Calling All Canadian Authors discussion

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Archive of closed discussions > Author, Peter Hollings

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message 1: by Ali (new)

Ali | 35 comments Mod
Renee has suggested that we start doing interviews with Canadian Authors here on Goodreads.

We are both reading, Peter Holling's book, 'The Future of Man: Extinction or Glory?' and are inviting anyone else who is reading his book, or who has questions for him, to send them to us in an e-mail.

Renee is on vacation until Wednesday. We will post a message as to where we are with his book, and when we plan to do the interview when she returns.

The interviews will also be posted in the group 'I Love Canadian Authors'

I hope you all are enjoying the group?!


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Hollings | 12 comments Ali

I have relayed your call for questions to a number of readers that are not (yet) inside the goodreads community. I will relay any questions I get from this route to you as and when I get them.

I am looking forward to the challenge ..

message 3: by Ali (new)

Ali | 35 comments Mod
Peter wrote: '... ...'

That's fantastic, Peter!

I hope they all find your interview great reason to join!

I noticed there are a few of us on here reading it and one who already finished!

I think you should choose the next book, and that author, the next, and so on?!


message 4: by Peter (new)

Peter Hollings | 12 comments Ali

I have a question from Lidia (I think she will be joining the group - but her job is keeping her busy right now) - It is "Why did you choose to have an 'Executive Summary' at the beginning of the book?"

message 5: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I wondered about that too Peter. It isn't that I didn't think that it fit, I just wondered why "Executive Summary" and not Intro or Chapter 1.

message 6: by Peter (new)

Peter Hollings | 12 comments It all goes back to my ‘real job’ (management consultant) I suppose.

After completing my planned research for the book, I found myself in familiar territory – I had used up my (consulting) budget but wasn’t at all clear what I was going to say to my client. So I decided to use my old consulting trick of drafting an Executive Summary – initially just as a set of ordered bullets. Then I ‘tried out’ the Executive Summary on a few of my colleagues to ‘test market’ it. I wanted to know if my main logic made sense. After some encouraging comments I decided I was on the right track and I set about writing the book within the outline of the ES.

The ES was not supposed to be a part of the book – and even in the late editing stages I was expecting the editors to tell me that it was not needed and should be dropped. But I was surprised when they actually encouraged me to leave it in the book. They told me that the ‘thought experiment’ with the innocent minds tackling the ‘is there purpose to our lives’ question worked for them as it did for me. So I left it in - and so far have not regretted it..

message 7: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) You shouldn't. It was a great set up, I liked it. I just wondered. It was original, I don't think I've ever seen that, but I don't read a lot of non-fiction, so that could be why.

message 8: by Peter (new)

Peter Hollings | 12 comments I have another question (from outside the goodreads community) - from Shirley..

Why, after the Executive Summary has me thinking 'philosophically' do you have 12 chapters that are pure 'fact/science'?

message 9: by Peter (new)

Peter Hollings | 12 comments I knew I would get questions like this. A professional ‘manuscript evaluator’ told me that I would be told by literary agents/publishers that it is as though I have ‘two books’ – and maybe I should split them. On the other hand – he told me not to listen to them because he felt, like me, that the fact/science portion is important background to the ‘philosophical phase’ that comes later.

The reason for having the science/fact beginning is that everything I have to say philosophically is to do with how we view our place in our universe (‘who do we think we are?’) – and it is a wondrous place. Yes, knowing the scale of our universe makes us feel small (we have been around for only the last 50,000 years of the 13.7 billion years since our universe was ‘born’ and our sun is only one of a trillion trillion stars in our universe). But how amazing it is that we are here at all – and able to question our place in that universe? And what a wonderful future we could have (if we can ‘grow up’)…

I realize that some of the science is fairly serious (e.g. quarks and Dark Matter) but I have tried to write it at the level of ‘popular science’ so I don’t think I will lose anybody. What did you think of it Renee and Ali?

message 10: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) The science part went way over my head, but that is because I am not in any way scientifically inclined. I did learn a few things, the way that you wrote it was very clear and concise. There was no 'fancy' wording to confuse your reader. That was well-done. I had to read the first couple of chapters over twice, because I tend to skip when I don't understand. The second read was much better. I understood much of what i read enough to follow your train of thought.

The second part, the philosophical part, I loved. You pose interesting questions. I like that while you are proposing your theory of evolution, you also include the theories of others. That gave me other points of reference that I could use while forming my own opinions.

I think that had you not included the scientific, the later chapters may have been confusing for anyone new to the subject. I can't imagine it without the first part.

message 11: by Ali (new)

Ali | 35 comments Mod
We should set a date for Peter's interview soon, will be great to discuss it soon!


message 12: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Maybe you should contact Peter and see what works for him.

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