Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Dear Tom,

I'm sorry I'm so late in getting to this book club, but I just discovered it when I did a search on the Internet for you. I'm in the middle of _Child 44_ now, and it's such a great book I hate to leave it for even long enough to post this message.

My question is one I'm afraid has already been asked. (Remember, I haven't been keeping up with this group.) Have you already been to the US to promote this book, or are you planning to? Please tell me you plan a trip to Michigan. When and where?

And I have another question. I understand that this is your first book. Right? Are you writing another? Can you say anything about it? Of course you can!

And I have still more questions, but I'll read through the other posts before I ask them. Besides, I need to get back to the book.

Thanks,
Beth
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Looks like I should have read the other posts before I posted. So sorry you've already been to the US to promote Child 44. Maybe you'll come again for the book that will be coming out next? I hope to see you somewhere in the Detroit, Michigan area, although I do realize this isn't a big attraction for Europeans.

I'm almost finished reading the book. I've read many, many thriller/mystery/crime-type books ever since Nancy Drew, and I honestly can't think of a better one than Child 44. I am not comparing you with those authors who just spit out their books so they have a new one several times a year. You know the authors I mean. I don't compare you with them because I don't read them. I'm comparing you with some very good authors. OK, that includes Carolyn Keene. :-)

I do have another question about a comment you made to someone's post on another thread. You said, "I didn't want these predicaments to feel foreign... literally and metaphorically speaking. In a way, I don't see these events as belonging to any one country. The questions they raise about human behavior are relevant today, whether you live in London or New York or wherever."

Maybe I'll understand better when I've finished the book. But I wonder now how the "predicaments" in the book could NOT feel foreign. And, although I understand what you mean about human behavior being universal, how can you say that the events don't belong to particular countries?

Again, thanks.

Beth
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



evollbach wrote:
Looks like I should have read the other posts before I posted. So sorry you've already been to the US to promote Child 44. Maybe you'll come again for the book that will be coming out next? I hope to see you somewhere in the Detroit, Michigan area, although I do realize this isn't a big attraction for Europeans.

I'm almost finished reading the book. I've read many, many thriller/mystery/crime-type books ever since Nancy Drew, and I honestly can't think of a better one than Child 44. I am not comparing you with those authors who just spit out their books so they have a new one several times a year. You know the authors I mean. I don't compare you with them because I don't read them. I'm comparing you with some very good authors. OK, that includes Carolyn Keene. :-)

I do have another question about a comment you made to someone's post on another thread. You said, "I didn't want these predicaments to feel foreign... literally and metaphorically speaking. In a way, I don't see these events as belonging to any one country. The questions they raise about human behavior are relevant today, whether you live in London or New York or wherever."

Maybe I'll understand better when I've finished the book. But I wonder now how the "predicaments" in the book could NOT feel foreign. And, although I understand what you mean about human behavior being universal, how can you say that the events don't belong to particular countries?

Again, thanks.

Beth




Hi Beth! Welcome to the conversation - great to have you join in.

I came to the US to meet booksellers a couple of months before CHILD 44 was released. I'll be back though next year to promote the second book although I'm not sure when. I did actually go to Detroit, very briefly, on the last tour, although I didn't get to see much of the city...

Anyway, I'm so pleased you're enjoying the book!

I'm glad you picked up on that point. Of course, you're right - CHILD 44 deals with a world which is nothing like our own. So in that sense it is foreign. But as a writer I didn't want to create a zoo-like experience... where we wonder through this world, looking at these characters through plate glass, interested, curious but ultimately not feeling in any way connected to the events. We should be in the thick of it, so to speak, asking ourselves how we would react if we were placed under similar pressures. What if our society reformed itself as rapidly as it did in Russia and we found ourselves caught up in a totalitarian regime. Otherwise we declare events happening a hundred years ago, or five thousand miles away, as irrelevant.

We have an amazing capacity to engage with people and places that are distant to ourselves. They can change us, inform us, move us...as much as events happening right now, next door.

I think I meant something along those lines...


Learn more about Child 44.
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Tom, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I was pleased when I read your earlier posts to see that you always give thoughtful replies. I noticed some very thoughtful readers, too, making this worth reading even if I couldn't post myself.

You didn't miss anything if you didn't see the city of Detroit, in my opinion. But you probably did if you didn't see the area north of there, the suburbs. I live far north, lots of apple, peach, and cherry orchards but not a nearby bookstore.

Time to get back to the book.

Beth
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



evollbach wrote:
Tom, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I was pleased when I read your earlier posts to see that you always give thoughtful replies. I noticed some very thoughtful readers, too, making this worth reading even if I couldn't post myself.

You didn't miss anything if you didn't see the city of Detroit, in my opinion. But you probably did if you didn't see the area north of there, the suburbs. I live far north, lots of apple, peach, and cherry orchards but not a nearby bookstore.

Time to get back to the book.

Beth




As I remember I arrived in Detroit in the evening, had a meal in the suburbs somewhere and then got a plane out at 6AM. There was a huge snow storm, it was quite dramatic. I didn't see the city at all, I'm afraid to say.

I've thought of another way of explaining what I was stuttering to say yesterday.

You know the feeling you get when you visit an amazing building... it doesn't matter if it's in Rome or NY or Tokyo. There's a tingle of excitement. I got it when I visited the temples in Cambodia, Angkor Wat. Even though they were built thousands of years ago, by a society completely "other" to my own, I still couldn't help but think wow... this is what people are capable of. It's inspirational and that inspiration isn't diluted by it being in a foreign country. For me, reading about historical events has a comparable effect on me: the reaction they provoke doesn't depend on how close it is to my immediate circumstances.

Sometimes it's inspirational, sometimes it's terrifying... I don't feel any kind of barrier though.


Learn more about Child 44.
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



Tom_Rob_Smith wrote:

You know the feeling you get when you visit an amazing building... it doesn't matter if it's in Rome or NY or Tokyo. There's a tingle of excitement. I got it when I visited the temples in Cambodia, Angkor Wat. Even though they were built thousands of years ago, by a society completely "other" to my own, I still couldn't help but think wow... this is what people are capable of. It's inspirational and that inspiration isn't diluted by it being in a foreign country. For me, reading about historical events has a comparable effect on me: the reaction they provoke doesn't depend on how close it is to my immediate circumstances.

Sometimes it's inspirational, sometimes it's terrifying... I don't feel any kind of barrier though.

I know exactly what you mean... that the "otherness" of foreign cultures and histories is just another side of the same coin...  on one side we see terrifying examples of cruelty and intolerance....  flip the coin, and
we see instances of inspirational courage and love and understanding...
 
The paranoia of the Soviet state that colored Child 44 can easily be imagined in a number of various periods in history.... Nazi Germany, for example, the Aryan racial intolerance that encouraged neighbors to betray each other.... the religious and misogynous injustices of the Taliban in Afghanistan which allows husbands and wives to spy on each other ....
 
One truly terrifying aspect that I found of Child 44 is that the polical climate in which it takes place can happen anywhere in the world....
 
IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



IBIS wrote:


Tom_Rob_Smith wrote:

You know the feeling you get when you visit an amazing building... it doesn't matter if it's in Rome or NY or Tokyo. There's a tingle of excitement. I got it when I visited the temples in Cambodia, Angkor Wat. Even though they were built thousands of years ago, by a society completely "other" to my own, I still couldn't help but think wow... this is what people are capable of. It's inspirational and that inspiration isn't diluted by it being in a foreign country. For me, reading about historical events has a comparable effect on me: the reaction they provoke doesn't depend on how close it is to my immediate circumstances.

Sometimes it's inspirational, sometimes it's terrifying... I don't feel any kind of barrier though.

I know exactly what you mean... that the "otherness" of foreign cultures and histories is just another side of the same coin... on one side we see terrifying examples of cruelty and intolerance.... flip the coin, and
we see instances of inspirational courage and love and understanding...
The paranoia of the Soviet state that colored Child 44 can easily be imagined in a number of various periods in history.... Nazi Germany, for example, the Aryan racial intolerance that encouraged neighbors to betray each other.... the religious and misogynous injustices of the Taliban in Afghanistan which allows husbands and wives to spy on each other ....
One truly terrifying aspect that I found of Child 44 is that the polical climate in which it takes place can happen anywhere in the world....
IBIS





Right - that's exactly what I was trying to thread through the book.

I wonder if anyone else thinks there has been a globalization of history in recent years, partly because of the internet, partly as a spin-off of globalization generally.


Learn more about Child 44.
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



Tom_Rob_Smith wrote:

.... I'll be back though next year to promote the second book although I'm not sure when. They can change us, inform us, move us...as much as events happening right now, next door.

That's exciting... your possible touring through the US with your second book... hopefully your schedule will be accessible through your website, right?
 
I hope you make it to Boston... if you do, I'll be sure to leave BSO tickets for you at the box office... hoping, of course, that you enjoy classical music(!)
 
IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

[ Edited ]
I'd love to hear you play IBIS! That would be amazing.

In fact, I'll be in Boston in early November sometime. I'll be at a literary festival in Toronto and then I have a friend who is teaching at Harvard. I'll be visiting her after the festival.

I've visited her before. I think Boston and the surrounding towns along the coast are beautiful. I went whale watching - also great. For some reason I've always liked whales, all my projects as a child were on whales and dolphins.

Message Edited by Tom_Rob_Smith on 06-19-2008 05:18 PM


Learn more about Child 44.
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Another question, Tom:

Why is this set in the 50s rather than the 80s?

I read the other posts the other day and don't remember this being discussed. I apologize if my memory fails me.

Beth
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



evollbach wrote:
Another question, Tom:

Why is this set in the 50s rather than the 80s?

I read the other posts the other day and don't remember this being discussed. I apologize if my memory fails me.

Beth




Hi Beth,

Yes, the real killer committed most of his crimes during the 1980s.

I moved it back in time because reasoned the pressures on our hero would be so much greater at this point in Soviet history. The regime was at its most extreme under Stalin. The hero, Leo, risks his life, the life of his wife and family, in trying to catch the killer. In the 1980s a process of liberalization was in motion: he wouldn’t have lost his life for bucking the official line.

Also, in the 1980s they knew more about this type of crime... in the 1950s they knew almost nothing.


Learn more about Child 44.
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

[ Edited ]


Tom_Rob_Smith wrote
In fact, I'll be in Boston in early November sometime.


http://www.bso.org/bso/mods/perf_detail.jsp?pid=prod2230011

I'm part of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.... we are some of BSO's principal players who explore the full spectrum of chamber music at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall.. ...

Scheduled for Sunday Nov. 2 is Mozart ... M. Haydn....Villa-Lobos.... Brahms String Sextet #1 in B-flat, Opus 81....

I’ll be in the Brahms String Sextet # 1 in B-flat, Opus 81--- will you be in Boston on Sunday afternoon 3pm, November 2nd?

IBIS



Message Edited by IBIS on 06-20-2008 02:34 PM
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



IBIS wrote:


Tom_Rob_Smith wrote
In fact, I'll be in Boston in early November sometime.


http://www.bso.org/bso/mods/perf_detail.jsp?pid=prod2230011

I'm part of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.... we are some of BSO's principal players who explore the full spectrum of chamber music at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall.. ...

Scheduled for Sunday Nov. 2 is Mozart ... M. Haydn....Villa-Lobos.... Brahms String Sextet #1 in B-flat, Opus 81....

I’ll be in the Brahms String Sextet # 1 in B-flat, Opus 81--- will you be in Boston on Sunday afternoon 3pm, November 2nd?

IBIS



Message Edited by IBIS on 06-20-2008 02:34 PM




There is a very good chance that might work! It would be wonderful if it did.

I'll try and find out what dates I'm scheduled in Toronto. It's really lovely to be invited IBIS. Thank you. It would be amazing to hear you play. I shall do my very best to be there!

I'll email my publisher next week and see if the festival has a schedule yet.


Learn more about Child 44.
New User
ajordan318
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-21-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

I do not really have a question, but more of a comment.  I want to say that Tom congrats, your my new favorite author.  I love to read, but I have 2 children, sometimes it is not easy to read.  Your book finally came in yesterday. I could not put it down.  I managed to finish the book this morning and I have to say job well done! I have not read a book this good in quite sometime.  I can not wait until the next book comes out!  I agree with others, this book should definitely be made into a movie, I would be first in line to see it!
Again Congrats on the book.  I loved it and would highly recommend to anyone! 
Thanks,
Amanda
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



ajordan318 wrote:
I do not really have a question, but more of a comment. I want to say that Tom congrats, your my new favorite author. I love to read, but I have 2 children, sometimes it is not easy to read. Your book finally came in yesterday. I could not put it down. I managed to finish the book this morning and I have to say job well done! I have not read a book this good in quite sometime. I can not wait until the next book comes out! I agree with others, this book should definitely be made into a movie, I would be first in line to see it!
Again Congrats on the book. I loved it and would highly recommend to anyone!
Thanks,
Amanda





Hi Amanda,

That's very kind! Reader recommendations are gold dust to an author!

I can't wait for the movie too!


Learn more about Child 44.
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Not a question

I posted a message the other day but don't see it here. Apparently, I didn't press SUBMIT.

When I read a great book I want to tell everyone. So now that I've finished this one that's what I'm doing. I obviously convinced at least some of the people, such as my chiropractor; they wrote it down.

I also recommended it on www.gather.com, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/booKCELebration/, and bookreporter.com. And I'll keep recommending it.

Thanks, Tom, for the good read. I look forward to your next book and hope to meet you one of these days.

Beth
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Another question:

When you come to Canada in November, will you also be visiting the US (besides the Boston Symphony Orchestra)? I would think you'd want to avoid long plane trips.

Beth
Author
TRS_Old
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎05-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



evollbach wrote:
Another question:

When you come to Canada in November, will you also be visiting the US (besides the Boston Symphony Orchestra)? I would think you'd want to avoid long plane trips.

Beth




... are you asking if I'm combining the trips? Yes, I would never fly back and forth like that... I'm no fan of flying, I much prefer trains! I don't know if there is a train from Toronto to Boston, that would be my preference anyway.


Learn more about Child 44.
Frequent Contributor
evollbach
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎06-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith



Tom_Rob_Smith wrote:


evollbach wrote:
Another question:

When you come to Canada in November, will you also be visiting the US (besides the Boston Symphony Orchestra)? I would think you'd want to avoid long plane trips.

Beth




... are you asking if I'm combining the trips? Yes, I would never fly back and forth like that... I'm no fan of flying, I much prefer trains! I don't know if there is a train from Toronto to Boston, that would be my preference anyway.




Actually, I mean, will you come to Michigan. We're just a hop over the Detroit River from Windsor, Ontario. That's about 4 hours from Toronto, I think, but I'll bet there's a train between those two cities.

You make me conscious of how much I don't get around. Gees, Tom, you're so young to have done as much as you have and to have been to so many places! When I was your age, I was proud of myself for moving alone to California for a job there. I think that's as adventurous as I got.

Beth
Frequent Contributor
tgem
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Tom Rob Smith

Tom Rob Smith,
 
We've been so fortunate to have you on this board for close to a month now, and you've been so generous with your time and thoughts.  Before you leave us, I'm really curious as to what fiction writers have influenced your writing.  Is there any way you could explain how an author, like yourself, can be influenced, but find your own voice?
 
tgem
 
ps: with all this posting, have you been able to finish your book??
Users Online
Currently online: 10 members 203 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: