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debbiboop
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Time and Place -- why ambiguous?)

No Q's, I only wish to add that I love the book, I have't read a book quite like this and what got me excited is to figure out the characters and their problems and the way the problems were presented metephorically.  I think it is a great first book and I certainly look forward to reading more of your work.  Thank you !

 

 

Cheers!

debbiboop
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dragonfly_yayn
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

This was so beautifully put.  I think we can all relate to the strong ties that tell us about our loved ones.


Erick_Setiawan wrote:

I can't say that I've had mystical experiences myself, but I know people who have.  When my grandmother died, my father knew the exact time and condition of her death without being told.  I've heard people tell me that their loved ones appeared as apparitions and said good-bye to them just before they died.  I don't see these things as spooky or supernatural--I see them as more proof of the bonds between us.  When you love someone, or are connected to someone in a deep way, some part of you knows when that person is in danger, in pain, or in need of help (which, by the way, is the basis for Ravenna's relationship with Meridia).


 

 
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DSaff
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thank you =)

[ Edited ]

Hi Erick,

 

  I don't know if I will have any more questions or not (I have finished the book), but definitely want to say THANK YOU for your book! I had a hard time getting started with the book. The first few chapters didn't grab me right away. Maybe it was due to the books I had finished before this one, maybe it was my expectations being too high, BUT I am so thankful that I kept going. Thank you for making me stretch and grow as a reader. I really enjoyed the book and am telling all my friends about it. My review will be posted next week so I don't post any spoilers for the others. I will definitely be looking for more of your work in the future. :smileywink:

 

 

Message Edited by DSaff on 06-19-2009 11:35 AM
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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Erick_Setiawan
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Welcome)


Immortal-Spirit wrote:

Erick_Setiawan wrote:

Hello First Lookers!

 

I am so excited to start the discussionsThank you, first of all, to B&N and to Paul and Rachel for facilitating thisAnd though I don't know their names, I heard there was a fleet of carrier pigeons I ought to thank for delivering the ARCs safely into your handsThank you everyone for signing up and for embarking on this journey with meI know that to many of you, this is not the kind of book you'd normally read.

 

Before we start, I'd like to point out that you can find more information about me in the Meet the Writer section on the book pageAdditionally, you can visit my website for updates and announcements.

 

Let's get down to business, shall weI've read every single one of your postsI know that some of you were immediately drawn in by the story and were able to lose yourselves in Meridia's world by the first chapterOthers needed a few more chapters before they got itI also know that some of you are still lost and confused, while others are ready to hurl the book against the wall and run screaming from the room.

 

No worriesThat's why I'm here.

 

So bring your questionsI will do my best to help untangle every knot of confusion you might have!


Hi Erick,

 

I was one that was sucked right in....

 

You are a comedien too


Hi Immortal-Spirit,

 

I'm happy to hear that.  Thanks for being in First Look!

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?


pen21 wrote:

Erick,

This is not a question because I don't want to know yet what happens in the last section of the book.

But I want to explain a little more about my posts.

I will try to explain more about what annoyed me about the bees at this point of the book.

Eva to me is one of the main characters (and a favorite of mine). I know some one very much like Eva. Someone evil in so many ways, but someone who thinks she is helpful and supportive. So I hope Eva is still there throughout the end of the book. I like Eva for what she adds to the story. The story would not be the same without her, we need that conflict she brings. I think that is why the bees are annoying to me at this point of the book. I think I understand what the bees are representing about Eva.. But I need more to Eva than the bees. As you can tell by what I have written, a few good pages on Eva is a plus for me. I am sure not everyone would agree with that. I think you could do a whole book on the early Eva. Eva's dark side gave her character strength.

I am also waiting to see what Hannah is about.  I am ready for surprises here, but some choices would be better than others for me. I read the posts on Hannah, but I'm not sure yet what I want Hannah to be.

This book has involved me with its characters and its story. But I hope the last section pulls the mysticism or magic in to those strengths ( be it good or bad) of the characters that the book has built thus far. I will be expecting a lot out of the last quarter of the book. Those strong characters you have built need to come out more as the book progresses.

The one thing I think you really nailed is the fragrances of Ravenna and Eva. Because for me a fragrance can evoke strong memories and feelings when it reminds me of an event or person. I could smell the fragrance with the characters in those sentences.

I hope I have explained better what I am thinking at this point of the book.

This is probably repeating myself, but your characters are the best part of the book. You have involved me in their lives.

So I am ready to start reading the next section over the weekend. 

pen21


Hi pen21,

 

You're on the right track about Eva--I'm going to quote you--"someone evil in so many ways, but someone who thinks she is helpful and supportive."  But I encourage you to push this even further.  You wrote that you didn't feel you had enough of a handle on Eva, but chapter 26 is written from her perspective, and that should give you a clue on how she perceives the world.  From this chapter, we know that as far as Eva is concerned, she's always the victim, and it's other people who are out to get her, and consequently, in her mind, she never considers herself harmful to anyone.  It is always others who are always trying to do her ill, and that's why she has to constantly defend herself and fight them.  From this chapter, we also know that she never stops viewing Meridia as an outsider, an invader on her turf, and that is key to understanding their dynamics.

 

As I wrote to vivico1 earlier, I don't spell things out in my book, and I don't beat my readers over the heads with what I think they should make of the story or the characters.  Just like in life, an incident might happen, but you must draw your own inferences.  An author's job is to present and give hints, and it's up to the readers to conclude for themselves.  You wrote that you wanted to know about the early Eva and what made her the way she is.  I've scattered enough clues for you to piece this together--her abandonment by her birth mother, what she perceives to be Patina's deception, her subsequent anger and loss of trust, and later, her feeling of abandonment (again!) when Elias picks up baby Permony in his arms and he doesn't notice her. From these, you're free to make of her as you wish.

 

The same goes with Hannah.  I've drawn enough dots on her and you can fill in the rest yourself.

 

I'm glad that the scents in the book speak to you on a personal level.  Keep on reading and share with us your thoughts on the last quarter of the book.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan (metaphors or reality?)


tabcat wrote:

Erick,

Like Lisa (quoted below), I like being given the choice to decide if the magical elements are "real" or metaphorical.  For instance, the mists and ice are real to me, the lengthening staircase and bees are sometimes real, sometimes symbols...depending on the context or perhaps just my mood at the time.  I don't usually read books with this high level of family drama and dysfunction.  I like to escape when I read.  Your style of writing allows me to stay engaged with story, but not be overwhelmed by the emotions brought about by Eva's cruelty, the losses, childbirth scenes, and such. 

Thank you for the opportunity to read your book and discuss it with all the other great people on this site!  This book is perfect for a discussion venue. I've especially enjoyed reading your comments and replies.

Best wishes for a successful career in writing!

 

Teresa (Tcat)


lisally wrote:

I'm one of the people who interpret the magical elements as both physical and metaphorical.  I think Eva really does have a swarm of bees when she is angry, the cold of 24 Monarch is the coldness of Gabriel and Revnna's relationship, and Ravenna releases her suppressed anger in the form of a visible spirit.  I interpret this world as a reflection of its inhabitants, with the magical elements as physical manifestations of the character's emotions.

 


 


Hi Teresa,

 

Thank you for your best wishes.  You're my dream reader--you get what the book is about and you get what I tried to do with it!

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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BambooMom
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

Like so many others, I am also enjoying this book! One thing I really admire about GOOD fictional writers is their ability to create characters that may not be completely likable, and to let those characters play out as they honestly would behave. This is not a book I might have picked up in the store to read, so I am glad for the opportunity to kind of have it "forced" on me - and now it is a book that I will recommend to others!

The only question I have is kind of silly: recently I had the opportunity to meet another one of my favorite authors, and afterward, I wondered if my "I am such a fan!" gushing was too much! Erick, when you meet people who have enjoyed your book, has the "fan" thing ever gone too far?

Thank you!

 

 

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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?


JerseyAngel wrote:

Erick,

 

   I finished the book his evening. I had stuck to the schedule all the way through, but once I got towards the end I couldn't stop. Fortunately next week is the last discussion so I wasn't too bad! I won't give anything away for those reading. All I wanted to say is, well done! I had a little bit of a hard time getting into it in the beginning. I have found this true of other books I have read in the past from best selling authors so I never judge until I am well into the book. Once I got over that little bump, I was swept away. This truly was like an adult fable. The elements of magic (the bees, mists, etc) blended well with the story & I enjoyed them. The characters were wonderful & I loved getting to know them all. I especially enjoyed the lack of place or time because it allowed my imagination to truly take hold. You should really be proud of this first novel! Can't wait for the next one! I'll be sure to write reviews!

   Thank you also for being so pleasant while here. You have shared so much in your answers. It's been so nice to be able to talk with you.

 

Stephanie


Hi Stephanie,

 

You're another wonderful First Looker!  Thank you for being a part of this great program.

 

I often wonder if readers will have a different experience with the book if they can just read it straight through without sticking to the schedule.  Parts of the book were written with the intention of frustrating you and pushing all your buttons as readers.  If you have to sit on these unpleasant bits for a whole week before you can find out what happens next, I'd imagine you'd want to slap the characters upside the head (or worse, slap me) or tear your own hair out. I'm curious to hear what you all think.  Perhaps we can revisit this during the final week of discussions.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Mystical Experiences)


PB684 wrote:

Erick_Setiawan wrote:

eadieburke wrote:

I have experienced mystical happenings also. One Sunday morning (3/12/06) around 5:30 am I was awoken by a woman's voice that said: "Your father died". My father was 84 years old at the time but was in pretty good health. He did have some circulatory problems where his leg would fall asleep during long car rides but nothing really major wrong with him. He was very active and would do his own food shopping and visited the library often because he loved to read. I waited for a decent hour of the day to call him and he said that he was fine, so I didn't tell him about the voice I heard.

 

He told me that he bought about 20 DVD's for $1.00 each and was mailing them to his friends and relatives. Some of the titles were "Pajama Game",  "Royal Wedding" and "The Lady Vanishes". On Thursday, 3/16/06 my daughter called me to say that she was calling her grandfather all day to thank him for the DVD's he sent her. I got a funny feeling in my stomach because if my father went out he would only be away for a couple of hours at a time. I looked at the calendar and suddenly realized that it was March 16th and it was the same day that my mom died in 1998. My father always told me about his dream of my mom in a blue dress in a field coming to get him.

 

Sure enough, I called my husband who works about 1/2 hour from my dad's house to go and check on him. My father had died very peacefully (the covers were up under his chin without a wrinkle) in his pajamas in his sleep and when the paramedics got there, they predicted that he died just about the time that it turned March 16th.

 

As I was calling all his friends and relatives, they were telling me that they were watching the DVD, "The Pajama Game" that he had sent them and they were going to call him to say "thank you". The neighbors arrived at the funeral and told me that he had put the DVD on their car windshield while their cars were parked in their driveways. I went out to the mail box and there were my DVD's waiting for me on the day he died. On the bottom of the "Royal Wedding" DVD it says "Young hearts take flight when love is in the air". That quote made me think that my mom came for him. I still have the DVD's in the same envelope that he sent to me.

 

It may not seem very mystical to other people but when these things are happening to you, it is a very knowing feeling.


Erick_Setiawan wrote:

Erick wrote:

 

I can't say that I've had mystical experiences myself, but I know people who have.  When my grandmother died, my father knew the exact time and condition of her death without being told.  I've heard people tell me that their loved ones appeared as apparitions and said good-bye to them just before they died.  I don't see these things as spooky or supernatural--I see them as more proof of the bonds between us.  When you love someone, or are connected to someone in a deep way, some part of you knows when that person is in danger, in pain, or in need of help (which, by the way, is the basis for Ravenna's relationship with Meridia).


 

Message Edited by eadieburke on 06-16-2009 04:56 PM

Hi eadieburke,

 

What a wonderful story.  I got goosebumps reading it.  Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

 

Something similar happened to my Javanese nurse (I'd written about her in other posts).  One day, she was doing her laundry in our backyard (no washing machines in Indonesia back then) when she saw her son, who lived in another town, wave to her from across the yard.  She blinked and he disappeared.  Later that day, she got a telephone call that her son had been killed in an auto accident at that exact hour that she saw him.  JerseyAngel, in reply to this post, brought up an excellent point.  I think experiences like these are more common than we might think. Just because something can't be explained with logic or reason, it doesn't mean that it didn't happen.  I encourage all of you to look for them in your own lives.


 

Eadie and Erick,

I absolutely loved those stories! They definitely gave me goosebumps. I had a very similar experience for the first time at the age of seven when my father died of cancer. My mother hadn't had the courage to tell me yet but I woke up in the middle of the night because a voice in my ear told me he had died. I began to cry and when my mother asked me what was wrong I said it was just a bad dream. I think I was just scared to acknowledge the truth. This has happened several other times in my life. I always have the same sensation that someone is speaking into my right ear...I like to think it is my Guardian Angel especially because that voice helped save my son when he was a baby and was very sick.

Paula


Hi Paula,

 

I got all tingly from reading your story.  I think you might have what some people call the sixth sense.  I call it a very deep intuition of the ways of the world.  I also think that everyone has a guardian angel in some shape or form, so keep believing in yours!

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Teachers and Writing Courses)


Read-n-Rider wrote:

Erick_Setiawan wrote:


I never took a single writing course in my life.  The idea of having a group of people sit around and judge my work was too intolerable to me. 

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Lol, Erick--now here you are at First Look!  I think you're very brave!

 

Joan


Hi Joan,

 

You all have been wonderful!  I have to grow my thick skin elsewhere!

 

I've embraced the fact by now that a writer's life is a life of rejections.  First you get rejected by yourself (this will never stop), and then by your peers who don't think you're up to snuff, maybe by your family who thinks you're wasting your life, then by agents, editors, readers, critics, etc., etc. Is it all worth it?  You bet it is!

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Mystical Experiences)


eadieburke wrote:

PB684 and Erick:

 

Some people are more open to mystical experiences then others but I think we all have them but not all of us are paying attention to realize them.

 

I have to be careful about my thoughts sometimes. When my daughter was playing soccor, we were at a field near the high school and I noticed that the flight path to the local airport was right over the soccor field and small planes were flying overhead. I thought that was not a good idea and what would happen if a plane ever crashed in the field. Well the next day, on the front page of our local paper was a picture of a plane which crashed in another field close by to that one. That really spooked me.

 

Another time right after we bought our house, I was washing dishes and was admiring the tall hedges in the back of my home which is a barricade from a busy road. I wondered if anyone ever crashed into the the hedges because we lived right on a curve in the road. Well within a 1/2 hour there was a guy on a motorcycle hanging in my hedges. So, now I try to think only pleasant thoughts.

 

But, I am really enjoying Of Bees and Mists and all the mystical experiences. I am truly amazed about Erick's insight and interpretation of these people and all their experiences. It really is very true to life. If you think about all the people you know, we all know someone that has had an affair, someone who has a wicked mother-in-law, someone who is married to a weak husband, etc. etc. They may not have bees coming out of their mouth and I don't necessarily have to hear what they are saying. I think it is a good example of what all their nasty words sound like. I can also relate to the fact that those who are having affairs are definitely in a fog, mist or fantasy world!


Hi Eadie,

 

Thank you for your very sweet words.  I cherish them.

 

I absolutely agree with Paula about your experiences.  You did not cause those accidents.  I think you are probably more sensitive and attuned to the world around you than most people (which is a wonderful thing), and therefore you can pick up "signals" about things to come.  I consider it a gift, a deep intuitive understanding about how the world is, and you shouldn't be wary of it!

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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PB684
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Mystical Experiences)

[ Edited ]

Erick_Setiawan wrote:

Hi Paula,

 

I got all tingly from reading your story.  I think you might have what some people call the sixth sense.  I call it a very deep intuition of the ways of the world.  I also think that everyone has a guardian angel in some shape or form, so keep believing in yours!


 

Hi Erick,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I grew up in an Italian family where it was very common for everyone to talk about their superstitions and experiences with premonition. To this day I have a cousin with whom I am very close and all I need to do is think of her and the phone usually rings. I will definitely continue to believe in my Guardian Angel...he/she has taken very good care of me and my family.

 

I'm not sure if I said this before but I am really enjoying Of Bees and Mist. This is the first time I have stayed true to the reading schedule but it is becoming difficult now that I am so close to the end. I wanted to thank you for the interesting discussions here on the boards and all of your kind and thoughtful responses. I think you have a very promising future as an author and I look forward to your next book.

 

Paula:smileyhappy:

 

Message Edited by PB684 on 06-19-2009 04:32 PM
PB684
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MSaff
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

Hi Erick,

 

  I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for allow us to read your first of what I believe will be many novels.  You have an uncanny way of pulling a reader into the story.  I have been enjoying "Of Bees and Mist" right from the start.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but whatever it was, you delivered.  

  I will be finishing up reading this weekend, and will be writing my review shortly afterwards. 

Again thank you so much.  You are an exception writer.  Good Luck in the future. 

 

 

Mike
"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
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Personal Inspiration?)


hookedonbooks09 wrote:

Hi Erick,

 

Can't tell you how much I'm enjoying your book--have told so many folks about it, too.

 

I have to say I find your prose so lyrical and inviting, it's hard to imagine you selected classes based on how little you would have to speak or write!  Well that's all in the past and we have this beautiful book as testimony of that.

 

Your input to the discussion group, as many have mentioned, was so valuable in shedding insight to the end product that I went through and copied out those answers of yours that I thought should be part of the book.    I will print them out and fold them to go in the back of the book and stay with it.  Yes, I'm a little compulsive!

 

I'm so thankful for you, your publisher and B&N for providing this opportunity.  It might have been a book that got by me otherwise.  And that would truly have been my loss!

 

Best of luck to you,

Barb


Hi Barb,

 

I'm glad you're enjoying the book and thank you for the word of mouth.

 

I'm so flattered that you copied out my answers and put them in the back of the book. There's nothing better for a writer than a compulsive reader!

 

So many people have admitted that they wouldn't normally read this type of book, but after they gave it a try, they loved it anyway--I'm so touched.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Erick_Setiawan
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Genre)/ Understanding bees and things


goingeast wrote:

Hi Erick,

 

 

You wrote,

 

 

________________________________________

Erick Setiawan wrote:

 

"If you end up hating the book, don't feel bad about it.  I've certainly hated books that later, after the third or fourth try, became my personal favorites (The Makioka Sisters was one).  And I've certainly despised a book so much while reading it (W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage comes to mind) but after I finished it, I realized that it challenged me and broadened my horizon in a way that no other book did."


 

 

I was wondering why you would make 3 or 4 attempts to re-read a book if you hated it the first time.  When I put a book down, I usually don't pick it up again.  Just curious!

 

Ann (goingeast)

 

 

 


Hi Ann,

 

Good question!  Lest you think I'm a masochist, let me explain.

 

I believe that some books come into our lives for a reason, and no matter how hard we fight and resist them, they'll find a way to break down our barrier.  I'll use The Makioka Sisters as an example.  It's a novel about an aristocratic Japanese family in decline, and it follows four sisters as they dress up to go to the theater, attend cherry blossom festivals, and muddle through a long, complicated process to arrange a marriage for the third sister.  The first time I picked it up, I got to page 30 and put it back on the shelf.  I thought nothing was happening in the book, and the sisters didn't seem to be doing much of anything.  A couple of years passed, and then a friend whose taste in books I trusted raved and raved about it.  I decided to give it another try.  I got to page 100 and quit.  More years passed.  One day, I was looking at my bookshelf trying to figure out what I should read next when that book just jumped out at me.  It was almost as if I could hear it scream, "Read me!"  And I did, and that was when the fun began.  I was at last able to enter that world and recognize its richness and beauty.  It is now one of my favorites.

 

The same thing happened with One Hundred Years of Solitude.  I tried to read it once but didn't get very far.  Then when Oprah picked it for her book club selection, I just knew that I had to read it, because I didn't want to be the only person in America who hasn't.  The second time was the charm.  As I got deeper and deeper into the book, I kept wondering how I could have missed its magic and beauty the first time around.

 

I'll leave you with a quote from 2046 (a great movie!--I also recommend its prequel, In the Mood for Love): "Love is all about timing.  It's no good finding the right person too early or too late."   I think the same can be said about books.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Genre)/ Understanding bees and things


vivico1 wrote:

Erick,

. . .

But for me, to hear the term bees used over and over to represent Eva's wrath, waters it down and maybe makes it more palpable for those who do not wish to know how bad it can be. On the other hand, there are times that one line, one or two words, can convey what a thousand can not. For example, if you have read Cormac McCarthy's book, The Road, an incredible book to me, there is one line that makes me get a lump in my throat everytime. And that is when, as the father and son are walking down the road and the little boy asks his father something, maybe his father tells him the truth, maybe he lies to try to shield the little boy, but you know this little boy knows that too and he just holds his father's hand, keeps walking looking down and says "ok papa". That kills me! Because of what that means about the boy and how he is so trying to be big and trying to even help his dad's emotional state, just "ok papa" and they walk on with such love and trust in that little boys heart, that he will not bother his father with a further question!

 

. . .

 

I just don't know. And we talked some early on about this being a movie. I can see it as a kids fantasy of good and evil because once those images are constantly portrayed on screen as representing who these people are or what is happening, it wil become like watching some old movie about Hercules fighting a Medusa headed woman or a Harry Potter character coming and going in the mists. It would not be a movie like oh, Sophie's Choice or The Joy Luck Club, where feelings were exposed raw and real and grabbed you in as an adult. And these were not spoonfeedings either. They are very layered pieces.

 

Anyway, enough of me on this subject right? I will see how the book ends, because Erick, I am interested in the story. This is probably not a book that will I will reread but I will tell you this, having read it, I will keep your name and look for your works in another couple of years! I do think you have something and I will look forward to seeing where you go from here. Good luck with all you do. Here is some Calamine Lotion for the bee stings lol. And I will continue with club, but not 'club' you over the head with my frustrations anymore. :smileywink:

 

 


Erick_Setiawan wrote:
Hi Vivian,

 

I'm touched that you put so much time and thought into your post. I'm not in the slightest bit offended. This is why I'm here--to discuss and answer questions.

...

 

About the bees not giving you enough access to Eva's emotions . . . some authors like to put everything out on the surface. If Susan was angry and bitter and jealous, they wrote, "Susan was angry, bitter, and jealous." I'm not one of those writers. I respect my readers too much to spoon-feed them in this way. Reading is not a dictatorship. Just as I encourage them to think up their own place and time for this book, I also encourage them to peel the layers of the story and discover for themselves what lies beneath. What they find there may be different from person to person, and that's the joy of reading. Otherwise, why not just watch a movie where you know exactly when to cry, what to feel, when to laugh, because they tell you to. You also wrote that the bees make you feel detached from Eva, that they hide and distract from her true emotions. I think the exact opposite is happening. When the bees swarm the page, they bare and reveal Eva to a significant degree. If you listen to them, you'll see the range of Eva's anger, her jealousy and insecurity, but also her wit, her determination, her power of exaggeration and wicked sense of humor. I can write passage after passage describing all these emotions, but the sheer buzzing of the bees, if you read below the surface with a bit of intuition, already convey all these. I don't need all those passages.

...

 

If you end up hating the book, don't feel bad about it. I've certainly hated books that later, after the third or fourth try, became my personal favorites (The Makioka Sisters was one). And I've certainly despised a book so much while reading it (W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage comes to mind) but after I finished it, I realized that it challenged me and broadened my horizon in a way that no other book did.


 


Hi Vivian,

 

Not a problem!  All those books you mentioned are wonderful, but there are different ways of telling a story, just as there are different shades of subtlety.  It's unfortunate that you think the fantasy elements in the book are watering down the emotions.  I disagree that a movie version of a book like this can only be at best a kids' fantasy flick.  Look at Pan's Labyrinth or Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They are both fairy tales and have a high degree of fantasy, but the emotions are as real and raw and layered as they get.

 

Thanks for writing in.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Genre)/ Understanding bees and things


nlsamson wrote:

Erick:

 

Okay, I have just finished the bookFirst of all, Thank youAt one point I actually told someone that I hated the book... but, what I hated about the book was feeling that (once again) life was repeating itself. (I'm trying not to spoil this for anyone).  Of course, after I got through that particular chapter I told the same person that the book had redeemed itselfI think my feelings had alot to do with my childhoodBut that really is beside the point.  

I am very glad that I read this book, I'm not sure if it's a book I would have picked up on my own, but that's the best part of First Look

I will tell you that the word that keeps coming to mind for me is Karma. :smileywink:

 

Thanks again.. (now I need to start working on that review...)

 

 

 


Hi nlsamson,

 

Thank you for taking a chance on this book!  Karma--you got it.  One thing I wanted to do with the book was to show that some patterns of behavior repeat over time and across generations (just like with the numbers, about which I'd written earlier).  People are drawn to the same mistakes even though they might have witnessed the negative effects in others, and they reap what they sow.  I'm glad that the book was able to push you from one extreme of emotion to another.  That means I've done something right! 

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Genre)/ Understanding bees and things

Ah yes, and I do agree with you, there can be adult fantasy movies that are great and I loved both of the ones you mention here! As a matter of fact, I own Crouching Tiger and love it. The imagery is just beautiful! And the emotions very open, but the real fantasy aspects of it, the fighting across tree tops, or the powers that some them have are understood just as they are, they are not meant to portray the emotions so much. The characters show these in their language and looks and shared thoughts. The other aspects where there are bad things they have to fight are not a lot different than the villians in a Batman movie, which by the way I think the lastest round of them are better and show more of the moodiness of the original stories of Batman. But yes, each character looks the way they do for a reason and you know why or find out why and then that just becomes who they are, so you recognize them. What they do, what they feel, is very much portrayed in words and feelings and thoughts. What I was getting at, was, with the book, we can either visualize Eva and these hoards of bees coming out of her mouth,or as someone suggested, her head even being made of bees, but I fear that in a movie, to see this all the time would make her just a "character" like a Batman one, and just evil, as they are. You can not see the layers of her this way. And some of the other things, the war between the flowers, the fawn in the casket on the beach (which even tho I know what it represents now still mystifies me as an image for such), some of these things remind me more of, oh help me out here, the Swedish director whose movies have so much symbolism in them that for many they are hard to follow UNLESS you have really read the books and understand what is going on, tho some are not based on books.

 

I will say this too, in case I didn't or wasn't clear (that wouldn't be hard for me lol), as for Eva herself, I love Eva, I don't think she is good, I don't love her that way, but I love her self centered, evil, what I want I get, why is everyone picking on me, I am not doing anything wrong, its for the good of the family, mixed up totally egocentric self! This book would not be anything without her because who else would be the antagonist in the book to make everyone so nuts! So, I for one, do not want her killed off as some did (and this is not a spoiler or saying she is or isn't for any reading this, I am refering to prior posts about her). I love your characters, all of them really. And something else I want to say about one of them, that I have not heard much about, or I missed the thread on it... Meridia, I think Meridia can be just as evil, just as self centered as Eva is! She is just more subtle about it. And when she brought her mother in to live with them, and Daniel was mad and said if it was my mother you wouldn't let her and she said, if she was in this kind of trouble, I would, she is your mother. BULL! LOL, that was to me, so manipulative of her and such a lie lol, I do NOT believe for one second that even if Eva was old and grey and of no harm to anyone anymore, that she would let her live in her house! And even if she has a right to feel that way, I do believe she flat out lied to Daniel to get her way. I do not think any of your characters are strictly one thing or another and I like that.

 

Also, you do not have any unnecessary characters, or irrelavent one so I do like your sense of conservativism in that sense. I wouldn't even mind the magical world around them, and their emotions affecting the world around them, if who they were as we get to know them, was within them and we get to go inside them more, by the things they say and feel, such as in Crouching Tiger. I am with Pen21, when she said, the bees were ok at first but she wanted to know more of Eva without them. Remember the quote you said you loved from Stephen King? Well after awhile, that is what I thought about certain repetative elements of this book.

 

Erick, when I can read around those aspects of this book, or read through them without the jarring halt at times to try to figure out what this mystical thing is, I really, really do like your book, and I am being honest here. Your characters are great, your plot is great, you have some of the best phrasing. I just feel its so jumpy this way, back and forth. Again, I hope this does not come off as bashing, but conversing with you about your book and what I think about it and why. And I do appreciate that you read our thoughts, whether people find them negative or not and reply to us. You have been and are a most gracious author about this and I applaud you for it. Thank you.

 




 


Hi Vivian,

 

Not a problem! All those books you mentioned are wonderful, but there are different ways of telling a story, just as there are different shades of subtlety. It's unfortunate that you think the fantasy elements in the book are watering down the emotions. I disagree that a movie version of a book like this can only be at best a kids' fantasy flick. Look at Pan's Labyrinth or Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They are both fairy tales and have a high degree of fantasy, but the emotions are as real and raw and layered as they get.

 

Thanks for writing in.


 

 

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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bookworm_gp
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎12-04-2008

Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Genre)/ Understanding bees and things

"About the bees not giving you enough access to Eva's emotions . . . some authors like to put everything out on the surface. If Susan was angry and bitter and jealous, they wrote, "Susan was angry, bitter, and jealous." I'm not one of those writers. I respect my readers too much to spoon-feed them in this way. Reading is not a dictatorship. Just as I encourage them to think up their own place and time for this book, I also encourage them to peel the layers of the story and discover for themselves what lies beneath. "

-------------------------------------------------

Erick,

I'm a newbie writer and I've taken some writing workshops. After reading your book I finally understand the difference between showing and telling. You use every sense to engage the reader. I was so emotionally invested sometimes I had to put the book down because I anticipated something bad happening and I didn't want to deal with it yet. 

I highly recommend your book and will say so in my review. Gail

 

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brezi
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Registered: ‎04-11-2008
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Genre)/ Understanding bees and things

Erick, Thank you so much for allowing us to review "Of Bees and Mist." The beautiful cover drew me in and I started reading it that day. At first, I was a little put off by the "fastasy" aspect of the book, since this is not my typical genre, but then I relaxed and decided to go with the flow and see what the book was about. I was enthralled by Meridia's character by the end of chaper 1 and I had to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. Needless to say, I didn't stick to the reading schedule! I am going to pass this book along to my Mother next and will tell my "reader" friends about it. I'm looking forward to your future novels!