08-07-2009 12:20 PM
Here's a pleasant suprise! Claire has joined the discussion early, so feel free to ask her your questions.
Thanks for being here, Claire!
08-07-2009 12:43 PM
Claire, Welcome! I don't want to take up too much of your time because I have no doubt you will be spending your day reading post after post from our group. I just wanted to go on record to say that I'm enjoying this novel completely and have been pleasantly surprised at how these characters have become so real to me in such a short amount of time.....so much so that I am presently rereading Spring and Summer before I move on to the Fall section.
I find Shandi's writing flowing and poetic and enthralling. I've always said that a truly talented writer is able to pull the reader in to the point that they forget that they're reading; instead, the reader is in the novel, experiencing the events right along with the characters. Shandi is one of those writers. You have a bestseller on your hands, in my humble opinion.
Thanks for the chance to be one of the firsts to read this work.
08-07-2009 01:01 PM
Glad that you joined us early and glad that you believed in Shandi's work. What an excellent book and congratulations to the both of you!
What first drew you into Shandi's book?
PS: Thanks for sharing this with us!
08-07-2009 02:30 PM
Hi Claire and welcome - my question isn't about just this book, but I was wondering - when dealing with a book written in a different country how do you get involved in the process for bringing it here. And how does the process differ from being a home grown work.
08-07-2009 11:01 PM
Welcome Claire, and congratulations on what I think will be a best seller! Other than wanting it to go on for another hundred pages....it was perfectly beautiful!
One question I was wondering about while reading and referencing: Do you plan to incorporate chapter numbers in the finished work? Also, putting in the missing page numbers? Just curious about this different format.
Thank you so much!
08-08-2009 08:07 AM
08-08-2009 08:56 AM
Alice, This is a good point you bring up. I have posted a review of this book on my blog Bookworms Dinner (no spoilers). One of my few comments in the minus column would be the lack of primary source documents. Photos would have added another dimension, but since it was a story, perhaps Shandi wanted to keep the fictional genre separate from reality. Maybe she will elaborate. Thanks for your comment.
Hi Claire---I am really enjoying Under This Unbroken Sky. Any chance that some of the photographs from the Canadian National Archives could be included in published novel?
"Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds a way into his heart."
The Shadow of the Wind,
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
08-08-2009 09:08 AM
08-09-2009 09:16 PM
08-10-2009 01:11 AM
I love the novel. I'm impressed and delighted that you found such a diamond among ordinary books. My questions are these: At what point in the novel had you decided that this would be your "baby", so to speak? How long from the time you read the novel did it take "Under this Broken Sky" to come to this point and what were the major hurdles you and Shandi had to clear?
I'm sure it was an exhausting, but exciting process!! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
08-10-2009 01:00 PM
First of all - I am truly loving the book. I became attached to the characters from the first page!
I found it interesting that Shandi wrote in the present tense and was wondering if that had any impact or drew any interesting attention when she was selling the book to you and when you were selling it for publication.
08-10-2009 07:50 PM
You and Shandi should partner together and write a book. It would be one extraordinary publication. I love the way both of you express your thoughts.
What criteria was used in picking "Under The Unbroken Sky" for review by us?
08-10-2009 08:35 PM - edited 08-10-2009 08:44 PM
He was though, we learn right away that he first raped her very early on in their marriage - possibly even on their wedding night but that is merely alluded to.
"That said, is there anyway that Shandi could include a little more about Anna and Stefan early years in Canada, He couldn't have always been such a beast !! Jane "
08-10-2009 09:59 PM
08-12-2009 11:04 AM
Thanks all around for the warm welcomes!
I'll try to reply to some of your questions in one post here so I don't clog this thread with tons of little posts.
BooksRPam, I also love the poetry of Shandi's writing. Her word choices and descriptions fascinated me when I first read her manuscript. Look at how she describes Teodor's hands and skin on p. 56! We understand through action (he cannot register the temperature of the soup, or the softness of Maria's skin) precisely how his hands might appear. It's so much more of a powerful description than simply saying that his hands were calloused or worn. Poetry indeed!
Anna_Louise and blkeyesuzi, I posted about what had drawn me to this book in another thread, but I'll sum it up here, too. I'm simply in love with Shandi's writing and her characters. I even missed a train stop when I was first reading the manuscript - - I was that engrossed. That's when I knew this was a book I would love to work on. Then I had the pleasure of getting it into the hands of my colleagues - - and our excitement and determination to make this a truly special publication grew from there.
dhaupt, For this book, because we are doing a simultaneous publication with the UK and Canada, we have all three worked very closely to make sure our versions of the text agree. In this case, it certainly is a different process than publishing a "home-grown book" where any collaboration would take place in-house.
KathyS, The numeration will likely stay as you see it. How did it affect your reading experience? Did you find it to be a problem?
AliceLee428, Glad you had a chance to peek at the images. It's always an interesting question - - whether or not to include primary source material in a novel. To me, Shandi's writing was so powerful and descriptive itself, that I could nearly imagine the images before I ever laid eyes upon them.
jbnie, It sounds like your imagination is already filling in the blanks! I agree; Stefan couldn't have been that cruel. And just imagine how much of a beauty Anna must have been. Perhaps Shandi's descriptions of their old life are sparing because it does indeed seem so long ago and far away?
Mariandy, Accuracy is often reviewed in the copyediting process. For example, a certain date might historically fall on a Sunday - - though perhaps the writer indicated in his or her text that it fell on a Monday. In this case, the copyeditor will flag this as a question for the author, and the author may or may not choose to revise. This is a small example, but you can imagine how the process would proceed for larger examples - - such as whether or not certain types of foods or technologies were available during the time frame in question.
m3girl, I loved Shandi's use of the present tense. I thought it really transported me to the time of her characters and made the past more real.
More answers to come later!
08-12-2009 11:12 AM
Thank you for answering some of our questions. Your elegance and love for Shandi's work shows through your posting and continued best wishes on your work along with Shandi's.
08-12-2009 02:05 PM - edited 08-12-2009 02:09 PM
Claire Wachtel wrote: KathyS, The numeration will likely stay as you see it. How did it affect your reading experience? Did you find it to be a problem?
Thank you, Claire, for addressing this. As far as reading the book, as a general reader, I didn't find this to be a problem, but as a reader, and a discussion participant, I found it difficult to go back into the story and find the pages to reference them for discussion, when the numbers were missing.
Generally, if a new chapter starts, you can simply jot down the title, or page number, and then go back to it if you need to quote something in that section. This was the only difficulty I had, because when I got to the Fall and Winter section, I read it straight through without stopping to take notes....thumbing back through was time consuming....so, in part it was my own fault, but I just couldn't put the book down long enough, or even want to break my consentration to do this....This novel is one of a kind....one to be very proud of!
08-15-2009 09:42 AM
This novel is one of the best I have read in a long time. I felt I was "in" the book. Ms. Mitchell captured the families in such a way that I felt their emotions & the tough times they were going through.
I was wondering where Ms. Mitchell got the ideas to write this beautifully written novel.
I want to thank her so much for Under This Unbroken Sky. I really look forward to reading more books from Ms. Mitchell!
08-18-2009 09:52 PM
Dear Ms. Watchel,
Loved this book and hopefully the author will write another one. My question is how much of this book is truth and how much is fiction? In the prelude to the actual story line it says there is the secret about her family, etc. The ending was not what I was expecting. If these characters are real family, I would love to know how they faired after Theo's death. Did his brother-in-law ever come back? How did Maria manage? Ms. Mitchell did such an awesome job drawing us in that the characters are now family and you carry thoughts about them long after the book is finished. It is almost like I, the reader, have left the family also and turned my back on them. I am sure this sounds silly to some readers, but when I read the last paragraph I wanted so much more knowledge and information about this family.