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Poppy_Adams
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎02-25-2008
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Read-n-Rider wrote:
As so many others already have, Ms. Adams, I would like to thank you, and Barnes and Noble, for the opportunity to read this rather extraordinary novel.  I don't have a question for you, but would like to say that I agree with bettymac that, far from being mentally deficient in some way, Ginny was intellectually superior.  Her vocabulary and ability to explain the development and behavior of moths was, I thought, definitely that of someone with a high IQ.  It's true that she seems, for the most part certainly, emotionless in the way she expresses herself, but I felt that that was a manifestation of her scientific mind--stating her observations, very factual, not cluttered, if you will, by feelings or emotional responses.
 
On the other hand, Ginny was clearly not adept at dealing with people and handling social situations.  If I knew more about psychology, I might be better able to resolve these aspects of her character.  As it is, I'll just say that I found her to be a fascinating individual, and your book to be very thought-provoking.  Thank you so much for spending time with us and addressing our comments so thoroughly.
 
Joan


Dear Joan
Thank you for your comments, and for taking the time to tell me your understanding of Ginny and the book.  I'm thrilled when someone has both enjoyed it and found it thought-provoking. 
Best Wishes
Poppy


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Poppy_Adams
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



gringorn wrote:
Poppy,
 
I have to admit that I would have needed a reader's guide if I had not read this book along with the Club.  I used the discussions to clarify things I was reading as well as to prod myself on when I felt bogged down by the details of moths/butterflies.  I think it was a good read overall, but like I said, I think a reader's guide or group guide is pretty important for this book.
 
Mary


Mary, I really think it is important for me to understand the range of impressions that my first book had on readers, so thank you for writing in and telling me.  Unfortunately I think that, although a readers guide may add to the discussions of a book, I think that every book should be able to be read and enjoyed without the use of one.  I really do understand that some people do not like such ambiguity in a book, and some felt bogged down by the scientific details, but I felt it had to be that way not only to be true to Ginny's obsessive nature but also to drip feed some of the ideas I was trying to convey.  No moths in my next book, I promise!!
Best Wishes
Poppy


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Poppy_Adams
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?


Dear Booksavage
I have absolutely no control over the marketing!  Obviously it would be great to have been able to niche market the book to all the people who consider it 5 stars without disappointing the ones who would give it 2 stars, but I'm hoping that that comes later with word of mouth recommendations.  I'm much happier to have polarised opinion than have a generally average reception.  Although readers who feel passionately 2 star about it will not, thankfully, be recommending it to others whose tastes it would not suit, readers who feel passionately 5 star about the book will hopefully recommend it to others who may feel the same.  I think we are much less likely to recommend something we think is average. 
Poppy


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?




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BookSavage
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Poppy_Adams wrote:


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?


Dear Booksavage
I have absolutely no control over the marketing!  Obviously it would be great to have been able to niche market the book to all the people who consider it 5 stars without disappointing the ones who would give it 2 stars, but I'm hoping that that comes later with word of mouth recommendations.  I'm much happier to have polarised opinion than have a generally average reception.  Although readers who feel passionately 2 star about it will not, thankfully, be recommending it to others whose tastes it would not suit, readers who feel passionately 5 star about the book will hopefully recommend it to others who may feel the same.  I think we are much less likely to recommend something we think is average. 
Poppy


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?





Thanks for your response.  I really think that some who did not like the book, may have liked it better if it was promoted differently though.
Go Cubs Go!
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Thayer
Posts: 195
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Ms. Adams,
 
May I say that I admire your courage. I do not think I would be able to endure seeing my craft judged so microscopically. You have been gracious even with those who have presented you with negative feedback. Just keep in mind what a wonderful thing it is to have reached so many, and stimulated so many minds.
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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Pepergirl
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Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Ms. Adams,
 
Just a thought on the "2 star" vs "5 star" ratings.  I would think no matter how popular a book, there are going to be a range of ratings.  Books my husband reads I am not the least interested in and would probably rate them as 1 or 2 stars.  But, that doesn't mean they aren't great books; I just am not the target market.  I can't think of any bestsellers that aren't loved and hated by different people.  The important thing is that there are passionate "5s" that tell their friends with similar interests about the book and then they read it, etc.  Even though the average scores with 2's and 5's may be the same, passion is what will get it recommended, not consistent 3+'s.  (If this makes any sense at all!!).  I was just at the bookstore the other day and happened to be chatting with another book lover.  She was looking for a good read and we were discussing choices.  Even though there were a few that she hated, I loved and vice versa; at least we were talking about them.  The ones that we would have rated a 3, weren't even part of the discussion as neither of us found them worth spending time talking about.
 
Guess this process must feel like getting a performance appraisal over and over and over again.  Or like having a parent/teacher conference--and listening to someone tell you they don't like something about your child.  You are a brave soul.
 
 
Nancy
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Poppy_Adams
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?


Dear Booksavage
I have absolutely no control over the marketing!  Obviously it would be great to have been able to niche market the book to all the people who consider it 5 stars without disappointing the ones who would give it 2 stars, but I'm hoping that that comes later with word of mouth recommendations.  I'm much happier to have polarised opinion than have a generally average reception.  Although readers who feel passionately 2 star about it will not, thankfully, be recommending it to others whose tastes it would not suit, readers who feel passionately 5 star about the book will hopefully recommend it to others who may feel the same.  I think we are much less likely to recommend something we think is average. 
Poppy


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?





Thanks for your response.  I really think that some who did not like the book, may have liked it better if it was promoted differently though.


I agree, but in what way do you mean?  The title, the cover?
Poppy


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Poppy_Adams
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Thayer wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
May I say that I admire your courage. I do not think I would be able to endure seeing my craft judged so microscopically. You have been gracious even with those who have presented you with negative feedback. Just keep in mind what a wonderful thing it is to have reached so many, and stimulated so many minds.


Thanks Dawn!
Poppy


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BookSavage
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

I think that all too many people came into this book ready for the reading experience that was layed out in the synposis on the back cover.  And although in the broadest of forms the book met this description, in many ways it was far from it.  I really think if the book was promoted as a sister is forced to deal with her past when her sister returns home after 50 years that would have brought people into the novel with a better mindset.  Sorry, I do not have the book with me so I cannot get the exact synopsis off the back cover right now.


Poppy_Adams wrote:


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?


Dear Booksavage
I have absolutely no control over the marketing!  Obviously it would be great to have been able to niche market the book to all the people who consider it 5 stars without disappointing the ones who would give it 2 stars, but I'm hoping that that comes later with word of mouth recommendations.  I'm much happier to have polarised opinion than have a generally average reception.  Although readers who feel passionately 2 star about it will not, thankfully, be recommending it to others whose tastes it would not suit, readers who feel passionately 5 star about the book will hopefully recommend it to others who may feel the same.  I think we are much less likely to recommend something we think is average. 
Poppy


BookSavage wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:

I have decided that, in America at least, the book has completely polarized people - you either love it or hate it, and feel quite passionately either way!  In the reviews you readers are giving it, there are many more 2 stars aswell as many more 5 stars than most books seem to get.  Interesting.


After learning this from your experience here, will that help guide the way you market this book, or do you have any control over that?





Thanks for your response.  I really think that some who did not like the book, may have liked it better if it was promoted differently though.


I agree, but in what way do you mean?  The title, the cover?
Poppy



Go Cubs Go!
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AmyEJ
Posts: 13
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Thank you for your concern for my dad, and yes, he has made a great recovery.  I still have not had much time to read these posts but I have read several.  I just wanted to make a few comments.
 
 

Poppy_Adams wrote:

Dear Pigwidgeon
The fear and trepidation was because, not so long into the earlier discussions (before I came on board), there was a core of very outspoken people who were very negative about the book - in particular the overload of information about moths which they considered irrelevant.  I now understand there are many others who did not feel this way, but at one point it seemed that most of the posts were from people who wanted to stop reading it (which would make any new author fearful!).  It was particularly disturbing reading because, just at the time the discussions had started, I was in New York, having been invited over to meet the team at Knopf (my US publishers), as well as booksellers and critics.  So, on the one hand, I had people in the book business praising the book (it's been selected for many bookclubs, readings, radio and other events) whilst its first outing to 'real' readers (who are what counts, basically!) didn't seem to be going so well! 
Personally I think much of the negativity was being heavily led by one individual, and it took some time for people who had enjoyed the book to speak up!  (or some of those who had already read it right through were not joining the discussions at that time).  I thought I might have to come into this discussion and defend myself, but luckily it has not been the case, and I am relieved to know that there are many people who have not only enjoyed the book, but have been encouraged to think more about our own nature.   
Poppy



I started this book club reading only the assigned chapters and following along per the schedule.  I found the book engaging from the beginning, and I enjoyed participating in the discussion.  But as you stated in your response to Pigwidgeon, the tone of many posts turned negative; mine did not because I really liked the book, moths and all!  I soon lost some enjoyment in reading the discussion, though, perhaps because I did not have the time or energy to spend arguing in cyberspace with people I didn't know.  I was enjoying the book and decided to keep that enjoyment to myself.  Finally, one day when I found my house quiet and free from the noise of three little ones, I kept telling myself "one more chapter" and I finished the book.  After doing so, it was really difficult to go back to the chapter by chapter discussion format because my knowledge really did change my analysis and understanding, so I decided to wait. 
 
I, myself, had fear and trepidation about reading the posts as the discussion progressed because I liked your book and I suppose I felt defensive about my own point of view.  I can only imagine the amount of fear and trepidation you felt as the author.  I am sorry that I did not stand up for the book more vocally throughout the process, and perhaps other readers are now sorry as well. 
 
With that said, I just wanted to give a nod to the posting by bettymac on 3-22-08 (I haven't figured out how to quote more than one post in my reply; I'm sorry I can't quote it here!).  She beautifully described many of the things I enjoyed about your work, particularly the characters and their development, as well as your lyricism.  So thank you, bettymac, for your lovely post; I agree with everything. 
 
Because I so enjoyed watching Ginny's character develop, I actually like the title The Sister.  I see it as a book about Ginny, who was referred to as "the sister," and while the other titles that have been mentioned would also work, I do prefer this one because it seems to perfectly identify the subject of the book.  And because of that subject--Ginny--I loved learning about the moths, every bit of it!  I'm still amazed by that whole "soup" thing; is that really true?  Fascinating!  Aside from their metaphorical significance, though, the moths were vitally significant to Ginny as a person.  Thus I felt that I needed that information to better understand her, her world, and her relationships, or to at least try to understand.  As for her quirks and eccentricities, I loved reading about those too.  I did not agree with the many posts that attempted to diagnose her with a disorder, and I did post about that.  I really liked Ginny, perhaps too much; I was actually surprised by her decision at the end, though in hindsight and after reflection, it does seem to fit her, I suppose.  
 
I have many other thoughts but hate to post what others have already posted, so I will try to go back and read this entire thread. 
 
I look forward to reading your next book, and again, thank you for your time. 
 
 
 
 
Author
Poppy_Adams
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



AmyEJ wrote:
Thank you for your concern for my dad, and yes, he has made a great recovery.  I still have not had much time to read these posts but I have read several.  I just wanted to make a few comments.
 
 

Poppy_Adams wrote:

Dear Pigwidgeon
The fear and trepidation was because, not so long into the earlier discussions (before I came on board), there was a core of very outspoken people who were very negative about the book - in particular the overload of information about moths which they considered irrelevant.  I now understand there are many others who did not feel this way, but at one point it seemed that most of the posts were from people who wanted to stop reading it (which would make any new author fearful!).  It was particularly disturbing reading because, just at the time the discussions had started, I was in New York, having been invited over to meet the team at Knopf (my US publishers), as well as booksellers and critics.  So, on the one hand, I had people in the book business praising the book (it's been selected for many bookclubs, readings, radio and other events) whilst its first outing to 'real' readers (who are what counts, basically!) didn't seem to be going so well! 
Personally I think much of the negativity was being heavily led by one individual, and it took some time for people who had enjoyed the book to speak up!  (or some of those who had already read it right through were not joining the discussions at that time).  I thought I might have to come into this discussion and defend myself, but luckily it has not been the case, and I am relieved to know that there are many people who have not only enjoyed the book, but have been encouraged to think more about our own nature.   
Poppy



I started this book club reading only the assigned chapters and following along per the schedule.  I found the book engaging from the beginning, and I enjoyed participating in the discussion.  But as you stated in your response to Pigwidgeon, the tone of many posts turned negative; mine did not because I really liked the book, moths and all!  I soon lost some enjoyment in reading the discussion, though, perhaps because I did not have the time or energy to spend arguing in cyberspace with people I didn't know.  I was enjoying the book and decided to keep that enjoyment to myself.  Finally, one day when I found my house quiet and free from the noise of three little ones, I kept telling myself "one more chapter" and I finished the book.  After doing so, it was really difficult to go back to the chapter by chapter discussion format because my knowledge really did change my analysis and understanding, so I decided to wait. 
 
I, myself, had fear and trepidation about reading the posts as the discussion progressed because I liked your book and I suppose I felt defensive about my own point of view.  I can only imagine the amount of fear and trepidation you felt as the author.  I am sorry that I did not stand up for the book more vocally throughout the process, and perhaps other readers are now sorry as well. 
 
With that said, I just wanted to give a nod to the posting by bettymac on 3-22-08 (I haven't figured out how to quote more than one post in my reply; I'm sorry I can't quote it here!).  She beautifully described many of the things I enjoyed about your work, particularly the characters and their development, as well as your lyricism.  So thank you, bettymac, for your lovely post; I agree with everything. 
 
Because I so enjoyed watching Ginny's character develop, I actually like the title The Sister.  I see it as a book about Ginny, who was referred to as "the sister," and while the other titles that have been mentioned would also work, I do prefer this one because it seems to perfectly identify the subject of the book.  And because of that subject--Ginny--I loved learning about the moths, every bit of it!  I'm still amazed by that whole "soup" thing; is that really true?  Fascinating!  Aside from their metaphorical significance, though, the moths were vitally significant to Ginny as a person.  Thus I felt that I needed that information to better understand her, her world, and her relationships, or to at least try to understand.  As for her quirks and eccentricities, I loved reading about those too.  I did not agree with the many posts that attempted to diagnose her with a disorder, and I did post about that.  I really liked Ginny, perhaps too much; I was actually surprised by her decision at the end, though in hindsight and after reflection, it does seem to fit her, I suppose.  
 
I have many other thoughts but hate to post what others have already posted, so I will try to go back and read this entire thread. 
 
I look forward to reading your next book, and again, thank you for your time. 
 
 

Thank you, Amy, for your post and for taking the time to write and tell me you enjoyed the book.  I really appreciate it.
More importantly, I'm glad your dad is better.
Best Wishes
Poppy 


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momgee
Posts: 584
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Hi Poppy, I just wanted to add my thank you for your terriffic book and for your graciousness while here.  You took so much time to answer the questions. You are to be commended for a most thought provoking book. If an author writes a story that people are still thinking about long after having finished, then to my mind, that author accomplished a wonderful thing. I know your novel will still resonate with me for quite some time and I will definitely recommend it.
 
 I hope to see you on Center Stage with book two!
 
Have a safe trip back to England.
 
 
Kaye
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
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nhawkinsII
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Hi, Poppy.

First of all this is not a question and I hope not inappropriate.

I would like to thank you for your sharing your time and insight with us during the past two weeks. I actually went back and read all the reader questions and your answers. It is a gift to be able to understand the author and her thought process as the story develops. Thank you for answering my questions as well!

Also I truly enjoyed the story. Ginny is a fascinating character..sad in some circumstances, lonely in others and a little frightening in her actions (who knew!) at the end.

I would like to add that not all of us were trying so hard to label Ginny as a "mental" to be avoided..just to understand her true nature I do think as humans we go through life trying to understand our relationships with others...from the bully on the playground to the team members in the office as well as the intricacies of daily family activities. And so it was with my reading of Ginny's story...I was trying to understand her motivation...(And perhaps TV with three flavors of "CSI", "Criminal Minds" and "Waking the Dead" makes us all amateur psychologists!)

I hope to read your next new novel in the not-too-distant future.

Nancy
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detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Reading Guide

Apologies if this was answered in the thread, but I just re-read the back cover of the book and noticed that a reading group guide will be "available at www.aaknopf.com at the time of publication."

3M
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3M
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎12-13-2007
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Thank you for all of your responses to the questions, Ms. Adams. I loved reading your answers. I also loved the book and didn't feel the moth info was too much at all. In fact, I thought it was essential to bringing out the many layers of the book. I actually appreciate the fact that an author would write a story without any regard for the commercial aspect. Very refreshing. I will be recommending your book to everyone.
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goingeast
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎01-03-2007
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Ms. Adams,
 
Thank you for a very interesting read.  This book was unusual, which is why I liked it so much.  Unlike others, I actually enjoyed the information on the moths. Very interesting.  Must have been difficult to research.  Thanks again for a great book.
 
goingeast, Ann
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mrsvaljones
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

As everyone else has said THANK YOU for allowing us the pleasure of reading your novel. Of course at the end I cried, I never wanted the book to end, but unfortunately it did. For me, beyond the great story line, the greatest part of your book was that is reflected so much of what I was learning in my classes at the same time I was reading it. The information you provided on the moths was, in my own opinion completely complementary to your novel. It coincided great with your characters and gave the story so much depth. I do hope you publish soon in the future because I love your unique story line and character development. Thanks again. I had said in a earlier post that this was a book I would never pick up based on the cover and the title and it makes me sad that I would have missed such a great reading opportunity based on my own bias. Luckily for me, I did get to read your novel, YEAH!!!!
Valerie Jones
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams..." -Dr. Seuss
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