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Maria_H
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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Do you have a question for Garth? Reply to this message to start the conversation!


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kiakar
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein



Maria_H wrote:
Do you have a question for Garth? Reply to this message to start the conversation!


Hello Garth;
 
It was written that you have a dog, was the dog in the story anything like your dog. Did you use any of your dog's characterics to describe the dog in the story. (Sorry I can't remember names to well unless I go back to the book)    Did anything about your dog give you the idea for the book.
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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


kiakar wrote:


Maria_H wrote:
Do you have a question for Garth? Reply to this message to start the conversation!


Hello Garth;
 
It was written that you have a dog, was the dog in the story anything like your dog.


---No. My dog, Comet, is silly and sweet and has many more lifetimes to live as a dog before she's ready to become a person.


Did you use any of your dog's characterics to describe the dog in the story. (Sorry I can't remember names to well unless I go back to the book)


---Well, the name is kind of important: Enzo. And, no, Enzo doesn't look like my dog. You can see my dog on the book trailer at www.GoEnzo.com. To see Enzo, you'll have to delve into your imagination....


    Did anything about your dog give you the idea for the book.


---No to this as well. The first seed for this book was planted ten years or so ago, when I saw a film from Mongolia called "State of Dogs." It was about the belief that in the next lifetime, your dog will return as a person. I thought it was a neat idea and I could find a story in it....




Thanks for your questions!


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kiakar
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein



Garth_Stein wrote:

kiakar wrote:


Maria_H wrote:
Do you have a question for Garth? Reply to this message to start the conversation!


Hello Garth;
 
It was written that you have a dog, was the dog in the story anything like your dog.


---No. My dog, Comet, is silly and sweet and has many more lifetimes to live as a dog before she's ready to become a person.


Did you use any of your dog's characterics to describe the dog in the story. (Sorry I can't remember names to well unless I go back to the book)


---Well, the name is kind of important: Enzo. And, no, Enzo doesn't look like my dog. You can see my dog on the book trailer at www.GoEnzo.com. To see Enzo, you'll have to delve into your imagination....


    Did anything about your dog give you the idea for the book.


---No to this as well. The first seed for this book was planted ten years or so ago, when I saw a film from Mongolia called "State of Dogs." It was about the belief that in the next lifetime, your dog will return as a person. I thought it was a neat idea and I could find a story in it....




Thanks for your questions!


Wow!  Garth. Thanks for that website!   That was the same question I asked you? I imagine Enzo to be a large Sandy colored dog, not shaggy , maybe  short haired , large ears, but not too large. He is a great dog and wonderful to Zoe.
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Wrighty
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

[ Edited ]


Garth_Stein wrote:

---Well, the name is kind of important: Enzo.
   

 
Hi Garth! I loved this book and the way you wrote it. I have so much I want to talk about with you but since you brought it up I want to find out more about the names in this book first. I thought you said that Enzo is named after a race car driver but I can't find that section in the book now. It's driving me nuts looking for it but it has been fun rereading parts of the story too. Can you fill in the details for me please?
 
I thought all of the names of the characters were really interesting and fun. Denny Swift, race car driver. Good one! The Swifts' names were all connected too just as they are as a family. They have the same sounds. Was that intentional?
                                     En/zo, Eve, Zoe, Denny
And I think it's great that Enzo nicknamed Eve's parents "The Twins". How perceptive! Since this is only the first day I won't ask about anymore yet because I don't want to bring up any spoilers. It's so great to have you here! :smileytongue:

 
 
 

 


Message Edited by Wrighty on 06-30-2008 03:33 PM
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vivico1
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Hi Garth,
Hey you know you have a popular name (Garth) around here in Oklahoma. We have a Garth we like a bit too lol. What I wanted to ask at this point is, where does your knowledge of racing come from? It sounds very extensive. I am not a big racing fan, some of the metaphors did escape me I bet but at the same time, you had me right there with Enzo in that two bark run! lol. You did bring up legendary names of racing that made me remember that when I was a kid, I did watch racing enough to know these names I had forgotten, so that was interesting too.

Also, I wanted to mention something about Ayrton Senna. Now I never knew anything about him until I read another inspirational book, a small little 130 page book by an LDS woman, who served a mission with her husband in Brazil. Her husband died in an unfortunate fishing/tubing accident and while she was there, in Brazil, I think she was having a hard time getting into being there. She talks about how down the Brazilian people had been over not winning the World Cup in soccer for some time, which always seem to be theirs and about when Ayrton came to America and won a Formula 1 race, pulled over to get a flag from one of his countrymen who had felt it was not going to happen, and made his victory lap holding the flag high, to the cheers of his countrymen at the race and in Brazil. My understanding is, that he was quite a hero to the people of Brazil and I think more than just for winning races, something else about him. When he died, she thought all Brazil would be in such severe mourning over their hero, and they did mourn his loss, but she said, they also celebrated him in droves in the streets for what he had given them, carrying banners saying things like "Thank you Ayrton for the joy!" and "Life is Eternal. We'll see you soon." And watching this love for him from so many, and how so many came together in love, really had a profound effect on her about them, about being there, about life, her life. Being in the moment. Its been some time since I read that little book, but that this man, this race driver would inspire a woman so much to mention him in a spiritual book about discovering the magic in your every day life and to hear you make reference to him, not just once, or just as one of the other drivers, it really had me wondering about him and I read how he affected her. Was there something special about Ayrton to you, something that set him out among some of the others beyond just his racing skills? I find it very interesting to find his name mentioned in two very different books but both inspirational.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Mybear
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Fabulous book and great trailer as for the introduction.  Thank you for sharing your talents with us.  I foresee you selling this book for a movie and I will be the first to view it.  Again, thank you. 
Author
Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Excellent questions:

I thought you said that Enzo is named after a race car driver but I can't find that section in the book now.

It's not in the book. It's in "related material," but I kind of wanted to leave it as an insider thing. If you know cars, you get Enzo Ferrari, the car manufacturer, right away. I wanted to have some fun with it....

Denny Swift, race car driver. Good one!

I had a friend named Tom Swift, so I guess I lifted his name. It reminded me that there's a driver out there named Scott Speed. What a great name for a race car driver! How did his parents know?

The Swifts' names were all connected too just as they are as a family. They have the same sounds. Was that intentional?
                                     En/zo, Eve, Zoe, Denny


That's totally cool. Another gold star. I had no idea....

You guys are smarter than I am! How is this going to work????

G


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GIMI
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Registered: ‎06-25-2008
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Hi Garth!  At first, I didn't think I had any questions - but a few have come knocking, afterall.  First - I know that Enzo had a traumatic experience with his dewclaws at a young age - how did that experience translate into an obsession with thumbs? lol  It's something I tell every customer about, and it get's them, nearly every time!  Second is the inevitable "help me be a better writer, oh great one" question.  How do you organize all the ideas floating around in your head so that you can focus on a story and bring it to life?  I feel, sometimes, like I have a bowl of goldfish on my shoulders, swimming around and around and getting nowhere.  I can see my stories in my head - they are living and breathing.  How do you get that first sentence out?
Thanks so much!
Gimi
Beauty is before me and behind me.
Above me and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it, I am immersed in it.
In my youth I am aware of it, and, in old age,
I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
In beauty, it is begun,
In beauty, it is ended.
I walk in beauty.
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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein



GIMI wrote:
Hi Garth!  At first, I didn't think I had any questions - but a few have come knocking, afterall.  First - I know that Enzo had a traumatic experience with his dewclaws at a young age - how did that experience translate into an obsession with thumbs? lol  It's something I tell every customer about, and it get's them, nearly every time!  Second is the inevitable "help me be a better writer, oh great one" question.  How do you organize all the ideas floating around in your head so that you can focus on a story and bring it to life?  I feel, sometimes, like I have a bowl of goldfish on my shoulders, swimming around and around and getting nowhere.  I can see my stories in my head - they are living and breathing.  How do you get that first sentence out?
Thanks so much!
Gimi





Gimi,

Well, Enzo has his theories on thumbs, of course.... But I think what was important to me was Enzo's realization at the end that maybe his fixation on what he lacked detracted from what he really had. That while we should always strive for more, we should also enjoy and revel in the gifts we are given.

As for the writing question, it's kind of like learning how to drive a manual transmission car. Once you're rolling, it's easy to shift gears. The hard part is starting off.

So look for balance. Gas and clutch. Go easy. And practice on hills, too. Make it tough on yourself. In other words, you must practice writing like you practice anything else. Don't wait for the magic. Go *get* the magic!

Garth


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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


vivico1 wrote:
Hi Garth,
Was there something special about Ayrton to you, something that set him out among some of the others beyond just his racing skills? I find it very interesting to find his name mentioned in two very different books but both inspirational.




Vivian,

Back in 1988, I went to the Detroit Grand Prix, which Senna won. I got to watch him race up close and in person, and I assure you, he was every bit as charismatic and daring in a car as he was out of it.

People all over the world love their heros, and Ayrton was a hero to his countrymen as well as to his fans worldwide. I am lucky to be able to travel to Brazil this fall for the publication of ARR there, and I am very much looking forward to it.

When I started writing this book, I used Ayrton Senna as an emblematic hero because I remembered watching him when I was young; invoking his name made me feel happy and reminded me of watching races with my dad. But I suppose that was part of the charm of Senna. He was a tremendously likable hero because he was a good person as well as a good champion. He was a devoted to his family and his fellow citizens as he was to the race.

And, for the record, he kicked butt in the rain!

Garth


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Ayrton27
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Garth,
I haven't gotten ARR yet, but read a glowing review by Peter Egan in Road & Track. Like you, I've been to the Detroit GP, but it was a CART race on Belle Isle by then. Senna was, to me the one driver I felt any connection to and I remember going out to work on my Formula Vee on May1, '94 from watching the GP of Imola on TV which was halted for his accident. When my wife came to the garage door and just said, "he didn't make it", I remember walking around in the rain in our subdivision, crying and realizing that it was like some old love song where someone cries tears that can't be seen. I'm still racing and wear one of his tshirts under my nomex in the car--the money goes to his charities for poor children in Brazil, which I'm sure you know. I'm sure I'll enjoy the book. Take care.
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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


Ayrton27 wrote:
Garth,
I haven't gotten ARR yet, but read a glowing review by Peter Egan in Road & Track. Like you, I've been to the Detroit GP, but it was a CART race on Belle Isle by then. Senna was, to me the one driver I felt any connection to and I remember going out to work on my Formula Vee on May1, '94 from watching the GP of Imola on TV which was halted for his accident. When my wife came to the garage door and just said, "he didn't make it", I remember walking around in the rain in our subdivision, crying and realizing that it was like some old love song where someone cries tears that can't be seen. I'm still racing and wear one of his tshirts under my nomex in the car--the money goes to his charities for poor children in Brazil, which I'm sure you know. I'm sure I'll enjoy the book. Take care.





Ayrton 27,

That's such a wonderful image--crying in the rain. I like that a lot....

Senna's spirit lives on. And maybe it's like Enzo says: one day, a child will be born...

G


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GIMI
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Hi Garth!  I am excited to let you know that I have just ordered Raven Stole the Moon.  It states, in the synopsis, that you are Native American.  Do you mind if I ask to which Nation you belong?  We're a Native family and it's wonderful to see something that shares a little of our heritage with readers.  The genre for that story and AORITR are so different - was it strange to write such different styles? 
Thanks so much!
Gimi
Beauty is before me and behind me.
Above me and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it, I am immersed in it.
In my youth I am aware of it, and, in old age,
I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
In beauty, it is begun,
In beauty, it is ended.
I walk in beauty.
Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


GIMI wrote:
Hi Garth!  I am excited to let you know that I have just ordered Raven Stole the Moon.  It states, in the synopsis, that you are Native American.  Do you mind if I ask to which Nation you belong?  We're a Native family and it's wonderful to see something that shares a little of our heritage with readers.  The genre for that story and AORITR are so different - was it strange to write such different styles? 
Thanks so much!
Gimi





GIMI,

I am 1/8th Tlingit, which isn't much, but I am on the tribal rolls and I'm a shareholder in Sealaska. My family is from the eagle moiety, flickerbird clan.

I was raised in Seattle, however, with no cultural connection to the Tlingits. In my mother's generation, traditions and culture were largely suppressed; if my mother told anyone she was 1/4 Tlingit, she would have been put into the Indian classroom, as schools were segregated in Alaska well into the 1930's.

So, while yes, I have Tlingit blood, I don't consider myself a true Tlingit, and always refer to my Tlingit ancestry rather than my Tlingit nature.

That being said, I hope you enjoy "Raven."

G


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brontyman
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Garth,
Dog owners have always wondered about what their dogs dream about. Enzo seems to have dark dreams, almost nightmares. Twice he dreams about a murder of crows, and the third dream he shares is his awareness of Eve's soul passing.
What symbolism did you have in mind for the dream of crows? It is a powerful image, and for me one of foreboding...
In the dream of Eve's release, there is no comfort given by the dream. It is said by some that when the dead  visit the living in their sleep a the dream comes as they whisper in their ear and it is to release them from their grief. I wish it had been so for Enzo and Denny.
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
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bmbrennan
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Have you been a fan of racing long?  What type of racing do you prefer?
This book has reconnected me to my adolescence where I was constantly watching racing either on TV or in person.  I was a motorhead beyond belief and used to date guys based on the cars they drove:smileyvery-happy:  I fondly remember the Can-AM races with Mark Donahue, Peter Revson, Jackie Stewart, etal.  It was like a family member passing when Mark and Peter died.  Racing was different the drivers were much more approachable.
 
I loved how this book put you in the dog's mind.  I too own a dog (or does he own me?)  He is going to be 8 years old on Tuesday and he is a 195 LB English Mastiff, named Bam-Bam.   He is all fluff and sleeps with a night light a squeaker  toy and a blanket.  Washday becomes a smackdown event where he has finally figured out that if he sits on the blanket, it cannot be washed, however as I explain to him on a continual basis, opposable thumbs will always win out.  Enzo made me smile, laugh and cry in parts of this book and has reinforced to me anyway that dog's are much smarter than most of us give them credit for.
 
Thank you for writing an incredible book.  This is my first introduction to you, I bought the book because of the cover, but it won't be my last.  This book was a very fast read for me and grabbed me from the beginning
Thank you also for sharing your thoughts about the writing of this book and your insights into Enzo, Denny, Eve and Zoe.
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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vivico1
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Garth,
You may have answered this and I missed it, if so please forgive me but how is it that you have such a knowledge of racing? Where does that come from? Also you said that after hearing the idea of dogs being reincarnated as humans, thats where the idea of this book came from. At least I believe thats what you said. How then did you bring these two ideas together for this book, the idea of telling a story through a dog's voice, who believes he will be born again as a human and using the racing to tell it? How did you bring these two ideas together? It works so very well, I am intrigued.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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brontyman
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Garth,
I was fortunate to hear you discuss your dedication of the book to Muggs. It is a moving story. Would you share it with the book club?
Thanks,
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
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Garth_Stein
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


brontyman wrote:
Garth,
Dog owners have always wondered about what their dogs dream about. Enzo seems to have dark dreams, almost nightmares. Twice he dreams about a murder of crows, and the third dream he shares is his awareness of Eve's soul passing.
What symbolism did you have in mind for the dream of crows? It is a powerful image, and for me one of foreboding...
In the dream of Eve's release, there is no comfort given by the dream. It is said by some that when the dead  visit the living in their sleep a the dream comes as they whisper in their ear and it is to release them from their grief. I wish it had been so for Enzo and Denny.





Brontyman,

Actually, if you count the "pre-dream" of the crows, the actual crow dream, the Eve dying dream...and the dream at the courthouse, you have four. In the fourth, Enzo speaks (by way of Stephen Hawking's voice machine).

The crow incident, by the way, is autobiographical. That happened with me and my dog, Comet. I picked up her "leavings," and put them in a bag. And the crows in Seattle, which often ripped through our garbage, tore into it with glee.

At that moment, I thought, wow, what were they thinking after they found their mouths full of dog s***? They were probably thinking they'll peck that doggie's eyes out if they can catch her....

This was one of the moments that led to the tipping point. Critical mass. It happened shortly before I went to see Billy Collins read. So sometimes there is a confluence of events that just makes a story inevitable!

As for the Eve dream, yes, I agree. A friend of mine from Trinidad once told me that she passed a friend of hers walking on a dark road. She waved and called her friend's name, but her friend didn't respond. My friend continued home, and later found out that the friend she'd passed on the road had died earlier that day. They say, in Trinidad, that you should never disturb a person walking along a road at night, as that might be a soul heading off to the other world.

G


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