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RachelAnn
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author

Thank you so much for writing this book. I enjoyed it immensely. I couldn't put it down but it was exactly as you put it, "I didn't want it to end". I wish my own grandparents were able to tell me of their lives when they were young. It was like looking into a world previously unknown to me. I loved the rich descriptions used, they made me feel like I was more than an observer.
My question is this when Frederick's father and brother died and Grace went to visit her mother, the house was cleaned as if her mother was expecting someone else. Was she expecting Frederick? To me I felt like Frederick was Grace's father all along and when her mother got upset about Frederick marrying Fanny, it was more of a personal thing.
Reading to a child is the most important thing anyone can ever do!
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author



Kat727 wrote:
I agree with you Vivian, when David brings Robbie home I wandered if they were lovers, but I definitely got the feeling that Teddy was gay.




I know, what Hannah said about him, makes you think he was. For a young man, he should have had some interest, somewhere.
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author



KateMorton wrote:

KathyS wrote:
Kate,
First off, I want to congratulate you on this novel. It's brilliant! I'm finding it fascinating and seamless throughout, with all of these transitions you have made, with all of these characters, within this great storyline. I'm watching the changes you've made with the character, Grace. I'm amazed how you've pulled it off!

I'm just a little over halfway through reading it, not wanting to finish it too soon, stretching it out - I've slowed my reading down, just to enjoy every page.

I am so looking forward to The Forgotten Garden, it sounds like another 'mystery', with all of the same questionings that I've had throughout the HaR reading! I love the chosen setting of Cornwall, that setting alone captivates me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to join in this group's discussion.
A lot of happy readers, here.......

Me, for one,
Kathy S.




Hi Cathy,
Thanks for your post; I'm so glad you're enjoying THatR. Regarding the Cornish setting of The Forgotten Garden, one of the things I like most about writing is having the opportunity to spend the better part of a year in the location of my choice. It's a very cheap form of travel! I spent a wonderful 2007 on the windswept clifftops of Cornwall, without having to leave home... (And yes, TFG is a mystery.)
Kate


Kate,
I have just one quick question. How do you feel about actually going to your location, as apposed to writing about your locations, from your home? I wonder if the same feel for the setting is incorporated into the novel.

Thanks,
Kathy S.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author



RachelAnn wrote:
Thank you so much for writing this book. I enjoyed it immensely. I couldn't put it down but it was exactly as you put it, "I didn't want it to end". I wish my own grandparents were able to tell me of their lives when they were young. It was like looking into a world previously unknown to me. I loved the rich descriptions used, they made me feel like I was more than an observer.
My question is this when Frederick's father and brother died and Grace went to visit her mother, the house was cleaned as if her mother was expecting someone else. Was she expecting Frederick? To me I felt like Frederick was Grace's father all along and when her mother got upset about Frederick marrying Fanny, it was more of a personal thing.




Yes, Rachel Ann, I have been thinking the same as you. This wasnt discussed as much as other conclusions but I do think this was the case. Frederick visited her from time to time .
Author
KateMorton
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-06-2008
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Re: Questions for the Author


kiakar wrote:


Kat727 wrote:
I agree with you Vivian, when David brings Robbie home I wandered if they were lovers, but I definitely got the feeling that Teddy was gay.




I know, what Hannah said about him, makes you think he was. For a young man, he should have had some interest, somewhere.




Hi Vivian, Kat and kiakar,
This is a difficult question to answer because although I wrote the book, the characters seemed to take on a life of their own in the process. One of the glorious things about books is that they're open to interpretation, so although I can tell you what I thought about Teddy and David's sexuality, it's only my opinion! I always felt that David had a public schoolboy crush on Robbie. Whether it was sexual or not, or whether David wished it to be, I was never sure. I always imagined that he was attracted to the same traits that Hannah fell in love with a decade or so later. I liked the idea that by falling in love with Robbie, Hannah was closing another triangle.

As to Teddy, I did consider making him gay, and certainly Lady Clementine uses Teddy's lack of romantic past to suggest to Simion that the Conservative Ladies group suspect him of homosexuality, but when I was writing, Teddy had other ideas. I began to suspect that he wasn't so much gay as asexual. There's a pervasive impotence in everything that Teddy does, from his political career to his marriage. I believe he loved Hannah in his own way, he was just completely ill-equipped to make her happy, sexually or otherwise. (Incidentally, I had initially envisaged him as a much more scheming character, but once he came onstage I saw that I'd been wrong. He wasn't a villain so much as he was a well-intentioned fellow whose courage never matched the strength of his convictions. His family used him to their own ends, just as they used Hannah.)

Like I said, this is just how I saw the characters. It certainly doesn't preclude other interpretations! I think once the book is in the world, the characters belong to you as much as they do to me.
Kate


Learn more about The House at Riverton.
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Contributor
3M
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎12-13-2007
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Re: Questions for the Author



KateMorton wrote:

(Incidentally, I had initially envisaged him as a much more scheming character, but once he came onstage I saw that I'd been wrong. He wasn't a villain so much as he was a well-intentioned fellow whose courage never matched the strength of his convictions. His family used him to their own ends, just as they used Hannah.)


Kate




I liked the fact that we could feel sympathy for Teddy. It makes it a much stronger story.

Thanks for this answer!
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author



KateMorton wrote:

kiakar wrote:


Kat727 wrote:
I agree with you Vivian, when David brings Robbie home I wandered if they were lovers, but I definitely got the feeling that Teddy was gay.




I know, what Hannah said about him, makes you think he was. For a young man, he should have had some interest, somewhere.




Hi Vivian, Kat and kiakar,
This is a difficult question to answer because although I wrote the book, the characters seemed to take on a life of their own in the process. One of the glorious things about books is that they're open to interpretation, so although I can tell you what I thought about Teddy and David's sexuality, it's only my opinion! I always felt that David had a public schoolboy crush on Robbie. Whether it was sexual or not, or whether David wished it to be, I was never sure. I always imagined that he was attracted to the same traits that Hannah fell in love with a decade or so later. I liked the idea that by falling in love with Robbie, Hannah was closing another triangle.

As to Teddy, I did consider making him gay, and certainly Lady Clementine uses Teddy's lack of romantic past to suggest to Simion that the Conservative Ladies group suspect him of homosexuality, but when I was writing, Teddy had other ideas. I began to suspect that he wasn't so much gay as asexual. There's a pervasive impotence in everything that Teddy does, from his political career to his marriage. I believe he loved Hannah in his own way, he was just completely ill-equipped to make her happy, sexually or otherwise. (Incidentally, I had initially envisaged him as a much more scheming character, but once he came onstage I saw that I'd been wrong. He wasn't a villain so much as he was a well-intentioned fellow whose courage never matched the strength of his convictions. His family used him to their own ends, just as they used Hannah.)

Like I said, this is just how I saw the characters. It certainly doesn't preclude other interpretations! I think once the book is in the world, the characters belong to you as much as they do to me.
Kate




So Kate, in your last post to us, you said that Hannah loved Teddy. Do you really believe that Hannah was in love with Teddy.? I didn't feel she did love him. She never really admitted to loving him when giving her reasons for marrying him. Didn't she just see alot of advantages to marrying him at the time.?
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author


KateMorton wrote:


Hi Vivian, Kat and kiakar,
This is a difficult question to answer because although I wrote the book, the characters seemed to take on a life of their own in the process. One of the glorious things about books is that they're open to interpretation, so although I can tell you what I thought about Teddy and David's sexuality, it's only my opinion! I always felt that David had a public schoolboy crush on Robbie. Whether it was sexual or not, or whether David wished it to be, I was never sure. I always imagined that he was attracted to the same traits that Hannah fell in love with a decade or so later. I liked the idea that by falling in love with Robbie, Hannah was closing another triangle.

As to Teddy, I did consider making him gay, and certainly Lady Clementine uses Teddy's lack of romantic past to suggest to Simion that the Conservative Ladies group suspect him of homosexuality, but when I was writing, Teddy had other ideas. I began to suspect that he wasn't so much gay as asexual. There's a pervasive impotence in everything that Teddy does, from his political career to his marriage. I believe he loved Hannah in his own way, he was just completely ill-equipped to make her happy, sexually or otherwise. (Incidentally, I had initially envisaged him as a much more scheming character, but once he came onstage I saw that I'd been wrong. He wasn't a villain so much as he was a well-intentioned fellow whose courage never matched the strength of his convictions. His family used him to their own ends, just as they used Hannah.)

Like I said, this is just how I saw the characters. It certainly doesn't preclude other interpretations! I think once the book is in the world, the characters belong to you as much as they do to me.
Kate


Thank you for your answer Kate. And I do believe people can have those "school boy" crushes at any age and just not act on them. On of very favorite movies, I really like it, and dont know if it came from a book, or if maybe a book came from it, but its SOPHIE'S CHOICE. Amazing movie and in it, the young man (Stingo)from the south had a great crush on the man living with Sophie but not the type that anything sexual would happen from. I think at one point he says something like,right then I fell in love with him, he was bigger than life, how could one not. But he didnt mean it at all in a sexual way at all, just totally enamored by him because of how he made Stingo feel. There was a threesome in that movie too, Stingo and that couple and the lines get blurred when he falls in love with Sophie, you knew there would be a bad ending. I did feel maybe David was enamored by Robbie in this sense too. As for Teddy, yeah I think either he was gay or asexual and just didnt have much of a use for sex with either gender.

Again thanks. I, as a reader, like the oportunity get inside the author's head lol, to see what they felt about the story of characters they were writing about. Its wonderful to not only know your own perspective on a story but to also hear what a writer was thinking as the ink ran out their fingers onto the pages. I read a book by James Rollins, an very action packed suspense book and I HATED the ending. I said alright James what the heck is this??? I said I loved 2001 a space o. and tho I loved it, I had no idea what the ending meant. That is how I feel about this book. What the heck happened?! lol, He was very kind, told me to email his website, I did and he emailed me back from an email addy we could converse with, without it getting caught up in the website and he told me exactly what he had in mind when he wrote it, that he just didnt want to post it in the club, so that everyone could take from it,whatever they felt. So he told me what it meant to him and it was beautiful! Truly amazing ending. I said James, I can see that and I like that very much thank you. He said well I never got called out on it quite that way before, someone saying "what the heck was that? what did yo do here?" LOL, so we keep in touch some now on little things, movies, whats going on in the world, something recent that was almost just like his book and I emailed him, sent him the web site and he said,that is wayyy too weird! I said no, STOP writing the future!! LOL

Anyway, yeah I do appreciate you saying what it was to you and now I have two insights into the story, yours and mine and thats cool.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
julyso
Posts: 67
Registered: ‎12-04-2007
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Re: Questions for the Author

Kate,
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book, The House at Riverton. I don't think I would have picked up this book normally, so I also thank Barnes & Noble for the opportunity. I loved the story, from the characters to the wonderful ending. I could not follow the schedule either, I had to finish that book!!! I thank you and look forward to reading more of your work in the future:smileyhappy:
Julie
Inspired Correspondent
EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author

Hi Kate
No questions here. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. This was my first time really participating in an online book club and I was sure that it would be a book I'd have a hard time reading. Not so with "The House at Riverton". I found myself reading it so much I thought I'd better slow down to be in step with the group. Normally I don't think I would have picked it up but now that I've read it, I can't wait until it comes out because I'm recommending it to everyone I know who loves to read.
Your book made my experience in this book club a joy.
Inspired Contributor
Tasses
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Questions for the Author

Ms. Morton,

My question concerns the craft of writing. I believe, if I recall correctly, that you've mentioned being an avid planner. Some writers jump into a story feet first, returning to rehash the jumble. I, though by no means calling myself a writer yet, have a terrific problem knowing where planning ends and writing begins. I edit continually, and to a fault, during the first draft. How does one get past the planning stage and throw caution to the wind?

I'm thinking it might be best to develop character sketches to such detail that the story flows as a natural outgrowth of the character. Thoughts, please?
See all my reviews at: Reading Rumpus and Many A Quaint & Curious Volume
Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Author

Thank you so much, Ms. Morton for this incredible book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will be purchasing the hardcover when it comes out and also i can't wait for "The Forgotten Garden."
Yvonne
Contributor
the_archivist
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Questions for the Author

Hi Kate,

I have only posted a couple of times, but I have been reading your book every chance I get, and recommending it to my friends. It is absolutely a great read! It always amazes me how fiction writers develop their characters and stories. While I do a fair amount of writing myself, I really envy writers like you who can craft such a marvelous tale.
Thank you for one of the best books I have read in a very long time!

the_archivist
the_archivist
Frequent Contributor
flamingo
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
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Re: Questions for the Author

This was a wonderful book and I couldn't put it down. This is the type book I want on a cold rainy weekend when I would put a pot of veggie soup on the stove and just read away. I too have recommended it to my friends and to two book clubs. They are both anxious to get their hands on it. It is a wonderful discussion book as it leaves somethings unresolved. You could go on with the next generation. As you can tell I hated for it to end.
So many books, So little time
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Kat727
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎04-28-2007
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Re: Questions for the Author



KateMorton wrote:

kiakar wrote:


Kat727 wrote:
I agree with you Vivian, when David brings Robbie home I wandered if they were lovers, but I definitely got the feeling that Teddy was gay.




I know, what Hannah said about him, makes you think he was. For a young man, he should have had some interest, somewhere.




Hi Vivian, Kat and kiakar,
This is a difficult question to answer because although I wrote the book, the characters seemed to take on a life of their own in the process. One of the glorious things about books is that they're open to interpretation, so although I can tell you what I thought about Teddy and David's sexuality, it's only my opinion! I always felt that David had a public schoolboy crush on Robbie. Whether it was sexual or not, or whether David wished it to be, I was never sure. I always imagined that he was attracted to the same traits that Hannah fell in love with a decade or so later. I liked the idea that by falling in love with Robbie, Hannah was closing another triangle.

As to Teddy, I did consider making him gay, and certainly Lady Clementine uses Teddy's lack of romantic past to suggest to Simion that the Conservative Ladies group suspect him of homosexuality, but when I was writing, Teddy had other ideas. I began to suspect that he wasn't so much gay as asexual. There's a pervasive impotence in everything that Teddy does, from his political career to his marriage. I believe he loved Hannah in his own way, he was just completely ill-equipped to make her happy, sexually or otherwise. (Incidentally, I had initially envisaged him as a much more scheming character, but once he came onstage I saw that I'd been wrong. He wasn't a villain so much as he was a well-intentioned fellow whose courage never matched the strength of his convictions. His family used him to their own ends, just as they used Hannah.)

Like I said, this is just how I saw the characters. It certainly doesn't preclude other interpretations! I think once the book is in the world, the characters belong to you as much as they do to me.
Kate




Kate,
I enjoy the idea that even though you created them they have gained a life of their own. It must be interesting to see the different views people develop about them. I can agree with the idea that Teddy was asexual, it seems that he might have just been too worried in his career and how the public viewed him to think about other things. The idea though that everything in their marriage was based on if they had a child, seems so strange to me, I'm just glad that things have change since then.
Kat
peace and love
Kaylee/Kat
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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for the Author

Dear Kate,
There have been so many times in which I've said to an author, you leave me speechless. Of course, that never happens, I always find something to say to them. Today, I'm not just speechless, I'm taken so deeply, it's hard to contain what it is I feel.

I've spent this day reading the second, and final half of your novel, and I've cried through most of it. You have painted, literally, a landscape I never imagined. You are a true artist.

Your words, to put it simply, transported me into another place. I'm in awe of your ability to take each and every one of these characters, and bring them to life..... The poetry, the lyrical verse, I found myself not just hearing these words, but feeling these voices you have given to them. It's a true and utter love story.

I was lifted by these characters I grew to love, then plunged into the depths of their deaths. The abruptness, then the caring.....The roller coaster ride was certainly an emotional trip for me, today.

You write with such inspiration......
Don't stop.
Kathy S.
Author
KateMorton
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-06-2008
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Re: Questions for the Author


KathyS wrote:
Kate,
I have just one quick question. How do you feel about actually going to your location, as apposed to writing about your locations, from your home? I wonder if the same feel for the setting is incorporated into the novel.

Thanks,
Kathy S.




Hi Kathy,
I always prefer to visit locations physically, rather than merely mentally, but having done so it's then useful to be able to conjure them again from memory or research. (And when writing fiction with a historical storyline, using research to create a setting is essential!) It's amazing what you can do with your imagination, particularly if you're generally observant and have been storing sensations in your memory for later use!
Kate


Learn more about The House at Riverton.
Author
KateMorton
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-06-2008
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Re: Questions for the Author


kiakar wrote:


KateMorton wrote:

As to Teddy, I did consider making him gay, and certainly Lady Clementine uses Teddy's lack of romantic past to suggest to Simion that the Conservative Ladies group suspect him of homosexuality, but when I was writing, Teddy had other ideas. I began to suspect that he wasn't so much gay as asexual. There's a pervasive impotence in everything that Teddy does, from his political career to his marriage. I believe he loved Hannah in his own way, he was just completely ill-equipped to make her happy, sexually or otherwise.
Kate




So Kate, in your last post to us, you said that Hannah loved Teddy. Do you really believe that Hannah was in love with Teddy.? I didn't feel she did love him. She never really admitted to loving him when giving her reasons for marrying him. Didn't she just see alot of advantages to marrying him at the time.?




Hi Kiakar,
I think Hannah was _prepared_ to love Teddy (and keep in mind that when she agreed to marry him she was very naive and had certainly never been in love before), but no, I don't think she ever really loved him. She saw advantages to marrying him, not least an escape route from Riverton: Fanny had planted the idea that marriage was the only path a woman of Hannah's class had towards freedom and adventure. And in the time she'd spent with Teddy (on the ride with Lady Clem) he'd given her the impression that he also sought a life of travel and exploration. But I don't think it was an entirely cold decision: she had been attracted to Teddy when he rescued her locket, he told her he was in love with her, and she had no prior experience in such matters.
Kate


Learn more about The House at Riverton.
Author
KateMorton
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-06-2008
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Re: Questions for the Author


RachelAnn wrote:
Thank you so much for writing this book. I enjoyed it immensely. I couldn't put it down but it was exactly as you put it, "I didn't want it to end". I wish my own grandparents were able to tell me of their lives when they were young. It was like looking into a world previously unknown to me. I loved the rich descriptions used, they made me feel like I was more than an observer.
My question is this when Frederick's father and brother died and Grace went to visit her mother, the house was cleaned as if her mother was expecting someone else. Was she expecting Frederick? To me I felt like Frederick was Grace's father all along and when her mother got upset about Frederick marrying Fanny, it was more of a personal thing.




Hi RachelAnn,
I'm so pleased that you enjoyed THatR, particularly that you felt enveloped by the story and not like a mere observer. I always felt that Grace's mother had tidied the house just for Grace. I liked the idea that through sheer virtue of having gone into service at the house, Grace's status had risen sufficiently in her mother's eyes to deserve such honour. It seemed sad somehow: Mother had been such a dominant figure in Grace's life and suddenly their relationship was altered so completely. And yes, Mother was definitely upset at the suggestion that Frederick might be marrying.
Kate


Learn more about The House at Riverton.
Author
KateMorton
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-06-2008
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Re: Questions for the Author


julyso wrote:
Kate,
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book, The House at Riverton. I don't think I would have picked up this book normally, so I also thank Barnes & Noble for the opportunity. I loved the story, from the characters to the wonderful ending. I could not follow the schedule either, I had to finish that book!!! I thank you and look forward to reading more of your work in the future:smileyhappy:




Hi Julie,
I'm glad you enjoyed it, especially that you had to devour rather than consume sensibly!
Kate


Learn more about The House at Riverton.
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