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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Has Answered Our Questions!

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message 1: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Aug 25, 2009 01:46PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Please post your questions for Katherine here in this thread by Mon 8/31. On Tues 9/1, she will either answer them directly in this thread, or (depending on her availability) I will email them to her and post her replies here when I receive them.

A favor: Please do not use this thread for discussions (with other CoL's) and only post your questions! Thanks so much!

~Jo




message 2: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) I'd like to know what was behind the decision to re-name the book [Book: The Lost Book of Salem] for the UK market?

- I have more questions but not enought time now so I'll just put that one in for now and come back later with my others!

Thanks for setting up this opportunity Jo - amazing!

Ally


message 4: by Valerie (new)

Valerie On the book jacket and in the postscript, it mentions that Katherine Howe is a descendant of Elizabeth Proctor, who survied the Salem witch trials, and Elizabeth Howe, who did not survive. I'd be interested in knowing how much, if any, her family history had in influence in the book.


message 5: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 654 comments Jo, I'm still considering my questions. After reading an interview, the many I had were answered. I am tempted to ask about the jars (see current book discussion) but naw. I think amongst ourselves we came up with our own reasons.

I'd like to know though how she came up with the key in Bible trick. And the sieve (spelling?) one as well? Why were those chosen as the way to start the novel?


message 6: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) OK - I'd also like to know...

...if Katherine Howe had any alternatives in mind for the ending of the story that might have avoided the book ending up in the fire?

...how much of the story is re-told from family legend?

...does Katherine personally believe that true witchcraft existed back then in isolated cases such as Deliverance's? or does she more readily follow the modern scholarly ideas that most of the supposedly witchy phenomenon recorded in the 1600's can now be explained away by science?

...what sparked the idea for her story? and how did she go about her research?

Thanks

Ally



message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura (gutenberggirl) | 15 comments Evening, Jo! (and all)

I'd like to know what Katherine Howe intends to write next! Can we expect more in the historical fiction genre or a departure? I thoroughly enjoyed the blend of history and modern and moving between them and hope it continues...


message 8: by Monica (last edited Aug 31, 2009 03:53PM) (new)

Monica (imelda85) Hi Everyone!

I was curious to hear Katherine's opinion on why the men of the Dane women were cursed with early deaths.

Did Connie help to possibly break this curse by saving Sam, or did she postpone the inevitable .....or will this be revealed in a sequel? :)

Thank you!
Monica


message 9: by Aksana (new)

Aksana | 68 comments Hello, ladies,

I was wondering if the descendants of Deliverance in the book (daughter and granddaughter) were actual characters or are they fictional? They are all so fascinating, ending with Constance (Connie).

Thank you for organizing this, Jo! And thank you to Katherine for answering our questions!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Last but not least, my question(s): Katherine, what led your family ties to the Salem Witch Trials go from an interesting yet far removed tid bit of sorts to your writing this (Wonderful!) novel? I've heard the idea cam to you while taking a walk with your dog - can you go into more details about that? Was your family supportive of the novel? In general, is your family supportive of your writing? How did you find the time to write this novel with everything you have going on, professionally and otherwise?!

Katherine, thank you again for being so gracious, for the book plates and for answering our questions!

Many thanks to all the Chicks here who've posted questions here for Katherine (and your thanks to me is much appreciated!). I will be emailing your posts to Katherine later today as I have some appointments this morning to take care of. (For those who messaged me your addresses, the book plates will hopefully go out this week, but if not, definately right after Labor Day. Sorry for the delay!)


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Katherine Howe to me

Hello Chicks on Lit!
I am so pleased that you all chose to read Physick Book. Thank you so much for choosing to spend part of you summer with Connie and Sam.
I will insert answers to your questions below.
KH

Ally
I'd like to know what was behind the decision to re-name the book The Lost Book of Salem for the UK market?


The UK publisher thought that the Lost Book of Salem would have a broader appeal to a UK audience. It's been doing well over there, but now that people seem to be responding to it in a remarkable way over here, it's going to be re-released under the US title in the spring. However, the UK title is also easier to translate: it has been published in Dutch as "The Lost Book of Salem," and has just come out in Germany as "The Witch Book of Salem." Every place likes something different, I guess!

...if Katherine Howe had any alternatives in mind for the ending of the story that might have avoided the book ending up in the fire?


I did try to come up with a way for Connie to save the actual book, but none of them were workable. But remember - the book had already been microfilmed. So the object itself might be lost, but the content is still safe. I don't think Connie would have burned it otherwise.


...how much of the story is re-told from family legend?


None. Unfortunately oral history is surprisingly short-lived in general - historians are hard pressed to find family narratives that date even to the Civil War. The good part of that, however, is that leaves me with lots of room to imagine.


...does Katherine personally believe that true witchcraft existed back then in isolated cases such as Deliverance's? or does she more readily follow the modern scholarly ideas that most of the supposedly witchy phenomenon recorded in the 1600's can now be explained away by science?


You know, a lot of people ask me that question. But I hesitate to answer, mainly because I worry that it would change the way readers read the book. So I'm going to hedge, and instead ask - what do you think?


...what sparked the idea for her story? and how did she go about her research?


My husband and I moved to Marblehead in 2005, when I was studying for my oral exams in American and New England Studies at BU. M'head is only one town over from Salem, and I was so nervous preparing for the ordeal that I would escape by taking my dog walking in the woods. The story began as I wondered why our modern fairy tale notion of witchcraft looks so completely different from the way it looked to the Puritans, who actually believed in it. For research, I did a *lot* of reading - about two years' worth of research and teaching. It was a lot of fun!


Valerie
On the book jacket and in the postscript, it mentions that Katherine Howe is a descendant of Elizabeth Proctor, who survied the Salem witch trials, and Elizabeth Howe, who did not survive. I'd be interested in knowing how much, if any, her family history had in influence in the book.

I found about about them when I was fifteen, when my aunt did some work augmenting an old genealogy that we had from the 19th century. The actual family history itself was tangential compared to the reading that I did for the book. However, it is true that finding myself in Essex county, where my family had lived for so many generations just going about their everyday lives, was profoundly moving for me. We were living in a house that was built in 1705 while I was writing, and I had a few moments, particularly when cooking in our unairconditioned kitchen, where I thought - this is exactly what it feels like.


Tanja
I'd like to know though how she came up with the key in Bible trick. And the sieve (spelling?) one as well? Why were those chosen as the way to start the novel?

I didn't come up with them - those are actual folk divination techniques that people used in the early modern period. Kind of like the ancestor of the magic 8 ball! I thought that they were fascinating, emblematic of the kind of magic that would be used in the story, and there was a symmetry to the role that each technique plays in each half of the book.


Laura
I'd like to know what Katherine Howe intends to write next! Can we expect more in the historical fiction genre or a departure? I thoroughly enjoyed the blend of history and modern and moving between them and hope it continues...


Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed the story. I am working on another novel that will be set in Boston in 1915, and will also follow a New England family with some very unusual talents. However, I am not feeling fully finished with the Goodwin/Dane family. I have something in mind for them as well.



Monica
I was curious to hear Katherine's opinion on why the men of the Dane women were cursed with early deaths.


When thinking about how the magic would work, it was important to me that there be limits to what the Dane women can do. Otherwise, we could end up in Samantha Stevens territory, using magic to do the vacuuming and make pot roast - which is fun, but it's also not very serious. It must cost them dearly to have this kind of power, That is why I thought that magic should bring them a measure of pain, both physical and emotional, to keep things in balance. They can soothe others to a point, but it also costs them.

Did Connie help to possibly break this curse by saving Sam, or did she postpone the inevitable .....or will this be revealed in a sequel? :)


We shall see...... :)

Aksana
I was wondering if the descendants of Deliverance in the book (daughter and granddaughter) were actual characters or are they fictional? They are all so fascinating, ending with Constance (Connie).


Thank you so much! Deliverance Dane was a real person who was accused near the end of the panic, and she did have a husband named Nathaniel. However, there is very little known about them, and they did not have a daughter named Mercy. I was very attracted to her name, which I found incredibly evocative. I also liked that their relative obscurity left lots of room for imagination.

Thank you for organizing this, Jo! And thank you to Katherine for answering our questions!

It's my pleasure! This is great fun. Thank you guys for being so flexible.

(continued in next post)


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick)
Jo
Katherine, what led your family ties to the Salem Witch Trials go from an interesting yet far removed tid bit of sorts to your writing this (Wonderful!) novel? I've heard the idea cam to you while taking a walk with your dog - can you go into more details about that?


I went into that a bit above. Mainly, I was interested by the fact that I hadn't run across any stories that try to imagine magic the way the colonists understood it to be - very small, very personal, very concerned with health and the vicissitudes of everyday life. Now when we read about magic, it's always very large - very Good versus Evil. I wanted to imagine something smaller, less black and white, a little more nuanced.


Was your family supportive of the novel? In general, is your family supportive of your writing?


They have all been very supportive and kind - they either think it's wonderful or hilarious, or some combination of the two. They have always been very supportive of my writing as well. I am fortunate to have such a great extended family.


How did you find the time to write this novel with everything you have going on, professionally and otherwise?!


By not getting anything done on my dissertation! The most difficult thing about writing is being able to be selfish with your time. For awhile I spent more time talking about writing a book than I spent actually writing. Finally I realized that the only way to do it was to do it. It sounds so obvious, but it's true.


Katherine, thank you again for being so gracious, for the book plates and for answering our questions!


It's been my pleasure! Thank you guys all for reading the book, and for taking the time to share your questions with me. I really enjoyed it. If you are curious for more, there is a pretty detailed Q and A on the book's page on Barnes and Noble, under "about the author."

Thank you so much for this email, and best wishes for the rest of the summer,

Katherine

http://www.katherinehowe.com


message 13: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 654 comments Thanks Jo for contacting the author! Those were fantastic answers! Squee this was fun!


message 14: by Aksana (new)

Aksana | 68 comments OH, yes, THANK YOU SO MUCH JO!!!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) : ~) Thanks & you're welcome gals!

I enjoyed her emails & answers too . She's very sweet! (And some of her tweets on Twitter are LOL!).

Book plate stickers went out this morning to those who messaged me their addy's!


message 16: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Thanks, Jo! Such great responses! This was so awesome! Can't wait for the book plate stickers! :)


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) You're welcome! : ~)


message 18: by Elena (new)

Elena | 129 comments Thank you! Great job!


message 19: by ReneeB (new)

ReneeB I Just finished this book, it's so great to be able to go back and read these comments and answers from the author.


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