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Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


SpookyAmy wrote:

Hi Garth, I just create an account to chat with you ^^

 

I'm a French fan.

 

I really really love "The Art of Racing In the Rain" and I wait to the movie.

 

What is your work's method ? Just yourself with a pen, or computer ?


 

I work on computer.  I have a little studio in my house where I write mornings when the kids are in school.  I have to clear out of the house, though, in the afternoons, as it can get a bit chaotic.  So I rent a desk from a local pizza restaurant in their support offices.  Yes, I write above a pizza parlor.  And it's GOOD pizza!

 

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18 c

 


DrDetz wrote:

On the holiday weekend of July 6, 2008, I left the house to make my pilgrimage to my local Starbucks drive threw and...


 

 

Ken, a lovely story.  Thanks for sharing.  You know, the connections are always there, but we miss most of them because we're moving too fast.  I'm glad you got to connect with your dogs (all of them!), your friend, and Chubby.  It's nice to think we will see our friends--dog and otherwise--again....

 

G

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nlsamson
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18 c

Garth:

 

I have no questions, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I knew when I read the description of your book, I had to have it...  I hated to ever set it down...  actually at one point, I was reading in the lounge of the bank I work for, and I caught myself crying out loud, and ....not caring at all.:smileywink:

 

Never having had a dog before, I was given a 10 week old female beagle 3 years ago.  I would never have imagined that I could be this much in love.  She is the greatest gift ever given to me. 

 

Thank you so much for the book.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away" - unknown
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melissas
Posts: 392
Registered: ‎05-25-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Hello Garth!

 

Like everyone else here wanting to chat with you, I absolutely adored The Art of Racing in the Rain. In my experience, it's been rare to find an adult book narrated by a dog. I've been lucky enough to find a few, starting many years ago with Paul Auster's Timbuktu, up to the fairly recent Dog On It by Spencer Quinn. What inspired you to write a novel with a dog narrator? As far as I'm concerned, dogs enhance every aspect of our lives, and I wish I could find more books like yours...tender, compelling, and unexpected.

 

By the way, are there any dog books that have influenced you?

 

Best of luck with your forthcoming book!

Melissa

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


Suzanne1041 wrote:

Hey Garth!

 

Sending a shout out from your fans in Cape May, NJ. I have some questions. First,  when will your latest book be out? With Drella insisting on 40 pages a week you should be moving along quickly. LOL. I'd also like to know if you are going to write the screenplay for ARR. Since movies were your first artistic endeavor, I think you would do a great job by  maintaining the "feel" of the book and focusing on the messages you'd like viewers to walk away with. So often I love a book and the movie version is dreadful. I don't want to see that happen with your work.

 

Sorry it's raining in FL. We're having a beautiful, balmy early fall day here at the beach. One of those perfect gems you wish would last forever.

 

Hope you and the family are well. I read your schedule and am exhausted myself. Enjoy the moments in the sun.

 

Suzanne Smigo

 

 


 

 

Hey, Suzanne, and hello to the gang in Cape May....

 

My next book won't be out until 2011, but my first book--which is out of print--will be republished by Harper in March 2010.  Raven Stole the Moon.  I think you'll like it. 

 

I'm not doing the screenplay for ARR.  Best to leave that work to professionals.  I'll just tell stories.

 

I'm enjoying the weather out here in Seattle, but I am glad the kids are back in school.  Summer is always fun....for a while!

 

Best,

 

G

 

 

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


brontyman wrote:

Hey Garth! Finally got here...you mention in the introduction to Center Stage that you see a connection between "Evan" and ARR in that there is a theme of spirituality in both. We can seem it clearly in the Zen like quality of Enzo's philosophy and the "mindlessness" of the racer in the" tunnel", however I don't see that as clearly in Evan.

Is it Evan's music that equates to the "race" in ARR that you see the spirituality?


 

 

Hey, B-man,

 

I said "not so much" about Evan, I think.  I mean, there is a spiritual base, but no magic.  In other words, Evan finds his salvation in Mica, and she in him with her comment, "I forgave you before you were born, before either of us had bodies, when we were still lost souls floating around the universe looking for what to do next, when I first met you out there a hundred million years ago."

 

There's the also the bit about Billy Marx karma, and him doing Evan a good turn because of how Evan inspired him long ago, even though Evan didn't know he'd done it.  So it's all in there.  But there aren't any spirit creatures and no dogs narrating. 

 

You're right on about the music.  At one point, Evan tells us he has never had a seizure when playing guitar on stage.  That definitely is his place of peace and safety.  I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I dread writing.  I feel like it's too much work and I'd rather answer e-mails all day long.  But then I get started and get in the pocket and I feel like writing is the only thing in the world for me. 

 

I needed to write Evan because it was a story I had to tell.  My next book delves much more into alternate existences and realities and spiritual stuff.  I think you're going to like it....

 

Thanks for finding us, Michael!  (How's the knee?)

 

Yours,

 

G

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


melissas wrote:

Hello Garth!

 

Like everyone else here wanting to chat with you, I absolutely adored The Art of Racing in the Rain. In my experience, it's been rare to find an adult book narrated by a dog. I've been lucky enough to find a few, starting many years ago with Paul Auster's Timbuktu, up to the fairly recent Dog On It by Spencer Quinn. What inspired you to write a novel with a dog narrator? As far as I'm concerned, dogs enhance every aspect of our lives, and I wish I could find more books like yours...tender, compelling, and unexpected.

 

By the way, are there any dog books that have influenced you?

 

Best of luck with your forthcoming book!

Melissa


 

 

Melissa,

 

I haven't been influenced by other dog books because I haven't read any of them.  Enzo, the narrator, came to me and that's the book I wrote.  It's funny.  I never even thought of him as a dog, honestly.  He was my character.

 

Sometimes I think people should holster their weapons when they criticize fiction on the basis of who's narrating or some device the author is using.  It's fiction.  It's make-believe.  The point isn't *how* we do it, but whether we do a good job doing it!

What we're supposed to do is stretch the boundaries and try new things.  I mean, if it doesn't jibe with you, that's okay.  But to invent rules like "you can't write an adult book narrated by a dog," is like saying, "you can't eat a hamburger with mayonnaise."  Well, you CAN.  Maybe it's not your taste, but people do it all the time.  What we shouldn't do is shut down creativity and differences because we don't feel comfortable trying different things.

My favorite Walt Whitman quote:  "Do I contradict myself?  Very well, then, I contradict myself;  (I am large.  I contain multitudes.)"  [the odd punctuation is his...]

G

 

 

Frequent Contributor
brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Hey G!

The knee improves daily and well enough to walk from the Public Market to Pioneer Square and back, although it did swell some. I can see why you made Seattle home. A wonderful vibe. We were unaware of the Troll under the Aurora Bridge and our next trip it is a priority!

ARR has been a great sucess among readers. People have connected with Enzo and the story in a way that is really remarkable. It moves many, including myself to tears. I think you have been a little frustrated with the lack of newspapers and magazines reviewing the work. In your mind why do you see a disconnect between the readers and the reviewers? It seems odd to me that a book on the NY Times hardcover best seller list for 26 weeks, and currently #7 in trade paper should be unreviewed by the Times.

 

B-man

Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
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Bethanne
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Hey Garth! Thank you so much for joining us and jumping right in. Questions from me coming shortly... 

 

Bethanne

_______________________________________________________

Check out this week's Center Stage discussion!

See all upcoming discussions!

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Bethanne
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Garth, writing above a pizza parlor with good pizza is my idea of heaven. Also: What a great idea for other writers! We all need to find space, and when the house is too chaotic or claustrophobic, why not think about renting space from a local biz that has some extra room? Win-win situation. I think I might blog about this, hmmmm....

 

Bethanne

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Check out this week's Center Stage discussion!

See all upcoming discussions!

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Bethanne
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Garth, what you say about people holstering their weapons when judging a work of fiction on basis of its narrator or device is a great observation. Anything CAN work; why not? If it doesn't work, it's less due to the impossibility factor than to the author's ability to immerse us in the world he or she has created. After all, artists have made us believe in everything from a prep school for magicians to astronaut Jesuits to a spider whose webs contain perfectly spelled messages in English. The premise isn't the problem.

 

Bethanne

_______________________________________________________

Check out this week's Center Stage discussion!

See all upcoming discussions!

_______________________________________________________
Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


brontyman wrote:

ARR has been a great sucess among readers. People have connected with Enzo and the story in a way that is really remarkable. It moves many, including myself to tears. I think you have been a little frustrated with the lack of newspapers and magazines reviewing the work. In your mind why do you see a disconnect between the readers and the reviewers? It seems odd to me that a book on the NY Times hardcover best seller list for 26 weeks, and currently #7 in trade paper should be unreviewed by the Times.

 

B-man


 

 

First of all, I think there's a question about how relevant "mainstream" book reviews in this day and age.  I mean, sure, it's sexy to get a review in the New York Times, but does it lead to a bump in sales?  What is the audience that reads book reviews?  Are they "preaching to the choir?" 

 

Second, there's the issue of reivewers having their own preconceptions about what is "good" and what is "not so good."  We all have prejudices, and reviewers are no exception.  I do believe there is a prejudice in mainstream media against what is deemed "commercial" versus what is deemed "literary."  But that is what it is. 

 

Finally, I think in this day of blogs, chat rooms, Twitter, Facebook, BN.com book clubs....  there is so much access and so much availability and so much passion of actual readers, that the influence of mainstream book reviews has lessened to make room for all the other opinions.  Honestly, last night I was tweeted by Rob Thomas--the rock star--who said ARR was a "must read."  He has 108,000 followers on Twitter.  I daresay, the New York Times doesn't get 108,000 people reading their book reviews on Mondays and Thursdays.... 

 

G

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


Bethanne wrote:

Garth, writing above a pizza parlor with good pizza is my idea of heaven. Also: What a great idea for other writers! We all need to find space, and when the house is too chaotic or claustrophobic, why not think about renting space from a local biz that has some extra room? Win-win situation. I think I might blog about this, hmmmm....

 

Bethanne


 

 

Bethanne,

 

In my case, Tutta Bella--a "family" of pizza restaurants--has extra space in their support offices.  Rather than letting it go unused, the owner, Joe Fugere, rents three cubicles to freelancers:  me, a graphic designer, and a book editor.  It works really well.  One day Joe will need more space and we'll have to move on, but it really works well for now!

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


Bethanne wrote:

Garth, what you say about people holstering their weapons when judging a work of fiction on basis of its narrator or device is a great observation. Anything CAN work; why not? If it doesn't work, it's less due to the impossibility factor than to the author's ability to immerse us in the world he or she has created. After all, artists have made us believe in everything from a prep school for magicians to astronaut Jesuits to a spider whose webs contain perfectly spelled messages in English. The premise isn't the problem.

 

Bethanne


 

 

I hope my comments didn't come off harshly.  My point was we all don't have to like everything; we all don't even have to *try* everything.  But just because we don't want to try it, doesn't mean we have to stop it. 

 

In fiction, anything goes.  If you make it compelling, it could be narrated by a single cell!  (Oh, wait--that's been done!)

 

G

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brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

G,

Speaking to the issue of Enzo a dog as narrator, I think you have seen in the past year that this concept resonates with your readers. This I think is because it is a shared experience among people who have dogs as companions, that there is something in that relationship that goes beyond master and pet. When you infuse Enzo with wisdom, and "magic" the reader believes that Enzo's voice is "everydog", and my dog.

I realize that ARR teaches lessons of loyalty, love, faith, and has a "spirituality" that is throughout,but those elements are discovered after your wonderful first line "Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature"  It is a dramatic statement introduces the reader to the story of Enzo Narrator, Philosopher and Dog.

Again thanks for journey!

 

B-man

Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
New User
DrDetz
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-14-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Do any pizza restaurants have book clubs selling Garth's books...I'm humgry for a good read, cold beer and slice of vegie pizza..Ken

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Thank you for joining us, Mr. Stein. I absolutely loved ARR and have encouraged many of my friends to read it as well. Your style captured me right away and even though I knew how the story would end, I couldn't put it down. I think the story has stayed with me for a couple of reasons. First, it is well written with memorable characters. Second, it encourages us to be fully alive and present every moment of every day. Your use of a dog as narrator totally sucked me in and I saw the world through his eyes. I became very attached to your characters and can't imagine that my attachment was 1/100th of your. My question is, was it difficult to write the book knowing how it would end?

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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SuzyTX
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-15-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Hi Garth, I don't have a question but want you to know The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my very favorite books. Since my eyesight does not allow me to read I got the book on CD's at the library. After reading it once, I bought the book so I could listen to it again. I have listened twice now and will probably listen several more times. I realize I got much more out of it the second time and expect further listens will let me know I didn't get it all in two listens. I have recommended the book to many friends and loaned my CD copy to my niece who will send it back. Everyone who read it told me how much they loved it. I don't know if I could see the movie, but usually movies ruin the book anyway. Congratualtions on a wonderful book. I wish you had more of them on CD's so I could hear them. Sue in Texas
Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

 


DSaff wrote:

 My question is, was it difficult to write the book knowing how it would end?

 


 

 

DSaff,

 

No.  I know the ending of all my books before I start them.  It's just the way I work.  The process of writing is a process of discovery.  For me, writing the ending is like getting home after a trip:  familiar and comfortable, but somehow different for the journey....

Author
Garth-Stein
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Garth Stein, September 14-18

Thanks Sue in Texas!  I might record Evan or Raven myself and put it out there.  Wy not, right?

 

G