03-08-2010 02:35 AM
Please welcome Paul Doiron's editor, Charlie Spicer to the First Look boards and post your questions for him here! Charlie will be with us only for this week!
03-08-2010 10:59 AM
I am honored to have the opportunity to speak directly to Paul's readers. As an editor, it's so valuable to hear reader reactions to books and to hear directly from you what draws you to certain authors and certain books.
We are tremendously enthusiastic about Paul's book - it's every editor's dream to discover a new author of Paul's caliber and to publish his first novel. It's exciting!
03-08-2010 11:01 AM
It's wonderful that you could join us! I have a couple of questions for you:
How was it that you joined this project? Were you assigned by the publisher or did you see Paul's original and decide that you wanted to work with him?
One feature of almost every good book I have read is that each chapter ends with a foreshadowing or a mini cliff-hanger that makes the reader want to go to the next chapter. This book is no exception, with a particular good example of this at the end of Chapter 7 (Mike is at the jail wanting to see his father and is there when the police receive a call that a man they think is his father overpowered another man). In this rich transition paragraph, the reader knows without being told that Mike's father escaped and bad things are happening again. Is this something that most authors are aware of and do or is this the work of a good editor?
03-08-2010 11:10 AM
Good questions! To answer the first: Paul has a wonderful literary agent who knows exactly what kinds of books I like to publish. She sent this to me with a terrific description, so I took it home with me and read it in one sitting. I was so enthusiastic about it that I came in the next day and passed it around to other members of our editorial board to suggestion we act immediately to buy if for St. Martin's. We put together an offer and within 24 hours we were Paul's publisher.
As to the chapter endings, these are entirely Paul's doing - and once again illustrates why we knew we had to publish Paul. Though this is his first novel, he instinctively knows what keeps readers turning the pages and used the technique to excellent effect in the novel.
03-08-2010 11:55 AM
The Poacher's Son is a great read; very difficult to stick to the reading schedule! To keep myself from reading ahead, I re-read the sections - plus that gives me a chance to see if I read over anything. Some of the passages get you so riled up that you read faster to see what happens.
I love the cover of the book; it gives the reader a visual of the vastness of the area the game warden covers.
Was wondering, are you currently working with Paul on another project?
Congratulations on The Poacher's Son and best wishes for a Best Seller!
03-08-2010 12:12 PM
Hi Charlie and thanks for being here talking to us about this debut novel.
You mentioned reading the novel in one sitting and I can see how you could do that, because I easily could also. I'm being good however and reading on schedule.
You mentioned that Paul has an excellent literary agent who knows what kinds of books to send to you. And it got me thinking how fortunate both Paul and St. Martins is that this was the case.
I can see a series coming out of this first novel, has that been discussed.
03-08-2010 12:54 PM
Glad you are enjoying THE POACHER'S SON!
Yes, Paul and are working on a new book and, once again, Mike Bowditch is the central character. I don't want to give away any elements of the plot, except to say that it involves a murder and Paul once again keeps suspense high and readers guessing. He has introduced new characters and Maine is the setting.
And really pleased you like the cover, too. Our art department really tries to come up with images and concepts that are fresh and new and reflect elements of the story. The feel to this is so cinematic with a sweeping feel that captures the wilderness in all its beauty - but with an ominous atmosphere, too.
03-08-2010 12:57 PM
Glad to be here and even happier you are such a fan of Paul's first novel. He's working on a new one that will be published next year, so keep your eyes out for it.
03-08-2010 01:01 PM
I know what you mean about sticking to reading schedules. Sometimes I'll look up from a book I'm enjoying and find it's hours past when I had planned to go to bed. Not great for rest, perhaps, but certainly indicative of the quality of a book.
Yes, we envision THE POACHER'S SON as the beginning of a series featuring Mike Bowditch and set in Maine. Readers like both the combination of a world and characters they have come to know, combined with a new story.
03-08-2010 07:24 PM
Hi, I'm Susan from Vermont.Although not a native,I chose to live here because its Vermont and very close to my heart.As you know being a New Englander we are drawn to local Authors.I have found that Paul's book "The Poachers Son "has all the components that will attract a very diverse readership.Its gender friendly for me,and can be read in Colorado,NYC,as easily as in New England.The characters are timeless,and the storyline is current,yet has shades of the past.I am so glad to know that "Mike Bowditch "will have other books,so we can follow his life for a very long time..Thank you for recognizing what a great storyteller Paul Doiron is.I have tried to stay on schedule,but of course have read on a little bit more each day. Just one question for now,When can we expect the next book?This storyline has amazing potential. Thank you..Susan
03-08-2010 07:57 PM - edited 03-08-2010 07:59 PM
Just wanted to stop by and say hello. I am loving the book The Poacher's Son.
Paul has set the bar high for other new authors to follow!
It would be wonderful for this to become a series. I love the character of Mike.
03-08-2010 10:37 PM
I just wanted to stop in and tell you how much I am enjoying Paul's book.
I think he's done a great job keeping up the suspense, which makes it hard to
keep to the reading schedule. I always seem to be saying, 'one more chapter'.
Memorable characters, some nice like Charlie and his wife, and others that
you dislike intensely like Jack. I will look forward to the next book.
03-09-2010 01:12 AM - edited 03-09-2010 01:14 AM
D... I lost a post again! When will I remember to always save first? I had just had several that posted right away and I got careless again.
Anyway, let me see if I can reconstruct.
FIrst, I sensed that you probably did not engage in a lot of rewrite of The Poacher's Son, as sometimes occurs, especially for a debut novel. Is that sense accurate?
Second, what do you consider the particular strengths of Dorion as a novelist, a storyteller, an author? (His agent must be one of them!?)
Are there particular areas where you expect to see significant growth or change in Paul's writing style, skills, or ability and, as an editor, are there ways you interact with an author to bring those about? Or is such coaching/mentoring not a part of the editor/writer relationship for you?
Thank you for joining us here. These conversations with an editor or author, along with the advance reading of a new book, are our delightful privileges as readers participating in a B&N First Look program.
03-09-2010 10:07 AM
Good morning Charlie and congratulations on recognizing a great story.
My questions relate to advanced readers copies. How much editing is usually done at this point? Also, would rewrites be done based on reader's responses at this point?
03-09-2010 10:22 AM
Good morning, Mr. Spicer.
I think we agree Paul's book is an engaging mystery. So here ae a couple of questions..
1. As a reader and an editor what appeals to you about this story? I know you certainly must read/review lots of potentials...so what makes this one a candidate for publication?
2. Who do you view as the potential audience to purchase this book?
In my case...I realized I might not have given "The Poacher's Son" a second look at the bookstore...A quick assumption would have been "Oh, some type of hunting saga"...With that mindset I would have missed an interesting story and been so wrong! Are there any type of "go to market" plans to combat these mistaken assumptions?"
Thank in advance for your answers.
03-09-2010 03:06 PM
Many thanks for your comments about Paul's book and I'm so glad you are enjoying it. Your comment about locale is interesting, because while we want to have books that are imbued with atmosphere and a sense of place, we also want them to appeal to readers who don't live in that area, so universal themes are important.
We are currently planning Paul's next book for later spring early summer next year.
Thanks for participating!
03-09-2010 03:10 PM
Thanks for letting us know what you think of Paul's book and I'm glad you are enjoying it. And yes, you will be seeing Mike again, in Paul's next book which we publish in the spring or summer of next year.
Paul also likes the idea of a continuing character, but he very wisely makes the point that Mike needs to grow from book to book - and that is what he will be doing, as he encounters different characters and plots.
Thanks for joining us!
03-09-2010 03:14 PM
I'm so glad you like Charlie and his wife - because each of us who read the book felt the same way. Although it's essential for the central characters and the hero or heroine to be well drawn, it's equally as important to have believable and intriguing secondary characters - it's all about the world of the novel and creating interesting people to inhabit that world.
03-09-2010 03:22 PM
Glad you took the time to recap your post because you ask interesting questions.
On THE POACHER'S SON, we didn't have to do a lot of revision, certainly not to the writing itself, because the novel worked so well and the high level of the writing was one of the big selling points.
But contrary to what you read, editors do edit and authors do revise. Paul and I have had some interesting and productive editorial sessions on his new book and it's exciting to be involved at an earlier stage.
Paul is a natural writer whose prose is both lively, elegant and evocative, so I ask him to just continue to do what he already does so beautifully. We have had interesting discussions on plot and character in the new book because ambitious and talented writers like Paul always strive to go beyond what they've already done. And wait till you read his new one next year - and I think you'll find that he's done just that!