Gangemi Q&A #12

Author of INAMORATA

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Liz
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Gangemi Q&A #12

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:52 am

What did you want the reader to infer from the character of Ernst Stanlowe? Why is his name an anagram for Walter Stenson?

Gangemi:
You tell me! Honest, I'm not being coy… there are mysteries in this book that even its author doesn't understand. That may frustrate some of your readers, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that despite this author's anal-retentive efforts to plan it all out in advance, there were still plenty of surprises that appeared in the telling. Like the pigeon, for instance. As for Ernst: all I knew going in was that I wanted Mina to have a shady ex husband who might possibly be her "accomplice" in the séances. (i.e. He made a good red herring.) As I was writing it and casting around for names it occurred to me it might keep Finch (and the reader) guessing if Ernst's name was an anagram of Walter Stenson. Because in general whenever possible I made it my mission to keep my buttoned-up hero off balance.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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bluebird
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Unread postby bluebird » Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:41 pm

I'm not sure how to reply to his answer....or even if I should.
Part of me wants to be snippy.....

OK, not that an author needs to spoonfeed his readers, nor should everything need to be obvious...we all want (and in this book, expect) some mystery, some suspense...however....just to decide...oh, heck...I'll just throw this in to keep Finch off balance (and the reader, too) seems....

OK, I do realize that "in the telling," surprises do appear. Your characters go off and do all sorts of things that you (the author) don't expect them to do, but at some point (IMHO), it's the author's duty to his readers to pull them together...maybe not tied with a neat red bow, but at least gathered together in the same paper bag.

Perhaps this is why the book frustrated me so much -- and why it took me so long to get around to finishing it....

agonizing over whether she should hit 'submit' ~~
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:07 pm

The 'buttoned-up hero' wasn't the only one kept off balance! Must say it did put us in the same position as the hero or anyone trying to solve a mystery in that we had to consider each possible lead... Still hoping that something will tie some of the things together in bluebird's 'same paper bag'... :perplexed:
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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:38 pm

For some reason, I didn't mind being kept off balance as was Finch. I understand Gangemi's mission and accept it for what it is. I think over the years I've become less expectant of an ending that ties things up all neat & tidy.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby nebraska » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:38 pm

Liz wrote:For some reason, I didn't mind being kept off balance as was Finch. I understand Gangemi's mission and accept it for what it is. I think over the years I've become less expectant of an ending that ties things up all neat & tidy.


I suppose there are those who would say your change of expectations represents maturity and wisdom, Liz. Truly, life has few neatly bundled solutions.

When reading fiction, even if loosely based on fact, I guess I would like the satisfaction of "knowing" how it ends, or at least how it all works together. Reading fiction should be relaxing, in my opinion, with satisfactions at the end. So I guess I sort of made up my own ending to this story, and maybe that is ok. But I would sooner have it handed to me. I always feel unsatisfied when I finish the last paragraph and I say "that's it? that's all there is? what was the point?" and that has happened to me a lot lately....and Inamorata is not the worst offender! (Guess who just finished reading the Ginger Man?)

Throwing in a red herring just for the heck of it seems like cheap trickery; on the other hand, as I already suggested, sometimes that is how life works.

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Unread postby gilly » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:50 pm

His honesty is refreshing,I think...He could have spun some esoteric line about the origins to all these mysteries.. :cool: ..
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:01 am

gilly wrote:His honesty is refreshing,I think...He could have spun some esoteric line about the origins to all these mysteries.. :cool: ..

I felt that way, too, gilly. Judging from his answers to our question, he seems like a very likeable guy. :thumbsup:
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:33 am

OK he's been stringing us along, thought as much :lol:
I wonder if knowing the answer to this will make it interesting to read again :perplexed:

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Unread postby Theresa » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:19 am

I like that not every word in the book is symbolic. It's rather refreshing to find characters who just are in the book and don't carry the story; and like the anagram, not every coincidence has to mean something. A bit like real life, I think.

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Unread postby Endora » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:40 am

theresa wrote:I like that not every word in the book is symbolic. It's rather refreshing to find characters who just are in the book and don't carry the story; and like the anagram, not every coincidence has to mean something. A bit like real life, I think.


But if you choose to write fiction, don't you have some sort of artistic duty to present a sensible structure? The plot should be much tighter than real life perhaps?
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