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Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



MarisadelosSantos wrote:

Her name is Pen (Penelope) and she's the mother of a five-year old who is unmarried and lives with her older brother in Philadelphia.


Is there a particular reason you chose Philadelphia as the setting for both Love Walked In and your new book?
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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MarisadelosSantos
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



Fozzie wrote:


MarisadelosSantos wrote:

Her name is Pen (Penelope) and she's the mother of a five-year old who is unmarried and lives with her older brother in Philadelphia.


Is there a particular reason you chose Philadelphia as the setting for both Love Walked In and your new book?



I lived in Center City, Philadelphia for five years; both of my kids were born there, and Love Walked In wasn't but it was definitely conceived there! I loved living there and would like to do it again one of these days. I love Philly for its neighborhoodiness (I'm allowed to coin words, right?); it's a small city that's quite easy to get intimate with and to feel at home in. And it just felt right as the setting for the first book and now for the third.

Marisa
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reddoglady
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos

I have not read either of the books yet, but both are on the top of my list just as soon as I finish my current read.  I watched your interview and I just can't wait to read them.:smileyhappy:
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ROSIE
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Registered: ‎11-02-2006
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos

Marisa,
 
Have you, yourself, had the experience of moving from city to suburb?  Did your life in Baltimore (how long were you there?) have any influence on your writing? 
 
I grew up in NYC and have lived in Durham, NC,  Mexico City, Northern Virginia and two suburbs just outside the city of Baltimore.  I must admit to still being a "city girl" in some sense, even having lived in the suburbs 20 years.
 
rosie
from baltimore (suburb)
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ROSIE
Posts: 37
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos

Marisa,
 
Have you, yourself, had the experience of moving from city to suburb?  Did your life in Baltimore (how long were you there?) have any influence on your writing? 
 
I grew up in NYC and have lived in Durham, NC, Mexico City, Northern Virginia and two suburbs just outside the city of Baltimore.  I must admit to still being a "city girl" in some sense, even having lived in the suburbs 20 years.
 
rosie
from baltimore (suburb)
Author
MarisadelosSantos
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



ROSIE wrote:
Marisa,
Have you, yourself, had the experience of moving from city to suburb? Did your life in Baltimore (how long were you there?) have any influence on your writing?
I grew up in NYC and have lived in Durham, NC, Mexico City, Northern Virginia and two suburbs just outside the city of Baltimore. I must admit to still being a "city girl" in some sense, even having lived in the suburbs 20 years.
rosie
from baltimore (suburb)



We moved to Virginia from Baltimore when I was in first grade, and I grew up in the suburbs of DC, which was a really nice place to be a kid. As an adult, I've lived 20 minutes outside of New York City, in Houston, and in Philadelphia, and I loved city life. About five years ago, when my youngest child was a year old, we moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where we live now. Wilmington is a city, technically, with some lovely museums, parks, a symphony and so forth, but it's small, quiet and tree-filled enough to feel like a suburb, especially in my neighborhood. It served as the inspiration for Cornelia's and Piper's neighborhood in Belong to Me and is full of children and backyard grilling and crickets chirping on summer nights. It's a true neighborhood and a good place to have a home and raise kids. The shift from Philadelphia to here was not without bumps, but this place suits us now. I can see living in a city again at some point, maybe when the kids are in college. I'd love to live in Manhattan and have season tickets to all the ballet companies!

Marisa
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos

Marisa,
In your life, do you know a Cornelia and a Piper, or women who seemed like them at first to you whom you have become great friends with? Are any of your characters based on someone you know and if so, do they know which is their character? :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos

Marisa,
When Cornelia meets Lake and they talk and Lake knows the Cukor film, The Women, and can swap lines with her much to Cornelia's delight, I have to tell you, this is a part of what drew me in to your writing in the first chapters too. I had a few moment's like Cornelia here lol. Goodness, you named some movies that I know or love and I am 51 and some are older than I am but I remember them from when I was a kid. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Women, The Philadelphia Story and names like Tippy Hedren, Joan Crawford, did you get Bette Davis in there too, lol. Then more modern things like Law and Order and even the same response I seem to get when I mention Armand Assante, (have you seen The Mambo Kings? two of my favorite cuties in there), I was like Cornelia...my cup ranneth over. I thought, HEY, she knows my old stars and movies and favorites and she even knows Armand Assante??!! Ok, I know I am going to like her point of view from what she mentions lol. Do you find that some readers relate to your writing sometimes more for shared interests written within the story? And are you an old movie buff for real?

I think some of the things in stories that the authors mention can make you feel closer as a reader, if you know them too. I have found for me, if I couldn't relate, for instance, one book I read and really liked, the author mentioned a lot of songs from a genre I didn't know but they seemed to be important to who the characters were and I had to just kind of let those fly by cause I had no reference to them, therefore no connection on that level, but the story was good anyway. This is the first time that an author has hit on a lot of films and people that I can relate to, that I am thrilled to see because they are not necessarily in the mainstream conversations. So yeah, I am interested in your interest in them. :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Author
MarisadelosSantos
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



vivico1 wrote:
Marisa,
In your life, do you know a Cornelia and a Piper, or women who seemed like them at first to you whom you have become great friends with? Are any of your characters based on someone you know and if so, do they know which is their character? :smileywink:


Mostly, rather than base an entire character on someone I know, I steal bits and pieces: habits, likes, dislikes, small gestures or turns of phrase. Sometimes, I use an experience or a snippet of an experience that I or someone I know has had. But by the time I've really begun to write, the character has lost any association with a person in the "outside" world and become her- or himself entirely. So, no, there's no real life Piper or Lake in my daily world. Having said that, I'll add that female friendships are vitally important to me, as I know they are for most women. And they're about as complicated and interesting as relationships get. So I've met women who disliked me on sight, the way Piper dislikes Cornelia, or at least I thought they did, but who then became close friends. They weren't Piper or even Piper-esque, necessarily, but we took a long time letting each other in and getting to know one another. I've also had the opposite experience: I found someone charming and magnetic when we first met, and then found her less and less so as I got to know her. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would say the same of me!

Marisa
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MarisadelosSantos
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Registered: ‎04-22-2008
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



vivico1 wrote:
Marisa,
When Cornelia meets Lake and they talk and Lake knows the Cukor film, The Women, and can swap lines with her much to Cornelia's delight, I have to tell you, this is a part of what drew me in to your writing in the first chapters too. I had a few moment's like Cornelia here lol. Goodness, you named some movies that I know or love and I am 51 and some are older than I am but I remember them from when I was a kid. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Women, The Philadelphia Story and names like Tippy Hedren, Joan Crawford, did you get Bette Davis in there too, lol. Then more modern things like Law and Order and even the same response I seem to get when I mention Armand Assante, (have you seen The Mambo Kings? two of my favorite cuties in there), I was like Cornelia...my cup ranneth over. I thought, HEY, she knows my old stars and movies and favorites and she even knows Armand Assante??!! Ok, I know I am going to like her point of view from what she mentions lol. Do you find that some readers relate to your writing sometimes more for shared interests written within the story? And are you an old movie buff for real?

I think some of the things in stories that the authors mention can make you feel closer as a reader, if you know them too. I have found for me, if I couldn't relate, for instance, one book I read and really liked, the author mentioned a lot of songs from a genre I didn't know but they seemed to be important to who the characters were and I had to just kind of let those fly by cause I had no reference to them, therefore no connection on that level, but the story was good anyway. This is the first time that an author has hit on a lot of films and people that I can relate to, that I am thrilled to see because they are not necessarily in the mainstream conversations. So yeah, I am interested in your interest in them. :smileyhappy:


I've had that experience before, too, that joy of recognition and connection when an author or character references something I know and love. And yes, I love those old films from the 1930s and 1940s. Who could resist that razor-sharp, snappy dialog or those brilliantly funny, sly women? For me, it's less about the glamor of those films (although the dresses are often stunning) and more about the TALKING and the interactions between the characters. I've heard from people who don't know those films and still love the books, which is a big relief to me, because that was my hope when I wrote them. I've also heard from people who say that the book prompted them to watch the movies, and I LOVE that!

Marisa
Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



MarisadelosSantos wrote:

I've heard from people who don't know those films and still love the books, which is a big relief to me, because that was my hope when I wrote them. I've also heard from people who say that the book prompted them to watch the movies, and I LOVE that!

This describes me!  The movie I want to watch because of your books is Philadelphia Story since it is mentioned in both of your books.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Author
MarisadelosSantos
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
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Re: Questions for Marisa de los Santos



Fozzie wrote:


MarisadelosSantos wrote:

I've heard from people who don't know those films and still love the books, which is a big relief to me, because that was my hope when I wrote them. I've also heard from people who say that the book prompted them to watch the movies, and I LOVE that!

This describes me! The movie I want to watch because of your books is Philadelphia Story since it is mentioned in both of your books.



Oh gosh, I hope you do watch it! Katharine and Cary and Jimmy--could anything be more wonderful??

Marisa
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vivico1
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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about Elizabeth

Marisa,
I find Piper and Elizabeth's relation interesting. It's a wonderful friendship. I liked that stuff about Elizabeth's imminent death, and how she handled it, was not going to be, basically another Lifetime Movie about the incredible heroine dying without complaint and all that stuff. Elizabeth is real. But she is special too. Piper likes that she can still dish the dirt and Elizabeth needs and wants to still dish the dirt and stay up on the gossip. What I find interesting tho, and kind of wonder about is, if they were best friends, and came from the same cliquish group and lifestyle, she actually seems less judgmental than Piper. She seems a bit more emotionally mature, for lack of a better way of putting it at the moment, than Piper. I don't think this came on as her illness did, I think she may have been before it. Maybe she didn't show that side as much before? I think she is something wonderful in Piper's life and needed now as much as she needs Piper in her life right now. To quote Captain Kirk if I may lol, "How we handle death is at least as important as how we handle life". And I think as Elizabeth is learning how to handle her own death, she is giving Piper gems for living, but then again, not in the - wonderfully, never down, super (gag me) way that some are portrayed in those Lifetime movies. I love this friendship. When you developed Elizabeth in your mind, was she different from Piper, even as they were bestest friends before this? In so many ways, I just dont see her as being what in the past would have been Piper's best friend, know what I mean? I am glad they are tho, for both of them.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: about Elizabeth

Marisa,
I have a question for you thats not about the book per say, but is at the same time lol. We never have book signings in Oklahoma, we never get to meet authors here. I truly do love your book and have been talking to everyone about it. I was wondering, do you do bookplates for people? Or is it possible to get an autograph on just paper even, that I can put in my book, since I can't get to a signing? If so, and in case you are new to the B&N bookclub set up, up at the right, you will see a little white envelope. That is where people can send personal messages to each other by clicking on their name and writing one. If you have any, the little envelope turns yellow. If its possible to get an autograph from you for my book, would you check your pm envelope (pm=private messages) and I will put my full name and address in there. I don't want to put it here where the world wide web can see it lol. Thanks alot. So this is your AOL voice saying, YOU GOT MAIL. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Author
MarisadelosSantos
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
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Re: about Elizabeth



vivico1 wrote:
Marisa,
I find Piper and Elizabeth's relation interesting. It's a wonderful friendship. I liked that stuff about Elizabeth's imminent death, and how she handled it, was not going to be, basically another Lifetime Movie about the incredible heroine dying without complaint and all that stuff. Elizabeth is real. But she is special too. Piper likes that she can still dish the dirt and Elizabeth needs and wants to still dish the dirt and stay up on the gossip. What I find interesting tho, and kind of wonder about is, if they were best friends, and came from the same cliquish group and lifestyle, she actually seems less judgmental than Piper. She seems a bit more emotionally mature, for lack of a better way of putting it at the moment, than Piper. I don't think this came on as her illness did, I think she may have been before it. Maybe she didn't show that side as much before? I think she is something wonderful in Piper's life and needed now as much as she needs Piper in her life right now. To quote Captain Kirk if I may lol, "How we handle death is at least as important as how we handle life". And I think as Elizabeth is learning how to handle her own death, she is giving Piper gems for living, but then again, not in the - wonderfully, never down, super (gag me) way that some are portrayed in those Lifetime movies. I love this friendship. When you developed Elizabeth in your mind, was she different from Piper, even as they were bestest friends before this? In so many ways, I just dont see her as being what in the past would have been Piper's best friend, know what I mean? I am glad they are tho, for both of them.


Great insights about this friendship!

Yes, Elizabeth is a bit more off-beat and a lot more in touch with who she is than Piper--at least Piper as she is when the book opens. While this has always been true, my sense of their friendship is that Piper hasn't really seen it or maybe she's seen it but hasn't acknowledged it. She's discovering big parts of Elizabeth's personality at the same time she's discovering big, hidden parts of her own. I think in most social circles, no matter how conventional, there's a person whom the others rely on to be a little iconoclastic, and Elizabeth's that person in Piper's life, and because she's embraced by Piper, the queen, she's embraced by the whole circle. Piper knows she needs Elizabeth, although she probably doesn't know enough about herself to know WHY she needs her, not until she's about to lose her anyway.

Marisa
Correspondent
SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Thank you for your time

Marisa,
 
I wanted to take a few moments before the month ends to thank you for spending time with us discussing your lovely book.  I am going to be suggesting "Loved Walked In" as our next selection for my home book club.  Your characters fascinate me so I'm anxious to visit some of them again. 
 
Good luck on your next novel.  I will be watching for it.
 
SandyS
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MarisadelosSantos
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Re: Thank you for your time



SandyS wrote:
Marisa,
I wanted to take a few moments before the month ends to thank you for spending time with us discussing your lovely book. I am going to be suggesting "Loved Walked In" as our next selection for my home book club. Your characters fascinate me so I'm anxious to visit some of them again.
Good luck on your next novel. I will be watching for it.
SandyS



Thank YOU! Truly, it's been a pleasure. Great to have it confirmed once again that there are such sharp, insightful readers out there so eager to share their ideas!

Yours,
Marisa
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ROSIE
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Registered: ‎11-02-2006
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Re: Thank you for your time

I also want to thank you.  I have not participated as I would have liked because of eye surgery but did manage to finish the book.
 
One of my very favorite parts is the discussion of hope as an "ability."  This occurs in the conversation between Dev and Teo when they are talking about Lyssa's suicide attempt.  It certainly is a different way of conceiving hope--especially for someone who was raised (as I was)  in a religious tradition  that sees hope as a virtue, like faith and love.  Lack of hope does not mean we lack or do not try to practice the virtue.
 
Thanks for the wonderful book and especially for this insight!
 
rosie

MarisadelosSantos wrote:


SandyS wrote:
Marisa,
I wanted to take a few moments before the month ends to thank you for spending time with us discussing your lovely book. I am going to be suggesting "Loved Walked In" as our next selection for my home book club. Your characters fascinate me so I'm anxious to visit some of them again.
Good luck on your next novel. I will be watching for it.
SandyS



Thank YOU! Truly, it's been a pleasure. Great to have it confirmed once again that there are such sharp, insightful readers out there so eager to share their ideas!

Yours,
Marisa


Moderator
Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Writing surprises

Hi Marisa,
 
I have a question stemming from some of your wonderful comments about discovering the novel and the characters as you wrote: What was one thing you absolutely knew was going to be included in the novel, even before you sat down on the first morning to start writing it?  And at the opposite end of that, what was your biggest surprise in the novel as you were writing?
 
Thanks,
 
Rachel
Author
MarisadelosSantos
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
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Re: Writing surprises (spoilers ahead)



rkubie wrote:
Hi Marisa,
I have a question stemming from some of your wonderful comments about discovering the novel and the characters as you wrote: What was one thing you absolutely knew was going to be included in the novel, even before you sat down on the first morning to start writing it? And at the opposite end of that, what was your biggest surprise in the novel as you were writing?
Thanks,
Rachel



Before I sat down to write, I knew that the novel would be set in the suburbs; I knew the four main characters (although at one point I was thinking that Lake would have her own POV chapters, rather than Dev having his); I knew that Piper disliked Cornelia and that she had a dying best friend. I knew the identity of Dev's father. Most importantly, I'd been thinking about the personalities and back-stories of the characters for a long time, so I knew a good deal about each of them.

As for what I didn't know? Phew. Here's a little bit of what I did NOT know: I did not know that Piper's marriage would go awry or that she and Cornelia would end up such close friends or that Cornelia would have a baby (I thought she might but wasn't sure) or that Dev would fall for Clare or that Lake would have a boyfriend or that Dev would make friends with Lyssa or that Piper would end up living at Tom's house or that she and Tom would fall in love. I didn't even know that Toby would be IN the book, much less anything about his story. I did not know much at all about how the book would end.

Some of these things I discovered well before I began to write those sections; some I really didn't think would happen until I was writing them or just on the verge. And I'll tell you that, for me, surprises are a huge part of the joy!

Marisa
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