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Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009

Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Real or Magic)


deannafrances wrote:

Eric, thank you for answering the questions.

 

First how do you say Meridia?

 

Second, have you read the section called Magic here at the Book Club?

 

Do you think that the magical aspects are (at least some of them) Meridia's perceptions about the world and not exactly as the world is?

 

I am the person who wrote that when I was a kid and rode in the car I thought the car stayed stationary and the trees moved.

 

Sometimes without explanations--things seem more mysterious, frightening, wonderous

than they really are.

 

i also remember my best friend telling me when she was a child she thought the lady who ran the corner store had her feet on backward--when actually she had club feet and

she had big orthopedic shoes.  When she asked her mother about them, in those days she was just hushed so in her mind she created answer.

 

Having raised 3 children, 3 grandchildren and taught school and worked in a children's library I know that impressions of the world are often a mishmash of what is real

and what adults say and how children fit the explanation to understand their world.

 

When you see a rabbit come from a hat--we say it is magic , but it is a trick. 

 

So I am wondering --are all the magic incidents literally happening or how they are seen? 


Hi deannafrances,

 

Meridia is pronounced Muh-ree-dee-ah.

 

You've brought up some interesting points about children's perception of the world and how it differs from ours.  In the beginning, the book is seen through the eyes of the child Meridia, but whether what she's seeing is real or imagined is up for discussion.  It's certainly real to her, and also to some other people in the book.  Daniel and the matchmaker and those unfortunate peddlers can see the ivory mist because they have endured its harrassment at one point or another.  During Noah's birth, Ravenna can see the bees in the nick of time and come to Meridia's rescue, although the midwife can't.  These are indications that it's not all in Meridia's head.

 

To me, the magic is both literal and metaphorical as far as that world is concerned.  As I've posted earlier, I can see the staircase shortening and lengthening, I can see the marigolds literally eating up the roses, and I can see the bees covering Meridia from head to toe during her labor (wouldn't that make a great horrific scene in a movie?).  I know some readers disagree, and they prefer to see the magic as symbols.  I wrote the book so that it can be interpreted in a way that sits well with you.  Some people are very scientific and they have lots of logical explanation for anything strange and supernatural.  Others (I think it's cultural, too) are comfortable with the idea that spirits are all around them and when they see an apparition in the mirror, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're going crazy or their eyesight is failing.  I'll leave it to you to find your own comfort zone.  As you suggested, it could be halfway--perhaps not everything is magic and not everything can be explained away with reason.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Magic)


PB684 wrote:

Hello Erick and welcome to the First Look Book Club! So far I am enjoying "Of Bees And Mist" although it is not what I expected. I am a huge fan of magical realism and assumed the magic would be more "real". Very quickly I realized that it was meant as a metaphor but that in no way has disappointed me. I am finding the symbolism very interesting. I would love for you to discuss this more, especially the significance of the mists and how you came up with that idea. Also, I have had no problem with there being no clear cut time or place and I can count myself amoung those who picture Meridia and her family to be Asian.

Paula:smileyhappy:


Hi Paula,

 

Thanks for the compliment and I'm thrilled to hear that you're able to imagine Meridia as you wish.

 

Please read my earlier post on "Real or Magic" on what I think about the symbolisms in the book.

 

I've discussed the mists in an earlier posting as well -- "All about the Mists."  Let me explain how they came about.  I've always been fascinated by mist, and leaving in San Francisco has certainly reinforced that sentiment.  I think a veil of mist is brooding, mysterious, enchanting, romantic, and secretive at the same time.  It implies things that are hidden, unsaid, suppressed and bottled up.  When I was writing about Gabriel's infidelity, the mists struck me as a fitting physical representation of his inner turmoil (just like Eva and her bees).  They hide his secret, carry him to a different existence, keep other people away from it, distort perspectives, and alter realities. As long as he has the mists surrounding him, Gabriel won't be able to see straight.

 

Monarch Street has the mists and Orchard Road has the bees, and they are both a strength and a weakness to each house.  One thought that occupied me a lot during the writing was how each character in the book would be affected by these two things.  Meridia, for example--how will she derive strength from the mists that represent her broken childhood and use them to go against the bees?  And at the same, what is it that can she learn from the bees, if at all?  You'll have to stay tuned to find out.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Inspired Contributor
dragonfly_yayn
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎05-10-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Inspiration for Eva and Ravenna)

Erick,

You truly are a gifted writer.  I too have had difficulty in putting this down and have read almost to the end when I finally forced myself to put it down so that I won't spill the dreaded spoiler.  That said, I have enjoyed the cover almost as much and am thouroughly captivated by your responces.  The insights into your life are so inspirational and the answers on the book are wonderful in the aspect that they answer the questions with a sense of humor without giving any of the book away, and yet you are still able to add more mystery for us (yes even those of us who read way to far ahead).  Thank you:smileyhappy:


Erick_Setiawan wrote:

Hi joyfull,

 

I'm glad you're having fun with the book.  About the coupons . . . my mom is actually more similar to Ravenna: she rarely looks at the price tag when she buys anything.  This, of course, causes my dad endless headache when he has to pay the bills.  I actually didn't encounter the whole coupon business until I came to the States.  In Indonesia, stores either had fixed prices or you had to haggle your way to the death (things have changed since I left, I assume).  When I came to the States, I was fascinated by how many people were so eager to clip coupons and storm the grocery stores during double coupon days.  I remember telling my mom to do the same when she came here for a visit and she just looked at me as if I'd gone insane.

 

Eva is based on my paternal grandmother.  She had ten children (my dad was the second oldest), and she always set them at odds so that they would fight and bicker with each other.  When this happened, they always ran to her for advice and comfort, and I think that made her feel needed, respected, important.  She had eight daughters-in-law and she didn't get along with a single one of them.  My mom, for one, had many an unpleasant name for her.  As a child, I was both terrified and amused by the dynamics between them.  I used a lot of their interactions to inform Meridia's relationship with Eva.

 

I'm so glad you like Ravenna!  She is actually my favorite character (and my agent's, too).  I know First Lookers said a lot of unflattering comments about her especially during the first segment, and I hope you'll change your mind by the end of the book.  Bring her up again in two weeks and I'll let you in on the inspiration behind her.


 

Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Hannah)

Erick:
   I want to thank you for your enjoyable book.  I wish you all the best for this book and anticipate the next one that you write.
   I was one who first thought of Hannah as an imaginary friend and then as just her inner self - the side that possess her strangth and will to do what she must to accomplish things. Based on your comment below, I am highly intrigued and anticipate the reveal to the Hannah question. I like a mystery and something that keeps me guessing.
CathyB

Erick_Setiawan wrote:

daisy03 wrote:

Who is Hannah??


Hi daisy03,

 

Finally!  The Hannah question!

 

I'm amazed and flattered that this mysterious young lady has captured so much of your imagination and created endless debate on the boards.

 

So far, I've heard her described as a ghost, a guardian angel, an imaginary friend, Meridia's split personality, someone Meridia wishes she could be, a reincarnation of the mists, and a spirit sent by Ravenna to help her daughter.

 

Have I got everything?

 

For now, let me just say that I worded those Hannah passages very carefully so that they support all those interpretations.  And perhaps one more.

 

I think there's another angle that no one's considered before.  If nobody except Meridia seems able to see Hannah, maybe it's because Meridia doesn't want them to.  But why?  Go back to the chapter when they first meet and pay attention to what they're doing.  Can it be taken in a different context?  Remember that when Meridia meets Daniel and he begins taking her around town, she knows that she's retracing some of her adventures with Hannah, but keeps that to herself (p. 54).  Why?  And the second time Meridia parts from Hannah (p. 173), what is it that Hannah is trying to say that Meridia keeps interrupting?

 

Just like the mists hide Gabriel, maybe Meridia is keeping Hannah a secret for a reason.  I'll  let the conjectures begin (and no, you can't ask Kerri!).


 

Distinguished Correspondent
JerseyAngel
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎03-18-2009

Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (All about the Mists)


Erick_Setiawan wrote:

 

The blue mist--the one that returns Gabriel every morning to Monarch Street--is blue because it's my favorite color (I can already hear the gasps of disappointment).

 


This definately gave me a chuckle. Us First Lookers have definately been known to over analyze & read too much into some things when sometimes the answer is actually much simpler.... such as a favorite color.

 

Stephanie

Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Cultural Influences)


vivico1 wrote:

Erick,

You talked about some of your favorite authors and also about books about Chinese Culture and upbringing. Have you ever read any of Lisa See's historical novels? I am hooked on her now and learning so much about ancient Chinese culture at times but in her newest novel, (I won't plug it by naming it on this site for your book :smileywink: ) I learned about how the Chinese were treated here during the 30s and 40s and how they had to come through the west coast, not through Ellis Island like everyone else and some of the things done to them that just blew me away because so much we should know, is never part of our history courses at school! Many people don't even know we had German POW camps here in the states too, but my mother lived close to one.

 

I think reading some of her books is what drew me to yours and being willing to read a fantasy type story with magic and mysticism because I was hoping they would be part of a really good story of people's lives too, and so far your book does not disappoint in that area. It could be anytime, anywhere, anyone but I do like it on the heels of her book because it makes me think still in terms of how we stereotype groups of people but in reality, the human experience is universal. We are not so different, we may express our cultures differently but if we all embraces those wonderful differences, would we treat other cultures, other peoples, so badly at times. Or for that matter, other people in our own families.


Hi Vivian,

 

I have definitely read Lisa See.  She's actually in San Francisco on tour and I look forward to hear her read.  She is another one of those writers who can create a world filled with rich and incredible details.

 

If you're ever in San Francisco, I recommend visiting Angel Island--this was where the Chinese were detained as they entered the country.  A sad, horrible place after the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882.

 

Very well said about our experiences being universal.  I hope that after reading this book, you'll be able to see that regardless of the mists or ghosts or bees we carry with us, we are much more similar to each other than different.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Magic)


VeraC wrote:

I'd like to echo the others' comments about the amazing book you've written.  There don't seem to be many writers that are talented enough to not only write a story, but to create an alternate reality, as you've done here.

 

 

As I've been reading the book, it struck me that perhaps aspects of the book were perhaps based on fairy tales or folklore from other cultures that you wove together to create this other world.  The story that you wrote of the your father's friend and the comment about the bees that was written into the story seemed to be such as element. You had mentioned that the book was influenced by a number of other cultures.  Could you expand a bit more on this?  Was there perhaps a story you heard as a child about the power of mists or mirrors that inspired their use in your book?

 

VeraC

 


Hi VeraC,

 

Thank you for your compliments.  You're right.  The book is indeed woven from several cultures that I've encountered.  Please read my earlier post entitled "Cultural Influences" for more details.

 

Also I posted earlier my thoughts on the mists (look for "All about the Mists").

 

I hope this answers your questions!

Erick Setiawan

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


Mia_C wrote:

Hi Erick.  At the outset, I have to thank you for being a part of the First Look Book Club.  I might have missed your book had it not been part of this great discovery vehicle.  I didn't know what to expect when I read the description of the book when your involvement was first announced.  After reading the book, I was definitely pleasantly delighted. 

 

The book is certainly humorous, mysterious, playful and ominous in turns.  It was also always one step ahead of me so there was a constant to read on.  It teases the reader in that it gives little hints or little anecdotes about the characters but never the entire picture.  I read on in the hope of eventual satisfaction and I certainly wasn't disappointed.  The pace was a little slower past the halfway point but that could have been as much my impatience at learning the ending as anything else.

 

My question is this:  What genre or genres do you consider this book to be part of? 

 

Thank you again.


Hi Mia_C,

 

I'm glad you're getting a kick out of the book.  I consider Of Bees and Mist to be literary fiction with a magical realist twist that will also appeal (I hope!) to fans of fantasy, mystery, and family sagas.

 

Thanks for writing in.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?


libralady wrote:

Hi Erick,

 

First of all I would like to say thank you so much for allowing us a "first look" at your book and for joining us here on the board as we discuss it.  From the onset, I had no problem with the fact that there was no mention of a definitive time or place and I strongly suspected that was by design. I think it adds to the ambiance of the book. I think your response to the post about time and place was excellent.  You have done a great job of blending cultures, magic and fantasy.  Your character development is very good.  I feel like I know each one of them.  I will say that my likes and dislikes of the characters have changed from when I first started the book and I expect them to change again before I finish.  I don't have a question at this time because all of my questions have been asked and answered.  But that will probably change as I get deeper into the book.  Thanks again for spending the time with us.  You have done a great job answering the questions that have been posted this far.  As far as word of mouth recommendations, you can count on me to recommend this book every chance I get! I already have a line forming for my ARC.


Hi libralady,

 

Thank you so much for your kind words!  It's wonderful to hear that your feelings for the characters have changed and are changing as you continue to read.  That's how it should be.  Every character should go through a journey and end up in a different place than when the book starts.  If the writer has done his or her job, hopefully you'll take those characters along with you even after the book ends.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (All about the Mists)

Awesome answer, Erick! You are so thoughtful and open when you answer our questions. Thank you so much for that. BTW, I had tears in my eyes when Meridia saw that Ravenna was the ghost fighting the mist. It showed the open wound that was in Ravenna and Gabriel's marriage, and that Meridia sees a humanness in her mother. It is always nice to find out that scenes like that affect the author as well.


Erick_Setiawan wrote:

The scene at the end of chapter 3 when Meridia realizes that the ghost is Ravenna and she sees how much her mother is hurting but can't break away from the mist to help her--that scene was very difficult for me to write (this line always breaks my heart: "She told herself that any other daughter would have found a way to drive back the mist." ).  We've all been there--seeing a loved one in pain yet feeling powerless to help.  In the original draft, I wrote paragraph after paragrah describing all those feelings between mother and daughter, and then I had the good sense to put the mist between them, and suddenly I didn't need all those paragraphs anymore.  The mist, just by being there, is saying everything I wanted to say.

 



 

 

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
Distinguished Correspondent
PB684
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Hannah)


Erick_Setiawan wrote:

daisy03 wrote:

Who is Hannah??


Hi daisy03,

 

Finally!  The Hannah question!

 

I'm amazed and flattered that this mysterious young lady has captured so much of your imagination and created endless debate on the boards.

 

So far, I've heard her described as a ghost, a guardian angel, an imaginary friend, Meridia's split personality, someone Meridia wishes she could be, a reincarnation of the mists, and a spirit sent by Ravenna to help her daughter.

 

Have I got everything?

 

For now, let me just say that I worded those Hannah passages very carefully so that they support all those interpretations.  And perhaps one more.

 

I think there's another angle that no one's considered before.  If nobody except Meridia seems able to see Hannah, maybe it's because Meridia doesn't want them to.  But why?  Go back to the chapter when they first meet and pay attention to what they're doing.  Can it be taken in a different context?  Remember that when Meridia meets Daniel and he begins taking her around town, she knows that she's retracing some of her adventures with Hannah, but keeps that to herself (p. 54).  Why?  And the second time Meridia parts from Hannah (p. 173), what is it that Hannah is trying to say that Meridia keeps interrupting?

 

Just like the mists hide Gabriel, maybe Meridia is keeping Hannah a secret for a reason.  I'll  let the conjectures begin (and no, you can't ask Kerri!).


 

Ok, I just went back and re-read those passages and I am more intrigued than ever! Meridia is keeping Hannah a secret for a reason? The only thing I can come up with is that by hiding Hannah Meridia is protecting herself from yet another disappointment...possibly the idea that she is not worthy of such a friend. I'm probably completely off-base and I can't wait to read more!:smileyhappy:

Paula

PB684
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

Hi Erick,  Just wanted to thank you for answering my question way back at the beginning of this thread.  I am very impressed with the time your taking to answer our questions with thoughtful and concise comments in a warm and friendly manner.  I'm mid-book and still have not determined how I feel about it, yet your style and openness is a positive influence and I see it and you in your novel.
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
Distinguished Correspondent
ClaudiaLuce
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

Erik,

 

First of all, thank you so much for sharing your delightful novel with us!!  I am enjoying it completely and can't wait to recommend it and you to others!

 

Your background is not in English. I have to commend you on your useage of literary elements and the use of the English language.  You have created a beautiful juxtaposition with Eva and her bees!    As a middle school English / literature teacher, I would like to use passages from your novel to teach some of the literary elements to my students because of the way you use the language so beautifully to create the pictures necessary for them to understand these elements!  May I have your permission to do so?

 

I would also like to know if you took any writing courses while you were obtaining your degree?

 

Thank you again for joining us and allowing us this wonderful opportunity to experience your novel before it goes public.

 

Claudia

 

 

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -
-- Sir Richard Steele
Frequent Contributor
lcnh1
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

Erik -

 

I'm just starting to get into the story and am enjoying it so far.  It is different from anything that I have read in the past.  I'm glad that it is a part of First Look or I might have missed it.

 

As I read books, I'm always interested in how the writer come up with the story that they have.  You've talked aout your inspirations and influences.  I'm wondering how you came up with the idea for this story in the first place.  To me it is unique and has so many facets that make it unpredictable.

Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (From software engineering to writing)


MSaff wrote:

Hi Erick, 

 

  I must say that you have written a wonderful novel.  I am thoroughly enjoying each and every chapter and wonder what or who is going to happen next.  Thank you for writing such a provocative story.  I love the twists and turns, because it keeps me on my toes. 

  My question to you is How did you start writing and what motivates you?  I would also like to know how you came to write "Of Bees and Mist"?  Oops!  I guess that's two questions.  LOL.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hi MSaff,

 

Thank you for being a responsive reader.   Keeping readers on their toes--that's one compliment every writer yearns to hear.

 

How did I start writing?  After reading Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse in college, I seriously considered choosing writing as a profession, since that book inspired me so much.  And I wanted so badly to major in English.  But in order to do that, I had to take English classes, most of which required students to speak up in class, and because of my shyness and my insecurity about my adopted language (I had only been in the country for three years then), I couldn't go through with the idea.  So I chose Psychology and Computer Science and even went so far as to get a Master's in the latter.  Then I started working as a software engineer after graduation, and I knew instantly it wasn't for me.  I dreaded waking up in the morning and going to work and sitting in those long meetings listening to people passionately talk about the latest computer innovations, and I felt lost.  I remember thinking, Why can't I be as passionate as they are?  That's when I started writing (and stealing hours from my increasingly disgruntled bosses in order to do so), partly to escape my job, partly to figure out if it was my true passion.  It was, and it still is.  But the process went on for years.  I wrote two novels before Bees and countless stories and I received hundreds of rejections (more on this on the Meet the Writer section in the book page).  And then I started Bees and I knew this one was special.

 

As to what motivated me to write Bees, please read my earlier post on "Origin of Story."

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?


gosox wrote:

Erick,

Thanks so much for providing such a wonderful story and for taking the time to thoroughly read and respond to our comments and questions. I must say, I am enjoying your comments to our discussion almost as much as I am enjoying the book!

Message Edited by gosox on 06-09-2009 08:05 PM

Hi gosox,

 

I'm glad you're enjoying both the book and the comments!

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Contributor
Calendula
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-30-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan?

Erick - I am so glad you wrote this story! I really wanted to pace myself, in the interest of better discussion, but I was completely hooked after the 3rd paragraph and couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed the universality and symbolism that allowed for so much interpretation by the reader.

 

My question is this: There are four births detailed in the book, and each of them are traumatic. Can you tell us about why you decided to portray birth in this manner in your book? 

 

Thanks! 

Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Magic)


Deltadawn wrote:

Dear Erick,

 

I want to add my thanks to you for making Of Bees and Mist available to us First Lookers at B&N. Thank you very much also for your in depth and generous responses to our questions here - they add so much insight to this amazing novel.   It is a privilege to get the inside scoop from you!

 

I would like to add my voice to the many others here in letting you know how much I am enjoying the book - it is really wonderful. I actually finished reading through it the first time (I was unable to put it down!) and am enjoying rereading and revisiting it here at the First Look Club.

 

Congratulations!

 

Best wishes,

Dawn


Hi Dawn,

 

Thank your for taking part in First Look!  I know people have so many options these days to fill their spare time (if there is still such a thing), and I always find myself grinning when they choose to read.  We haven't seen the last of books yet, thank God!

 

I'm glad you're enjoying the rereading as well.  Let me just note (and my publisher didn't put me up to this) that the finished book will be more polished and have more refined nuances than the version you're reading.  And you definitely have to check out the finished cover when it comes out.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009
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Re: Questions for Erick Setiawan? (Personal Inspiration?)


JerseyAngel wrote:

Erick_Setiawan wrote:

Now on to your question about a possible personal inspiration in my life . . . I can't say that I had anyone who motivated me to move to a strange land and pursue my dream.  It was my own determination to leave Indonesia that finally made my parents yield and let me go (I fought with them for two years before they did this).  I grew up seeing what oppression and injustice did to the Chinese in Indonesia, and I was fed up with living in a place where my rights as a citizen weren't guaranteed, my dreams could be taken away at a whim, and I had to be constantly alert and vigilant every time I left the house.  I refused to believe that there was no other life possible.  And I saw what living under these conditions did to members of my own family.  They stopped fighting.  They stopped asking questions.  They accepted abuse and humiliation as if that was what they deserved in life.  So I moved to the US.

 

Looking back, I can hardly recognize that very determined, very focused, very nervy, sixteen-year-old boy.   I must have been possessed back then by a power greater than my own!  I'll give you an example.  I came to the US as a junior in high school.  Three months into the school year, I found out that there were such things as honors and AP classes in the US, which my high school counselor didn't bother explaining to me about.  I was so mad!  I thought I would never get into a good college without them.  Now mind you, at this point, I could barely order a burger at Wendy's without tripping over my words, but I was so determined that I belonged in those classes.  So I went to my counselor and asked to be moved, but unfortunately, it was too late and he couldn't do anything about it.  But if he had, I knew that I would have found a way to ace all those classes anyway.  I didn't know how, but I would have.  To prove to myself that I could, the next year I took five AP classes, and yes, I did ace them all.

 

Again, I no longer can identify with that young boy easily, but without him, I wouldn't be where I am today.


Erick,

 

   I'm not sure if I missed this anywhere, and if I did I apologize. I was just curious who you stayed with once you were here in America at 16? Did you have family here? I admire your determination & courage at such a young age. Many 16 year olds are fearless but not many are actually able to achieve as much as you did by not only changing your circumstances but pursuing your education with so many roadblocks in your path!

 

Stephanie


Hi Stephanie,

 

I came to the States with my older brother.  I was 16 (a junior in high school), he was 19 (a freshman in college).  We came here in the summer of '91, and our parents had arranged for us to take an intensive English course at UC Riverside for three months.  If anybody knows where that is, it's a desert town about two hours/an hour and a half away from LA.  Blazing hot during the day, dead (and freezing) at night, everyone was a stranger, and not too much was happening except for the campus (and oh, we homestayed with a Mormon family).  It wasn't exactly my idea of America--from the movies, I thought it would look more like New York with the shops and the skyscrapers and I would be able to get Chinese food at three in the morning.  But we survived it, and then my brother moved to live in his dorm (he went to a college in Orange County), and I went to live with my mother's cousin and her family close to the Peninsula.  We were pretty much strangers, since I had only met her a few times before, and my aunt turned out to be my first coupon-clipper (as I mentioned in another post).  And that was how it began.  I can tell you stories about culture clash and the things I had to do to adjust to my new life, but I'll save it for another time.

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? (Gabriel)


babzilla41 wrote:

Hi Erick:  I hope I'm not being too dense with my question...why didn't Gabriel want Meridia to marry Daniel?  Could he have known something about Daniel that made him deny Meridia's wish to marry? If he had been a typical father, I would've thought that he just wasn't "good enough" - as so many fathers believe of their daughters beaus, but Gabriel never showed Meridia an ounce of love - why the sudden interest in her welfare? 

 

Thank you for a very interesting, thought provoking read!  Congratulations!


Hi babzilla41,

 

Thank you for bringing this up.  Poor Gabriel!  There's been so much animosity toward him on these boards.  I'm actually rather fond of him.

 

I wish I could answer your questions now, but I'm afraid you're just going to have to keep reading.  Ask me the question again in two weeks if you still don't know what to make of him.  At that time, I will also talk about the inspiration behind him.

 

I have to say this, though.   While some readers have a very strong and very negative reaction against Gabriel, others see him in their own fathers, uncles, brothers, grandfathers. Some even told me that compared to their relatives, Gabriel isn't so bad at all.

Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.