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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear Bonnie:

 

Thank you for your comments!

 

By the time we have advance reading copies, the significant editorial work has been done, with the exception of some proofreading corrections that would not appear here, but would in the final book. 

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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?



Many things appealed to me about Paul's novel, namely the central character whose struggle with his father is made so real and emotionally believable and second, the story itself which is full of mystery, drama and suspense.  Last, but not least, the caliber of the writing was so fine that I just didn't want to miss a word.

 

The target audience here would be mystery and thriller readers, but this is also a novel about fathers and sons, so there is a certain literary aspect to it that appeals, too.

 

I suppose the cover and copy might cause some readers to skip it, but it's hard to find something that appeals to everyone, so we just have to go with out gut and hope other readers will follow through the way you did.

 

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SandyS
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Charlie,

 

Who chooses the title of the book?

 

How involved is the author in choosing the cover? 

 

SandyS

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BookWoman718
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Hi Charlie,

 

and welcome to First Look.  We're all very happy that you've joined us, and I want to congratulate you on picking up this book.  It's a very good read;  what I like to describe as a literate mystery novel,  The writing itself sometimes stops you dead in your tracks and for just a moment you forget where the plot is going as you linger over a nice piece of description or characterization. 

My one question to you is, how much discussion was there about the inclusion of the graphic love-making scene?   It sort of came out of nowhere, as if suddenly I found myself in a bodice ripper.  I'm not at all sure it added to the story, but that might just be me.  I've lived a long time and don't really need to be fed the details of what an amorous romp looks like.  Been there, done that, you know?   If they're 24 and they slept together after some time of absence, wouldn't everyone know what that was going to be like, without all the description? 

So I guess I'm curious to know if you all agreed it needed to be there, and if so, why?  

Thanks again for being here to answer our questions.

Author
Paul-Doiron
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

 

BookWoman718 wrote:

Hi Charlie,

 

and welcome to First Look.  We're all very happy that you've joined us, and I want to congratulate you on picking up this book.  It's a very good read;  what I like to describe as a literate mystery novel,  The writing itself sometimes stops you dead in your tracks and for just a moment you forget where the plot is going as you linger over a nice piece of description or characterization. 

My one question to you is, how much discussion was there about the inclusion of the graphic love-making scene?   It sort of came out of nowhere, as if suddenly I found myself in a bodice ripper.  I'm not at all sure it added to the story, but that might just be me.  I've lived a long time and don't really need to be fed the details of what an amorous romp looks like.  Been there, done that, you know?   If they're 24 and they slept together after some time of absence, wouldn't everyone know what that was going to be like, without all the description? 

So I guess I'm curious to know if you all agreed it needed to be there, and if so, why?  

Thanks again for being here to answer our questions.

 

 

Hi,

 

I'll actually be curious to hear Charlie's answer to this myself, but I thought it might help if I explained why I made the scene as graphic as I did. I struggled with the idea for a long time since I really didn't want to write a bodice ripper (believe me). But in the end here is what I decided: This is a highly descriptive book. I am taking great care to focus on sights, smells, and sounds—every detail I can to immerse the reader into this story. To not extend that same approach to the sex scene struck me as chickening out, frankly. I would have been violating my own aesthetic to pan away, as they do in movies, and return to them smoking cigarettes the next morning. And while some readers might not see it this way, I also thought the specifics of how Mike and Sarah make love establishes their characters in certain ways. Sarah's aggressiveness is not something she shows the world but it emerges in her sexual appetite, and I felt I need to show that.

 

Now let's hear what Charlie has to say. :smileyhappy:

 

Paul

Author of THE POACHER'S SON (Minotaur Books, On Sale: May 11, 2010). www.pauldoiron.com
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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear Sandy:

 

Thanks for joining in!

 

Usually the author chooses the title of the book as did Paul with THE POACHER'S SON.  But then at various marketing meetings, others chime in if they think the title is problematic.  For the most part everyone loved this title, although one or two expressed concerns that it might seem too British.  I'm glad we stuck with it because I think it really is fresh, original and stands out - and that's the purpose of a title!

 

Charlie

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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

As to the lovemaking scene, I honestly don't remember there being any discussion about whether or not it was appropriate - which doesn't mean it isn't a legitimate question and does some up during the editorial process.  In this case, I think we all felt it added to the characterization, but not every reader will agree and that's okay.

 

Really glad you have enjoyed the book and hope you'll read Paul's new one when it's out next year.

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dhaupt
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

I'm certainly no editor or author, but I am a book addict and regarding the lovemaking scene, in my humble opinion it fit.

Distinguished Wordsmith
MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Good Afternoon Charlie and Welcome to our little corner of the world. 

 

  As you can probably tell, you have endeavored to have a wonderful group of people read and discuss Paul's debute novel.  Let me say that I was pleasantly impressed by his writing style and way of capturing a readers interest. 

  I am thoroughly enjoying "The Poacher's Son", and look forward to reading on.  My question to you is this:  Why did you decide to pick up on Paul's novel, and can you explain the process?

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear Mike:

 

I think what drew me to Paul's novel were his characters, Mike and his father, for sure, but also Sarah and secondary characters like Charlie and his wife.  I read a lot of mystery and adventure and suspense, so plot is always a consideration, but character is what really wins me over.   I read many manuscripts during a weekend and what I remember about this was reading the first few pages and saying to myself, "This guy knows what he's doing!"  And he does.

 

The process in a publishing house works this way:  an editor reads something he or she likes and then distributes it to colleagues - other editors, publicity people, sales people, to get additional opinions.  Once we all knew we had a real "keeper" the next step is negotiating with the agent to buy the rights for an advance that is acceptable to the author. 

 

Once that happens, editorial work is undertaken (not much in this case) and then the art department gets going on a cover, publicity has galleys made to send to reviewers and Paul and I worked to get endorsements from other authors whose readers might enjoy his book.  It takes about a year or more from the moment a book is acquired to when it's published and it's a year full of hard work and planning.

 

I'm glad to hear so many people feel it was time well spent!

 

Charlie

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MSaff
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Hi again Charlie,

 

  Thank you for your response and explanation.  You certainly have a wonderful job or should I say career.  As I stated in my last reply, you have found a winner in Paul.  Congratulations.

 

 

 

 

CharlieSpicer wrote:

Dear Mike:

 

I think what drew me to Paul's novel were his characters, Mike and his father, for sure, but also Sarah and secondary characters like Charlie and his wife.  I read a lot of mystery and adventure and suspense, so plot is always a consideration, but character is what really wins me over.   I read many manuscripts during a weekend and what I remember about this was reading the first few pages and saying to myself, "This guy knows what he's doing!"  And he does.

 

The process in a publishing house works this way:  an editor reads something he or she likes and then distributes it to colleagues - other editors, publicity people, sales people, to get additional opinions.  Once we all knew we had a real "keeper" the next step is negotiating with the agent to buy the rights for an advance that is acceptable to the author. 

 

Once that happens, editorial work is undertaken (not much in this case) and then the art department gets going on a cover, publicity has galleys made to send to reviewers and Paul and I worked to get endorsements from other authors whose readers might enjoy his book.  It takes about a year or more from the moment a book is acquired to when it's published and it's a year full of hard work and planning.

 

I'm glad to hear so many people feel it was time well spent!

 

Charlie

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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Marcella87
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

This is the first time I've participated in the First Look program and its really neat. I'm always looking for new books to read and new authors to follow. I must admit that I probably wouldn't have picked up The Poacher's Son on my own, but since it was the first mystery first look, I decided to check it out. It always makes for a nice experience when I pick up a book I'm unsure about and enjoy it. :smileyhappy: 

 

 

CharlieSpicer wrote:

Paul and I worked to get endorsements from other authors whose readers might enjoy his book. 

 

Since I was unsure of the book, I was pleased when I finally had it in hand and noticed the endorsement from Tess Gerritsen. I found it reassuring that one of my favorite author's had endorsed Paul's book. It gave me that little extra boost to crack it open, start reading and be pleasantly surprised :smileyvery-happy: 

 

 

Marcella

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babzilla41
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

CharlieSpicer wrote:

Dear Mike:

 

I think what drew me to Paul's novel were his characters, Mike and his father, for sure, but also Sarah and secondary characters like Charlie and his wife.  I read a lot of mystery and adventure and suspense, so plot is always a consideration, but character is what really wins me over.   I read many manuscripts during a weekend and what I remember about this was reading the first few pages and saying to myself, "This guy knows what he's doing!"  And he does.

 

The process in a publishing house works this way:  an editor reads something he or she likes and then distributes it to colleagues - other editors, publicity people, sales people, to get additional opinions.  Once we all knew we had a real "keeper" the next step is negotiating with the agent to buy the rights for an advance that is acceptable to the author. 

 

Once that happens, editorial work is undertaken (not much in this case) and then the art department gets going on a cover, publicity has galleys made to send to reviewers and Paul and I worked to get endorsements from other authors whose readers might enjoy his book.  It takes about a year or more from the moment a book is acquired to when it's published and it's a year full of hard work and planning.

 

I'm glad to hear so many people feel it was time well spent!

 

Charlie

Hi Charlie:

 

Based on your response to Mike, is it "dumb luck" then as to which editor gets a specific manuscript?  Everyone has such a different idea of what's  a "good book" - what if you get a manuscript that you think is "ho-hum" and decide not to pass along to others - is it too bad for the author - or does another editor get a shot at reading it and possibly having a different opinion?

 

Thanks for taking time to answer all of our questions!

 

Barb 

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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DSaff
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Welcome to our group, Mr. Spicer! Thank you for the time you put into this book. It is a wonderful read and should be a hit. Thank you also for coming and spending time with us. My question is, what is your favorite part of editing? (I haven't read all of the posts, so please forgive me if this is a repeat.)  :smileyhappy:

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear Marcella:

 

Thanks for joining us!  As a matter of fact, one of the most challenging marketing jobs facing an editor is the need to try to get endorsements from other bestselling authors.  It's a kind of word of mouth that really helps readers make choices.  If an author whose work you enjoy writes good things about a new book by an unknown author, it's a sign it might be a book you'd enjoy.

 

Charlie

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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear Barb:

 

If I get a manuscript for a book in an area that isn't my specialty (say, for instance, sports), I'll make sure it gets to an editor who knows that world.  We are all looking for authors to succeed for the house, so it's a team effort.  It's always been my belief that a good book will end up being published.

 

Charlie

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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear Donna:

 

There are a lot of aspects of my job that I enjoy, but I think the most exciting is that moment (and it happened with this book), when you're reading a manuscript and suddenly you just have that gut reaction, "I've found one!"  It's either because the writing is so fine or the story so exciting, but it's the moment any editor will tell you they live for.   Then, you have to come in the next morning and get everyone one else as excited!

 

Charlie

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pen21
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

I finished the book. The last part of the book moves really fast. I really liked the book. I am glad there will be more of Mike and the other characters with a new mystery to solve. Thanks for sharing this book with us. I have no questions. You and Paul have been very generous with your time. Thanks pen21

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CharlieSpicer
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Dear pen 12:

 

Glad you liked the book!  I agree: the end really picks the reader up and sweeps him or her along which is just the kind of finale I think the reader wants.  Once again, Paul's timing was perfect.

 

Thanks for participating and for letting us know your thoughts on the book.

 

Charlie

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TiffanyLynn
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Re: Questions for Paul's editor, Charlie Spicer?

Mr. Spicer,

 

Thank you for joining the discussion.  I have read through some of the quesitons and your answers already.  I am so gald to hear there will be more books featuring Mike.  I love book series!  I read through the book in two days! 

 

As to the love scene, I was also put off by it.  It just didn't seem necessary to me.  At least not in the graphic detail that was given.  Of course, it was essential to knowing what happened to Mike and his girlfriend's relationship, but I don't think I needed all the intimate details.  Not that this will keep me from reading the future books.  Just wanted you to know my thoughts.

 

Thanks,

Tiffany