The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Author/Reader Discussions > Moon Up, Past Full - Author/Reader Discussion

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10021 comments Mod
Next month, we'll be discussing Moon Up, Past Full with author Eric Shonkwiler.

His publisher has given us a total of 15 copies to give away.

5 print, for US residents only, and 10 digital packages (epub, mobi, and PDF) open internationally!

In order to be considered, you must comment here or on the blog for a shot at winning one and secure a spot in the discussion that kicks off on January 18th

http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...


This giveaway will run through December 9th.


Winners will be announced here and via email (if you provide one) on December 10th.


Here's how to enter:

1 - Leave a comment here or in the giveaway thread over at TNBBC's blog (linked above). Let us know if you are in the US or outside the US, and state which format you prefer.

ONLY COMMENT ONCE. MULTIPLE COMMENTS DO NOT GAIN YOU ADDITIONAL CHANCES TO WIN.

2 - State that you agree to participate in the group read book discussion that will run from January 18th through January 24th. Eric has agreed to participate in the discussion and will be available to answer any questions you may have for him.

*If you are chosen as a winner, by accepting the copy you are agreeing to read the book and join the group discussion right here in this thread next month.

3 - If your goodreads profile is blocked (set on private), please leave me another way to contact you.


GOOD LUCK!!!!


message 2: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Bihlmayer | 81 comments I would love to participate in this discussion. I am in the US and would love a print copy. The book sounds so interesting and I believe I saw the word zombie yay!


Peg - reading heals | 52 comments I would like to enter. I live in the US and prefer a print copy. I agree to participate in the discussion.


message 4: by Osman (new)

Osman Welela (osmanwelela) | 7 comments 1 - I am outside the US, and epub is my preferred format.
2 - I agree to participate in the group
read book discussion that will run from January
18th through January 24th.
Thanks!


message 5: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Vohn | 164 comments It sounds wonderful! I'd like to enter.

I live in Maryland and would prefer paperback (I'm old school).

I will happily participate in the discussion and share the review on my website as well, if I win :0)


message 6: by Tressa (new)

Tressa (always1453) | 2 comments I am inside the US and print is preferred. I would be honored and thrilled to read your book and join in the discussion.


message 7: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Proctor  | 22 comments I am in the US. I prefer a print copy, but could do a epub if I know how to access it :)
I agree to participate in the discussion.


message 8: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments I would love a copy. The book sounds intriguing. I am in the US. Since I am old school and love to turn a page, a print copy would be my first choice. e-mail me at p.payant@aol.com.

What an amazing opportunity to actually discuss a book with the author.


message 9: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10021 comments Mod
Pam, did you also enter over at the blog? We only need one entry, here or there.


message 10: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments Lori wrote: "Pam, did you also enter over at the blog? We only need one entry, here or there."

Yes, but I didn't see it post...so I went here to try.


message 11: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10021 comments Mod
Ok, winners have been chosen! Since we had less than 15 entries, we're able to supply each of you with a copy of the book for the discussion next month.

However, there aren't enough print to satisfy those who requested it as their preference so I had to draw names for those. Those who don't get print will be given the digital package in its place.

Check your inboxes here - email notification going out shortly : )

And congrats to all!!!! Thanks so much for your interest in reading and discussing this title!


message 12: by Osman (new)

Osman Welela (osmanwelela) | 7 comments Can't wait for the discussion.
Thanks for this!


message 13: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments Can't wait to get the book!


message 14: by Evalani (new)

Evalani | 86 comments hi, I would participate in the book discussion on the new read: Moon up, Past full, I'de love to get a copy if there is still time. Thanks E.


message 15: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10021 comments Mod
Hey all!

Eric joins us on Monday! How're you making out with the collection? Still reading? All done?


message 16: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Proctor  | 22 comments I am finishing up! This is my first author read. Is there a specific format to follow?


message 17: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10021 comments Mod
Not really. Just pop in on the first day (Monday) and start discussing with the other winners, and throw some questions Eric's way : )
We're here all week long, so there are no set hours... just hop in and out as often as you can throughout the week.


message 18: by Osman (new)

Osman Welela (osmanwelela) | 7 comments Still reading!


Peg - reading heals | 52 comments just starting


message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim Kaso | 21 comments Just arrived in the mail, dog's baow-oo-ing announced its arrival.


message 21: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (mommygoround) | 2 comments Still reading...


Peg - reading heals | 52 comments A little bit of mind-blowing going on here!


message 23: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10021 comments Mod
Good morning everyone!

It's discussion time : )

Eric, Thanks so much for coming back to TNBBC and hanging with us all week. We're thrilled to have you again!

Let me start off by asking, how long had some of these stories been cooking and simmering before you collected them all together for Moon Up, Past Full?


message 24: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Lori wrote: "Good morning everyone!

It's discussion time : )

Eric, Thanks so much for coming back to TNBBC and hanging with us all week. We're thrilled to have you again!

Let me start off by asking, how lon..."


Hi, Lori. I'm glad to be back, and thanks for having me.

These stories range from the very beginning of my career to the immediate present. Quite a lot of time separates "My Wakeup," my first published story, from "Last Snow," which was written shortly before the collection was put together. When my publisher and I looked at what to include (which ended up being most of my published and unpublished short work), each story was edited and polished to be sure they were up to grade. That said, I still think you can see the age of the stories, which is interesting and a little disconcerting; sometimes I look at older work the way you'd look at teenage pictures of yourself, or a goth phase (which I've had).


message 25: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Proctor  | 22 comments Hi Eric! Thanks for joining us!
Is short stories kind of your thing? (Or prose in general). I admit, I have never read anything in prose before. It was difficult to adjust at first to not having quotation marks, but once I did, I was fine. The first short story written in the book hooked me write away. I didn't realize how short it really was. Do you ever think about going back and telling more of those stories?


message 26: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Tiffany wrote: "Hi Eric! Thanks for joining us!
Is short stories kind of your thing? (Or prose in general). I admit, I have never read anything in prose before. It was difficult to adjust at first to not having q..."


Hi, Tiffany!

Short stories are not my thing. I'm much more inclined toward longer work, and feel far more comfortable with novels. It's rare for me to be inspired on the scale of a short story, but clearly I have been on occasion. I think I'm done with all these stories, and the characters within, though you can see that in some instances they share a world, and it's always possible that that world will crop up again.

The quotation marks (or lack thereof) are totally my thing. Hate the buggers. Oddly enough, though, I use them when the story calls for it, so if you were to go back and track down some of these stories in their original publications, you'd see a lot with quotation marks. The decision was made with my publisher to stick to a unified aesthetic across the book, and so we cut quotation marks across the board.


message 27: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (mommygoround) | 2 comments Hi Eric!
Thanks for joining us and sharing your work.

Quotation Marks.....That was my biggest question!! The lack of quotation marks stuck in my craw a bit. :) I have to say though that it also felt like something that drew me in for more answers as well.

What part of the Midwest do feel has had the most influence on your work?

Shelley


message 28: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Shelley wrote: "Hi Eric!
Thanks for joining us and sharing your work.

Quotation Marks.....That was my biggest question!! The lack of quotation marks stuck in my craw a bit. :) I have to say though that it also ..."


Hi, Shelley!

I love that this issue continues to rankle people, because it means it's working. If you were a devotee of mine (I'm not suggesting you become one) you'd see a lot of people ask me about it, and my answer is always something along the line of "It makes you pay attention/looks better." I think it requires a kind of patience that forces the reader to slow down, and I'm for that in experiencing literature.

As for your actual question: that's hard to say. I'm from Ohio, but I've also spent time in Nebraska (and also call Appalachia home whenever I can). I'm inclined to call it a tie between Nebraska (because I write about it often) and Ohio (because it's impossible to extricate from me), but the truth is probably that Ohio wins, and I just feel that the further reaches of the Midwest pull harder.


message 29: by Osman (new)

Osman Welela (osmanwelela) | 7 comments This might be an awkward question to ask an author, but which story is your favourite? Or the one you think is the most perfect?


message 30: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Osman wrote: "This might be an awkward question to ask an author, but which story is your favourite? Or the one you think is the most perfect?"

Not awkward at all, for me, anyway. "Rene" is my favorite of the collection--and I haven't been quiet about that. However, I think "For the Man After Me" is probably a more perfect story (and it's also pretty dear to me.).


message 31: by Osman (new)

Osman Welela (osmanwelela) | 7 comments I was thinking "Rene", too. But I'm a bit confused about the ending (will read it again).
Another thing I wanted to ask is how you write your stories so differently? What I mean is in "Frequencies Between" I was pulled deeply into the story and had almost no time but to feel like the character, reacting instead of looking closely at the things happening all around. Yet, in "Come To Fall" I was picking up all the cues and was judging the characters as you slowly built them up. Was this intentional or something that comes naturally as you write?


message 32: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Osman wrote: "I was thinking "Rene", too. But I'm a bit confused about the ending (will read it again).
Another thing I wanted to ask is how you write your stories so differently? What I mean is in "Frequencies ..."


I think it's both, in that it does come naturally to write the stories differently, but I am also aware of that--and so I do intend to write them as such. Rolled up with what I intuit about characters and where a story needs to go is usually some idea of how the story ought to be conveyed. "Frequencies" is rather frenetic, and "Come to Fall" is, of course, vastly different. It's in the blood of the story, really.


message 33: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments This is probably the first collection of short stories I have read since Aesop's Fables...lol. Or perhaps, Edgar Allen Poe. Now that I have read these, it makes me wonder just what have I been missing. I found these stories fantastic. The first story in the book grabbed me.....made me wish this story was longer. I wanted to find out how his life ended up....it has such potential to become a great novel. Of course today of all days, after carrying the book around with me wherever I went, I left the book at home. Your ability to write these characters into "life", and give them such believable personalities...is wondrous.


message 34: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments Oh, and I did not miss the quotation marks at all.....I also hate them.


message 35: by Pam (last edited Jan 18, 2016 10:06AM) (new)

Pam | 20 comments Where do you tend to get your initial inspiration for your stories, an event...something someone said...or visually?

Do you read a lot? If so, what genre/author do you prefer? I will not say favorite...lol.


message 36: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Pam wrote: "Where do you tend to get your initial inspiration for your stories, an event...something someone said...or visually?

Do you read a lot? If so, what genre/author do you prefer? I will not say favor..."


Pam,

I'm glad you dug the book--there are indeed a lot of good short story collections out there. I'd start with Breece D'J Pancake, if you liked mine.

For your questions: inspiration varies. Sometimes it's as simple as a thought occurring to me--"I want to write a story about freaky sounds" ("Frequencies Between") and sometimes it can be quite a bit more complex. "Rene," for instance, comes from the combination of anecdotes about people in my life, which, singly, are pretty grand, but also fit together so organically I couldn't help but put them in one story. A novel I finished this summer came entirely from almost an offhanded challenge: I was giving a reading (with the inimitable Taylor Brown and Schuler Benson) for my first novel, and answering a question about research. After giving an involved speech about a certain kind of Midwestern charlatan, my publicist, in the audience, said, "You should write a book about that." So I did.

I read a lot less than I should, but that's because I'm writing so much. I'll go through spells in between projects in which I'll read fifteen books in a rush, then I'll read nothing while I'm working. I'm pretty strictly a literary fiction guy, but I'll read non-fiction on certain subjects, and I like poetry. I gravitate toward works with rich prose and character-driven stories, tending toward the realistic (Louise Erdrich is about as far weird as I prefer to get on the regular), but lately my tastes have been expanding to encompass more than writing that just seems a bit like mine.


message 37: by Shawn (new)

Shawn Means | 1 comments Hi Eric,

I think that Nettle Creek Cemetery would make a great movie. Your thoughts on others from Moon Up that you could see as a film?


message 38: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Shawn wrote: "Hi Eric,

I think that Nettle Creek Cemetery would make a great movie. Your thoughts on others from Moon Up that you could see as a film?"


Well hey, Shawn,

"Nettle Creek" is based on a real life double murder that took place in my home county--so I've even got the "based on true events," angle. I think "GO21" could make a pretty tight thriller, but other than that, I think the remainder of my stories are a little on the quiet side for a movie. If I had my druthers, of course, I'd see "Rene" made.


message 39: by Pam (new)

Pam | 20 comments I did enjoy the book. I truly like your style of writing, and plan on reading Above All Men. Have you titled your new book so that I may watch out for it?

I have a book club in my hometown. It has exposed me to styles of books I would normally gravitate away from reading. I will definitely share your book with my club.


message 40: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Pam wrote: "I did enjoy the book. I truly like your style of writing, and plan on reading Above All Men. Have you titled your new book so that I may watch out for it?

I have a book club in my hometown. It has..."


I'm glad you liked it. The new book will be out sometime in September (we think), and is titled 8th Street Power & Light.

Thanks so much for sharing! If your club has any questions, I'd be happy to get into an email dialogue, or Skype in, or what have you (technology, these days. What a wonder.).


message 41: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 1260 comments I'm still working my way through the collection, but I am really enjoying your writing so far. It is funny that everyone is mentioning the lack of quotation marks. I didn't even notice they were missing before I read this thread! Now that I have, it certainly reminds me of Cormac McCarthy's writing. Even some of the subject matter seems to come from the same vein.

I'm sure I'll have more definitive questions as I continue to read, but I was wondering if there is some unifying thread that connects the stories in this collection. Is there anything I should be looking out for as I read?


message 42: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Ethan wrote: "I'm still working my way through the collection, but I am really enjoying your writing so far. It is funny that everyone is mentioning the lack of quotation marks. I didn't even notice they were mi..."

Cormac McCarthy is likely to be a name that comes up with mine for the foreseeable future--I certainly admire him, and I got the quotation mark tic from his work.

When people ask what this collection is about, I tell them "blue collar people in tough situations," which rings true, I think, for each story, if not quite literally then certainly with a slight allowance for income bracket. There's also, generally, a tie by setting. Most of these stories take place in the Midwest, and all of them take place in the country or a small town, in one form or another. I don't know that you need to be aware of these connections, but it sure wouldn't hurt a high schooler to remember that if they were writing a book report.


message 43: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Bihlmayer | 81 comments Hi Eric great to be in the discussion group with you. You keep bringing up Rene and I was wondering what makes this story your favorite? I myself was very confused at several points, and was wondering what resonated with you as you wrote it, and what ultimately were you looking for the story to say to the reader?


message 44: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Deanna wrote: "Hi Eric great to be in the discussion group with you. You keep bringing up Rene and I was wondering what makes this story your favorite? I myself was very confused at several points, and was wonder..."

Deanna,

Thank you for your questions, and for sticking the story out. "Rene" combines the stories of a dear friend and a distant relative, as well as being set in a particular area of Ohio that's near to my heart. All of these things have combined to create a sentimental attachment for me.

I very rarely want a reader to come away from a story with a specific moral or message in mind. I think that, with Rene, I would like the reader to be open to and aware of the hurt in the lives of others, and, like Hanner Johnson says, aware of the way expectations can weigh on an individual.


message 45: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Bihlmayer | 81 comments thank you for your response, but what was up with the kid in the store? Did I miss something?


message 46: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Deanna wrote: "thank you for your response, but what was up with the kid in the store? Did I miss something?"

It's nothing wild. Spoilers, ahead: (view spoiler)


Peg - reading heals | 52 comments Hi Eric. I'm really enjoying this collection. Haven't finished yet; I demanded that my husband read the first story and he kept going and is reading the whole book, so I'll have to steal it back.

I'm fascinated with "Frequencies Between." What was the seed for this idea (beyond freaky noises)?


message 48: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Peg wrote: "Hi Eric. I'm really enjoying this collection. Haven't finished yet; I demanded that my husband read the first story and he kept going and is reading the whole book, so I'll have to steal it back.

..."


Hi, Peg!

I'm glad your husband has joined in. There's not a whole lot beyond the freaky noises that inspired "Frequencies," but I'd be happy to go into a little more detail about what I did to fill the story out.

While I was living in Athens, Ohio, (not far from the staged setting of Frequencies) I met a girl who described work her sorority did for underprivileged girls living in rural Appalachia--so, that's lifted wholesale from life. I knew I'd eventually want to do something with that. I also wanted to write an answer to a particular Joyce Carol Oates story, which is wrapped up in there. The freaky sounds really were the spark, though. Listen to "Bloop," "Slowdown," and "Julia" on YouTube, and you begin to see where I was headed one day, at random. Before the story was over, I ended up adding track on track of weird sounds--like the background noise made by Jupiter overtop the engine noise from the Star Trek ship--just to get into the mindset of someone suddenly plagued by auditory hallucinations(?).


message 49: by Osman (new)

Osman Welela (osmanwelela) | 7 comments Did you laugh when you first thought of "GO21" or was it only a jab at the hype that genre is getting these days?


message 50: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Osman wrote: "Did you laugh when you first thought of "GO21" or was it only a jab at the hype that genre is getting these days?"

Not at all. I'm gonna tag this with spoilers, so, beware: (view spoiler)


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