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Correspondent
m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: drafts and revisions

Katherine,

Thanks for your reply.  I have to say that all of your work on that first chapter with the orals was well worth it.  It was true to the experience and got me as a reader right into the story.  

 

Susan 

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CKindianCB
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2008
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

 Katherine,

First let me also tell you how much I am enjoying your book.  When it first arrived I got so much pleasure in the way you packaged the book.  The only thing better would have been to find a small key inside!

My question for you is: Have you ever found something like the key or hidden room? That has always been a favorite dream of mine. I would love to find an old house with secret rooms that have not been discovered for a long time by any body else.  I also enjoy finding secret things that have been put away by family members from our past.

Thank you again for the opportunity to read this book.

Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Katherine;

 

I do not have a question unless you can answer this; where did all this talent and wisdom come from that you disposed of in every word,verse,paragraph and chapter in this gifted crafted book. ??

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


CKindianCB wrote:

 Katherine,

First let me also tell you how much I am enjoying your book.  When it first arrived I got so much pleasure in the way you packaged the book.  The only thing better would have been to find a small key inside!

My question for you is: Have you ever found something like the key or hidden room? That has always been a favorite dream of mine. I would love to find an old house with secret rooms that have not been discovered for a long time by any body else.  I also enjoy finding secret things that have been put away by family members from our past.

Thank you again for the opportunity to read this book.


Hi CKindianCB!

 

Thank you so much for reading. I am glad that you are enjoying the book.

 

Unfortunately, I have not found any wonderful secrets, though like you I have imagined doing so many times. The closest I have come might be the pleasure of rooting around in a primary source archive, particularly one that hasn't been well documented. One never knows what sort of source or insight might be hidden there.

 

However, when we were doing some work on our house last summer my husband found a secret room on the other side of the crawl space in our basement! I haven't been in yet, though. It's a dirt floor, with no windows. And I am a chicken.

 

KH

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


kiakar wrote:

Katherine;

 

I do not have a question unless you can answer this; where did all this talent and wisdom come from that you disposed of in every word,verse,paragraph and chapter in this gifted crafted book. ??


Thank you so much for these kind words, kiakar. I am so glad that you have been enjoying Physick Book.

 

KH

Inspired Correspondent
mv5ocean
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎12-03-2008
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Katherine,

What an awesome book!!!

Although I'm from Tennessee I try to head towards New England every year or at least every other year. We have visited Salem numerous times including once at Halloween and spent many hours pouring through the cemeteries completely fascinated.  For that reason this book hits close to home and what can be more exciting than discovering old treasures or secrets from the past!! 

Congrats on such a wonderful piece of work.....I was captivated from the get go!!!

 

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RNLana
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎03-12-2009
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Dear Katherine,

Thank you for being a part of First Look and sharing this wonderful book!  I had carefully kept to the reading schedule, but after the second week, I could not put the book down and finished it.  I have to say, I loved it.  For me, I was as satisfied with it as when I read Harry Potter (I have read those books ten times!).  I feel it is a Harry Potter for grown-ups and I can't wait for the next book.  The history in it was wonderful, all the details were meticulously tied together to make a fabulous story.  The characters were so believable and real they feel a part of my life.  I have no specific question that hasn't already been answered, but thank you for being available for so many.  I highly recommend your book and look forward to many more.  Please keep writing!

Lana

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
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thanks, and an idea

Thank you mv5ocean and Lana! I am delighted that you found Physick Book to be a fun and satisfying read. My husband is a big fan of the Harry Potter books too, though I myself haven't read them yet. I had my undergrads read John Updike's "The Witches of Eastwick," however, which some of the First Lookers might enjoy (it's very different, and more sophisticated than, the film). He published a sequel too, right before his death, called "The Widows of Eastwick" which I have on my list of books to read.

 

I was wondering if any First Lookers have blogs where you've posted about Physick Book? If so, would you be willing to post the link in a message here, so that we all can read your writing too?

 

KH

Contributor
ksnea
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-20-2008
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Re: thanks, and an idea

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. 

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: witchcraft and belief


Katherine_Howe wrote:

Zeal wrote:

Ms. Howe,

 

When I first discovered the "First Look" book club, I thought it was too good to be true!  Then, when I received the free copy of your book, I was thrilled!  The cover was beautiful (Did you have any input as to the design of the cover?), and I delved right in, finishing the entire novel in just a few days. 

 

The letter on the back from Matthew Pearl was very intriguing to me. Having such a personal connection must have added to the inspiration for your novel.  The historical time period that you address is one that has been unfamiliar to me until now.  I knew very little about the idea of "practicing the craft."  I was completely absorbed in your characters, settings, and plot.  The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was a very satisfying, informative read...one that I have already recommended to many others.

 

Your previous post question, as to whether I believe in witchcraft or not really made me pause and think.  I have never really thought about this concept until now.  Yes, I guess I do believe, especially in the way Deliverance and all her relations used the "craft."  They had all of the best intentions.  This is true of the Wicca population today.  What a misconception and ignorance people have about their beliefs!  I find the whole aspect very interesting and would actually like to know more (I am currently researching).

 

Connie's dislike of the Wicca woman in the shop was obvious, but I wonder if Connie's opinion of the woman changed toward the end of the book.  I believe that aspect was not addressed. 

 

The thought of a sequel is one you should definitely explore!  I am hooked, and I would love to read more of your work!  Thank you for sharing this exceptional novel with us!   Please keep writing:smileyhappy:

 

 


Hello Zeal!

 

I am so glad that Physick Book lived up to your expectations, and thank you for recommending it to others. I am already well into the research for the next book, and for those who want to stay up to speed on coming book news, or Physick Book news, feel free to find me on Facebook or at connieandarlo@gmail.com.

 

If you would like to read more about contemporary Wicca, one of the most intelligent resources I have found is called The Spiral Dance, by a writer named Starhawk. Here is a link:

 

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Spiral-Dance-The-20th-Anniversary/Starhawk/e/9780062516329/?itm=2

 

It's true that Connie was pretty intensely skeptical of the Wicca shop woman at first, and her position remains sort of ambiguous. Do you think Connie's mind changes about Wicca by the end of the story? 

 

KH


Katherine,

 

I looked at the link that you provided, and The Spiral Dance looks very interesting!  Thank you for providing the source for me.  I actually have a few students this year who dabble in the Wicca traditions.  I have had many fascinating conversations with them and would like to become more familiar with Wicca.

 

I do feel as if Connie's feelings change toward the Wicca shop owner, especially after she seeks her help with the symbol on her door.  The more Connie learned, the more I believe her prejudices and suspicions would decrease.

 

Thank you again!

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
Contributor
tigger27
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Thank you Ms. Howe for an AWESOME book!  While I was reading through the second half I could see this becoming a movie, kind of like a National Treasure type with looking for the secret but not yet finding it kind of suspense.  I will certainly be looking for your next book.  I love your writing style!  I feel like I'm in the corner of the room looking and listening to what is going on. 

 

I do have to tell you that I was in Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago roaming around and I almost started looking for other work you might have done, so I could read more, but remembered this was your first book! 

 

Shelly 

Inspired Contributor
canterbear
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Hi Katherine,

  This book is amazzing.

 I would love to know how you learned to write with such wonderful description. It moves the story along, as much as the characters do.

   In your research, did you find that men in the 1600's were treated like these women were,

 convicted of these same type of false crimes?

  

I loved every page of this book, which is something I dont often say about a novel.

thanks so much for sharing with us.

 

Contributor
AMoriarty
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Hello Katherine,

 

Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to read your book. I enjoyed it very much.

 

I have a question which may have already been asked. I was waiting until I felt sure everyone had had a chance to finish the book. I was wondering if you came up with the idea of what the Philosopher's Stone true meaning was or if it was something you had read somewhere else. I had never heard this explanation before and found it intriguing.

 

Good luck in your future writing! I think you have a grand career ahead of you.

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
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Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


tigger27 wrote:

Thank you Ms. Howe for an AWESOME book!  While I was reading through the second half I could see this becoming a movie, kind of like a National Treasure type with looking for the secret but not yet finding it kind of suspense.  I will certainly be looking for your next book.  I love your writing style!  I feel like I'm in the corner of the room looking and listening to what is going on. 

 

I do have to tell you that I was in Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago roaming around and I almost started looking for other work you might have done, so I could read more, but remembered this was your first book! 

 

Shelly 


Hi Shelly!

 

I am so glad that you enjoyed it. That's a tremendous compliment, that you were looking for another book by me already. Thank you! I am hard at work on the next one, I promise!

 

I hope you'll either join the mailing list at connieandarlo@gmail.com or find me on Facebook to stay up to speed on Physick Book and new novel news. 

 

Speaking of movies, it's been fun observing everyone's casting choices for Physick Book. Did you comment in the other thread about who you personally would like to see in a Physick Book film?

 

KH

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


canterbear wrote:

Hi Katherine,

  This book is amazzing.

 I would love to know how you learned to write with such wonderful description. It moves the story along, as much as the characters do.

   In your research, did you find that men in the 1600's were treated like these women were,

 convicted of these same type of false crimes?

  

I loved every page of this book, which is something I dont often say about a novel.

thanks so much for sharing with us.

 


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

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

the philosopher's stone? [spoiler!]


AMoriarty wrote:

Hello Katherine,

 

Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to read your book. I enjoyed it very much.

 

I have a question which may have already been asked. I was waiting until I felt sure everyone had had a chance to finish the book. I was wondering if you came up with the idea of what the Philosopher's Stone true meaning was or if it was something you had read somewhere else. I had never heard this explanation before and found it intriguing.

 

Good luck in your future writing! I think you have a grand career ahead of you.


Hi AMoriarty!

 

Thank you so much for reading.  I am delighted that you have been enjoying the book.

 

The Philosopher's Stone twist came near the end of the brainstorming process for me. Even now, I still feel like I have a lot to learn about the history of science and how it relates to alchemical thought. 

 

It was a friend, an English scholar, who pointed out to me that "Peter" was from the Greek for "rock" or stone. I head read quite a bit about this mythical alchemical substance, and in my reading I found myself having trouble understanding what the Philosopher's Stone was supposed to do - we've all heard the base metals into gold idea, but there was also this sense of it being a unified purification method, not just for physical matter, but for spiritual condition.  I started to think that maybe one of the reasons I was having trouble understanding the concept was that the concept itself contained all of these different ideas. The sense of a universe composed according to layers which all correspond one to the other, and which can all be talked about in simultaneously planetary/mythological/religious terms, is just very different from how we are trained to think about the world today. So I was attracted to the very slipperiness of the Philosopher's Stone concept: is it a hunk of rock? is it a potion? is it an idea? is it a person? is it all of the above?

 

So Peter = Greek for rock = the rock on which God's church was built = literal and figurative rock at once.  And it would fit the riddle: unknown, but known to all. It can be a quality within ourselves, a sense of our own hidden talents waiting to be discovered, and used to help others. I liked the idea of Chilton's being too literal, and missing what's right in front of him. It's the same flaw that Connie has, but it's too late for him to realize it.

 

Have you done a lot of reading on alchemy yourself?

 

KH

Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: the philosopher's stone? [spoiler!]


Katherine_Howe wrote:

AMoriarty wrote:

Hello Katherine,

 

Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to read your book. I enjoyed it very much.

 

I have a question which may have already been asked. I was waiting until I felt sure everyone had had a chance to finish the book. I was wondering if you came up with the idea of what the Philosopher's Stone true meaning was or if it was something you had read somewhere else. I had never heard this explanation before and found it intriguing.

 

Good luck in your future writing! I think you have a grand career ahead of you.


Hi AMoriarty!

 

Thank you so much for reading.  I am delighted that you have been enjoying the book.

 

The Philosopher's Stone twist came near the end of the brainstorming process for me. Even now, I still feel like I have a lot to learn about the history of science and how it relates to alchemical thought. 

 

It was a friend, an English scholar, who pointed out to me that "Peter" was from the Greek for "rock" or stone. I head read quite a bit about this mythical alchemical substance, and in my reading I found myself having trouble understanding what the Philosopher's Stone was supposed to do - we've all heard the base metals into gold idea, but there was also this sense of it being a unified purification method, not just for physical matter, but for spiritual condition.  I started to think that maybe one of the reasons I was having trouble understanding the concept was that the concept itself contained all of these different ideas. The sense of a universe composed according to layers which all correspond one to the other, and which can all be talked about in simultaneously planetary/mythological/religious terms, is just very different from how we are trained to think about the world today. So I was attracted to the very slipperiness of the Philosopher's Stone concept: is it a hunk of rock? is it a potion? is it an idea? is it a person? is it all of the above?

 

So Peter = Greek for rock = the rock on which God's church was built = literal and figurative rock at once.  And it would fit the riddle: unknown, but known to all. It can be a quality within ourselves, a sense of our own hidden talents waiting to be discovered, and used to help others. I liked the idea of Chilton's being too literal, and missing what's right in front of him. It's the same flaw that Connie has, but it's too late for him to realize it.

 

Have you done a lot of reading on alchemy yourself?

 

KH


 

So, that's the reason for the 2nd verse at the beginning of Part II: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. --- Matthew 16:18 (King James)

 

I was trying to figure out why that verse was mentioned there. The answer is that it refers to the "Philosopher's Stone". Thanks, Katherine, for clearing that up for me.

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Inspired Contributor
AnnJE
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?

Katherine - I have finished your wonderful book.  Thanks so much for giving voice to my grandmother (nine greats) Susannah Martin.  I was shocked to read the description of her hanging - it was something I had imagined but never read.  She was a feisty little woman and you got her just right.  I will recommend your novel to all in my family who thirst for information of that time.

 

Julie Evans

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

Re: Questions for Katherine Howe?


AnnJE wrote:

Katherine - I have finished your wonderful book.  Thanks so much for giving voice to my grandmother (nine greats) Susannah Martin.  I was shocked to read the description of her hanging - it was something I had imagined but never read.  She was a feisty little woman and you got her just right.  I will recommend your novel to all in my family who thirst for information of that time.

 

Julie Evans


 Dear Julie,

 

I am so pleased that you feel like I got Susannah right. I hope that your family enjoys the book. Here's to all the difficult women!

 

KH

Author
Katherine_Howe
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
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Re: the philosopher's stone? [spoiler!]


eadieburke wrote:

Katherine_Howe wrote:

AMoriarty wrote:

Hello Katherine,

 

Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to read your book. I enjoyed it very much.

 

I have a question which may have already been asked. I was waiting until I felt sure everyone had had a chance to finish the book. I was wondering if you came up with the idea of what the Philosopher's Stone true meaning was or if it was something you had read somewhere else. I had never heard this explanation before and found it intriguing.

 

Good luck in your future writing! I think you have a grand career ahead of you.


Hi AMoriarty!

 

Thank you so much for reading.  I am delighted that you have been enjoying the book.

 

The Philosopher's Stone twist came near the end of the brainstorming process for me. Even now, I still feel like I have a lot to learn about the history of science and how it relates to alchemical thought. 

 

It was a friend, an English scholar, who pointed out to me that "Peter" was from the Greek for "rock" or stone. I head read quite a bit about this mythical alchemical substance, and in my reading I found myself having trouble understanding what the Philosopher's Stone was supposed to do - we've all heard the base metals into gold idea, but there was also this sense of it being a unified purification method, not just for physical matter, but for spiritual condition.  I started to think that maybe one of the reasons I was having trouble understanding the concept was that the concept itself contained all of these different ideas. The sense of a universe composed according to layers which all correspond one to the other, and which can all be talked about in simultaneously planetary/mythological/religious terms, is just very different from how we are trained to think about the world today. So I was attracted to the very slipperiness of the Philosopher's Stone concept: is it a hunk of rock? is it a potion? is it an idea? is it a person? is it all of the above?

 

So Peter = Greek for rock = the rock on which God's church was built = literal and figurative rock at once.  And it would fit the riddle: unknown, but known to all. It can be a quality within ourselves, a sense of our own hidden talents waiting to be discovered, and used to help others. I liked the idea of Chilton's being too literal, and missing what's right in front of him. It's the same flaw that Connie has, but it's too late for him to realize it.

 

Have you done a lot of reading on alchemy yourself?

 

KH


 

So, that's the reason for the 2nd verse at the beginning of Part II: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. --- Matthew 16:18 (King James)

 

I was trying to figure out why that verse was mentioned there. The answer is that it refers to the "Philosopher's Stone". Thanks, Katherine, for clearing that up for me.


Hi Eadie!

 

Yes, that's what that quote is doing there. Liz rather drunkenly quotes it in the Epilogue, and I believe it is referred to at one point in an Interlude.

 

Those two quotes seemed to me to best gesture towards some of the broader themes of the book. Are there others that you think would also fit well (or better?)?

 

KH