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Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Editor

Hi Carole. I just have a quick question for you. In a previous post you mentioned how you like to read, read, read. It's a good thing being an editor! :smileywink:  Do you ever have the free time to read what you want for pleasure? I imagine it would be easy to get burned out having to go through so many manuscripts, good and bad, on many subjects you may not be interested in. Maybe you don't even want to look at  the newspaper by the time you get home. I was just curious. Thanks for joining us here.
Distinguished Correspondent
Thayer
Posts: 195
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for the Editor

Ms. Baron,
 
I am interested to know if there is a vast difference in what is considered "marketable" in the U.S. versus the UK? It seems as if there are more "cross-overs" of late, for instance, (and one of my favorites)  Penny Vincenzi.  As an editor, how do you make the distinction as to what will reach each target audience-or not?
 
The B&N ARC book club is a wonderful program that I am delighted to be a part of. I have greatly enjoyed participating  and  hope to see it continue. Thank you for taking time to join us!   
 
Dawn
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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PattyJean
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor

I loved the book - hard for me to go back to discussing individual chapters as it all flowed very well for me. Liked the moths - they reminded me of how Ginny was put away in a sense...moths flying out of old clothing when brought to light and secrets flying out of the sisters when their lives were brought to light. I was hooked from the first page.

I could only guess at what Dr. Moyce was up to - but guessed that Ginny was autistic? Reading too much into it?
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PattyJean
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor



bookhunter wrote:
Ms. Baron,
Thanks for the opportunity to read this book. I very much enjoyed it--especially the unique voice of Ginny as narrator.
I am another one of the readers who really likes the chapters with titles and a table of contents. Not only does it aid when having a discussion, but the chapter titles really add to the story.
My question: Why did you change the title for publication in the US?
The chapter titles are so quirky and revealing. The Sister is so nondescript, as well as confusing since Danielle Steele has a novel called Sisters published recently. I have seen the book refered to online as The Behaviour of Moths and as The Time of Emergence. Both of those are more intriguing titles to me!
Thanks again for the opportunity,
Ann, bookhunter





Interesting that you liked the other titles. I thought The Sister intriguing....made me want to read and find out why ONE sister was singled out...also went well with the cover art. Frankly if it had been The Behaviour of Moths I wouldn't have been as apt to want to join.
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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Questions for the Editor



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I would agree that the moth science does add a certain unique quality to the novel; however, I am not sure that it will have as wide of public appeal that it would have without so much of that included.  Since it is clear that the final editing of the book has been done, this may not be the time to mention that I did find a couple of typo's in the ARC. 
 
I have finished the book, but will not communicate any spoilers.  I truly think that the only thing that may hold this book back is the "moth talk."  It is important to make a book unique, but I think at some point the balance of moths outweighed the story line.  Here is where it would seem that editing is important.  Of course this is only my opinion and I did enjoy the story.  I wish Poppy Adams much success.  I will certainly recommend the book, but I will also indicate that moth science is very much part of the book. 





I tend to agree with the above poster. I seem to know much more about moths than I have ever wanted to know except how to successfully keep them out of the closets. For me, these digressions about moths disturbed the story line and flow. Maybe there are many more folks out there who love books about moths. I found myself growing more and more uncomfortable the deeper and more graphic the dissections became.
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renhair
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor

I agree....it was smart.  I like books that don't feed it you...they actually make you work for the information. Look at all the questions we asked!  :smileytongue: 
 
One question for the editor, did you do a similar preview with the U.K. audience and if so, what was their response/feedback?  Were different things important or did they strike the other group differently?
 
Thank you, by the way, for opening this book up to us.  This was my 1st First Look group and I really enjoyed the book and the discussion.
 
Thanks, again!
Renee

nmccarthy wrote:
 
This book is smart, it makes me pause and think, it draws me in, it intertwines the science of moths with the familial relationships. I rarely read the bestsellers, the authors that publish a book a minute, the books I forget about the next day.
 


Contributor
swamplover
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: Questions for the Editor

I found the book especially interesting because of the moth connection.  Without all the moth references, it would certainly have been a good story, interesting and eerie, but nothing to really make it stand out.  I tend to read non-fiction at least as much as fiction, maybe more.  This was a great blend of both.  I am a wetland scientist, and spend a lot of time working outside.  However, I really don't know much at all about moths.  So I found it all fascinating. And I love the connection between moth behavior and Ginny's behavior and personality. 
 
I too found the book hard to put down, especially as I got further along.  As a matter of fact, I tried to pace myself with the discussion threads, but gave up on Saturday and finished the book.  I didn't feel I could post anymore though, because I couldn't ignore what I knew about the end.  Blame it all on Poppy Adams - she had me hooked!
 
By the way, why DID Vivi come home? 
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renhair
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor

For some reason I believe that Ginny was in her room, and personally, I don't think that Clive had the guts to push her and  I do think that Clive wouldn't have stopped her from making the fatal mistake, however....

Carole_Baron wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
*** possible spoiler***
One thing that had many of us starting to skim the book instead of reading it all,(some I know stopped reading altogether because of it) is the technical stuff about the moths. Thats a pretty specialized field and not the most popular parts to read. Its kind of like listening to a scientist describe and atom in scientific terms and your interest tends to drift until it interferes with your convo and you just wait for them to come back to something you know. I think the idea of using the moths, and the way they are studied and killed and kept,all very aloof and quite emotionless, works for the story in building character ideas. (I am trying to to give too much away for those still reading here) But I found that by skimming it, getting away from the length of the technical stuff, I didn't miss any of what the comparisons were but was more able to continue to read the book, when as I said some others have given up, and then I found this to be a wonderfully eerie thriller without all that. Have you had any remarks before or in the British version about people drifting from too much of the technical stuff? I don't mean stuff like Chapter 5, the Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup, that worked so well for what it is intended and was very readable and pretty creepy (which is good lol). I am speaking to just those times when you may have paragraphs to pages of scientific jargon about moths. Any chance some of this might be cut back some? Because I have told several people, hang in there, get past those parts and you are in for one heck of a book!

since you mentioned the British edition, I think I should mention that it has not yet been publisher there.  In May.  Knopf will publish in June.  But the British edition will be titled:  THe Behaviour of Moths.   They clearly feel that is the strength of the book.  
 
I am glad you liked the story.  My question to you is:  did you think that Maude, their mother, fell or was pushed down the stairs?
 
 
Thank you taking the time to read the book and to post such an interesting comment.



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renhair
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Re: Questions for the Editor

I found Ginny's view of things to be very interesting.  It just reinforced to me that we all bring our own perspectives to every situation.  I think the divergent views of Vivi and Ginny regarding their childhood is extremely interesting and reminds me of conversations I have with my sister.  We're close, but we definitely look at the world, our parents, and our growing up through very different lenses.

Carole_Baron wrote:


Everyman wrote:
There has been some discussion here of the cover on the ARC, most of it unenthusiastic.

What was the intention of the cover? What is it trying to say about the book?

Is this the final cover design, or are you considering other cover art?

And is it true, as some here think, that those are actually butterflies and not moths on the cover?

Hi Everyman:  As far as I know those are moths on the cover.  Isn't it interesting that what we think of as a moth is really so close to the gorgeousness of the butterfly?  that is one of the reasons I liked this book; I knew nothing about moths and most science for that matter but it fascinated me as much as the story.
 
As far as the story is concerned, what did you think of Ginny's perception of things?  Why did Vivi come home? How did their mother die?  These are so many questions that I think make the book exceptional.  What did you think?



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Carole_Baron
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎02-25-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor



BookSavage wrote:
Carole,
One of the problems that I had with this novel, was the confusing nature of the characters.  I have now read through chapter fourteen.  Up to chapter nine I felt like I had a hold on Ginny.  I really believe that she has Asperger's Syndrom and I felt like Adams was doing a good job of creating this character.  Then I come to chapters ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen and I felt like Adams completely lost her focus.  Ginny's ability to relate to people and handle uncomfortable social situations was greatly increased and to me felt like a real disconnect between her in these chapters and Ginny in the early chapters.  Did this present a problem for you?  Have you conisdered including a note in the back about autism and where parents of autistic children can look for support?
Thanks again for this first look opportunity.




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Carole_Baron
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎02-25-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor



Thayer wrote:
Ms. Baron,
 
I am interested to know if there is a vast difference in what is considered "marketable" in the U.S. versus the UK? It seems as if there are more "cross-overs" of late, for instance, (and one of my favorites)  Penny Vincenzi.  As an editor, how do you make the distinction as to what will reach each target audience-or not?
 
The B&N ARC book club is a wonderful program that I am delighted to be a part of. I have greatly enjoyed participating  and  hope to see it continue. Thank you for taking time to join us!   
 
Dawn


Hi Dawn;  I always like to read Penny Vincenzi too. But I know she is a very big bestseller in the U.K. but struggles to find a big audience here.  Her publisher has really made a big push on the last two books but can't seem to bring her to the level of popularity she enjoys in England.   There are many authors who are popular in both countries; and many authors that simply "don't" travel and sometimes I really don't know why. I remember last year there was a book called THE THIRTEENTH TALE and it was a great success here; not so in the U.K.  And there was another book, I think called THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER that the publisher promoted here but just couldn't get the book going whereas in England it was a huge success I am told.  So yes, there is lots of crossover but the Americans and the Brits are still quite different.  As an editor, I am never quite sure.  As always, it is the reader who decides....Thanks for asking such a good question.


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Carole_Baron
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎02-25-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor



PattyJean wrote:
I loved the book - hard for me to go back to discussing individual chapters as it all flowed very well for me. Liked the moths - they reminded me of how Ginny was put away in a sense...moths flying out of old clothing when brought to light and secrets flying out of the sisters when their lives were brought to light. I was hooked from the first page.

I could only guess at what Dr. Moyce was up to - but guessed that Ginny was autistic? Reading too much into it?

I had a long conversation recently with the author about Ginny and her personality.  I think you should ask Poppy next week when she will be joining us for the chat.   I think that she wanted Ginny's "condition" to be less defined.  More of an excentric personality than a diagnosised condtion.  I am glad you like the book; it is so rare that I find a book that I can't put down by a new writer.  I really couldn't stop reading once I started.  I think that we will see a lot of Poppy Adams in the future. 


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Carole_Baron
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎02-25-2008
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Re: Questions for the Editor



renhair wrote:
I agree....it was smart.  I like books that don't feed it you...they actually make you work for the information. Look at all the questions we asked!  :smileytongue: 
 
One question for the editor, did you do a similar preview with the U.K. audience and if so, what was their response/feedback?  Were different things important or did they strike the other group differently?
 
Thank you, by the way, for opening this book up to us.  This was my 1st First Look group and I really enjoyed the book and the discussion.
 
Thanks, again!
Renee

nmccarthy wrote:
 
This book is smart, it makes me pause and think, it draws me in, it intertwines the science of moths with the familial relationships. I rarely read the bestsellers, the authors that publish a book a minute, the books I forget about the next day.
 

To answer some of the questions in no apparent order:  the book hasn't been published in the U.K. yet and I don't believe they have the kind of first look opportunity that BN.com has given us here.  I agree the book is smart; it is different; and it is causing discussion.  Reading makes us think and I love discussing what I have read...
 
What I loved about this book were all those unanswered questions:  why did Vivi come home? what was Ginny really all about? Did their father really disappear and not know what was going on? Why did Maude drink? How did Maude really die? What really made Ginny turn on her sister that weekend? and did Ginny really know what she did that final weekend?  So much to think about.  And against the unique background of moths... Thanks for reading.  carole




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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



swamplover wrote:
I found the book especially interesting because of the moth connection.  Without all the moth references, it would certainly have been a good story, interesting and eerie, but nothing to really make it stand out.  I tend to read non-fiction at least as much as fiction, maybe more.  This was a great blend of both.  I am a wetland scientist, and spend a lot of time working outside.  However, I really don't know much at all about moths.  So I found it all fascinating. And I love the connection between moth behavior and Ginny's behavior and personality. 
 
I too found the book hard to put down, especially as I got further along.  As a matter of fact, I tried to pace myself with the discussion threads, but gave up on Saturday and finished the book.  I didn't feel I could post anymore though, because I couldn't ignore what I knew about the end.  Blame it all on Poppy Adams - she had me hooked!
 
By the way, why DID Vivi come home? 


It must be very difficult to start discussing a book before finishing.  I know that I like to read a book before I see reviews and see a movie before I read the reviews.  I can make my own opinion and escape into the book or movie (or not, as the case may be).
 
When I first read the book, I asked Poppy why Vivi came home.  In trying to answer the question, it seemed that we needed to look at why she left.  When Poppy tried to write that it just wouldn't work.  Did she come home because she know longer had money; because someone called her and told her Ginny was failing; because she just wanted to come home for the rest of her years.  I don't think we will ever know.  But as you can see even Ginny at the end of the book was asking the same question.  Sometimes, we just don't know the whole story.
 
But why don't you ask that question next week when Poppy will be on line?
 
I am glad you enjoyed the book. carole


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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



renhair wrote:
For some reason I believe that Ginny was in her room, and personally, I don't think that Clive had the guts to push her and  I do think that Clive wouldn't have stopped her from making the fatal mistake, however....

Carole_Baron wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
*** possible spoiler***
One thing that had many of us starting to skim the book instead of reading it all,(some I know stopped reading altogether because of it) is the technical stuff about the moths. Thats a pretty specialized field and not the most popular parts to read. Its kind of like listening to a scientist describe and atom in scientific terms and your interest tends to drift until it interferes with your convo and you just wait for them to come back to something you know. I think the idea of using the moths, and the way they are studied and killed and kept,all very aloof and quite emotionless, works for the story in building character ideas. (I am trying to to give too much away for those still reading here) But I found that by skimming it, getting away from the length of the technical stuff, I didn't miss any of what the comparisons were but was more able to continue to read the book, when as I said some others have given up, and then I found this to be a wonderfully eerie thriller without all that. Have you had any remarks before or in the British version about people drifting from too much of the technical stuff? I don't mean stuff like Chapter 5, the Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup, that worked so well for what it is intended and was very readable and pretty creepy (which is good lol). I am speaking to just those times when you may have paragraphs to pages of scientific jargon about moths. Any chance some of this might be cut back some? Because I have told several people, hang in there, get past those parts and you are in for one heck of a book!

since you mentioned the British edition, I think I should mention that it has not yet been publisher there.  In May.  Knopf will publish in June.  But the British edition will be titled:  THe Behaviour of Moths.   They clearly feel that is the strength of the book.  
 
I am glad you liked the story.  My question to you is:  did you think that Maude, their mother, fell or was pushed down the stairs?
 
 
Thank you taking the time to read the book and to post such an interesting comment.


I don't think Clive pushed her either.  And I think it was part of Vivi's distortion that should would think her father would do that.  And part of her unpleasant(word choice?) that she would lead Ginny to questioning.  Strange things sisters do to each other, don't you think?




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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



renhair wrote:
I found Ginny's view of things to be very interesting.  It just reinforced to me that we all bring our own perspectives to every situation.  I think the divergent views of Vivi and Ginny regarding their childhood is extremely interesting and reminds me of conversations I have with my sister.  We're close, but we definitely look at the world, our parents, and our growing up through very different lenses.

Carole_Baron wrote:


Everyman wrote:
There has been some discussion here of the cover on the ARC, most of it unenthusiastic.

What was the intention of the cover? What is it trying to say about the book?

Is this the final cover design, or are you considering other cover art?

And is it true, as some here think, that those are actually butterflies and not moths on the cover?

Hi Everyman:  As far as I know those are moths on the cover.  Isn't it interesting that what we think of as a moth is really so close to the gorgeousness of the butterfly?  that is one of the reasons I liked this book; I knew nothing about moths and most science for that matter but it fascinated me as much as the story.
 
As far as the story is concerned, what did you think of Ginny's perception of things?  Why did Vivi come home? How did their mother die?  These are so many questions that I think make the book exceptional.  What did you think?





I really found the two points of view fascinating.  It all begins at the bell tower; did vivi jump or fall; or was she pushed? We all have different memories of our childhood even of the simpliest things; but this family took things to disasterous results.


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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



Carole_Baron wrote:


BookSavage wrote:
Carole,
One of the problems that I had with this novel, was the confusing nature of the characters.  I have now read through chapter fourteen.  Up to chapter nine I felt like I had a hold on Ginny.  I really believe that she has Asperger's Syndrom and I felt like Adams was doing a good job of creating this character.  Then I come to chapters ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen and I felt like Adams completely lost her focus.  Ginny's ability to relate to people and handle uncomfortable social situations was greatly increased and to me felt like a real disconnect between her in these chapters and Ginny in the early chapters.  Did this present a problem for you?  Have you conisdered including a note in the back about autism and where parents of autistic children can look for support?
Thanks again for this first look opportunity.


I think you should ask Poppy adams next week when she joins us.  I had this very discussion with Poppy just last week when she came to New York for a short visit.  I don't think that she meant it to be a labeled disability.  
 
And I felt that Ginny was uncomfortable with herself through the whole book which made her story as the unrealiable narrator so revealing.  Have you finsihed the book yet?




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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



dhaupt wrote:
Hello Ms. Baron,
Let me first say it's a privilege to be a part of this unique process of reviewing and talking about a debut novel.
I am enjoying the book although I would have to say it won't be one of my favorites.
I do like how the author melds the chapters between the past and the present where the reader isn't scratching his or her head and wondering, where did that come from.
I know that you have thousands of hopeful authors that pass over your desk and I would like to know this - when you first read a manuscript does it have to grab you all at once to choose it or do you wait until the very last page to make your decision, and is it the writing or the story that pulls you?

Thank you for your time
Debbie Haupt

debbie;  making the decision of whether I would like to edit and publish a ms is always different for each book.  sometimes , I start to read a manuscirpt and I am so gripped by the story I just have to finish it, holding my breath that the book finishes as well as it begins.   sometimes i start a book and the story grabs me but the writing doesn't but the plot drives me to finish.  Then I think about it and whether editing could improve and if I would know how to do it.  ANd sometimes I start to read a book and it is so bad that I don't finsih at all.    In any case, I always like to find out about the writer and who she or he is.  I need to know whether it is the work of a writer who as one idea and one book or if I think it is someone with a long career ahead.  I like to work with writers who will grow as writers as well as extending their readership. 
 
I hope I have answered your question.  THere is no science to it. 


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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



carriele wrote:
Carole,
 
First off, thanks so much for taking the time to give us all a little input from where you come in in this process.  My questions are  very general.  First, as an editor, do you alone decide which books are worthy of publication?
My second question deals with the screening process. Many people have stated in this book, that after the first 8 or so chapters they would have simply put the book down or returned it to the library.  Generally, I try to finish the books I start unless they are really bad.  Do you have a specific cut off point or do you generally read until the end?  I would think having a cut off point would be difficult because some really good books start off real slow.  Thanks for your input.
 
Carrie E. 


Carrie:  THe publishing process is a collaborative effort. Often, more than one person will read a book before we decide if we are going to publish.  It is always helpful to be able to talk to others about a book I am considering for publication.
 
If I start to read a book and I am grabbed by the story or the writing, I will read it to the end.  I agree with you; if it starts out well then I will read to the end. Then I will think; talk and decide.


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Carole_Baron
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Re: Questions for the Editor



bookhunter wrote:
Ms. Baron,
 
I would like to know more about the documentaries Ms. Adams has produced.  I have tried to "google" some additional information on her, but found nothing.  I know she has produced documentaries for BBC and the Discovery Channel.  Has her subject matter been related to natural science (like moths!) or to human psychology and disorders like Asperger's Syndrome?
 
Thank you,
Ann, bookhunter


I think this would be a good question to Poppy when she signs on next week.  I think her interest in moths came from her husband's fascination with moths.  But ask her next week.  I am sure she will tell you.


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