Live Video Chat With Amor Towles

(type q in front of your question to highlight that question in chat)
Patrick Brown:
Jul 30, 2012 01:32PM
Join us on Tuesday, August 28 at 5pm ET/2pm PT for a live video chat with author Amor Towles. We'll be discussing his runaway hit debut novel Rules of Civility. If you can't make it to the live chat, don't worry, we will record it!

If you have a question for Amor, please feel free to ask it below.
Robert Davis:
Jul 31, 2012 07:08AM
I am really looking forward to this discussion. Rules of Civility is absolutely splendid and I am very impressed that it is a debut book by a first time author. My question to Mr. Towles is this:

Of all the supporting, peripheral and minor characters in Rules of Civility, which would you most like to develop a plot around and follow into a new story?
Aug 04, 2012 09:15AM
My question is this:

I rarely read about an author before reading a novel. I did not realize the author of this book was a man until I got to the end and saw the "About the Author" Page. I was surprised to learn it was not a woman who wrote this book because I felt like the characterization was spot on. Please tell me how you prepared to "get inside the mind" of a mid-century, sassy chick like Katey.
Ash Valens:
Aug 12, 2012 07:44PM
Q: Given your Business/Investment background, what made want to write a novel, with the protagonist being a clever heroine, set in the 1930's New York?
Dianne Roberti:
Aug 12, 2012 08:01PM
I would love to see this story on the big screen. Your work is so vivid; the characters so beautifully drawn, I felt I could visualize every person and each setting. Did your research include watching any films from or set in the 1930s? If so which ones? Do you see it transferring well to the screen?
Judy Yarborough:
Aug 15, 2012 11:31AM
As the roles of women changed during the 20th century, what a wealth of information authors and historians had. I was born on August 26, the day when in 1920 Congress gave women the right to vote . It is fascinating to think how limited the lives of women were before that year. I hope to read Amor's book and will possibly suggest it for my book group.
Aimee Heslin:
Aug 26, 2012 07:02AM
I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I felt transported. I was so surprised that this was your first book! What made you decide to write it?
Cass Caulfield:
Aug 26, 2012 08:26AM
Q: I felt very transported to this era when I read this book - similar to the feeling when I read the Great Gatsby for the first time. What parallels do you see between your book and Fitzgerald's classic novel?
Suzanne Lavin:
Aug 26, 2012 06:28PM
Sue Lavin: Q: I was struck with the resourcefulness of the main character. Despite great llmitations in the material world the main character used the strengths of her wit and intelligence to solve every problem that came her way. What motivated you to create such an inventive and strangely practical character?
Aug 26, 2012 07:16PM
The title and the writing style made me think that the book was written sometime in the 50s or 60s. I was shocked to find out that book was written so recently, which is maybe why I liked the story so much - it was very relatable, captured the era of the 30s without seeming dated. I am curious about many of the questions already posed and I only have one more to add...
Aug 26, 2012 07:18PM
Q: What happens next for Katey?
gretchen voth:
Aug 27, 2012 08:17AM
Q: The book is so beautifully written - not just the story itself, but the tone and language used to tell it. Do you have a favorite passage or bit of dialogue?

Two of my favorites:
"Slurring is the cursive of speech."
"In front of the restaurant, the exhaust of idling limousines spiraled from tailpipes like genies from a bottle."
Aug 27, 2012 02:01PM
why did u write this from the prospective of a women rather than a man?
Aug 27, 2012 02:08PM
q:why did u write this from the prospective of a women rather than a man?
Robert Davis:
Aug 27, 2012 10:32PM
Patrick wrote: "Join us on Tuesday, August 28 at 5pm ET/2pm PT for a live video chat..."

Where exactly will the chat be? Can we have a link please?
Ahmed Hassan:
Aug 28, 2012 09:54AM
I actually don't know this guy.. what was his novel about?
Ahmed Hassan:
Aug 28, 2012 10:03AM
never mind :))
Carla Richards:
Aug 28, 2012 10:47AM
q: How do you create your characters--ie. do they come to mind mostly formed, or do you craft them over time? And what's your process like--are you a plotter or pantser?
Aspho Delia:
Aug 28, 2012 01:46PM
q: I'd like to ask Mr Towles - where did you find the inspiration to write such a believable female character as Katey Kontent? A 'rea'l character who is not too perfect, not too idealised ...?
Patrick Brown:
Aug 28, 2012 01:45PM
We'll be starting in about 15 minutes. If you've got a question for Amor, feel free to ask it now!
Elizabeth Cárdenas:
Aug 28, 2012 01:47PM
Yes, I'd like to ask the same question Paola - at first I thought Amor was a woman's name.
Aug 28, 2012 01:54PM
I have just finished reading this for the second time & have come to the conclusion it may very well be one of my all time favorite novels. I feel I have actually known all the characters & experienced many of the situations that occur, which is uncanny & a little bit scary, I can't help marveling how little NYC has changed from 1939 to 1960 & possibly into 2012. Do you agree?
Joan Dunfey:
Aug 28, 2012 01:57PM
How much did Great Gatsby inform the writing of this book?
Elizabeth Cárdenas:
Aug 28, 2012 01:58PM
because I thought that only a woman could create such believable women characters
Duncan McIntosh:
Aug 28, 2012 01:58PM
Could you please talk us through your daily writing regime when you were working on the novel?
Duncan McIntosh:
Aug 28, 2012 01:59PM
q Could you please talk us through your daily writing regime when you were working on the novel?
Joan Dunfey:
Aug 28, 2012 02:02PM
Regarding this quote ,That's the problem with living in New York. You've got no New York to run away to.” Do you see NY like Gatsby did as the place where everyone can recreate themselves. How does this fit into the American Dream?d
Joan Dunfey:
Aug 28, 2012 02:04PM
hy would Tinker have been riding the subway in his well to do life?
Neve G:
Aug 28, 2012 02:06PM
q My question is two-pronged and concerns literary influence: 1) The heroine is a voracious reader of British and Russian literature. What should we make of her literary proclivities? Why is she drawn by Dickens? Why Thoreau? 2) “Rules of Civility” reminds me of “The Razor's Edge” and “Of Human Bondage” by British writer W. Somerset Maugham. Like him, you are a keen observer of human nature who doesn't shy away from creating deeply flawed characters. Does Maugham happen to be an influence of yours? If not, who is your biggest influence?
Matthew S. :
Aug 28, 2012 02:08PM
q; Your book is so clearly cinematic in nature - personally, I can see the movie adaptation directed by Martin Scorsese. Who would make up your dream cast?
Jan Rucker:
Aug 28, 2012 02:12PM
Can you explain how your related this wonderful novel to Washington's Rules of Civility? Which came first?
Matthew S. :
Aug 28, 2012 02:14PM
q; One of the most complex characters, I found, was the character of Ann Grandyn. I felt there was a lot to be sensed in the way she felt about Tinker, or life in general, that she didn't let on or portray. Was she wearing the biggest mask in the novel? Did you draw any real life inspiration for the character?
Allison Olson:
Aug 28, 2012 02:24PM
q I'm anxious to know when your next book is coming out. Really. Anxious
Elizabeth Cárdenas:
Aug 28, 2012 02:24PM
Q: I thought the photographs of people on the subway seemed so interesting. I wish you had explained how the photographer was able to capture the images without the peoples knowledge. Weren't cameras pretty large & slow in that time period. Why was the photographer so reluctant to show them?
Simone H:
Aug 28, 2012 02:25PM
You write that "[in our twenties] we have a few brief periods when we are offered a handful of discrete options..."Given our modern propensity for rediscovery and remaking ourselves; would you have drawn the same conclusions had the story been set in the present?
Irene Stewart:
Aug 28, 2012 02:27PM
Q: what's next, I'm sure everyone is waiting for your next book
Patrick Brown:
Aug 28, 2012 02:35PM
Thank you all for joining the discussion. Great questions! I will get a recording of the video posted soon in case you missed it.
Patrick Brown:
Aug 28, 2012 02:43PM
If you want to take Amor up on his offer of a free short story about Eve, you can email him here:
Virginia Ober:
Aug 29, 2012 11:44AM
Thank you Patrick, for a fine presentation with Amor Towles. This video discussion group is a terrific idea. Looking forward to more!
Patricia Kurz:
Aug 29, 2012 07:08PM
I actually feel that Katey does not reveal herself to us, her readers. We know a lot about her activities, but not a lot about her heart. We know how she reacted/responded to insults, kindnesses and double crossing, but we don’t know much about her inner turmoils. Maybe that’s the hardest thing to write. Maybe when we use ourselves as even a thin container for our fictional characters, we are so self-preserving that we must keep back some of the visceral responses to pain and ecstasy. If I were to have met Katey Kontent, I would not have found her interesting. Rather I would think she was accommodating, like a concierge or a hostess, but I would not feel drawn to hang out with her. she seems cool and distant, not engaged, just an observer. Was that your intention? Was she just your "eyes?"
Virginia Ober:
Sep 01, 2012 02:32PM
I don't think Katey was accommodating. Given her background and persona in the thirties, she moved cautiously. While she was in awe of the glamorous life she was in, she was always her own person thinking and studying her surroundings, absorbing everyone and everything then making her own decisions and choices. The final two paragraphs in Few Are Chosen reveal her as an emotionally engaged person. Thank you Amor Towles for a brilliant first novel. Yes let's follow Eve to Hollywood!!!!!
Shirley Bell:
Sep 07, 2012 02:30PM
Patrick wrote: "Thank you all for joining the discussion. Great questions! I will get a recording of the video posted soon in case you missed it."

how do we access the video? I missed the discussion but would like to hear his answers to the questions...
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About Amor Towles

Amor Towles was born and raised just outside Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University, where he was a Scowcroft Fellow. He is a Principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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