florist from Conduct in Question in person? He is Jekyll and Hyde character who marks his victims with an artistic flair. And, he is much closer than anyone realizes! [Just wait until they meet George Pappas and Dr. Robert Hawke in Final Paradox and A Trial of One!]
On the other hand, everyone loves Harry Jenkins, the protagonist throughout the Osgoode Trilogy. During the discussions, I continually returned to one thought. "This is wonderful! Everyone is talking about the characters as if they were real people."
I guess it is at that moment that a writer thinks he/she has done the job right. We all strive to create characters who jump off the page and find a life of their own in our readers minds.