01-06-2010 08:17 AM
I am absolutely thrilled to be joining you on this wonderful (and somewhat intimidating) journey. It is rare that a writer gets to meet an audience so directly and I appreciate the opportunity to do so. As some of you may have seen on the video that goes with this novel, I truly do write in a small cabin in the backyard of a piece of land in New Hampshire. Imagine being concentrated on a project with only your dog for company, then suddenly looking up and finding 500 people surrounding you! It makes me humble and also makes me want to dedicate myself even more fully to writing the best I can.
A New Hampshire novelist friend of mine – Ernest Hebert – once said that the biggest obstacle we face as writers is believing we can “do better next time.” He suggests we use such a rationale as a crutch, relying on it to give us a handy escape hatch if the novel does poorly. In writing Eternal on the Water, I vowed not to let myself off the hook. I put everything I could into writing it. As a result, I have no place to hide and make no excuses. However the novel came out, I promise you I did my best.
I like these characters and hope you will, too. Writers are often divided into two camps: writers who “see” their scenes and writers who “hear” their characters. I fall into the second category. Cobb and Mary began whispering their stories to me nearly three years ago. I did my best to capture their voices and their lives. They have followed me to Indonesia and back, down the Allagash River in Maine, and through hundreds of hikes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They provided good company for me, and I hope they do the same for you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and discuss Eternal on the Water. I look forward to meeting you all.
01-06-2010 08:22 AM
Thank you so much for joining us, Joseph! And thanks for allowing us to be a part of this! We will try not to intimidate you! We are a really good group here!
-Sir Richard Steele
01-06-2010 09:08 AM
As a reader, I feel honored to have you here with us in this readers' group. Also a bit intimidating too to have the author among us. It's a little like expecting a "test" and hoping I will come up with the correct answers! I have already started reading your book and am liking Mary and Cobb too! I look forward to reading more!
01-06-2010 09:16 AM
Good Morning Joseph and Welcome to First Look,
You don't have to feel intimidated by any of us. We are a Great group of intense book readers who look to read books from new authors and give a number of various looks to the stories we read. I am looking forward to reading your book and have a great discussion. So far, I am already drawn into the story and can't wait to see how you weave the story line.
Thank you again for sharing your work and life with us. You have a great writing style.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
01-06-2010 11:40 AM
It is a great opportunity to be part of your debut into First Look! Looking forward to exploring and gaining insight into your writing. I have started reading - your characters are speaking to me!! Welcome.
01-06-2010 12:07 PM
I live in southeast TN and received your book the day before yesterday. My last couple days have been extremely busy but I carried it with me to doctor's visits so I could read while I waited. I am in Chapter 3 right now and have to tell you that I LOVE your ability to make us "see" AND "hear" the characters! I love the characters of Cobb and Mary!! He seems to be falling right under the charming spell of this delightful and gutsy and adventurous woman! I can't wait to see what develops! Your writing style is easy to read, with short chapters so far and the story line flows! I'm very much enjoying it! I'm thrilled that you are with us and that we actually have the opportunity to dialogue with the writer! Especially since I'm working on my very first novel, myself! Since the holidays, I've been a little "stuck" and haven't gotten back to writing! Maybe this group and the conversations and insight will inspire me! Best wishes for success to you!
Bernard of Clairvaux
01-06-2010 12:37 PM
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read and discuss your book!
I was delighted to read that you are one that "hears" your characters----it truly shows. Mary is one of the most unique characters I have ever had the pleasure to "meet" :-)
I am still early in the book and eagerly pushing to finish it!!!
Thanks again for being here for us!!
01-06-2010 12:53 PM - edited 01-06-2010 12:55 PM
I am enjoying your book very much. I love the way the story flows. I am a romantic at heart and I envy the relationship between Cobb and Mary. I admire Mary's sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She reminds me of one of my daughters. Always ready for an adventure. I grew up in a household where my father always warned us about the dangers of drowning or getting hurt hence I am very inhibited and fearful of trying new things. I guess that's why I read alot and enjoy reading about others' adventures.
I have finished the "Maine" part and am very tempted to read further but I have decided to hold off because then you don't have to worry about "spoilers". Can't wait for the discussions to begin! I really enjoy everyone's input and it's great to hear how everyone responds to the story. Having the author on board is an added spice to the mix and makes for a most memorable experience.
Looking forward to next Monday!
01-06-2010 02:23 PM
I'm honored that you joined us. I recieved my book yesterday and so far I am loving it. I can't wait to start discussing the book with everyone. I love it when an author is willing to come and join in on a chat about a book they've written. I have a very good friend whose an author and I've enjoyed chats with her. I know this book will be absolutely amazing just by reading the first few pages of it so far. Thank you so much for the hard work you did!!
01-06-2010 02:45 PM
Joseph, thanks so much for allowing us the opportunity to read your book before it comes out to the public! I just received my copy yesterday and am already having a hard time putting it down. Looking forward to discussing your book with you!
01-06-2010 02:54 PM
Thanks for sharing your novel and your time to "talk" with us. ~ I'm ready to start chapter 5 and am totally drawn into the relationship of Mary and Cobb, but I'm also caught by the info about crows and the description of the moose encounter. I've "met" a few moose and am always glad that I have been able to observe them instead of colliding with them. Your description brings back memories of watching them watching me and ambling away in their "moosey" stride. The crow details also fit into my observations of them calling to their fellow crows about the "food" that's available or "teaching" their young some survivial skills. I've also had a chance to observe the ravens in Ak who seem to follow many of the crows' intelligent ways. I'm impressed that you have obviously studied the behavior of crows and can so adeptly weave this into your story. I also like the "mythological" crow stories. I'm eager to continue reading.:
~~ Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.
~~ Be careful reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Mark Twain
01-06-2010 02:57 PM
I am so delighted to participate in this First Look Book Club. Though I live in GA, my family spends several weeks in Maine each summer. It is paradise! Can't wait to get started--my book just arrived today. Thanks for this special opportunity. Sandy
01-06-2010 04:48 PM
I am already half way through the book. It's a hard one to put down. My 2 yr old makes it difficult to have long periods of interruption free moments, but I am managing. SO WORTH IT!!
01-06-2010 07:02 PM
I am also thrilled to be part of this group. It's a rare thing to be able to communicate with the author of a book that I'm reading, and I really look forward to your insight. This is going to be great!
01-06-2010 07:28 PM - edited 01-06-2010 07:30 PM
Thanks you so much for allowing us to preview your novel. It is a privilege
to have an author spend time with us ... answering questions ... explaining
how their book came to life. Welcome to our little club. I look forward to the
01-06-2010 08:12 PM
What a wonderful opportunity to get the chance to get inside an author's mind about his creation of this wonderful story. I'm looking forward to all the discussions. I'm enjoying the book very much.
01-06-2010 09:19 PM
Hello Joseph, First of all I wanted to say thank you for doing this with us. This is my actual first "book club" I have read many books over the years and recently have really added to my passion. I have been fortunate enough over this past year and have met lots of authors, like Nicholas Sparks, Carla Neggers, Janet Champan, John Hart, etc... so me doing this book club and talking about your book is one of my favorite things to do. I love to talk to authors about their books, I love to give feedback. I am starting your book tonight, and can't wait to give my first feedback.
Again, thank you so much for taking your time out and communicating with all of us. I hope I will become more involved in other book clubs.