Monday, January 26, 2009

A Quick and Easy Poll Question

I put up a poll over to the right concerning readers' (i.e. your) beliefs about the fate of Alex's parents in the dead and the gone.

Sometimes a writer just wants to know. And who better to turn to than you?

If those of you who've read d&g could take ten seconds to answer the poll, I'd really appreciate it.


Anonymous said...

hey my name is Katie :)
I havent read the dead and the gone yet, but trust me im gonna read it next week after i finish my book report :)
i think ur an amazing writer, and i wish i could be that good of a writer, but im seriously not good at all, i just pretend i am.
hey i just emailed you a question and the subject is "A question about the book Life As We Knew It" so if you could, please reply.
can you tell i like smily faces?

Anonymous Person said...

Dear Ms. Pfeffer,
After voting I replied back. Sorry for the wait, but do take your time is sending those bookplates. I don't think I like the idea of a snowstorm. =o)
Anonymous Person

P.S. The word verification word is urtoosiv if that means anything.

Susan said...

I took the poll and was one of the "certain" ones.

However, I kept hoping I was wrong. Nicely done with the suspense/tension thing.

-Another Susan

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello to both Anonymous and Anonymous Person-

Anonymous- I've answered your email.

Anonymous Person- I mailed you your bookplates.

It's remarkable how organized I can be when there's a snowstorm brewing and I really don't want to get to work!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Susan-

Thank you for participating in the poll and for your comment.

Just writing the poll questions was tricky; I went through about five versions before settling on the one that's up there.

It's been interesting to see how the poll is going. Actually, I'd rather watch it change vote by vote (or not change at all) than work.

I really enjoy writing B3 once I get started. But boy, it takes a lot of energy to get me started!

donna said...

I remained uncertain about the father. The phone call made me doubtful that he died. I like to believe he is still making his way back to his children, but they will not be there when he returns. I also hoped the mom escaped death in the subway, but I think you did a good job dashing that hope. I hoped she would show up, but toward the end of the book, I gave up hope.

The older brother remained the biggest mystery. Why did he not feel any responsibility to return to his brother and sister?

hearher t said...

I thought I was certain but maybe I was wrong???

my verification word is rowing - i always think it's fun to get a real word. Or one that should be.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Donna-

And to think I was just about to start working (after I folded the sheets, put the rest of the laundry in the drier and checked my emails a few more times).

When I was writing d&g, I wanted the readers to feel some doubt about Carlos (the older brother) and whether he was still alive also. There's one phone call from him and one undated postcard, and that's it.

In fact, there's a whole blog entry somewhere around here about all my different versions of what became of Carlos, from all the different third book ideas I went through. I don't think in any of them Carlos felt a need to come back and take care of his family. And to give him a break, when he does talk to Alex, Alex tells him they're fine, that they'd spoken to Papi and Mami's at the hospital. So even if Carlos were the kind of person who would put his family first, he didn't realize he had any need to.

I'm off to fold my sheets. That should let me postpone writing for at least another half hour!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello hearher t-

You slipped in here while I was answering Donna's comment. I may never fold those sheets (let alone work).

When I wrote d&g, I pictured the three kids as having almost religious views on the subject of their parents' return. Bri was a true believer, Julie was an atheist, and Alex an agnostic. I was careful never to have Alex agree with either one of his sisters, when they fought about the likelihood of Mami or Papi's return, because I didn't think Alex was 100% willing to give up hope, although his brain told him they were gone forever.

I could write a whole thesis on the subject. Or I could fold the sheets, and return to B3 like a good little writer.

Oh well. There's nothing like a book that needs writing to make laundry seem so appealing!

Jen said...

Susan, I can't vote, because I'm still uncertain about at least one of the parents. To me, that's what I take out of the title: the dead is Mami and the gone is Papi. Papi could still be alive and he could very likely never see his children again.

I guess I'm still uncertain about half the equation. :) - Kylen

Anonymous said...

I'm also uncertain, because I think it's possible that Papi survived (you didn't say how the meteor affected Puerto Rico) and had to battle his way back to the U.S., with the scars to show it.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning to Jen/Kylen and Anonymous Santa Fe-

I hope the sun is shining brightly where you are, but that you're spared the sight of more snow and ice covered branches.

One of the underlying themes of all three of the mooncrash books is the uncertainty of life. I hope I'm always putting things in that take the readers by surprise, and an underlying sense of not quite knowing what's happened elsewhere is certainly a significant part of all the books.

So it's fine by me if readers of d&g remain uncertain of the fates of Papi and/or Mami.

And it remains interesting to read the poll results.

My word verification du jour is ughtemon. Doesn't that have a nice beat to it!