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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



ek wrote:
Ms. Adams
      This was my First Look book to read!!  Thank you for letting us read your book and discuss it with you.
I couldn't wait to get the book and read it because I have a really close relationship with my older sister.  My sister is my best friend and I found myself being very grateful for my sister and our childhood.  Thanks for the interesting read.
Elaine


Dear Elaine
I have a 6 year old son and a 3 year old daughter.  When i gave birth to my third child last year, and out came a boy, one of my first thoughts was what a shame that my daughter will never have a sister (because I'm not having any more!).   I never had a sister either, but so many of my friends have great sisterly relationships that I thought it would have been nice to have two daughters.  But I adore my boys, obviously, and brothers are fun in other ways.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



stacymouse wrote:
Ms. Adams,

I just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed your book.  It was so much fun and so interesting to read!  Will you be writing another novel anytime soon?


Dear Stacymouse
Yes, I'm writing another one now - or structuring it anyway.  I've only just started and it will take me at least a year and a half.
Best Wishes
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



AnnieS wrote:
Ms. Adams,
Some books havebook club questions or questions for the author with answers at the end of the books. Will this book have that?  If it will, will the questions be from the book clubs in the US and England? 
 
I ask this, as your responses to our questions helped me appreciate the book better.  For the readers who do like tidy endings and some more insight to the characters and setting of the book, it may help complete the story for them. 
Thank you for your time.
Annie


Dear AnnieS
I'm not a hundred percent sure if the book will have book club questions, it's not up to me, but I think I remember the publishers saying it would.  They are a great idea to help with discussions, although I think its a shame if people need them to gain more insight to the characters.  For those people, I've not done my job properly.
Good question though.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Bengel wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
Thank you for taking the time to answer questions... it is so very nice to get your perspective. I've never been given that luxury before with any author.
 
Your book was different from just about any other book I have read. At times, at little frustrating - I wanted to know the answers to my questions!!!  But much more thought provoking... thank you.
 
I really enjoyed the story and like that I am still thinking about it!


Message Edited by Bengel on 03-19-2008 01:39 PM

Thanks Bengel!
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Oldesq wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
First, thank you for your time.  I am amazed that you have followed the posts and been kind enough to make yourself available- I think it must be agonizing, especially if I had the type of relationship with Ginny that you have.  I guess that goes to my question in that I think I would have had a much different experience with The Sister if I hadn't read it with the level of analysis and dissection (pun intended!) that was necessary to fully participate in these discussions.  I think the boards are really fun but wondered if you thought they detracted from your reader's experience and how you would like your book read.  Thank you again for your time.  Best of luck.
 
Oldesq
 
 


Dear Oldesq
Your question is very interesting and one I have been asking myself.  I don't know.  I think if I said 'yes, it is definitely much better read straight through rather than discussing to death (pun intended!)' that might just be me trying to make myself feel better!  I'm not reading anything into anything.  I mean another way of looking at it is those that found the book slow and too technical were more than happy to read only a few chapters at a time, then stop and discuss it.  So many of those discussing it were naturally the ones who didn't connect with it.  Other people, who liked the book, have said they read it all the way through because they couldn't put it down, so didn't join the part way discussions.  I'm not saying this is what happened, I think I could sit here all day and think up theories about it.  And I'm really not going to, it'd send me mad!
Poppy 


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



jabrke wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
I enjoyed reading your book.  My question is about the cover.  What does the bust represent?  Were  there other cover options?
 
Looking forward to your next book!:smileyhappy:


Hi jabrke
This is really a question for my publishers as I didn't have any input on the cover in the US - they have a team of people who work it up.  I think they were trying to give an overall feeling for the book rather than illustrate something particularly.  No, there weren't other cover options in the US. 
Poppy

 


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



lmpmn wrote:

It's a pleasure, Ms. Adams, to have you with us.  Thank you for your time.

During my reading of your book, I was reminded of Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" in several parts; especially when Ginny described the plants as "creeping" through her bedroom window (creeping was used in description of other things too, I believe) and her yellow wallpaper in her childhood bedroom.  Have you ever read that book?  If so, did you receive any inspiration from it?

I also wanted to say that initially I wanted to label Ginny (I definitely think that is because I have a degree in psychology and have always been interested in mental health).  But after reading more and more discussion on these boards about what Ginny was likely to have, I questioned whether we should be labeling her at all, and why we want to label her.  I too have thought about the subject of sanity vs. insanity, normal vs. abnormal, who is to judge these things, etc. many times.  I realized about 1/2 way through the book that this was one of the things that you as an author wanted us to think about.

I think you've done an amazing job of provoking these particular thoughts through Ginny's narrative.  The first thing I take notice of in a book is its narrator.  I fought through the first chapters because I knew her perspective was unreliable, and I didn't know what to trust from her.  But now as I look back to posted answers from you, I realize that was your intention.  We all have our own perspective, our own truths, our own individual memories of shared events.  I know I'll be thinking about these things for a long time after I've put the book on my shelf.

One more question: before I even read the book (I read in your mini bio that you took science courses in college), I wanted to know if you took any creative writing courses or if writing just comes naturally to you?

Thank you again for being with us,

Laura

 



Thanks Laura, for your lovely message.  I would love to take credit for introducing subtle parallels to The Yellow Wallpaper.  In one thread someone asked 'I wonder is the author is giving a direct nod to Gilman?' - it might have been you who asked.  My UK editor asked me exactly the same thing when she first read it, 
and how I wished I could say yes!  I've never read it, but I'm definitely going to. 
No, I didn't take any creative writing courses and, although I'm sure some formal training would have been helpful to me,  I worry about courses teaching methods that might make my writing, or my thinking, formulaic.  I'm sure they don't teach like that, but it was my worry!
Poppy


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sriensche wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
Thank you.  Thank you for your time and creativity.  I also chose not to be deeply involved in many of the early discussions due to the "dissection" and also because this book coincided with a time when many people were trying to label my son and I just reveled in your "eccentrics".  I truly enjoyed entering Ginnys world and I found myself just absorbing it all, moths and all, throughout your tale. My next project is to look up a few facts about moths, now they seem interesting!  May you find success in this endeavor!
 
Stephanie Riensche


Dear Stephanie
I think labelling children (in any way) is one thing adults need to be so cautious about, and I'm sorry that this is happening with your son. 
Even though its so difficult not to, I think even the way we sometimes label our children early with certain personalities or talents can lead to problems for them.
Good Luck
Poppy


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abbyg7 wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
I would also like to thank you for the opportunity to read your book and for you taking the time to answer our questions.
 
I must admit that at first I did not really enjoy your book, I had a hard time picking it up to read.  I also felt that sometimes the discussion seemed to spend too much time trying to analyze every little thing that was said and that happened.  Maybe I am more interested in the entire story rather than in trying to understand if
everything has some unseen significance or ulterior motive(does that make sense?).
 
Anyway, the more of the book that I read, the more I enjoyed it(even the moth parts).  I liked that it made me make some of my own decisions about what happened, rather than laying it all out for me.  I think it will be interesting to reread it at some time in the future to see if my perceptions of what happened have changed.
 
The one question I do have is if there is any significance to Ginnys obession with time and her being so upset with not being able to find the exact time?  Or is that just another one of her eccentricities.
 
Thank you, Abby.


Dear Abby
I'm beginning to think (because of other recent postings as well as yours) that you could be right about the discussions hindering some of the enjoyment of the experience of reading the whole book.
And I do thing there is a direct link between Ginny's obsession with time an her being so upset with not being able to find the exact time, yes1
Thanks Abby
Poppy


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vivico1 wrote:
Poppy,
I do not mean to take up too much of your time with just my thoughts or questions, so I should probably stop here at some point and not monopolize your time lol. I did want to mention one thing to you that I just remembered made me mad at Maud and wrote more about it on the thread Karen opened up on other topics for discussion. Anyway, you have talked about how Ginny was nurtured by Maud and Clive (tho we would probably agree nurturing it really wasnt), vs free will and I remembered something you wrote, that I don't think has been mentioned yet, if so, forgive the repeat. Maud to me, basically was teaching Ginny to be an introvert,and even anti-social when she was teaching her about that place inside to go when people were saying mean things to you or things that bothered you, where they could not touch you, where you could lock them out and be alone and safe! Where you didn't have to listen to them or deal with them and I thought then, my gosh woman, you are not teaching her how to deal with the world, or be a social individual, but teaching her to go inside herself and she did! She did when Vivi would get upset with her for "leaving" and have to say basically, hello Ginny come back, stop doing that!" her little blackouts, that after the murder even she calls them such. This is a good case for saying a lot of what Ginny was around people, her mother taught her, while her father was teaching her she had no free will, just like the moths. Talk about mess up a kids head! Maud taught her well too, not only did she stay inside her own head way too much, she stayed in that big house alone where she was safe in the very same way. I really was angry at Maud for that.

yup, I can see all those things as being true and Maud basically being to blame.  But, I can also see the strategy of 'going inside her head' as something that could have been a very useful defense mechanism for Ginny (especially if you view it from the other startpoint - that Ginny was born with her 'problems' rather than her family creating them).  It's like teaching a child to count to 10 when they are angry as a kind of anger managment.  Perhaps this technique stopped Ginny committing a crime earlier.  Now, all I'm saying is I can still see it BOTH ways, from both perspectives!!
Poppy


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fictionhound wrote:
hi poppy - thank you so much for sharing your wonderful book with us. i read it the first weekend that it arrived at my house. i didn't particiapte in the online discussions for fear of giving something away. i had so wanted to read this one at the pace of the online club, but i just had to know what happened. i just loved ginny's character. in america we are quick to label someone who doesn't fit exactly into the "normal" mode. my daughter has learning "issues" and i have found it interesting how quickly people want to put an exact label on her. i home school my children so that they can learn at their own pace and not have to fit into the norm. i feel like ginny was what my parents called a "late bloomer", but that she was treated as if she had something so very wrong with her that it actually made a difference in her development. she was never treated as if she would understand the realty of the world. if you are never really exposed to the world, then how can people expect you to understand it??? ginny knew her little world and was happy with her routines. i love the tea making sequence about how this is the way she has always done it. she knows there are new easier ways to make tea, but it is about the ritual of it. ginny is very into the rituals of her life and her sister's arrival shatters her entire daily existence. it can drive you crazy to have an outside influence change what is "safe" for you. my mom says the older you get the more "set in your ways" you get and when you have to make changes it is upsetting. vivi is a big change. the conclusion of ginny killing vivi was a logical one if you are following ginny's logic. i love to see characters written in an honest way to their nature. you didn't have ginny kill her sister for any other reason that it was what ginny would have done. so thank you for being true to the character you created. i think this would make a wonderful film. many films have had the audience "listen in" to what the character is thinking and this would be a perfect way to let us get inside ginny's head. the visuals in the film would be fantastic with all the moth history/experiments as well. i truly hope something can be worked out for a film version. thank you again for this great story.


Dear fictionhound
Thank you for your lovely comments and I'm very glad you enjoyed, and obviously understood, the book in the way I hoped.     I also admire the way in which you describe dealing with your daughters experiences - sounds like you will fight for her all the way to make sure she's not percieved wrongly by others.  well done you. 
Thank you again, and it'll be interesting to see what ideas they may come up with for 'listening in' to Ginny's thoughts in a film.
best wishes
Poppy


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grapes wrote:
Dear Poppy Adams,
 
You have willingly given us of your time. Thank you. I enjoyed reading the answers to our questions. I am looking forward to your next book. Will it also involve nature and science?
 
 


Dear Grapes
No, my next book won't involved nature and science, but like all books, it'll be about human nature!  But that's all I'm saying about it! (I didn't say anything about the last book until I had finished it - my friends didn't even know I was writing one!)
Thanks, Grapes, for your lovely review of the book on the review board, I really appreciate it.
Poppy


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Carmenere_lady wrote:
First, thank you Poppy for your response to my questions and thank you for leading me to my next read.  I had purchased  "The God of Small Things" last month for later reading, well, now, later is here!
 
Oh my gosh!  I am so glad you added that sentence said by PC Bolt.  It was at that point that the light bulb lit and found that Ginney was indeed "the sister"  printed in italics none the less just in case we missed it.
 
There was some discussion here about a book entitled "The Secret Life of Bees"  and normally I wouldn't pick up a book with that title however great word of mouth accolades brought me to the book.  In that regard, I think that sometimes the American public is spoken down to as if we just won't get it otherwise.  (Of course, American's themselves don't help matters when you've got 10 pages of sports everyday and 2 pages of book reviews once a week.) Your novel I believe could have stood the test, although the original was a textbook title, it would have enthusiastic word of mouth.
Best of luck in future endeavors...............

Poppy_Adams wrote:


 And, about the page ref you quoted - I'll let you in on a secret - I wrote that in myself once Carole had chosen that title, just because I wanted a reference to the title in the book!
 
Take care and best wishes
Poppy
 
 

 





Message Edited by Carmenere_lady on 03-20-2008 07:10 AM


Yes, perhaps you are right.  Should I have stuck firm and not allowed a title change in the US?  Actually, I'm not sure ultimately that it would have been my decision (rather, I'm sure it wouldn't!).  I'll probably kick myself one day for not fighting for my instincts.  Personally, The Sister doesn't do it for me - mainly because of the false expectations of readers when they pick it up.  But it would have been a big risk using the Moth one (bees are so much more attractive to people than moths...) The judgment was based on the experience of books like A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian (best seller in UK, did very poorly in the US).  Anyway the rest of the English-speaking world will have the moth title, except Canada, so I'll be able to see which works best!
Poppy
 


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Carmenere_lady wrote:
It's funny, I didn't see it as a movie either.  I saw live theatre.  Two great actresses could really pull off the sort of tongue in cheek humor.  And since most of the setting takes place in the house, the stage could play it off quiet easily.

pheath wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:


pheath wrote:
Dear Ms. Adams,

Thank you for a captivating read! The more I read, the harder it was to put the book down. One thing I thought was interesting was the amount of backstory that you used. If The Sister were made as a movie, would it be better told sequentially or would it be better to stick to the arrangement in the novel?


Dear Philip
 
Personally I can't see it as a good film, but I am told that is because I have no experience in how a brilliant scriptwriter is able to adapt it. I understand that some of the writing and the setting is very visual, but it's the actual plot I'm not so sure about.
 


I saw it in the theatre too actually!
Poppy


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Choisya wrote:
Yes, I am a UK person reading the book here who enjoyed the moth bits and who thought they added an extra special dimension to the mystery of it all.  It must be watching Bill Oddie catching moths on BBC2 that makes us Brits fascinated by lepidoptery:smileyhappy:.   It is often one comes across a superbly told tale which includes specialist information about a little known insect, so well done for including that aspect and educating your readers at the same time.   

Poppy_Adams wrote:


kiakar wrote:
Miss Adams, were you already familiar with the material you used on the moths and butterflies you embraced your story with. Or was it just research? What made you decide to use this much information on the moth and butterfly history? I loved the book, by the way, hope you will write another one.  Linda



Hi Linda
Thanks for your questions, but I think I've now answered them extensively on a previous post.  Hope you don't mind if I just direct you there!  There are lots of reasons I used so much moth information - I'm inside her head for one, but there are many other ideas in there that are meant to get you thinking.  Interestingly, I've had so many comments from people in the UK saying that the moth stuff was their best bit!! Can't please you all!
Poppy





Hurray! a Brit to back me up that we find the moths intriguing!! Thank you so much for joining in the discussion and for your comments.
Poppy


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Laurel wrote:
I think it's high time for those scientists to come out of their cocoons and learn that science isn't all there is of life, that it only covers certain aspects of reality.

Poppy_Adams wrote:


>Well Laurel
I think that's the scary thing with the advancement in our knowledge of science. If we can reduce everything so readily (and we are more and more with each new year), we do come to that horrifying conclusion. I know scientists who believe things along those lines - not 'we might as well kill people' quite, but that everything is pointless...
Poppy






I agree! Any ideas how to get them to emerge?
Poppy


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Poppy_Adams wrote:


Laurel wrote:
I think it's high time for those scientists to come out of their cocoons and learn that science isn't all there is of life, that it only covers certain aspects of reality.

Poppy_Adams wrote:


>Well Laurel
I think that's the scary thing with the advancement in our knowledge of science. If we can reduce everything so readily (and we are more and more with each new year), we do come to that horrifying conclusion. I know scientists who believe things along those lines - not 'we might as well kill people' quite, but that everything is pointless...
Poppy






I agree! Any ideas how to get them to emerge?
Poppy





Great question, Poppy! Experience with the arts would help--anything to help them see that some things can't be quantified. And a willingness to consider ideas that are not in the current "in circle." Perhaps a belief that they do have a soul and it can learn to fly.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



blkeyesuzi wrote:
Poppy,

This isn't really a question, but a sincere comment...

I have to say that this experience has been an eye-opener for me. Reading "The Sister" has certainly taught me a valuable lesson. I followed the threads religiously; reading only the assigned chapters. I found myself getting frustrated when I didn't get the information I wanted from the book, feeling somehow I must be missing something.

I was.

I was so focused on the process, I forgot to just enjoy the book. Enjoy the experience. It "speaks volumes" to me that I'm still thinking about this novel so long after I've finished the final page. So few books have that affect on me. I still think about the characters and their experiences, Ginny in particular. "The Sister" was a very thought-provoking novel and it's only now that I've realized what happened to me as a reader. In retrospect, I wish I had read the book straight through, then come into the discussions. I'm certain that my initial reading did not do you or the book justice.

I'm not sure if any of the others experienced this, but I certainly did...and I feel like you need to know. You wrote a wonderful novel and I hope it is the first of many more to come.

Dear Suzi
That really is so sweet of you, and I appreciate you taking the time to tell me.  I don't know if you have been reading other postings in this thread, but it seems to me that there are quite a few people who are saying a similar thing - that the chapter by chapter discussions stopped them immersing themselves completely within the book and enjoying it.  What a shame - for me aswell as you.  But I really am glad that you thought it was worth reading in the end (and I'm happy that you told me!)
Best Wishes
Poppy
 


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DSaff wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:


 I have to admit I'm a little nervous about publication now.  I'm not sure my defences are ready.  People forget how 'new' new authors feel!
Poppy


You will be great, Poppy! Just take those deep breaths, hang on to the smiles of your children, and trust in your writing. And know that many of us await your next book. :smileywink:

 


Thank you!  You are kind and I'm feeling much better already.  And, having started this correspondence with all of you with fear and trepidation (after following the discussion threads), I've really had a fun time 'talking' to you all.  Thank you.  Poppy


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Re: Questions for the Editor



Laurel wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:


Laurel wrote:
I think it's high time for those scientists to come out of their cocoons and learn that science isn't all there is of life, that it only covers certain aspects of reality.

Poppy_Adams wrote:


>Well Laurel
I think that's the scary thing with the advancement in our knowledge of science. If we can reduce everything so readily (and we are more and more with each new year), we do come to that horrifying conclusion. I know scientists who believe things along those lines - not 'we might as well kill people' quite, but that everything is pointless...
Poppy






I agree! Any ideas how to get them to emerge?
Poppy





Great question, Poppy! Experience with the arts would help--anything to help them see that some things can't be quantified. And a willingness to consider ideas that are not in the current "in circle." Perhaps a belief that they do have a soul and it can learn to fly.

OK, that's my challenge for my next book!
Poppy


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