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Author
aryn
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎05-25-2007
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A Welcome from the Author

Hello Everyone,

First off, if you're here, it seems likely that you have either read my book or are considering reading my book. So: Thanks!

This is the part where I'm supposed to talk about the novel in a sort of general, enticing way, which I should admit right up front that I am not very good at. "Tell me about your book," people say, and I freeze. "It's rectangular and it has a horse on the cover," doesn't seem like the response they're after. These are always brief encounters with people I don't know very well: cab drivers, strangers sitting beside me on airplanes, my doctor. As much as I want to say something bright and interesting, something that encapsulates my novel in one or two well worded sentences, my answers always come out kind of awkward and, well, lame.

"It's about a girl growing up on a horse ranch," I told my doctor and he blinked at me, then smiled.

"That sounds interesting!"

"No," I thought, "it really doesn't. You're just being polite because I'm wearing a paper gown."

Fortunately for all of us, book groups give me the distinct advantage of being able to discuss my novel with people who have read it and therefore already know about both girl and ranch.

That all said, I should probably give you a little background on how I came to write the novel. The first chapter of The God of Animals was originally published as a short story. I wrote it while I was in graduate school, and for several years I believed I was finished with it. After graduate school ended, I found myself living back in my hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado, the town on which Desert Valley is loosely based. The town had changed so much in the time that I'd been away at school. Money had moved in, shopping centers sprouted up, massive houses and green lawns spread across land that had previously been bare desert ground.

I don't have much in common with Alice, my narrator. I didn't grow up on a ranch; I don't have a sister; my mother gets out of bed and goes to work every day. But something about being back in Grand Junction made me think again about the characters in the original short story. I was interested in how the Winstons would survive and maintain their failing ranch in the face of encroaching suburbia. But more than that, I was interested in Alice's experience of growing up against the backdrop of such a rapidly changing place, how her sense of identity would be affected by the collision of these different worlds.

Thanks so much for reading. I really look forward to discussing the book with you!

Aryn Kyle

Frequent Contributor
basia
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎03-20-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

[ Edited ]
Hi Aryn and welcome to the Barnes&Noble book club! We're very excited about having you here. I want you to know that I couldn't put your book down, and was very moved by it. In fact, I'm re-reading it now, it was that good. I really look forward to discussing it!

Basia
Moderator

Message Edited by basia on 05-31-200711:29 AM

Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Hi Aryn,
Its good to see you here to talk to us. I just finished your book a few days ago. I know of a couple of people in the last club i was in that are going to try to be in this one too, but are just now getting the book or waiting for it, since its so new, so there will be plenty in here that are reading as we go along. I promise to do my best not to post anything that will spoil any parts of the book for the other readers yet :smileywink:. I enjoyed your book. I believe this is your first book? Very good for a first. I will save comments for the threads as we go along. Thank you for coming to the club to visit with us.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Contributor
jenlaw77
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Hi Aryn,
I was sent a copy of your book to review by Simon and Schuster as I am a member of their Advisory Board. While I'm only about 34 pages in, I'm hooked! I look forward to being able to discuss this with you "personally."


Jenn
New User
crackerjax
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-01-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Hi! :smileyhappy:

Hopefully my copy of your book will be here in time for me to discuss it with you - and everyone else - without getting those pesky inadvertent spoilers. Looking forward to it, especially after hearing the response from people on here who have already read it. And I can understand the process from short story to novel. I am also a writer and find myself turning poems into plays and short stories into novels. Inspiration sure does come from the strangest places sometimes.

Look forward to talking with you more!

-Jax
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Welcome from the Author


crackerjax wrote:
Hi! :smileyhappy:

Hopefully my copy of your book will be here in time for me to discuss it with you - and everyone else - without getting those pesky inadvertent spoilers. Looking forward to it, especially after hearing the response from people on here who have already read it. And I can understand the process from short story to novel. I am also a writer and find myself turning poems into plays and short stories into novels. Inspiration sure does come from the strangest places sometimes.

Look forward to talking with you more!

-Jax


Jax,
are you a published writer?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Reader
kpeaslee
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-01-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Aryn,

You were the first person I met at Bread Loaf last year. Anyway, I'm glad I talked to you before I'd read your novel, because I'm sure I would've been speechless if I'd known how incredibly gifted you are.

I'm looking forward to tracking these discussions. A big congratulations on your much-deserved success.

Kevin
Author
aryn
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎05-25-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Kevin!

I remember! It was at the end of that all-night flight from Portland and I was wandering around the airport in a confused state, wondering how I was supposed to get to the campus (I'd forgotten to book a place on the shuttle bus). Anyway, how great to meet again through this book club. Ah, the Internet...bringing people together.

Thanks for reading the book and for your kind words. Definitely stick around this month--I always love getting a chance to talk with other writers.

Aryn






kpeaslee wrote:
Aryn,

You were the first person I met at Bread Loaf last year. Anyway, I'm glad I talked to you before I'd read your novel, because I'm sure I would've been speechless if I'd known how incredibly gifted you are.

I'm looking forward to tracking these discussions. A big congratulations on your much-deserved success.

Kevin


New User
dkyle
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-12-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Just prior taking a cruise in March, I stopped at B&N to purchase books for the trip and saw your book on a kiosk. Your last name, Kyle drew me to the book since it's my last name and frankly that, coupled with you being a newly published author caused me to purchase this book. I'm so glad I did. I loved reading it! My entire family has read it and we've had our own book club discussions. It's been great to communicate with our teenage daughter about so many interpersonal issues that "The God of Animals" raised. We look forward reading your next book. Keep up the great work.
Frequent Contributor
LeftBrainer
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

What did you think of the relationship Alice had with her teacher?
Author
aryn
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎05-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Welcome from the Author

Hi dkyle!

Thanks for the post. I'm so pleased that you and your family enjoyed the book--especially since we might be related :smileyhappy: Also, I'm delighted that you shared it with your daughter. My mom and I still swap our books around (something we began doing when I was in high school) and talk about them over the phone.

Thanks again for joining the discussion!

All my best,

Aryn



dkyle wrote:
Just prior taking a cruise in March, I stopped at B&N to purchase books for the trip and saw your book on a kiosk. Your last name, Kyle drew me to the book since it's my last name and frankly that, coupled with you being a newly published author caused me to purchase this book. I'm so glad I did. I loved reading it! My entire family has read it and we've had our own book club discussions. It's been great to communicate with our teenage daughter about so many interpersonal issues that "The God of Animals" raised. We look forward reading your next book. Keep up the great work.


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