Reply
Correspondent
retromom
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe! I don't really have a question I just wanted to thank you for sharing your book with us. I finished Eternal On The Water. It will be one of my top ten reads for the year. I thoroughly enjoyed it! When I read the beginning I thought this is going to be a depressing story but it really isn't. The story of Mary and Cobb's love is truly beautiful. Kudos to you for taking a situation that is tragic and turning it into something very unique and beautiful. I loved every aspect of the book. I especially loved how nature was intertwined into Mary and Cobb's story. I like how you started with how the story ends. In the end the story came full circle for me which reminded me of the circle of life. It's a powerful story!

Beth

http://bookaholicmom.blogspot.com/
Frequent Contributor
GadgetgirlKS
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎02-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

[ Edited ]

Joe,

 

I have one question that keeps bothering me. I am not knowledgeable about Huntington disease, and maybe I missed it in the book, but I don't remember it being addressed...is Mary's brother also a potential carrier of the disease?

 

Thanks!

 

Emily

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

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger


Joseph-Monninger wrote:

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.  


I liked the Indonesia section and as I said in an earlier posting, it grounded and relaxed me after the Maine section.  The Maine section just had so much information in it that an R&R was in order.  Indonesia came at the right time!

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Yes....there is more on the disease and on Freddy later in the novel....I was wary of it becoming too much a textbook.  J

Contributor
JillinOH
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎12-06-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

[ Edited ]

Hello Joe,

 

I have really enjoyed the book so far. I had to stop myself from reading to the end for fear I'd spoil it here. I did find the "love at first sight" and Mary's asking to be kissed so quickly to be unbelievable for me. Maybe it is just my own personal experiences that made it unreal. I was worried the book would be too romance focused but as I read on I really started to love the characters. While dealing with a difficult disease and life changing decisions, some light heartedness was a good balance.

 

I particularly was captivated by the Indonesia section. I loved the "meet me or not" premise. I traveled Singapore, Bali and even Kuta Beach this past summer so it was all still fresh in my mind. I particularly picked up on the fact that Freddy had to convince the locals of the impact of their fishing on the reefs. Also, the mention of Freddy working on garbage removal and recycling.This showed me that you had really been there (or researched well).  I suppose it may sound confusing to the average reader that in such a beautiful place there is a need for garbage removal but  saw this first hand. It is hard to explain to anyone here but the rice fields that line the roads are so beautiful yet the roads themselves are lined with trash. No one seems to think a thing of it. This is right near villas and you would think that the employees of the villas would go out and pick it up but no, they don't seem to. It doesn't appear be tourist trash but just everyday trash tossed aside by everyone. Despite this roadway trash, the beauty of the land is breathtaking.

 

I also loved the part about seeing the "pod of naked children swimming in the sea". I saw that too. They just went out, stripped down and had a great time. So care free. When we were at the beach we noticed several dogs running around that didn't seem to belong to anyone, yet the lifeguard would pet the dogs and talk to them.

 

Someone mentioned that you dropped too many brand names. The only one that stuck out to me was the Bintang beer but it made the section even more real to me.

 

Were you nervous at all about the part about the Christian nuts trying to save Lloyd's soul and how it would be perceived by readers? Again, after traveling there recently I have a new appreciation for the various religions. It is great that missionaries want to help the poor in other countries but do we really need to convert them to the religion that we think is right? Who are we to say? OK, that is a whole other issue.

 

I'm so glad you didn't stick with Tender River for a title. I don't think I would have wanted to read it:smileyhappy:

 

Thanks again for sharing your book with us,

Jill

Correspondent
Sadie1
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎07-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

 

Thank you for writing such a beautiful and insightful book.

 

It seems you know more than you realize about Huntington's Disease.  I had two friends with the disease and their father had it too.  They have one remaining brother with it and he is deteriorating too.

 

I was told about the father of my two friends and how their father had Huntington's Disease when I was a teenager and how the boys would possibly have it too.  This was late 70's early 80's.  I had no idea the depth of Huntington's Disease.  My bestfriend wanted to be in a relationship with one of the boys, but he refused because of the Huntington's Disease.

 

Back in 2002 my two friends were killed in a nursing home here in Georgia by their Mother.  This poor woman is left with one more son that is inflicted with this disease. 

 

I knew of my friends, their father, and what their mother eventually did to them via the local news.  I never really quite grasped this disease until reading your book.  You turned some lights on for me.  So many things from my past, I now understand from you story here.  My friends were Andy and Randy Scott.  Their mother was Carol Carr.

 

Your book is a very beautiful and enlightening book.  I love your writing style too even if I had not had friends with Huntington Disease.  Your a classic and I can't wait to read more of your writings.  I am reading this one again by the way.

 

Thank you sincerely,

Lisa in Georgia

Correspondent
Sadie1
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎07-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Bears are cool, I think.  I love seeing them.  I'm curious what you folks thought of the bears....

 

Joe,

 

I got the bears.  The bears did add some comical parts to the book.  Loved where Francis became the bear momentarily.  It was too cute when the bears were being discussed from time to time.  Gave me a few chuckles.

 

Lisa in Georgia

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Jill-- Thanks for your kind words about the novel.  It's terrific that you traveled to Bali and Kuta Beach.  It's a glorious place, as you know.  Funny that we're talking about garbage removal, but you're absolutely right.  On Gili, where we spent a week, the islanders simply pile the garbage into a mountain.  You can imagine what that's like.  It's going to be a major obstacle -- as it is in our country.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I spent three years in West Africa.  One of the most amazing aspects of my time there was...no garbage.  Zero.  Every last thing was used....from tin cans to little pieces of metal.  They did have a pile of broken glass in the village, but that was all.  Pretty amazing.  Much of our garbage is packaging...and electronics.  

 

So, thanks for your note about that element in the story.  Freddy really would be inclined to take it on....  

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi, Lisa....I'm so sorry about your friends.  That sounds like a painful story.  Yes, HD is an extremely devastating disease from what I know about it.  I have heard that the mental deterioration is more difficult than the physical deterioration.  As I mentioned before in these posts, I attempted to be entirely respectful of people with this difficult condition.  It seems to me that we don't hear much about HD....it's just a word that occasionally floats across our radar screen unless we have a personal experience with it.  I don't want to get into too much detail about the ending -- spoiler, etc. -- but I'll have some things to add when we get to the end of the novel in the general discussion.  Meanwhile, thanks again....  

Frequent Contributor
momoftwinsMM
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎06-11-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

  thank you for writing this book. It was absolutely beautiful. The writing style was easy to read and seemed to flow with the easy going nature of the characters. I laughed out loud and cried. I love to read, and don't always get the time to do so, but I just wanted to let you know that the time I spent reading Eternal on the Water was well worth it.

  Have you ever been to Indonesia?

  How long does your writing process normally take?

Distinguished Correspondent
chris227
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger


literature wrote:

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.


 

 

literature,

 

 was actually going to post a very similar question.  Fury just invokes thoughts of such strong, passionate emotion.  Though Mary and Freddy don't exhibit anger they definitely exhibit very strong emotions.

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Good morning Joe, A fellow Author of yours and also a simonandschuster Author,Becca Fitzpatrick,Hush,Hush..I hope you have a chance to read it..set in Maine I believe you will be a fan..Said,"To try and read slower than usual too really feel the book".I did agree with her and took my time reading Hush,Hush..while she was here on FL.I have immersed myself in "Eternal on the Water",I am not alone here..almost to the end,and just want to say ,Thank you for writing such an outstanding novel..I will post "Eternal on the Water" on Becca's livejournal site,as a book for her to read..Your book defies classification,so many readers will take advantage of such a spectacular book..Vtc   Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

I think the title of your book says it all. If this was in my favorite bookstore(B&N), I would be intrigued with the title. Not only do I pick up the book but read the back or inside cover to find out what the book is about, but I also start to read the first chapter. That is what drives me to good books such as your. Two Yellow Boats on the Water or Tender River would not appeal to me. The title is such a force behind any book I buy.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Thanks for the tip on connecting the response to the post!  Of course that's way the to do it...but I would never have guessed.

 

Fury -- you asked.  It was my grandmother's last name and I always liked it.  No big symbolism, alas.  

 

Now let's see the quote function work...


chris227 wrote:

literature wrote:

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.


 

 

literature,

 

 was actually going to post a very similar question.  Fury just invokes thoughts of such strong, passionate emotion.  Though Mary and Freddy don't exhibit anger they definitely exhibit very strong emotions.

 


 

 

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Thanks very much, Susan.  I do hope the book jumps out of any strict classification.  John Updike once said he wanted his book to be read by a young person in a faraway library when all the book jackets and reviews are long finished...I know what he means and I've had that experience of meeting an author entirely through a book that was published years before.  That's the real magic of writing/reading for me.  


Vermontcozy wrote:

Good morning Joe, A fellow Author of yours and also a simonandschuster Author,Becca Fitzpatrick,Hush,Hush..I hope you have a chance to read it..set in Maine I believe you will be a fan..Said,"To try and read slower than usual too really feel the book".I did agree with her and took my time reading Hush,Hush..while she was here on FL.I have immersed myself in "Eternal on the Water",I am not alone here..almost to the end,and just want to say ,Thank you for writing such an outstanding novel..I will post "Eternal on the Water" on Becca's livejournal site,as a book for her to read..Your book defies classification,so many readers will take advantage of such a spectacular book..Vtc   Susan


 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

I would like to know what you are working on next. Do you have another book coming out?

Thanks pen21

Author
Joseph-Monninger
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Thanks for the question...what author doesn't like to talk about what's next?  I have a YA novel -- called Wish -- coming out next fall.  It came out pretty well, I think.  It will be published by Delacorte.  On the adult front, I am working on a novel that includes narwhal...it's about a man and a woman and nature (again) but it has a slightly different world view.  I'm in the last third of it and I like it so far.  I don't want to talk about it too much, because that lessens the tension for me.

 

Someone also asked about my process...how long things take, etc.  A novel for me is a year long process...at a minimum.  I have friends who write really fast, but I try to do 1,000 words a day and stop. I find my subconscious needs to gnaw on the last day's writing.  Just last night I had a little break through while I was half awake.  That may sound odd, but it's the way it works for me.  I suddenly knew what had to happen in the novel.


pen21 wrote:

I would like to know what you are working on next. Do you have another book coming out?

Thanks pen21


 

 

 

Eternal on the Water will be out Feb. 16th, as you know.  Publishing is cumulative, so if EOTW does well it snowballs into my next novel.  If not -- yikes! -- then the publishing interest cools.  I heard recently that 150,000 books are published annually, so there is a ton of competition.  It's hard to get noticed..no matter what you write.  

 

So, that's my answer.  Thanks for asking the question.  

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

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hello again Joe,

I just finished the book and will not say too much at this point because I don't want to spoil anything... but BRAVO! What a beautiful way to end a very poignant story. For those of you that have finished the book, chapter 17 was amazing! (I needed windshield wipers for my glasses:smileywink:) I look forward to discussing the end of the book with you next week.

Paula

PB684
Contributor
inkslngr
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎12-05-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

I had not figured out the bear thing yet.  I like what you said about the human aspect.  So, the main character is a bear because she has very human qualities and also the wild side like a bear.  Meaning that she does not want to know about whether she has the gene for Huntington's or not and therefore she lives a fuller life be taking advantage of everything that comes along.  ( being a little wild )

Contributor
tigger27
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Joseph Monninger

Hi Joe,

 

I'm kind of a slow reader so I haven't finished your book yet.  I usually only read before bed and only finish a few pages at best before turning in.  While reading your book I've been staying up later enjoying it immensely.   I'm starting to read the Indonesia section but your writing style is so awesome that I feel like I'm hiding behind a tree watching Mary and Cobb or going down the rapids on the river with them.  It could be a movie!

 

In the beginning posts of the book club it sounded like you might have been a little nervous with this type of interaction with the readers.  What are you thinking about it now that you've gotten a chance to do it?  Is this something you would do again if offered? 

 

Thanks for such a great book.  I can't wait to read some of your other works.

 

Shelly