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Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009

Re: thanks, and an idea


ksnea wrote:

Dear Katherine Howe

   

I just want to write a little about how much I really have enjoyed your book and hope to see more in the future. I liked the way you got us from the present to the past and to the present again it flowed very well, In reading some of the post I am glad you did not focus on the hysteria of the girls but on the ones accused and I also agree with you when you look at history you have to look at it in the perspective of there time period and not the perspective of ours. unfort. that is how history get misinterpreted about peoples intentions whether right or wrong it always needs to be in thought of how they saw themselves and their beliefs. I am sure I will pick this book up and read it over again, I have to say I really enjoyed connies character. I can relate how her character is with her mother I don't see it has her being snobbish I see it as the love hate relationship you spoke of but deep down wanting her mothers love and approval of her it seems that is what is most important to her. Again thank you for a wonderfull book and hope to see many more.Sorry there is no question in here I feel like I completely understand where you were coming from in your book. 


Dear Ksnea,

 

I am so glad that you enjoyed the book. Thank you for your words of encouragement, and for taking the time to read it. I feel so fortunate to have been invited to be a part of First Look with you and everyone else who has shared their thoughts here.

 

KH

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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

How does it feel to have this much fervor over your first novel?  Everyone I have told about this book can't wait for the book to be published (myself included).  
Distinguished Correspondent
TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


Katherine_Howe wrote:

TRJ4SQ wrote:

Dear Ms. Howe, I would like to commend you on a most interesting and stimulating novel! It is one of the best pieces of historical fiction I have read in quite a while.

 

My apologies if this question has already been asked. I must confess that I was rather excited with the prospect of it and neglected to read the previous questions before posting.

 

I was wondering if the basis of the story structure is formed on Jung's Synchronicity and The Collective Unconscious Principles? If so, do his theories on Psychology & The Occult also figure in?

 

I look forward to your reply and as well as your next book!


Hello TRJ!

 

I am so glad that you are enjoying the story. I hope that you continue to enjoy it in Part II.

 

The answer to your question is a qualified yes. I began the book with a solid grounding in the colonial witchcraft history, but with less background in the history of alchemical thought and the history of science. While researching that I came across some discussions of Jung's thoughts on alchemy and its relationship to the collective unconscious. Some of that research found its way into the story.

 

What Jungian elements have you noticed so far?

 

KH


 

Good Evening Ms. Howe,

 

Thank you for your most enlightening reply. My sincerest apologies for not responding sooner. I've been so busy on the other threads that I have sadly neglected this one.

 

I have noticed many elements that intertwine with Jung's line of thought. I see his principle of Psychology and Alchemy in Connie's growing self awareness. As she learns and practices alchemy (magic, prayerful intention, etc.), she is changing in both mind and spirit. In effect, she is becoming more centered or whole and moving towards a purer (more advanced) soul.

 

This could also be described as the process of Individuation as Connie's personal psyche is becoming more in tune with the collective unconscious. Her acceptance of things supernatural is bringing this union into the light of her conscious mind giving her courage, strength and wisdom. The Wisdom of the Ages.

 

Her connection to the collective unconscious has always been as is with all of us and it will always be. A debatable point is that this is the presence of God that resides in all of us and uniformly keeps us all connected to each other. Otherwise, it could be explained as the part of the unconscious mind shared by all things throughout time. This would include ancestral experiences, hence giving Connie the power to see into the past lives of her family.

 

This connection would also explain the presence of psychological archetypes as well as synchronicity in the story. The archetypes most simply described as the substance of life, are an integral part of the collective unconscious as well as each individual. It's the stuff that makes people tick and is the product of instincts/intuition, experiences and external influences that lie just under the surface of one's mind. They may be brought to the surface by self study and the study of historical culture. We can see the archetypical influence in mythologies, alchemical symbolism, ritualistic behavior, religion, art, etc. Perhaps that's why we as humans are so fascinated by and fear supernatural and mystical things. Studying these things promote that self-awareness. The archetypes help us journey through the stages of our lives as they are doing with Connie at this stage in her life.

 

Synchronistic patterns are ever present throughout the book. This is especially notable in the parallel lives led by all of the ladies in Deliverance's line. I asked if the basis of the story structure was formed on the principle of synchronicity because there is a deep connection to all things in Connie's life and the past that cannot be explained as chance. This principle would affirm the concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious. In essence, everything for a reason and a reason for everything. It could be argued that this is Divine Providence or fate but it could never be serendipity. What's happening to Connie is for a reason with some higher purpose. Perhaps it's to right an ancient wrong?

 

In addition to Jung's principles, I detect a hint of Determinism, Causality and Existentialism. Since these are deep subjects unto themselves, I will not attempt to address them here. Have I missed anything?:smileyhappy:

 

Ah yes...Perhaps the effect of mass hysteria experienced in Salem was a flaw in the workings of the collective unconscious?

 

I also wanted to mention to you that I am most impressed with the duality of this book. Meaning, that it offers a good story for a light read or a catalyst for deeper philosophical thought if one so chooses.

 

You have done a most excellent job here! Thank You So Much! TRJ

Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?(SPOILER)

Wow! I just finished the book and must say it was excellent. I wish next week's questions were up. <grin> I would like to ask you how writing about the hangings affected you. (if you wish to answer.) The Interlude between chapters 22 and 23 was a very powerful piece of writing. I was there; I heard, saw and smelled everything. You kept me with Deliverance and Mercy to the end and I cried.  Thank you for the reality and emotion you brought to the past, and I too await your next book!

BTW, I don't think a movie could do justice to this story. It would be too short. How about a mini-series? :smileywink: 

 

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
Thayer
Posts: 195
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: on writing more generally


Katherine_Howe wrote:

 

That may be a strange way to put it, but for a long while I had trouble giving myself permission to work on the novel. So many other things I was "supposed" to be doing: grading papers, writing fellowship proposals, working on my dissertation. For someone who wants to write, I think carvng out the time to work, giving yourself permission to do it, is the most challenging part. For me, it was necessary to work for a few hours every day, whether I was in the mood or not. There's this image we have of writers, scribbling away in fits of inspiration, which sometimes translates into feeling like we shouldn't work *unless* we're in one of those fits. For me, that is not the case. I just plodded away, some days easier than others. Then one day the first draft was done. That was a surreal feeling.

 

For those who need an extra push, some areas have local writers' collectives, often with workshops specially designed for people who are in the middle of a novel but having trouble making progress. In Boston, we have a group called Grub Street , which has been a real boon for many of my friends. Luckily, I have my own personal research assistant/cheerleader/husband on deck who was good about hassling me to work. And he cooks!

 

KH


Katherine,

 

     Don't you feel that writers often feel "unworthy" to allocate so much time and attention to their craft? I can only imagine how intimidating public opinion could be.  Even someone of your talent must, at times, feel insecure about their work. It boggles the mind to think of all of the gifted individuals who, for whatever reason, neglect to attend to their craft. It must be very difficult to put yourself so "out there" to critique. Bravo to you on your success-which I for one feel has only just begun. And thank you for allowing us to be a part of your wonderful first novel.

~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
Wordsmith
ponie
Posts: 359
Registered: ‎01-30-2009
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


TRJ4SQ wrote:

Katherine_Howe wrote:

TRJ4SQ wrote:

Dear Ms. Howe, I would like to commend you on a most interesting and stimulating novel! It is one of the best pieces of historical fiction I have read in quite a while.

 

My apologies if this question has already been asked. I must confess that I was rather excited with the prospect of it and neglected to read the previous questions before posting.

 

I was wondering if the basis of the story structure is formed on Jung's Synchronicity and The Collective Unconscious Principles? If so, do his theories on Psychology & The Occult also figure in?

 

I look forward to your reply and as well as your next book!


Hello TRJ!

 

I am so glad that you are enjoying the story. I hope that you continue to enjoy it in Part II.

 

The answer to your question is a qualified yes. I began the book with a solid grounding in the colonial witchcraft history, but with less background in the history of alchemical thought and the history of science. While researching that I came across some discussions of Jung's thoughts on alchemy and its relationship to the collective unconscious. Some of that research found its way into the story.

 

What Jungian elements have you noticed so far?

 

KH


 

Good Evening Ms. Howe,

 

Thank you for your most enlightening reply. My sincerest apologies for not responding sooner. I've been so busy on the other threads that I have sadly neglected this one.

 

I have noticed many elements that intertwine with Jung's line of thought. I see his principle of Psychology and Alchemy in Connie's growing self awareness. As she learns and practices alchemy (magic, prayerful intention, etc.), she is changing in both mind and spirit. In effect, she is becoming more centered or whole and moving towards a purer (more advanced) soul.

 

This could also be described as the process of Individuation as Connie's personal psyche is becoming more in tune with the collective unconscious. Her acceptance of things supernatural is bringing this union into the light of her conscious mind giving her courage, strength and wisdom. The Wisdom of the Ages.

 

Her connection to the collective unconscious has always been as is with all of us and it will always be. A debatable point is that this is the presence of God that resides in all of us and uniformly keeps us all connected to each other. Otherwise, it could be explained as the part of the unconscious mind shared by all things throughout time. This would include ancestral experiences, hence giving Connie the power to see into the past lives of her family.

 

This connection would also explain the presence of psychological archetypes as well as synchronicity in the story. The archetypes most simply described as the substance of life, are an integral part of the collective unconscious as well as each individual. It's the stuff that makes people tick and is the product of instincts/intuition, experiences and external influences that lie just under the surface of one's mind. They may be brought to the surface by self study and the study of historical culture. We can see the archetypical influence in mythologies, alchemical symbolism, ritualistic behavior, religion, art, etc. Perhaps that's why we as humans are so fascinated by and fear supernatural and mystical things. Studying these things promote that self-awareness. The archetypes help us journey through the stages of our lives as they are doing with Connie at this stage in her life.

 

Synchronistic patterns are ever present throughout the book. This is especially notable in the parallel lives led by all of the ladies in Deliverance's line. I asked if the basis of the story structure was formed on the principle of synchronicity because there is a deep connection to all things in Connie's life and the past that cannot be explained as chance. This principle would affirm the concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious. In essence, everything for a reason and a reason for everything. It could be argued that this is Divine Providence or fate but it could never be serendipity. What's happening to Connie is for a reason with some higher purpose. Perhaps it's to right an ancient wrong?

 

In addition to Jung's principles, I detect a hint of Determinism, Causality and Existentialism. Since these are deep subjects unto themselves, I will not attempt to address them here. Have I missed anything?:smileyhappy:

 

Ah yes...Perhaps the effect of mass hysteria experienced in Salem was a flaw in the workings of the collective unconscious?

 

I also wanted to mention to you that I am most impressed with the duality of this book. Meaning, that it offers a good story for a light read or a catalyst for deeper philosophical thought if one so chooses.

 

You have done a most excellent job here! Thank You So Much! TRJ


 

TRJ4SQ! WOW! and whoa! this is deep!! and heavy!! I'd say more but I don't think I can...this is like chewing on a huge piece of steak (which, really, why would I pick that? I am a vegetarian!)...I'm going to have to chew on it for awhile to get it all "processed"!!!
ponie
Wordsmith
ponie
Posts: 359
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?(SPOILER)


DSaff wrote:

Wow! I just finished the book and must say it was excellent. I wish next week's questions were up. <grin> I would like to ask you how writing about the hangings affected you. (if you wish to answer.) The Interlude between chapters 22 and 23 was a very powerful piece of writing. I was there; I heard, saw and smelled everything. You kept me with Deliverance and Mercy to the end and I cried.  Thank you for the reality and emotion you brought to the past, and I too await your next book!

BTW, I don't think a movie could do justice to this story. It would be too short. How about a mini-series? :smileywink: 

 


 

A mini-series would be awesome...

[BTW did we come up for a role for Hugh Jackman or will he still be available to escort me to the opening???:smileyvery-happy:]

ponie
Distinguished Correspondent
TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?(SPOILER)


ponie wrote:

DSaff wrote:

Wow! I just finished the book and must say it was excellent. I wish next week's questions were up. <grin> I would like to ask you how writing about the hangings affected you. (if you wish to answer.) The Interlude between chapters 22 and 23 was a very powerful piece of writing. I was there; I heard, saw and smelled everything. You kept me with Deliverance and Mercy to the end and I cried.  Thank you for the reality and emotion you brought to the past, and I too await your next book!

BTW, I don't think a movie could do justice to this story. It would be too short. How about a mini-series? :smileywink: 

 


 

A mini-series would be awesome...

[BTW did we come up for a role for Hugh Jackman or will he still be available to escort me to the opening???:smileyvery-happy:]


 

I'm still waiting for a call from Johnnie Depp. Ponie, please let me know if Hugh mentions him. Thanks! :smileywink:

 

What Shall we wear?? :smileyvery-happy:

Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?(SPOILER)

Hi Ms. Howe,

 

Womp, Womp, Womp.....Me banging my head against the nearest wall!  I just finished your incredibly, amazing novel and once again I need to remind myself that I should always stick with my first instincts but your smooth style of writing allows the reader to ponder the possibilities and open the mind to the maybe this or could it be that.  I was blown away by this story that touches upon women's issues throughout time, religion and of course witchcraft.

When I first saw the packaging of this novel, then watched the trailer for this book I couldn't help but think about the money the publisher was putting into this book and I hoped their high regard for this novel wouldn't be just fluff but substance too.  Lo and behold I can understand their enthusiasm!

Quickie Question

I will be a pre-sale buyer of your next novel because I have no doubt that you can deliver.

Would you say your next novel would out in a year and a half, two years?  Is that the usual (unless you're James Patterson) time span between novels ?

 

 

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
Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: blushing!


Katherine_Howe wrote:

I just want to thank all of you guys for saying such kind things about Physick Book. I really appreciate how supportive this community is being!

 

The next book will take place in the Back Bay of Boston in 1915, right at the end of the Spiritualist movement. Like Physick Book, it will center around a particular family with a slightly unusual set of talents. The main character will be a little Connie-esque, though more hemmed in by her time.

 

The current working title is "The Scrying Glass."

 

Not to worry, though - I have another Dane family story in mind. I'm delighted that so many people want to see Physick Book's story continue!

 

KH

 


How exciting!  I'll be watching for both.  Jo

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?(SPOILER)

I think he can pick his own part - anything he wants to do. <grin>


ponie wrote:

[BTW did we come up for a role for Hugh Jackman or will he still be available to escort me to the opening???:smileyvery-happy:]

 

 

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
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?(SPOILER)

I totally agree. The packaging and trailer make the promises and the book absolutely delivers! Well worth the money spent.


Carmenere_lady wrote:

When I first saw the packaging of this novel, then watched the trailer for this book I couldn't help but think about the money the publisher was putting into this book and I hoped their high regard for this novel wouldn't be just fluff but substance too.  Lo and behold I can understand their enthusiasm!

 


 

 

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: convicting men


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Hi Canterbear!

 

Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind thoughts about Physick Book. You've also asked a really great question - we get so caught up in thinking about the women, we forget about the men!

 

In general, if a man was accused of witchcraft in the colonial period, it's because he was closely affiliated with a suspected woman, usually married to her. That was the case with John Proctor and Giles Corey, whom you may remember from The Crucible. So in that case the women were still sort of the driving force behind the suspicion.

 

However, there are several examples. In the 1670s a guy named John Godfrey worked as a herdsman, and by all accounts was kind of a weird guy in general, who made his neighbors uncomfortable. He was accused of witchcraft on several different occasions, and even seemed to enjoy having a dangerous reputation. He never married that we know of, which added to his being strange and conspicuous at that time.

 

In the Salem panic, one of the men accused was George Burroughs, who had been the minister at the Village before moving away. Burroughs was suspected in part because villagers recalled his unusual strength - he was said to be able to hold a musket out straight with one hand. But historians believe it was really his ties to the violence on the Maine frontier that led to his accusation and conviction.

 

What do you think it is about witchcraft the way the colonists understood it that seems so closely tied to women, as opposed to men?

 

KH


Hello Katherine!

You pose a very thought-provoking question in this post. I think the colonists took a very literal view of the Bible where, as we know, women weren't always shown in the most favorable light, i.e. Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Bible tells us she was the catalyst for evil coming into the world. And later on, Mary Magdalene is portrayed as a prostitute. Only recently has this been called into question (The DaVinci Code and all the books written on the subject of the Divine Feminine). I think, also, women's ability to create life was still very much misunderstood at this time. As you point out in Physic Book, women of this period still had very little information about their own anatomy therefore I am sure the men knew even less!

This is a very good question and one I think that will require some more thought. I hope others weigh in it:smileyhappy:

PB684

PB684
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canterbear
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: convicting men

Katherine,

thanks for answering my questions.

 You asked, why do I think witchcraft and women were so closely tied together.

It seems that all through history men have feared women and have persecuted them.
Perhaps they sense a power and strenght in them that they fear will be stronger then their own.

And all through history women have not understood what strenght they do have. If there were a banding together of all the women on this earth I think things would change.

I am sad by the slow process of conscious evloution of mankind. How fear, even today influences peoples thinking. And how they maintain that humans are the highest evolved, when we as a race are still so unevolved.

 Your book really stirrs one to think and ponder.

 

 

 

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austinWI
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎03-24-2009
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Re: convicting men

I agree.  I think the literal interpretation of the Bible has so much to do with those accused of witchcraft.  I think women not only did not know about their own anatomy but were simply looked down on for centuries.  I think men were probably in charge and women were  the easy ones to prosecute. I cannot honestly even think of a male as using witchcraft, its soooo much in our heads that it was women.

 

Patty 

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nadine1
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎10-16-2007
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Re: talking books


Katherine_Howe wrote:

When you guys participate in book clubs with friends, do you vote on what books to read?

 

KH


Yes.  Our fearless book club leader researched several books based on suggestions, other book club recommendations, seasonal events, themes, etc.  Our leader distributed the list of books, including plot summaries and reviews, to us at the last meeting of the year.  The active members selected their top 3 books from the list.  Within a week, our leader tallied the votes and finalized the list and meeting schedule for the forthcoming year.  We usually read 3-4 books per year.  During the 2008-2009 year, our books coincide with seasonal celebrations, like winter holidays, Women's History Month, Independence Day, etc.

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GSB65
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Registered: ‎12-06-2008
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Katherine,

  I think every question I've come up with has been asked, so I'll just comment.  Thank you so much for sharing your first novel with all of us.  It is such a great story.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances I've fallen a bit behind and have not finished the book yet, but I love what I have read so far.  You're descriptions are wonderful, it is so easy to picture in my mind as I read.  You've got a great talent and I definitely look forward to future books!!

 

Thanks!!

 

Stephenie

 

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Ronrose
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-24-2009
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

As a new member of the First Look Book Club, I would like to thank you Ms. Howe and the people at Barnes & Noble, for allowing me the opportunity to preview your book. I must say I had some trepidations at first when I saw the book was about witchcraft. I am glad to say that your excellent grasp of history and your ability to impart this to the reader while weaving a twisted tale of suspense in the present, totally enthralled me. As an amateur genealogist, I find delving into the past stories of my family extremely fascinating, as you obviously do as well. I hope to see further work from you in the near future.
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Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Tomatogate!


Katherine,

Thanks for taking the time and answering our questions so thoroughly. I really feel like you are connecting with the readers. Thanks again. I have been involved with other First Look books and can honestly say that your interaction with the readers has been most enjoyable. We seem to connect with you and you to us as well. Best of luck to you in this and your future projects.

Thanks again.
I have to agree with this.  I think Katherine was the most involved and entuiastic author that we've had to date.  Jo
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Jo6353
Posts: 683
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Katherine,

 

What approach did you take  when doing your research? Did you gather all of your facts and let them tell the story or did you start writing and let the story dictate what should be researched?  Jo