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Author/Reader Discussions > The Ghost Trap - Author Discussion

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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Were they mailed yet? I always have issues with my mail so I just wanna make sure!


message 2: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Some people have been getting them... not sure when they were mailed out though...

message 3: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Oh....??

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Gingerich | 3 comments I searched for this book at my library to no avail. Maybe a copy could magically appear in my mailbox "wink, wink, nudge, nudge"

message 5: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Libraries rarely hold the indie books, I've noticed. Perhaps you are willing to purchase a copy to join in?

message 6: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Ok guys! The Ghost Trap group read has begun. Author K. Stephens will be joining us throughout the month to answer questions you might have.

Also, if you are curious about the true lives of lobstermen, K. Stephens has a few real life lobstermen waiting to answer your questions for them!!

So please join me in welcoming K.!!!

message 7: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
For additional information on K., please visit her website - - where you can see a short trailer for the book, and read up on K. and the original lobster wars.

message 8: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod

if you "like" The Ghost Trap facebook page, you will be placed into a random drawing to win a signed copy of The Ghost Trap!!!

message 9: by K. (new)

K. Stephens | 16 comments Hey everyone--I just wanted to pop in and say hi! Thank you for being part of this Goodreads book group--and thanks to Lori for being our lovely hostess. I feel guilty because I'm down in Florida at the moment while Maine is currently getting socked with another 12" snowstorm (yes, in April--you can see why by this time of year we all feel like going on a 7-state shooting spree). But I wanted to welcome you all and see how far you've gotten in the novel. Sarah--I'm running a contest on my Facebook page so if you end up the lucky winner, a signed copy may actually appear magically in your mailbox. Feel free to ask me any questions as you are reading (or if you're done.) I've got my own personal lobsterman on standby for any questions you may have about the actual lifestyle that contributed heavily to the plot of this book. (He doesn't "do" chat rooms, however. That would be "improper." I have to bribe him with a pint to get him to answer questions in order to bring them back here. :) I'll be en route tomorrow back home and can't tell you how excited I am to pick up a shovel for the 15,435th time this winter. But I'll pop back in. Looking forward to meeting you! K

message 10: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) Can I just say how excited I am to read this? It looks so good, but I want to finish what in currently reading because I know I'll give all my attention to The Ghost Trap instead of what I'm reading. Hopefully I'll be able to start it tonight!

message 11: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Hi K.!!! Hooray for making it to the group, and trust me, we NEPA folks are seeing way too much snow this March (and April) for our likings too. We have given up shoveling...just driving over and through it all now :)

I know I am dying to get the chat started so guys, hop in whenever you are ready. You don't have to finish the book before joining.

Those who are posting potential spoilers, please mark your posts as such (using a page number), so others have the opportunity to skip it if they like, and go back once they have read beyond that point.

message 12: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
K., Can we start with a few questions until our readers begin discussing?

How did you get yourself involved in the lobstering community?

message 13: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) Ah! So frustrated! I was so ready to start this, finished up Water for Elephants, went to grab it, and realized I left it at home.

...And I'm at work until Monday night. NOOOO!

message 14: by N.M. (new)

N.M. Martinez I've finished it. What a beautifully told story! It's been a while since a book made me feel so strongly.

(view spoiler)

Was this story inspired by anything in particular? And did any real life stories shared with friends over beers make it into the story?

message 15: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Oh no Danie! Btw, where do you work that you are AT work for the entire weekend?

message 16: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Apr 01, 2011 06:52PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Nina, wasn't it hard not to dislike Jamie for his behavior towards his girlfriend?

Btw, I didn't even know Goodreads had a spoiler code, how awesome is that????

message 17: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) Lori wrote: "Oh no Danie! Btw, where do you work that you are AT work for the entire weekend?"

I'm a full-time nanny. Normally it's Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-6PM. But I'm moving in a few weeks, so they wanted to go away for one last weekend before I leave. So now I'm here until Monday.

message 18: by Erica (new)

Erica Spangler (bookedinchico) | 18 comments Hi Everyone! I am so excited to begin reading THE GHOST TRAP. I'm about 100pgs in and I have so much to say already. My first question pertains to the lobstering community, like Lori's. What was your research process for this novel? Is this just part of your background and community or did you have to go out and research it all?

Thanks for joining us!

message 19: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (pocokat) | 12 comments Hi Everyone, I have received my copy and just started reading it.

message 20: by Krys (new)

Krys Hello, all! I got my copy and am reading! Yayness!

message 21: by N.M. (new)

N.M. Martinez Lori wrote: "Nina, wasn't it hard not to dislike Jamie for his behavior towards his girlfriend?

Btw, I didn't even know Goodreads had a spoiler code, how awesome is that????"

(view spoiler)

message 22: by Katie (new)

Katie (hockeygoddess) | 257 comments Hello, team! I received my copy as well (it was waiting for me in my mail hold pile after I got back from Florida last week! YAY!!!) I've just started getting into it, although my dental incident yesterday and the ensuing medication has me falling asleep every time I sit down for five minutes. *L* But I'm back to work tomorrow (and The Ghost Trap is already in my work bag!) and hopefully I'll be back in the swing soon thereafter! Can't wait to chat it up with you all!!

K. if your part of Maine was anything like my part of NH, they totally overrated this storm...we only got a couple of wet inches that are already mostly gone! What part of Florida were you in?? If you were at Red Sox Spring Training, I'm going to bust out laughing, because that's what I just got back from last week (and did I mention that my parents live in Maine??) *L*

message 23: by Rena (new)

Rena (renarossner) | 4 comments Hi everyone!

I am about 100 pages in and find myself completely fascinated by the lobstering community and descriptions. I grew up in FL - a water baby - but in a totally different type of water! I also find myself really enjoying the characters - they have depth - they are sympathetic and interesting!

What I don't understand so far are the codes or rules that govern lobster season - so far I get why no pregnant ones - but what exactly are the size restrictions etc. and why do the herring have maggots?

- Rena

message 24: by K. (new)

K. Stephens | 16 comments Hi everyone--I'm back in Vacationland again-the snow has mostly melted and I'm happy to be home! So many great questions--let's start with the similar questions posed by Lori, Erica and Nina: "How did I get involved in the lobstering community and how did the research process work?"

Short answer: "With extreme diplomacy." Having moved here "from away" in the mid 1990s (that's Maine-speak for someone whose grandparents weren't born here) I found myself in a quaint little harbor town eager to scratch the surface of what the Chamber of Commerce brochures were marketing. In other words, the romantic Maine, the kind of place you might see portrayed in chicklit novels about "escaping it all and moving to a Maine island," was not entirely my experience here. Well, sort of. Let's say some of the time it was. But at my favorite watering hole, I came into contact with a much more interesting archetype: the Maine fisherman. Usually, this type of guy was unshaven, boisterously cheerful and full of hell or quiet, reserved and full of life-altering stories on the water. So as I say in my bio, "after a beer or three" I got to be friends with a few of them. And because I was a journalism major, all I ever did is ask questions. At the time I was starting to formulate a loose plot (around 2000)-- no one else had really written about this subject in a fictional setting, except for "Eat, Pray, Love" author, Elizabeth Gilbert, who'd written her own version of trap wars in the compelling novel Stern Men. Apparently Gilbert (who wasn't from Maine)had hired Mainers to take her to an island so she could interview people for her book, according to those I've talked to who served as her "ambassador." Even though I had friends in the business, this wasn't a community that wanted to just hang their business out for all to see! Maine lobstering communities are notoriously TIGHT and similar to the Amish in that they have interacted as a subculture within the overall mainstream community for centuries. On the water, they serve as their own police, more often than not, and are well regarded for their ethical and sustainable fishing practices created a couple of hundred ago. So with extreme diplomacy, I researched and recorded everything I could get my hands on for about 8 years (newspaper articles, books, personal accounts, etc.) and promised those who told me true stories about illegal and underground wars they personally witnessed or experienced that I wouldn't use real names, dates or identifiable situations. You will see on my website's blog "Inside The Lobstering Life" there's an email from one such lobsterman who, on the condition of anonymity, gave me the tactics, the motivations and the archetypes of the "players"--which became the backbone of main characters Jamie Eugley, his father, James, Jamie's best friend, Thongchai and the community "Godfather" --Don Thatcher.

So, that's really how the structural part of the novel came together (the truly most difficult part--I won't lie--I had no interest in knowing how a lobster trap winch/hauler worked--but so I didn't sound like an IDIOT, I researched the hell out of it). After the novel was published, I was told I didn't get the exact elements of the cribbage scene right but hey, I'll live.

Now, as far as the love story between Jamie and Anja? That's a whole 'nother story with its own problematic and complicated angles--which we'll get into this month. I hope I answered your initial questions.
Rena, I'll start putting together your questions for my buddy, Ryan, who is a fourth generation lobster fisherman, whose family owns their own island. I love the *spoiler* option and thank you Nina for that lovely sentiment--that's the kind of reaction that made writing this story so worth it! I look forward to talking more with all of you--see ya round the bend.

message 25: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments I still haven't received my copy and I am sfraid to buy another one if the other one shows up. I am glad everyone likes it it just makes me stare at my mailbox more LOL

message 26: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
What does everyone think of the book so far? Which characters are you enjoying so far? Which ones are causing you to have an emotional reaction?

message 27: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Totally my fault for not receiving it and I want to apologize! But as soon as it comes I will jump right in!

message 28: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
No worries Donna, you have all month :)

message 29: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) I'm finally getting to read it. So far, it's really good! I'm not far, but I'm liking it.

message 30: by Zoe (new)

Zoe | 17 comments Hi Ladies ,
I just started to read this book , how far are you ? I am I too late to follow this discussion ?

message 31: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Sara, we are only just starting.. jump right in, but be sure to hide your spoilers, ok?

message 32: by Zoe (new)

Zoe | 17 comments Sure Lori, I will , thank you for your reply

message 33: by Motheaten (new)

Motheaten Just wanna say thanks for my free copy and I'll get started reading it as soon as I'm done with my library books.

message 34: by K. (new)

K. Stephens | 16 comments Let me ask everybody here a question. What are your favorite genres/themes/types of novels? Do you tend to stick with what you like, or do you, like Lori, try different books outside your comfort level?

message 35: by Sylvain (new)

Sylvain Reynard (sylvainreynard) K. wrote: "Let me ask everybody here a question. What are your favorite genres/themes/types of novels? Do you tend to stick with what you like, or do you, like Lori, try different books outside your comfort l..."

Hello Miss K,
This is a great question. Thanks for posing it.

I try to read different kinds of novels as long as they are well written. What intrigued me about your story was the location and the characters. I know very little about either and so I was curious to learn more.

I'm looking forward to reading your book.
All the best,

message 36: by Danie (new)

Danie (heyydanie) K. wrote: "Let me ask everybody here a question. What are your favorite genres/themes/types of novels? Do you tend to stick with what you like, or do you, like Lori, try different books outside your comfort l..."

I used to only read mysteries (such as James Patterson), but as I'm getting older, I've been reading pretty much anything. I'm trying to work my way through classics as well, with the exception of anything Shakespeare (my 9th grade English teacher ruined him for me).

What about you, K? What are some of your favorite authors, and did their writing style influence you at all?

message 37: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments I have no comfort level. I read whatever goes according to my mood or whatever my bookclubs say ;-)

message 38: by Cee (new)

Cee (cee-lakambini) | 39 comments I read fiction and non-fiction, what my friends recommend. I do go into phases, like a Dan Brown or John Grisham streak. I like reading different genres because each book gives me a unique learning experience. But I confess I still have to try reading horror. The images stay with me a long time and scare me at night.

Goodreads is a great place to jump into different genres since the reviews and ratings help a lot, specially when I need to ease myself into new waters.

message 39: by Motheaten (new)

Motheaten I agree that goodreads help get me into different genres with the help of reader reviews as I tend to avoid non-fiction, mystery/thriller and biography books. My preferences are classic, contemporary fiction, autobiography, historical/period, and asian-themed books.

message 40: by Janet (new)

Janet | 25 comments I used to stick to my comfort zone of mysteries, thrillers, and historical romances, with an occasional classic to make me feel better about myself ;) . Then I joined a bookclub. A whole new world opened up to me, and I haunted the internet and the online library searching for all genres of great clean fiction. Still can't get into sci-fi and most fantasy though. I gave it a good shot, I really did, but the only type I can handle is if one thing is different, not entire worlds.
Goodreads has also been a great resource for me as well. I love reading and talking about books almost as much as reading the books.

message 41: by Cee (new)

Cee (cee-lakambini) | 39 comments Nina wrote: "Lori wrote: "Nina, wasn't it hard not to dislike Jamie for his behavior towards his girlfriend?

Btw, I didn't even know Goodreads had a spoiler code, how awesome is that????"

[spoilers removed]"

Hi again. This is my first book discussion here so please be gentle with me?

(view spoiler)

message 42: by Katie (last edited Apr 10, 2011 03:51PM) (new)

Katie (hockeygoddess) | 257 comments K. wrote: "Let me ask everybody here a question. What are your favorite genres/themes/types of novels? Do you tend to stick with what you like, or do you, like Lori, try different books outside your comfort l..."

This question is part of the reason I love GR (and SuperMod Lori!) so much. I've loved to read for as long as I can remember, but I've always been mainly a mystery/thriller girl. I still love that genre the most, but I have tried so many other genres and authors that I never would have discovered if not for this lovely world of online bookies and the friends whose bookshelves I've virtually raided here:) And I have to thank some of my GR friends for helping me rediscover the classics...I was soured on so many good books in school because I HAD to read them on a tight deadline and then I had to dissect them...I'm loving them so much more since I can take my time and just enjoy the story!

My one problem that sometimes keeps me from REALLY exploring the wide world of books is my OCD...I HAVE to read books in order, so if I uncover a book that someone loved but it is #6 in a series, I have to start from the beginning no matter what. I also struggle with my "book A.D.D." -- there are so many books I want to read that I have a really hard time just reading one at a time (see my currently reading shelf...OYE!!!) My family and I have been joking lately that I need to find a library to buy to live in instead of a house!! If I could retire now and spend the rest of my life reading and chatting about books, I'd be happy as a clam :)

message 43: by Erica (new)

Erica Spangler (bookedinchico) | 18 comments I am really becoming more and more intrigued about how Anja and Jamie communicate/interact with each other. Jamie, however, causes me to squirm with how he handles some things (I won't spoil). I just wanted to know what everyone thinks of Jamie? I am not done yet so I am not sure what my ultimate opinion would be. But I have the same feelings for Jamie as I do for Max in UNITED STATES OF TARA.

Also, in response to K's question about what genres/etc. that I read:

I always try to read anything and everything. I have been working on my MA in Lit which had restricted my reading lists, so now I am really excited to see what's out there besides canonical texts. This is why the Indie scene is so interesting and important to me.

message 44: by K. (last edited May 05, 2011 11:01AM) (new)

K. Stephens | 16 comments Nina, I loved your take on the characters--you really got the essence of them all. If you haven't read Nina's spoiler, wait until you've read the book. These characters lived with me for nearly a decade and I thought long and hard about their "character"--not as mental puppets but what made them likeable, memorable, people I would invest my time in if they were real. Even deplorable characters have the same fears, wounds, and insecurities that make us all human. To create a black-and-white antagonist with no redeemable qualities would have felt lazy to me. And to create a shining, good-all-around protagonist who sails through his obstacles with superhuman optimism and compassion would have been equally disingenuous. Is anyone a caretaker of an injured/ill person in this group or have you ever been? It's exhausting and it can bring out the worst in the best person over the long haul. Anja, with all of her injuries, shouldn't be let off the hook. I would've done a disservice to her character to make her angelic and overly sympathetic. I wanted her to be "real." So, if some people are feeling a bit uncomfortable with some of Jamie's choices--trust me--that's all been deliberate. Allrighty- I have to go teach a class, so I'll pop back in tomorrow on the genre topic. Thanks for such thoughtful questions!

message 45: by K. (new)

K. Stephens | 16 comments Oh and the cotton reference? I think that might have been during the lobster boat scene...I'm trying to remember. How do I say this without spoiling for the new readers...? On a lobster boat, one must wear durable clothing that can sustain 12-14 hours of getting pummeled by waves...cotton is not the right material, but also in this situation, this particular fabric was a liability. It stays wet and snags on things.

message 46: by Zoe (last edited Apr 12, 2011 05:27AM) (new)

Zoe | 17 comments K. wrote: "Nina, I loved your take on the characters--you really got the essence of them all. If you haven't read Nina's spoiler, wait until you've read the book. These characters lived with me for nearly a ..."

Hi K,
Thank you for stopping by and explaining makes discussion more interesting.
I think your response is to CEE"s review if I am not mistaken ..

message 47: by Cee (new)

Cee (cee-lakambini) | 39 comments K. wrote: On a lobster boat, one must wear durable clothing that can sustain 12-14 hours of getting pummeled by waves..."

12-14 hours! Wow, I had no idea. I have seen or learned more about fishing in books, TV and movies and even some friends but this is my first on lobstering. Thanks for answering my question, K. What is the worst damage live lobsters can do to the men and how often does it occur?

(view spoiler)

message 48: by Donna (last edited Apr 12, 2011 05:47AM) (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Wahoo!!! Got my copy and I am already 100 pages in! I am surprised at how much I like it! I am not really into the whole lobster fishing thing but I like to keep my mind open and I am willing to try anything at least once so this book would be a greatpositive example!!!

message 49: by N.M. (new)

N.M. Martinez Oh K., that is exactly what I LOVED about your book. Every human has their faults. They're all flawed. I've often found that our best strengths can be weakness too, and you portrayed that so well with Jamie.

(view spoiler)

On the genre thing, I have a preference, but I'll give anything a try. About the only thing I haven't read, which I'm giving a try now, are thrillers and mysteries.

My usual preference is actually science fiction, lol!

message 50: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Nina, you have touched on a big part of the book - in my opinion. K. does a wonderful job creating likable, understandable flaws in her characters. It's hard to truly hate any of them because you understand exactly where their motivation is coming from....

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