06-12-2009 01:03 PM
It doesn't work quite that way. I don't prefer to write one type of book over another. The books -- the characters, really -- kind of seize me and tell me what to write. I don't really have a choice.
Thanks for the order of your mystery books to read. Tell us, what kind of books do you prefer to write?
06-12-2009 01:04 PM
Fong See's marriage to my great-grandmother was a love match. The one to Ahpaw was arranged.
Were these arranged marriages?
Lisa: He had twelve children. Five with the first family; 7 with the second. The last was born when he was in his nineties! That wife, his third, was only 16 when they were married. He was in his sixties.
06-12-2009 01:07 PM
I'll say!!! We can all count on that.
I think Joy will have a lot of surprises and disappointments
on her journey.
These are some of the things I'm thinking. I really loved what you wrote about learning from someone's weakest characteristics or their strongest characterists. Right now Joy seems to be working from the weakest.
06-12-2009 01:43 PM
Participating in an online book club is a first for me, but I couldn't resist when I was on B&N today and saw the banner promoting your new book and this message board.
About a year ago a friend suggested Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Loved it...the culture and tradition explained in exquisite detail, the historical impact on the life of a strong central female character. So I went to the local B&N and purchased all your remaining books except the memoirs. I adored Peony In Love for the same reasons I enjoyed the first book...Chinese culture and traditions and strong central female character. I just finished Flower Net and have begun The Interior. I must say, that I'm not a fast reader but I hope to get a lot done over the summer. I'm an elementary school teacher so I get little free time for enjoyable reading and when I do, I'm zonked! So I better get a move on if I'm going to finish The Interior, Dragon Bones, AND your new book, Shanghai Girls. I'm so excited that you've written another historical fiction. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when I exhausted your books.
I'm a military brat, lived in 15 states and 2 other countries. I've visited 25 other countries. I have an insatiable appetite for exploration and travel. I carry a special fondness for Asian culture and traditions. As a matter of fact, I was on B&N looking at Rosetta stone Japanese because I'm making a third trip to Japan later this summer.
Oh, by the way, am I reading your thrillers in the correct order? And thank you for all the hard work you do to capture the essence of Chinese culture and tradition in all your books. I can visualize the settings and experience the voice of the characters. I feel like I'm right there in a remote Chinese villages with Snow Flower and deep in the hutong of Beijing with Hulan & David.
Hi Lisa and Friends,
I don't feel very able to comment on the discussion about the new book because I haven't read it yet. I am also trying not to read to many of the details so as not to spoil it for myself. Thank you to those of you who write "Shanghai Girls Spoiler" above your comments to warn me and others.
Lisa, I live in the Denver area. Will your promotion schedule bring you to our area? Is this the correct order for the mystery/thrillers...Flower Net, The Interior, Dragon Bones?
Look forward to finishing your current books and those to come. Keep 'em coming!
06-12-2009 02:30 PM
Afternoon, all -- I just wanted to remind you that you have a few hours left to get in questions to and comments for Lisa See, who has been incredibly generous with her time and thoughts for us this week. While authors aren't "bound" to stay past Friday, 5 p.m., many Center Stage authors do try to answer every question. If you have one for Lisa, now's the time!
Lisa, many many thanks for your participation this week. I think we can safely say that Shanghai Girls is a favorite with readers.
06-12-2009 03:37 PM
Thanks for joining in. I'm thrilled and honored that Shanghai Girls is the first book of mine that you've read. You've asked lots of big questions, so I'll try to touch on all of them. Each one ould probably become a new thread, so I'll be brief to start.
I'm part Chinese. My great-great-grandfather came to this country to work on the building of the transcontinetal railroad. My great-grandfather came and stayed. He had four wives and two families. I'm descended from the first family. That wife was a Caucasian woman. It was against the law in California for Chinese and Caucasians to marry until 1948. (In some states until 1965.) They went to a lawyer who drew up a contract between two people as though they were forming a partnership. Today I have about 400 people in my family here in Los Angeles. There are a dozen who look like me, the majority are still full Chinese, ans then there's a spectrum in between. What I'm saying is that I grew up in a very traditional Chinese American family.
The thrillers I've written are Flower Net, The Interior, and Dragon Bones. They are great fun, if I do say so myself.
I'm so glad you brought up sisters. Instead of answering your questions about that, I'd like to ask the group to share their thoughts about sisters. What makes the sister relationship special? What's the difference between actual sisters and friends who are just like sisters? Do you have friends who are like sisters of the heart? Is there anything your actual sister could do that would cause an irrevocable break?Lisa, your questions about sisters are so wonderful -- and I know we've had some answers to them, but I thought I'd jump in, too. I have a couple of friends who are as close to me as any sibling could be, but I do think that real sisters (I have one) share a history that no one else possibly knows about. Even if you've grown up with a close friend, unless that person lived in the same house with you, their experiences will not be as close as a sister's will be.That's one of the things I appreciated about your "girls" -- all the way through the novel, their early shared history influenced their relationship.Bethanne
Lisa, the story about that first family -- and how they were able to pull it off despite the legal roadblocks put in your great-great- grandparents' way -- would be a story I'd like to read.
06-12-2009 04:41 PM
I really enjoyed the discussion this week. I am looking forward to your next book.
I will also look into your mystery books. This has been the best group I have been
in at Barnes & Noble. I will definitely watch to see if you come to the Minneapolis
area. Thank you for the insights into your work.
06-12-2009 04:42 PM
"IT'S ALL IN THE JOURNEY".
There is a message in that for all of us when we think
about it. Thank you .
06-12-2009 05:09 PM
Lisa, the week was too short! Thanks for dropping in and talking to us. It was good to have a discussion with you, even tho it went by too fast. I will be looking forward to you coming to OKC. Thank you for this wonderful book and the experience of it. It is a great book!
For those interested, I would like to add before we leave, a website you might be interested in. This is Lisa's website with her books and all kinds of info on it. AND she has links to her blog and a discussion group you can sign into there too, if you want to further discuss this book or any others of hers, or let others know about her books.
Had to add that in Lisa, It really was good to see you. Good luck on your touring and good health! See you in Sept.
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
06-12-2009 05:48 PM
Thank you so much for being here this week --- it was delightful, as always.
I'll look forward to your next two novels!
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
06-12-2009 10:49 PM
It just doesn't seem fair that our time is up. I have so looked forward to turning on to this club to talk and listen to you and your wonderful books. I hope we see you real soon especially when your sequel comes out. And I will look up those mystery books also. I know I will love them too.
And thanks to all the wonderful audience that had brilliant comments from the gallery.
And thanks to our moderator for her professional grace.
See you again, Laura,Cindy,Vivico,RedCatlady,and all the others.
06-12-2009 10:57 PM
Linda ... good to see you. I've sent you several personal emails, but they got bounced back. Send me another email, and I'll try again.
The other ball you've seen is for racquetball. I love both sports.
I loved Lisa's new book. I think I may read Snow Flower next; have you read it? I'm thrilled that I will be able to meet Lisa in Lake Forest. That should be a blast!
Oh! Cindy, it was so nice to visit with you, just for a short while. I will send you a email and hope you get it. I know, my email goes whacky, and I do not know why. Well, look at its owner! The operator! Am I saying I am whacky!
06-12-2009 11:04 PM
Lisa: Finally, I thought about the shared mannerisms you mentioned. For most of us there comes a point when we look in the mirror and see our mothers. But we also see our mothers and fathers in our siblings -- in their mannerisms, gestures, things they say, moods.
I never wanted to look similar to my sister. I didn't like her personality. She is 5'11, brown hair, brown eyes. I am 5'5, blond blue eyes. But now, as we reach our mid life stage, so many people say we look alike. I say yuk! ha ha But we are starting to look alike. I see my daughters young, beautiful faces and I wonder ... will they look like me when they are old? hmmmmm
I see my father in my brother, my mother in my sister. Maybe it's the way we still stay connected to those who have passed on, to help keep them close to our hearts.
What you say is so true, Cindersue. I look at my niece and see my sister that went on. I seemy mom when I look in the mirror. When I look at pictures, all my dad's people and my sister look so much alike. I think that is how we do stay connected, they never really are gone from us, the memories and the many times we can peek at them.
06-13-2009 01:18 AM
Oh, I have a great idea. You know how some movies have more than one ending? You can chose one or the other? How 'bout Lisa does this with her next book? If you want Joy to meet her father ... read here. If Joy never meets her father ... read here. If Pearl never finds Joy, read here. If Pearl finds ZG but hates him, read here. etc. Now that would be a challenge to write, but could have a variety of endings. lol
Lisa: You should write book jacket copy. You made me want to read that book!!! Again, these are the exact things I'm thinking. I hope I'm not being too predictable. Of course, it's all in the journey.
Lisa asks-"What do you see happening in the next
My scenerio- Fate continues and fortune abounds.
Joy meets her father. Both are thrilled to be together.
How about Pearl? He seems interested -Pearl is not
enthalled by him. He deceived her once- never again.
Enter--new love for Pearl and happiness in her new
found fortune. I also predict amazing backgound
historical descriptions of the China Pearl discovered
upon her return. Will the sisters reunite in China or
America ? Wherever and whatever exicitng things
Lisa has in store for us it will be another wonderful
read. Can't wait!
06-14-2009 10:55 AM