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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

 

I don't have a question yet that hasn't already been asked. I just wanted to thank you for the priviledge of reading your book. It is absolutely beautiful. I love Mary's quirkiness. She seems like a person who would be worth knowing.

 

And by the way, I agree with your comment on online reviews. I don't let reviews influence my decision to buy or read a book. I prefer to make my own judgements. However, there have been a few times when I really wished I could comment on some reviews. Probably just as well that I can't.:smileyhappy:

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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GadgetgirlKS
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎02-10-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Joe,

 

I just wanted to comment on your post regarding online reviews. I think it is a great way as a reader to express your opinion, but I agree that a lot of people don't dedicate the time to thoroughly examine a book before critiquing it negatively. I feel this is life in general, people are so quick to criticize before knowing the full story. Yet, a little constructive criticism can be a good thing...

 

I am really enjoying your book and have really enjoyed reading your replies. I always wonder where authors come up with different ideas/themes. I feel it has made my reading of your book even more complete. Thank you!

 

Out of curiosity, who are your favorite authors?

 

Emily

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Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

[ Edited ]

Dear Joe,

Congratulations on your wonderful news about the finished novel!

 

I wanted to add my thanks to you for sharing this great book with us at the B&N First Look Book Club. I am enjoying it so very much. I love the characters of Cobb and Mary - as well as Freddy and Wally! The Indonesia section of the book was amazing - I wish I could visit the island and meet Freddy and his Turtles! I'm moving right along in reading the next section of the book - it's difficult to put it down!

 

Though I do have some questions, I will read through the other posts before asking them in case they've already been addressed! Thanks again!

 

All the best,

Dawn

 

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Sirscha
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-03-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi! Joe, I hadn't really thought about it before now, but Pepper asks a good question (Was there any such conscious effort to recreate the language of a grieving Cobb on your part, or is the goodness more a reflection of your own inherent worldview about people, or .....?). The story is deeply moving. I am totally swept away by it - exactly what I ask for from a book. Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us! Looking forward to "hearing" more of your responses to these questions. Sirscha
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SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Joe,

 

I met an author once who outlined biographies of her major characters before she started her novel.  She said she had to know how they grew up to know how they'd be as an adult.

 

Do you need to know your character's life story before you begin to write?  Or maybe their life occurs as you write?

 

I just finished Indonesia and am truly enjoying this novel.  Your writing style is calming, comfortable, and graceful.  I rarely have to "look back a page or two" to try to figure out what's going on.  It is a pleasure to read. 

 

Thanks,

SandyS 

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

I just finished reading the book and I am left speechless.  I cried and my heart pounded reading the last chapters and I am writing the first thoughts that crossed my mind.  All I want to say to you right now is that I would love to have the opportunity to sit with you at a camp fire overlooking a peaceful waterway in a serene setting (no bears) and just be in your presence.  We would, of course, invite everyone else from the First Look.  We can talk and/or we can just sit there and meditate.   You wrote a manificent book, it hit home, and right now I just feel the need to be near you.  When the posting comes up, I will tell you the story of when I was at my sister's "sort of" planned passing.  Thank you, again, for a beautiful story.  You have to be a very sensitive human being to write with such feelings.

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dleigh
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎05-05-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

I thought the Chungamunga girls were a perfect plot mover to this book....when I first linked Mary to the uniqueness of the Chungamunga girls I immediately cried & I didn't even know she had Huntington's!  I felt like the girls are an excellent tip into to what Mary potentially faces.  Their lore and magic made this story even more memorable to me! 

DH
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Frostbacksgirl
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎05-23-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

 

I don't have a question yet. I thought I'd come and say thanks for joining us. I absolutely love being able to talk to an author about a book he/she has written. I'm truly enjoying the book and your writing style. It's very hard to find an author that has a great writing style, and trust me, I've read alot of books. I'm glad that I signed up to read your book, it's really amazing. I'm not the type of person who tries out new authors very often, I usually stick to ones I've read before, but I am so very happy that I picked up yours!.

~Sara~
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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

[ Edited ]

GadgetgirlKS wrote:

Joe,

 

I just wanted to comment on your post regarding online reviews. I think it is a great way as a reader to express your opinion, but I agree that a lot of people don't dedicate the time to thoroughly examine a book before critiquing it negatively. I feel this is life in general, people are so quick to criticize before knowing the full story. Yet, a little constructive criticism can be a good thing...

 

I am really enjoying your book and have really enjoyed reading your replies. I always wonder where authors come up with different ideas/themes. I feel it has made my reading of your book even more complete. Thank you!

 

Out of curiosity, who are your favorite authors?

 

Emily


VTCozy Wrote..Although I have not finished the book,I am on Chapter 14..I am taking my time to absorb all you have written,reading other posts,and your response's,I also would like to know who are your favorite authors?Have you read any YA Novels recently? I cannot put "Eternal on the Water" into a catagory...It has  a wide appeal,according to me  :  )

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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momoftwinsMM
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎06-11-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Amanda,

 

I've already finished reading the book, so sit tight. You will find out about Freddy's status with Huntington's.

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi....Well, you asked about favorite authors.  Like most of you here, I have been reading all my life.  We probably share many of the same favorites, but here are a couple that might be out of the normal loop.  I love John Marquand....and have liked his novels so much that I have deliberately refrained from reading all his work so that I could have it to read later in my life.  (Although now as I get older, I forget books and return to them and ask, gee, did I ever read this before?)  I also like John D. MacDonald, who is a popular writer, and slightly dated, but who puts great characters and plots together.  I love Robertson Davies....I already mentioned him in another post.  I also love Marjorie Rawlings...especially Cross Creek. I recently read and taught The Member of the Wedding by Carlson McCullers.  I read it before as a younger person, but I was amazed and entranced by that novel as I read it now.  It's pretty perfect.  I also wanted to put in a plug for my former writing teacher, Thomas Williams, whose book The Hair of Harold Roux won the National Book Award years ago.  People don't read Tom much anymore, but he's worth picking up.

 

I have been reading YA work, too.  As some of you know, I wrote two YA novels -- Baby and Hippie Chick -- which have done pretty well....so I read to stay up on the market.  I like the YA field.  I guess the novel I read recently which I liked was Looking for Alaska....which I thought was filled with energy.  I'm reading When You Reach Me right now and was heartened to hear it just won the Newberry Award.  

 

So...we could talk books forever.  I will say that Hemingway influenced me and also J.P Donleavy (sp?)...who was very popular for a time.  He wrote The Ginger Man. I also have to give a nod to Stephen King, whose work is like a good movie house right down the road.  

 

I know as soon as I post this I will remember someone I left out....The Hardy Boys, for instance!  My best early reading experience was with the Hardy Boys!  I loved those books and even the taste of the pages...I still read one once a year just for fun.

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

It's funny...a couple people have asked about the generally upbeat personalities in this book.  That never occurred to me!  But I think the comments are justified and accurate.  Hmmmm.  I need a villain!  Actually, I guess with some of the somberness of the subject -- no spoiler -- I felt I couldn't make people too ratty.  But I suspect I have an optimistic view of people....most of the people in my life are pretty good people.  No real villains.  One of the things I always consider is that in a novel things only need to be true for that novel.  For example, some people asked whether Cobb and Mary could really fall in love so fast.  (I would say of couse they could..)  But ultimately I think that's the wrong question.  The question is: do you believe Cobb and Mary fell in love persuasively?  Here's what I mean:

 

Years ago a guy was called onto the basketball court at a Chicago Bulls game.  He was given a ball and said he could throw it at the basket from the far foul line...in other words, he had to throw it the length of the court.  If he made it, he won a million dollars.  He threw it with no warm up and sank it.  Now, that really happened....but you could never write that scene because it would be too contrived.  No one would believe it.  So....surely there is has been true, quick love in the world.  The question is, do you believe Cobb and Mary fell in love that way?  Did it seem real?  If not, then it's my fault.  If yes, then I did my job.  But if you don't believe can happen int he world...that seems to be an issue the reader brings to the world without my involvement.  Somewhere, someone can sink that basket.  Just because you've never done it doesn't mean it can't happen....anyway, that's my view.  Thanks for the question.

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Thank you Joseph..Interesting that you mention "Hippie Chick" a friend of mine bought it online yesterday, after I told her a bit about EOTW.She is not in the FL,lives in Vt.as well, and wanted to read a book by you."Baby",I am not familiar with,but will be.. ..Carlson McCullers..great memories..Are your students very excited to read "Eternal on the Water"..How much do they know about the book?  Susan..

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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elemenoP
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-01-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

First off, I would like to say that this has been my favorite First Look novel so far. I did buy the "love at first site" and I fell right along with them right away, even though I usually scoff at romances.

 

I have a question about bears and the question "are you a bear?" What is a bear? There must be some kind of symbolism, no? Is it good or bad to be a bear? It seems like it isn't *bad* to be a bear, and yet everyone answers no when asked if they are a bear. (am I wrong about that? Did anyone admit to being a bear?) I just feel that I'm missing something here.

 

Sheri

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

I've never used any of my books in class...or mentioned them much.  It's too ripe for disaster....good grief!  And I don't want to be mercenary about teaching.  Some students do read my work and I'm always delighted when they do.  But it's a shaky proposition....too loaded to be comfortable.  The funny thing is, often their parents read my books and then tell the kids about them.  There's some sort of life lesson in there, but I am not sure what it is....

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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

[ Edited ]

Hmmmm.  I need a villain!

 

I wouldn't go there, Joe.  I think more the question we were asking as we read was "where is the 'dark side' of these human beings?"

 

It is something that the writing classes refer to as the "roundedness" of the characters, particularly the key characters.

 

I found the following part of your response particularly insightful, besides your statement that you suspect you have an optimistic view of people (no surprise there, but appreciated the confirmation; that shines through your writing, in my opinion, and is a wonderful gift to encounter as a reader in today's books):

 

"Actually, I guess with some of the somberness of the subject -- no spoiler -- I felt I couldn't make people too ratty."

 

You force your readers to wrestle with the consequences of good people making tough decisions -- and enough for now, until we have finished the novel.


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

It's funny...a couple people have asked about the generally upbeat personalities in this book.  That never occurred to me!  But I think the comments are justified and accurate.  Hmmmm.  I need a villain!  Actually, I guess with some of the somberness of the subject -- no spoiler -- I felt I couldn't make people too ratty.  But I suspect I have an optimistic view of people....most of the people in my life are pretty good people.  No real villains.  One of the things I always consider is that in a novel things only need to be true for that novel.  For example, some people asked whether Cobb and Mary could really fall in love so fast.  (I would say of couse they could..)  But ultimately I think that's the wrong question.  The question is: do you believe Cobb and Mary fell in love persuasively?  Here's what I mean:

 

Years ago a guy was called onto the basketball court at a Chicago Bulls game.  He was given a ball and said he could throw it at the basket from the far foul line...in other words, he had to throw it the length of the court.  If he made it, he won a million dollars.  He threw it with no warm up and sank it.  Now, that really happened....but you could never write that scene because it would be too contrived.  No one would believe it.  So....surely there is has been true, quick love in the world.  The question is, do you believe Cobb and Mary fell in love that way?  Did it seem real?  If not, then it's my fault.  If yes, then I did my job.  But if you don't believe can happen int he world...that seems to be an issue the reader brings to the world without my involvement.  Somewhere, someone can sink that basket.  Just because you've never done it doesn't mean it can't happen....anyway, that's my view.  Thanks for the question.


"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Joe, I just wanted to say thank you for a great book. I could not put this book down yesterday and finished it. I cried at the ending but you can see what was happening. Thanks again for such a great love story!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joseph..Your novel has "darkness" ,and  it is well rounded,and I just tweeted about "Eternal on the Water" to a good friend..Thank you for your patience with us,but that is part of your DNA..if patience  can be on a slide and be examined...Vtc...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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socalreader
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe, I don't have a question right now, but did want to tell you how much I love Mary and Cobb's story.  I was completely swept up in the wonderful and quirky personality of Mary; the instant 'yeti' love between Mary and Cobb; the depth of their love; the folklore. . .the Chungamunga girls. . . crows. . .bears. . . Freddy. . . . I bought it all.  I actually was so drawn into it, I felt like I was a witness to their relationship.  There were many parts that made me stop and think. . .for example, the sound a red winged blackbird makes. . . my husband and I go out walking on our trails often, and these red-winged blackbirds make the most unique sound; finally, in your book, there's a way to describe it that satisfies me.  :smileyhappy: 

 

Thank you again. 

 

Susan

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
~ Henry Ward Beecher ~
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Mr. Monninger,

When readers give attributes to the characters that an author never anticipated, does it insult the author or is the author happy that the reader has read the novel so deeply and with such concern?

Thanks,

twj