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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome, all!



This Klub will get under way March 9, and both those who have read Distant Cousin and those who have not yet, are invited.

This will be the place where we can discuss the questions (to be posted later) and whatever else may come up, except for spoilers. There will be a separate board for those. Several members have already had questions for me (like "How did you come up with the idea for this story?) and that's where I will respond. Feel free to ask more questions there, or on this board, for that matter, if the answer isn't likely to give anything away.

This klub should be great fun! I'm looking forward to it! Tell your friends to join us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reminder, Neekeebee!

Here's that theme song. Thanks, Jeff!

Distant Cousin Theme Song

While we're getting oriented, what better than some satellite photographs? I won't spoil anything at this point, but you'll find a lot of the places mentioned in the story on these maps:





 

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I have been waiting and waiting for this. I have had Distant Cousin, on my kindle for a while, waiting for the book klub to start. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, here we go! Here are some discussion questions for chapters 1-22 (they're short). Thanks to Betsy for the first two or three.

No one is under any pressure to answer these. If you wish, you can just comment on the ones that interest you. There'll be no grade! The idea is merely to get the discussion started. As I post this, there's a week to go until we begin. You can start reading now if you like, or you may wait until the date and then begin. In the meantime, feel free to think all you want.

I might chime in as participants post, or I might let posts accumulate a bit and folks discuss back and forth before I say anything. Remember, the story is no longer mine--it is yours. In a real sense, it belongs to the world now, not me. My opinion is not necessarily any better than anyone else's. I just hope you enjoy it!

1. What was unique about the setting and how did it enhance or take away from the story?

2. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of someone you know?

3. What does it look like, at this point, the story will be about?

4. Would there be any difference if the first chapter had been left out? Why do you think it was included?

5. Did Ana Darcy's first impressions of food, plants, and so forth seem logical?

6. At what point did you realize that Ana Darcy was a little different from regular humans?

7. What was Ana Darcy's opinion of Dr. Sledd? Did that tell you anything?

8. Does Matt simply have a nose for a story, or was he simply lucky, or what? Was there anything about Matt that helped him find Ana Darcy?

9. One person who read the sample of Distant Cousin objected to "women FBI agents not wearing suits, but close to suits." What do you understand by this, and does it bother you?

10. From her actions, what would you say of Ana Darcy's maturity? What would you say of her morals?

11. Did you use your Kindle to look up any words? Which ones, if you don't mind saying?
 

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I am ready to start!  I have had the book for about a month and purposely did not start to read it until the klub was ready to start.  I look forward to reading this book and discussing it with everyone and Brassman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Me too, folks, me too--I'm getting excited myself, and I'll tell you one reason.

I threw those questions out there, just above, but the truth is I may not be the best person to come up with questions. (Some day, maybe I'll fall out of a tree on my head and lose my memory, and then I can read Distant Cousin for the "first" time.) You all will likely have better questions. I hope you will ask or suggest some. I already know Xia and Vampyre have a couple....

For me, this klub will be a great opportunity to see what impressions and thoughts real readers have when they come to the story for the first time, or maybe better, the second. I'm still working on volume 4, so it's possible that some of what you all have to say may effect the new story. I expect to become a better writer because of your insights.

I hope you'll make notes on your Kindle as they occur to you, so you can post your insights and comments here.

Next Monday!
 

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Like a box of great chocolates, I couldn't stop with just one so I've read the first two books already. I'll try not to let any spoilers slip!
 

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Here's my answers to the questions...I like what I am reading so far...hopefully I don't fall too far behind everyone else.

1. What was unique about the setting and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
Having only spent a little time in the southwest US I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting.  I also like that Alpine is a college town not unlike the one around here so it had some familiar elements as well.

2. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of someone you know?
There is a very Hispanic orientation to most of the characters introduced so far, due to the setting of the story, so while I find them believable and real enough it’s hard to relate as much due to a difference in culture.  Ana/Darcy is almost more real due to her alien origins and how she is dealing with this new world that she only saw from afar before.

Having known a lot of varying types of people over the years I can see little bits of friends and acquaintances in each of the characters.

3. What does it look like, at this point, the story will be about?
To me, it feels like the story is progressing to a great reveal.  That being the plan to make herself famous to combat being hunted.  If she gets into the Olympics and gets widely recognized then it’s less likely that she could be taken into custody without a great uproar.

4. Would there be any difference if the first chapter had been left out? Why do you think it was included?

I liked the setup.  It would have started off more mysterious if it had opened with a strange girl walking down the road in the desert without the setup but I think some of the idea of the impending danger might have been lost…unless it had been told in a flashback but those have their own problems.

5. Did Ana Darcy's first impressions of food, plants, and so forth seem logical?
I think so.  I didn’t recall questioning the ideas that ran through her head when first being introduced to these things.

6. At what point did you realize that Ana Darcy was a little different from regular humans?
The fence jump was what really did it for me.  I hadn’t seen any overt signs of the differences before that point.

7. What was Ana Darcy's opinion of Dr. Sledd? Did that tell you anything?

She liked him, but for me, I have a hard time putting my trust in him just yet.  The way you wrote him (might be slight foreshadowing) but he seems to have an underlying slimey-ness that could easily take advantage of the situation or I could just be reading him wrong.

I think Darcy might be too trusting in the situation due to trusting Matt.

8. Does Matt simply have a nose for a story, or was he simply lucky, or what? Was there anything about Matt that helped him find Ana Darcy?
So far it seems to be mostly luck paired with a good eye.  He saw this girl reading very odd combos of books and tried to persue that “Story” which landed him in a bigger story…mostly luck.

9. One person who read the sample of Distant Cousin objected to "women FBI agents not wearing suits, but close to suits." What do you understand by this, and does it bother you?
I’m not sure.  The sentence did jump out at me as odd when I read it but I’m not sure.  I ultimately interpreted it as a way of saying that these two female agents were higher up or at least more elite than the other agents.

10. From her actions, what would you say of Ana Darcy's maturity? What would you say of her morals?
I put her, in my mind’s eye, as being a 20-something in regards to maturity level although in some ways she acts much more mature.  Morally it seems like she is generally good but not afraid to take a chance and defy authority when she fears for her safety.

11. Did you use your Kindle to look up any words? Which ones, if you don't mind saying?

Nothing so far.  The only words that give me pause are the Spanish ones and then it’s a matter of dredging my memory to try and translate them.
 

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"women FBI agents wearing close to suits"

Maybe this is just too simplistic, but back in the day women in business did wear suits just like the men. Now there is more freedom in dress for businesswomen, while still being just as professional, so for me it placed the story in a more modern context.
 

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My only "complaint" is that Ana seems to like all the foods she has tried. Maybe she's just been lucky, but there are tastes out there that I don't like. Has she eaten parsley?  Liver and onions? LOL

Otherwise, I am loving the book!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Funny you should mention this. Here's a line from volume 4 (not yet out):

"Green Jello," Ana said. "Brrr." For some reason she'd always hated Jello--something to do with cows, Matt thought. She couldn't even stand the sight of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I better hold off commenting until the actual start date, March 9. I don't want people who wait to arrive then to feel they've been left out. Seems like bad manners, somehow.

But in the mean time, it's cool if you all want to talk among yourselves. Go right ahead--that'll help us start fast!
 

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mom133d said:
My only "complaint" is that Ana seems to like all the foods she has tried. Maybe she's just been lucky, but there are tastes out there that I don't like. Has she eaten parsley? Liver and onions? LOL

Otherwise, I am loving the book!
OK, I don't like liver and onions either, but I was going yum, yum as I read her describing the foods! I really liked the taste and smell part of experiencing earth.
 
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