Q & A with Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont discussion

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General > Characters - Who is your favorite? Who mystifies you?

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message 1: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
Here’s one to get you started. Who is the Paper bag Poet? The answer is located in the endnotes to Crestmont. Maybe one of you can answer for us.


message 2: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) The Paper Bag Poet is your husband. Right?
Intriguing title!


message 3: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
Yes!


message 4: by Eli (new)

Eli (elipenn) | 3 comments I found Gracie a delight. But I particularly liked PT. He seemed like his life is a bit "out of sorts." I guess a lot like me in some ways. How did you come to write such a character?


message 5: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
PT is an examination of how a poor home life in the formative years can affect a person. Although a talented jazz pianist and intelligent fellow, I tried to write him as unfulfilled, until he found a good male role model, a father figure or mentor.

I'm glad you liked Gracie. People have reacted in many different ways to her.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarah23l) I was mystified by Bessie. I'm sure we've all known people who are miserable and nasty to others, so I think it would have been interesting to see what made Bessie tick. A rough family life was alluded to, particularly a bad relationship with her father.
I liked PT too. He definitely came across as unfulfilled, Holly.


message 7: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "I was mystified by Bessie. I'm sure we've all known people who are miserable and nasty to others, so I think it would have been interesting to see what made Bessie tick. A rough family life was all..."

Thanks for all your comments, Sarah. I wanted people to by mystified by Bessie. I like an author to make me think and make my own decisions about a particular character, rather than spelling their complete history out to me. In my author's mind, I know what makes Bessie tick, but because of the audience the book was written for, didn't want to reveal too much. What are your ideas as to what made her so miserable?


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I actually haven't given Bessie much thought, but I might not be to a point in the book where she has a more critical role. She seems to me to be a weak person who will have little influence on someone with an inner strength, as Gracie seems to have. PT mystifies me and I want more of his story.

I believe my favorite character at this point is Margaret.


message 9: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
Kaliki wrote: "I actually haven't given Bessie much thought, but I might not be to a point in the book where she has a more critical role. She seems to me to be a weak person who will have little influence on som..."

Depending on where you are in the book, you will encounter a couple of back stories about PT when he was younger. Hopefully that will fill out his character for you some.


message 10: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Kaliki wrote: "I actually haven't given Bessie much thought, but I might not be to a point in the book where she has a more critical role. She seems to me to be a weak person who will have little influence on som..."

Interesting Melissa....I started out liking Margaret when she was younger, but I found her to be very critical and overly-sensitive later....she reminded me of English characters in books whose "nerves" were always getting to them!!


message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I can see where that might be heading Shelli, as I get farther along.


message 12: by Karla (new)

Karla (bookarita) | 3 comments I had a quick thought about Bessi's character she seems to loath her father in a sly remark and I was confused by what I believe was a lost pregnacy late in the book. That Gracie helped her with? I was thinking she was drinking to escape maybe an abusive relationship with her father?
I do have some questions about the building of Gracie as a character she was a sheepish girl at such a mature age. I don't mean any offence by this but she was absorbed into the family and found the protection and love she sought but their seemed to be a little girl lost in her character IMO. She just took a long time to fully mature into a strong force even with Margaret as a key role model in her life. I felt kinda heavy hearted for Margaret she seemed to forget to find joy in life but had the best husband and children. She was in love with the Crestmont dream, a dream passed on from father to daughter. That gal needed to get away and have a vacation. Even in the Winter months she focused so much on the stress she would forget to live. She was a good woman and had good hard working values but I was a bit perplexed she didn't have a stronger urge to escape sometimes. Her husband was a saint and I thought O'Lordy when he asked for a loan to build the courts w/o Margaret's clear blessing. I thought that would cause a bigger climax in their trusting relationship than it did, cause she was so distraught about the truth about the secret room the girls were hiding when she found out Gracie didn't tell her about it.
I was expecting PT to put up more of a fight for Gracie's heart than he did a man from his hard beginnings knows how to fight for what he wants and he sort of dissolved and handed her over. I'm not dissing the book I guess I'm just expressing some of my feelings as some of the character's faluts nawed at me at times.


message 13: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
Karla wrote: "I had a quick thought about Bessi's character she seems to loath her father in a sly remark and I was confused by what I believe was a lost pregnacy late in the book. That Gracie helped her with? ..."
In the best of all worlds, a young woman Gracie's age might be more mature and self confident. From personal experience, I can tell you that is not always the case. Yes, Gracie starts out sheepish, but she grows - and she fights to grow once she is in an environment where she is encourage to do so. I stand by her characterization.

I agree with you that Margaret seriously needed a vacation. She was very wrapped up in her father's dream and perhaps allowed that to overshadow growth in her relationship with William.

PT's lack of passion for Gracie was hard to figure. Flawed characters make for interesting reading, hopefully.

Thanks for your questions, Karla.


message 14: by Karla (new)

Karla (bookarita) | 3 comments I agree not everyone matures until they are in an environment where they can flourish as Gracie did once she arrived at the Crestmont and felt secure and needed. I hope I didn't come across as being critical just each flaw seemed to stand out to me and I kept rooting for them to see it within themselves. But just like in real life its hard to see ourselves as openly as a complete stranger can within minutes of meeting us. Was I anywhere close on Bessie's background with her father or did I assume to much?


message 15: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 38 comments Mod
Karla wrote: "I agree not everyone matures until they are in an environment where they can flourish as Gracie did once she arrived at the Crestmont and felt secure and needed. I hope I didn't come across as bein..."

Karla, You described exactly what I intended in writing Bessie. The scene where Gracie helps her is what I call "uncomfortable grace". (when someone you'd rather not help you indeed does.). I didn't want to spell all of that out because I wanted the reader to use her imagination. I'm happy that's what you came up with from the hints I wrote.

You didn't come across as critical. :)


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