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

Thank you.....that's a wonderful comment for me.  If I can make you think of the sound a red-winged blackbird makes, I'm happy.  

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

Oh, I think once you hand over a book to readers, anything goes.  I find it interesting when readers discover something different in a novel that I've written.  I guess I don't think of it as complimentary or insulting...it's part of the process, that's all.  The lit crit people say we have no way of knowing if we are reading the same book....each book is different in different people's hands.  I guess I agree with that....

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PB684
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Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hello Joe and welcome to the group! I was wondering how you came up with the title for this book? I love the image it provokes. I live on Long Island and go to the beach often just to see and hear the water. I feel that it is very healing and spiritual. I always say that I could never live somewhere that I couldn't do that. In response to your post regarding negative reviews I completely agree with you and don't feel you were being "whiny". It seems very unfair that a negative review will follow a book forever when usually it is just one person's opinion. I think people have lost sight of the fact that what they write actually affects another person because the internet provides an impersonal forum where there is no face to face reaction. You won't have to worry about my review, however, because I am loving this book! I have been pacing myself to keep up with the reading schedule but that may all go out the window very soon. Good luck with the release of this wonderful book! Paula
PB684
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rosia408
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

 

Thanks so much for joining this humble group of readers! I have enjoyed EOTW immensely! Most of the time I had a tough time putting it down.

 

I did have a question. I was wondering about the character of Wally. Did you intend for her to have been a Chungamunga girl at an earlier time in her life?

 

I also was wondering about the wedding ceremonies. What was your inspiration for them?

 

Rose

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KateBrianIsAwesome
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎08-19-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Thank you so much. I'm a little nervous about college but I know what they want from students. Which is about 3 papers a week. Anyways I'm glad you became an author, but that would of been cool too to have a football playing author out there in the world. Thanks for your advice deeply appreciated. Right now I'm in a creative writing class at school. I love it, its so much fun.  One more thing my fault for getting you confused but my real name is Mallory. Kate Brian is a young adult author. Sorry about that. Did you have to do a lot of research for writing Eternal on the Water? There are some words too that I have never heard of before for example: jarun, satay, and baten tegeh.

 

 


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

Hi, Kate...Good luck at college!  Funny, but I never took a creative writing class as an undergrad.  I went to Temple University in Philadelphia on a football scholarship.  I thought I was going to be a pro quarterback!  Some years later, after a stint in the Peace Corps, I attended the University of New Hampshire's graduate fiction writing program.  That was my first experience with writing classes.

 

Writing classes can be useful, absolutely, but reading and writing on your own are the keys....keep doing what you're doing.  Read all sorts of things...not just in your comfort zone.  And pay attention to how books are constructed.  I could go on an on, but you get the idea.  I'm excited for you.  I'm sure you'll do great....J


 

Reading can only make you more happy and smarter. :smileyhappy:

Visit my blog at http://teenbibliophile.blogspot.com/

- Mallory
Correspondent
SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

This is the perfect way to look at this question.  Thanks,

 

SandyS

 


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

 

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.

 

 


 

Contributor
Teddyree
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Registered: ‎08-12-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe

 

I haven't quite finished Eternal on the Water (about 50 pages to go) and I'm reading slower and slower as I really don't want it to end. But thank you so much for this wonderful read, it's beautiful, graceful, whimsical and a little bit kooky and sad and joyful. Maybe one of the reasons I don't want to finish the book is because I know I'm going to cry buckets (knowing it's going to happen and seeing it happen after you get to know Mary and Cobb are two different things.) But at the same time I really have found it joyful, seeing Mary's enjoyment in the very simplest of things -like seeing the stars each night. It really is a book about life and living it.

 

I was gobsmacked when I first read Huntingtons Disease, when I was nursing I watched one of my nursing friends go through the very painful process (at 19) of finding out that she had the gene and it was just a matter of time. The emotional changes were far more devastating for this family than the physical symptoms so from where I am in the book right now you have definitely written about this in a most touching and respectful way. 

 

Anyway now that I have waffled an essay, I did have one question that I hope hasn't already been asked where did you find/research all the wonderful animal tales, myths, are they made up or are some of them true?

 

Are you a knock, knock fan or did you have to google knock, knock jokes? Ok that's 2 questions

 

Thank you and I'll be back when I've finished the last 50 pages *sob sob*

 

Sheree

The Eclectic Reader

Contributor
Teddyree
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎08-12-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Dear Joe,

 

Told you I'd be back and I don't know whether to hug you or hit you .... I finished and I did cry buckets!! That was simply one of the most beautiful books I've read, thank you.

 

The Eclectic Reader

 

 

 

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

Thanks for the question about the title.  The working title was Two Yellow Boats in a Wide River.  I kind of liked that.  Then for a time it was Tender River.  The folks at Simon and Schuster really wanted Eternal on the Water....which didn't really hit me at first.  But I saw what they were driving at....and now I've come to like it.  S&S, and most good publishers, put a ton of energy into covers and titles.  It's the first contact people have with a book, so they want it to be right.  

 

On your comment about people failing to make the connection between another person living on the end of a negative review....I agree that it's due in large measure to the impersonal nature of electronic messaging.  I know I have said some intemperate things through email that I wouldn't have dreamed of saying in person or on the phone.  Psychologists will have to tell us why we do that...but I think you're absolutely right about it.

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

Please don't hit me!  Thanks for your kind words....

Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

Thanks for the question about the title.  The working title was Two Yellow Boats in a Wide River.  I kind of liked that.  Then for a time it was Tender River.  The folks at Simon and Schuster really wanted Eternal on the Water....which didn't really hit me at first.  But I saw what they were driving at....and now I've come to like it.  S&S, and most good publishers, put a ton of energy into covers and titles.  It's the first contact people have with a book, so they want it to be right.  

 

On your comment about people failing to make the connection between another person living on the end of a negative review....I agree that it's due in large measure to the impersonal nature of electronic messaging.  I know I have said some intemperate things through email that I wouldn't have dreamed of saying in person or on the phone.  Psychologists will have to tell us why we do that...but I think you're absolutely right about it.


 

I really like the title "Eternal on the Water". I think it's very comforting!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger


eadieburke wrote:

Joseph-Monninger wrote:

Thanks for the question about the title.  The working title was Two Yellow Boats in a Wide River.  I kind of liked that.  Then for a time it was Tender River.  The folks at Simon and Schuster really wanted Eternal on the Water....which didn't really hit me at first.  But I saw what they were driving at....and now I've come to like it.  S&S, and most good publishers, put a ton of energy into covers and titles.  It's the first contact people have with a book, so they want it to be right.  

 

On your comment about people failing to make the connection between another person living on the end of a negative review....I agree that it's due in large measure to the impersonal nature of electronic messaging.  I know I have said some intemperate things through email that I wouldn't have dreamed of saying in person or on the phone.  Psychologists will have to tell us why we do that...but I think you're absolutely right about it.


 

I really like the title "Eternal on the Water". I think it's very comforting!


 

Good Morning..In reference to the title..When "Eternal on the Water was first mentioned in the book,and I haven't the page #,sorry,Did that particular phrase stand out in your mind as much as it did to SS,or did you just think that it fit so beautifully with the flow of he book,especially the Chungamunga girls,and Mary's fate.It is very comforting.You have the gift of bringing the reader looking out at the Allagash,and being at peace..Vtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

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.


Hi Joe,

I'm assuming when you read books you read them for enjoyment but do you ever cross over and become an instant critic, more so than the general public would because you are a writer?

 

Last year I bought my granddaughter a Dick and Jane book because I loved them as a child.  She thanked me for the book and then asked who Dick and Jane were.  Since they were always part of my life, I forget that the younger generation does not have the same ties with them. 

Contributor
Mia_C
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎08-11-2007
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe. I like what you said about critiques.  Observation, description, criticism and praise can all be useful.  But in the case of negative criticism, it would be good to reflect on what drives it.  We're all affected by so many things, most of which we're not even aware of.

 

An old college professor, while tasking us to critique something (our choice), gave us the tip to choose something we love. At first we found it a bit odd, something like a bias in a different direction.  But in doing the assignment, I realized that writing a critique of something I love resulted in a very comprehensive and well thought out review. I gave my opinion about something without offending anyone, even inadvertently.  Others may agree or disagree with my opinion, but I'm able to express it without any adverse effect on someone else.

 

I'm enjoying reading your book -- reading it a bit slowly because I'm savoring the bits and pieces.  Some books are like some drinks -- meant to be sipped and not gulped.

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

I read to enter into another world.  One of the poets said poetry (could have as easily said it about fiction...) allows us to taste life twice.  I like that quote.  But I also have a critical aspect to reading....trying to see how something is done, why the author did it, etc.  I also think we go to books for different things.  I was saddened today to read about Robert Parker's death.  I liked his work a great deal....kind of fun, adult comic books.  Sometimes they were a good deal more.  But I picked up a Parker novel expecting a different experience than, say, an Updike or Bellow novel.  Different foods, I suppose.  

 

So....a long answer to a good question...thanks.  

 

Distinguished Correspondent
PB684
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎08-03-2007

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

Thanks for the question about the title.  The working title was Two Yellow Boats in a Wide River.  I kind of liked that.  Then for a time it was Tender River.  The folks at Simon and Schuster really wanted Eternal on the Water....which didn't really hit me at first.  But I saw what they were driving at....and now I've come to like it.  S&S, and most good publishers, put a ton of energy into covers and titles.  It's the first contact people have with a book, so they want it to be right.  

 

On your comment about people failing to make the connection between another person living on the end of a negative review....I agree that it's due in large measure to the impersonal nature of electronic messaging.  I know I have said some intemperate things through email that I wouldn't have dreamed of saying in person or on the phone.  Psychologists will have to tell us why we do that...but I think you're absolutely right about it.


Thanks for the answer...I never realized that the publisher had a say in naming the book. I agree that especially the cover art is what usually attracts me to a particular book. Sometimes I am wandering around the bookstore or the library and a book will just jump out at me because of the cover and I am more likely to pick it up and read the jacket.

I have printed your answer and will keep it in my book (I'm such a geek!:smileywink:) because I feel that it gives a special meaning to having an ARC with a reply directly from the author!

Paula

PB684
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Sherry_Young
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi, Joe!

 

Thanks so much for sharing this story. I must say it is very difficult reading the ending through the waterfall of tears!

 

I absolutely love the Chungamunga Girls! You have taken me back to my days of summer church camp. Those days were always so magical being away from home. I even took a turn at being Mary at our church camp by coming back and working with junior high girls as a counselor. One of my favorite scenes is the Chungamunga wedding. Whether or not you intended it, I love the Pagan feel to this scene by the ritual of binding the hands together and the way nature was important with their jewelry as well as location. I also love the "remember" lines of the chant. When my sister married, I lit a candle in remembrance of our brother. How did this scene develop for you? Any particular influences?

 

Another favorite plot line of mine was the window. I love that she needed to find this house from the movie and that Cobb's father gave them the window. I don't know why I love that, but I do! What was the inspiration to include this in the book?

 

I read in a previous post that you weren't sure that the Indonesia section worked within the book. I must tell you that I found the part where Freddy returns home to join the group at the end one of the most touching (and tearful). You've created such a free spirit in him. He cares so much for what he does and for the environment. We see a glimpse of his soft side for Mary in his private talk with Cobb. Did you ever consider that he would also develop the devastating effects of Huntington's or was he always going to be healthy in your mind? Do you actively promote environmental causes such as the reef and turtles or did this just fit as the reason he was in Indonesia?

 

I do love Mary and Cobb, but I found Wally to be the most interesting character. I found it humorous that she smoked small cigars. When my husband and I used to camp with friends out in California, the guys used to sit and smoke cigars around the camp. The cigars never came out anywhere else except when we camped.

 

You have taken me to new places with your story, but you have also taken me back to places that reside within my memories. Thank you for a beautiful story!

 

Sherry Young

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
— Judy Blume
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Leeza14
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
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Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hello, Joseph.  I don't really have a question, either, really -- but I wanted to be able to tell you how much I loved your book.  I, too, read to go to another time and place and always hope to immerse myself if wherever that may be.  I could easily do that with your book, so thank you. 

 

I would like to comment on something that I don't think I've seen in this thread yet (although I may have missed it).  I thoroughly enjoyed the humor you included in the relationship between Mary and Cobb.  The banter was natural and fun, and for me, that helped make their relationship "real."  They were people I would like to have around me; this helped keep my interest even more. 

 

Thank you for sharing your book with us.  I have already recommended it to several of my reading friends.

 

:-)

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

I was just thinking about the last name of "Fury".  Was there any specific reason why you picked Fury as Mary's last name?  If you use fury as a noun, it can mean anger, rage, ferocity, vehemence, wrath or passion.  But if you use fury as an antonym, it means serenity.  Mary didn't (outwardly) exhibit anger, rage or vehemence but instead came across as peaceful, calm and tranquil; thus, serenity.  Thanks.

 

P.S.  If you hit the REPLY button on each posting and then click on "Quote" when the new dialog box comes up, your answer will attach itself to the question.

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

Thanks for your kind words about the book.  You asked a couple questions about characters -- Freddy and Wally especially.  As it turns out, I really like those characters.  I've always thought it was easier to write secondary characters than primary characters.  (Dickens was a master of secondary characters...and of great names for characters.)  One of the guiding principles for me in making any character is to give him or her something unique.  With Wally, it was her size and her cigars.  With Freddy, it was also his size and his pirate-like persona.  The knock-knock jokes served, I hope, to characterize Mary.  

 

I play a game with students when we talk about characterization.  We take a commonly known figure like Winston Churchill and ask, what kind of car would he drive?  What sort of books would he have by his night table?  What sort of underwear would he wear?  I try to help them see that characters are the composite of specific things that are connected thematically.  I also make them read detective novels, which are great at the quick summation of a character.  So I hope that sheds some light on my process.

 

By the way...I never said I didn't like  - or feel the need to include -- the Indonesian section.  Some other folks did.  I liked the Indonesian section and had fun including it.