Live Chat with Emily Croy Barker(07/24/2013) 
3:47
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We will begin our live online chat with Emily Croy Barker, author of THE THINKING WOMAN’S GUIDE TO READ MAGIC in about 10 minutes.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:47 Nora - EarlyWord
3:49
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Meanwhile, here’s the cover of the book…
Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:49 Nora - EarlyWord
3:49
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:49 
3:50
Nora - EarlyWord: 
While we're waiting, you may be interested in listening to my recent interview with Emily...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:50 Nora - EarlyWord
3:50
Barker Interview  Play
Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:50 
3:51
Nora - EarlyWord: 
It’s an IndieNext Pick for August:

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic: A Novel, by Emily Croy Barker (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, 9780670023660, $27.95)

“The great thing about Nora, the titular ‘thinking woman,’ is that she is completely relatable. Nora, a perennial graduate student who hasn’t made the best romantic choices, lands in another world that is rife with medieval attitudes toward women. She brings an analytical eye to a highly stratified, low-tech, but magical place, and by speaking truth to power she learns new lessons about herself. This beautifully written first novel reverberates with echoes of fairy tales and fantasy literature from Narnia to Harry Potter.” —Tonie Lilley, The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
Wednesday July 24, 2013 3:51 Nora - EarlyWord
4:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I see a crowd gathering -- welcome everyone!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:00 Nora - EarlyWord
4:00
Emily Barker: 
Hi, everyone! Looking forward to your questions.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:00 Emily Barker
4:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
So sorry your Avatar isn't working -- will try to get it going!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:01 Nora - EarlyWord
4:01
Emily Barker: 
No worries! You all will have to imagine what I look like.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:01 Emily Barker
4:01
Nora - EarlyWord: 
To our Chat participants :

You can send your questions through at any time. They'll go into a queue, and we'll submit as many of them as we can to Emily before the end of the chat. Don’t worry about typos – and please forgive any that we commit!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:01 Nora - EarlyWord
4:02
Nora - EarlyWord: 
. We have an eager crowd gathering. I’ll let them say hi.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:02 Nora - EarlyWord
4:02
[Comment From LilyLily: ] 
I am on the reference desk at 3 and won't be able to participate. Just wanted to say that the book grabbed me from the first page, one of those books that you know right away will be a good one. Thanks
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:02 Lily
4:02
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
I wanted to say this was one of the easiest novels to just slide into and get caught up in all the action. I kept turning pages and pages faster and faster. Thank you. Did you outline the novel before you started or did you just let them take you where they wanted to go?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:02 Sue D
4:03
Emily Barker: 
I had good idea of what was going to happen, but I never made a formal outline--just kept the story in my head until I wrote it down.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:03 Emily Barker
4:04
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We received some questions in advance. Here's one:

I particularly enjoyed your description of magic and how Nora goes about learning it. At one point, Nora even uses algebra to remove a spell [Note to Emily – did I manage to keep this one from being a spoiler?] – how did you come up with that idea?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:04 Nora - EarlyWord
4:05
Emily Barker: 
I wanted Nora to be able to use knowledge from our world sometimes--as she does with the ice demon--instead of relying completely on magic. Here, she has to deal a very strong spell. . . .
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:05 Emily Barker
4:05
Emily Barker: 
. . . and Nora is still a novice magician. Clearly she needs some kind of gamechanger, and algebra is extremely powerful.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:05 Emily Barker
4:06
Nora - EarlyWord: 
It's so funny for me, as a Nora, to be talking about a Nora!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:06 Nora - EarlyWord
4:06
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
I agree about being caught up in the story and characters instantly. Why the fantasy genre? That's a far cry from you background. Are you a reader of fantasy?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:06 Andrea
4:06
Emily Barker: 
It's funny for me, too!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:06 Emily Barker
4:08
Emily Barker: 
I love fantasy, books that really stretch your imagination. But it's not the only thing I read, and I have to admit, there's a lot of fantasy out there that I haven't read.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:08 Emily Barker
4:08
[Comment From AnneAnne: ] 
I am enjoying just falling into the story and being engrossed with the levels and types of magic. It is a perfect book to read while sitting on my deck with a glass of ice tea.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:08 Anne
4:08
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
It was very easy to relate to Nora and understand why she was so swept up in the beginning. Is she based on someone you know?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:08 Sue D
4:10
Emily Barker: 
She's not based on any particular person, but she does remind me of myself and some of my friends when we were in our 20s and weren't quite sure we were on the right path in terms of the careers that we'd chosen. . . .
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:10 Emily Barker
4:10
Emily Barker: 
. . . and we were still figuring out what it meant to be adults.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:10 Emily Barker
4:11
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Another advance question --

I was having difficulty pronouncing some of the character's names until I found the audio clips on the website. Will you be adding additional sound clips for other characters and locations? The name are so original. Is there a basis for them other than imagination.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:11 Nora - EarlyWord
4:11
Emily Barker: 
Yes, "Hirizjahkinis" is a mouthful. Even Aruendiel calls her "Hiriz" much of the time. That's a good idea about adding more sound clips! ...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:11 Emily Barker
4:12
Emily Barker: 
....Most of the names don't have any particular derivation, except for some of the Faitoren names, which often have rather unpleasant roots, like Moscelle--Mosca (fly).
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:12 Emily Barker
4:12
Nora - EarlyWord
Listen to the pronunciation of the characters' names on the Web site...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:12 
4:12
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:12 
4:13
Nora - EarlyWord: 
TWGTRM -- Web Site Link
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:13 Nora - EarlyWord
4:13
[Comment From BethMills2BethMills2: ] 
Speaking of the ice demon--loved the idea of it feeding on poetry and the emotions it evokes
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:13 BethMills2
4:13
Emily Barker: 
Anne, thanks for your note. I drink a lot of ice tea while writing!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:13 Emily Barker
4:15
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Have recommended the book to a number of co-workers who are eager to read it. Good thing I ordered a number of copies for our collection. 🙂
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:15 Lucy
4:16
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
What kind of research did you do for this book, if any? Did you travel?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:16 Sue D
4:16
Emily Barker: 
BethMills2, glad you enjoyed the ice demon. He was a fun character to write, pure appetite!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:16 Emily Barker
4:16
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
I think this was onc of my first fantasy books and you you made it seem intelligent, logical and sensible in a world of magic.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:16 Andrea
4:17
Emily Barker: 
Thx so much for the recommendations, Lucy!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:17 Emily Barker
4:17
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Where did you come up with the idea for Aruendiel's demonstration of his art when he 'pulled' Queen Tulivie out of her portrait? (in Chapter 17, I believe). Loved that sequence and how it played out.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:17 Lucy
4:17
Emily Barker: 
Sue D, I didn't travel specifically to do research, but I found my imagination was stimulated by trips to Maine and to France....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:17 Emily Barker
4:18
Emily Barker: 
...where a couple of my friends were living in a small village in Brittany, about five miles away from a castle that in my mind became Aruendiel's castle, or close to it.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:18 Emily Barker
4:18
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I'm fascinated by your Pinterest Board -- http://bit.ly/15JXEXc -- so many different bits of inspiration...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:18 Nora - EarlyWord
4:19
Nora - EarlyWord
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:19 
4:20
Emily Barker: 
Lucy, I love the idea of paintings that come to life--so brilliantly realized in the Harry Potter books. I guess what made my conception a little different was that I felt there's a certain poignancy...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:20 Emily Barker
4:21
Emily Barker: 
...in a painting, since it captures a long-ago moment through the artist's hand and eye.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:21 Emily Barker
4:21
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Enjoyed how you brought in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Nora didn't seem to be a fan. Are you?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:21 Nora - EarlyWord
4:23
Emily Barker: 
Yes, she says it's not her favorite at one point. Actually, I have to disagree with my character there. I'm a huge fan and have reread it more than once. ...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:23 Emily Barker
4:23
Emily Barker: 
....Nora is perhaps a little burned out on the novel, having had to teach it in introductory English lit sections.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:23 Emily Barker
4:23
[Comment From BethMills2BethMills2: ] 
Spotted THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE on Edelweiss even before it was listed for First Flights and was immediately hooked by title--I HAD to read it.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:23 BethMills2
4:24
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Love the cover!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:24 Lucy
4:24
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I was fascinated by all the levels of magic (of course, “Real Magic” is the best) and the magicians’ talk about who has strong magic and who doesn’t. Despite the element of fantasy, it seemed so real. How did you come up with that?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:24 Nora - EarlyWord
4:26
Emily Barker: 
BethMills2, wonderful! I tried to write a title that would appeal to both fantasy readers and those who just want a really good read.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:26 Emily Barker
4:27
Emily Barker: 
Lucy, I do, too! Tal Goretsy did the design.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:27 Emily Barker
4:29
Emily Barker: 
Nora, great to hear that you liked the magicians' shoptalk. I was thinking of how my father, who was a painter, used to talk about art and artists with his friends....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:29 Emily Barker
4:30
Emily Barker: 
...They always had VERY strong opinions about who was doing good work and who wasn't. And of course Susanna Clarke's magicians seem to be a very competitive bunch.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:30 Emily Barker
4:31
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Ha! Your father was a painter -- helps to explain your visual sense.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:31 Nora - EarlyWord
4:31
Nora - EarlyWord: 
I noticed on your site, for instance, that you included maps ...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:31 Nora - EarlyWord
4:31
Emily Barker: 
Yes, Walter Barker. I have to put in a plug here: You can see some of his work on my other Pinterest board -- http://bit.ly/14IX8Mp
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:31 Emily Barker
4:32
Nora - EarlyWord
Orsland Map
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:32 
4:32
Nora - EarlyWord
Northland Map
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:32 
4:32
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Did they help you visualize that world?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:32 Nora - EarlyWord
4:34
Emily Barker: 
I didn't actually draw any maps until after the book was completed. I know myself too well--it would be so easy for me to spend hours happily drawing maps and NOT WRITING. So I had a general idea of where things were but I didn't try to put the geography down on paper until the novel was safely written.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:34 Emily Barker
4:34
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Back to J. Austen -- I love the following question...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:34 Nora - EarlyWord
4:34
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Isn't Aruendiel sort of like Mr. Darcy to Nora? In his world she's below his station but the attraction/appeal(?) is there none-the-less.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:34 Lucy
4:35
Emily Barker: 
Yes, that was one of the reasons I chose Pride and Prejudice--it reflects the emotional situation between Nora and Aruendiel without mirroring it exactly....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:35 Emily Barker
4:35
Emily Barker: 
...I considered Jane Eyre for the same reason but its plot seemed too close to mine in some ways.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:35 Emily Barker
4:37
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Here's an interesting question we got in advance:


I'm curious to know how you decided to let time elapse in Nora's life and make the alternate universe real rather than using a dream plot device; I think the elapsed time was much more effective and took a lot more planning and plotting. I enjoyed the book much more than I imagined.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:37 Nora - EarlyWord
4:38
Emily Barker: 
Good question. I was pretty sure from the beginning that this adventure of Nora's would be real and not a dream....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:38 Emily Barker
4:38
Emily Barker: 
...although Nora herself isn't always sure....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:38 Emily Barker
4:40
Emily Barker: 
...I wanted the events of the book to have real consequences in Nora's life. Ultimately she will have to make some big choices.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:40 Emily Barker
4:40
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
I am wondering about your inspiration for the book and your writing process. Can you share that information with us?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:40 Andrea
4:41
Emily Barker: 
Sure, Andrea. The original inspiration was, frankly, a daydream I had about a women who is enchanted--partly because she doesn't believe in magic and doesn't know what's happening to her....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:41 Emily Barker
4:41
Emily Barker: 
...Oh, there I am!...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:41 Emily Barker
4:41
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Yes; finally!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:41 Nora - EarlyWord
4:43
Emily Barker: 
...and then almost immediately I imagined a second character, a strange, wild-haired figure, telling her that she has to snap out of this enchanted dream. And I could tell that he was a magician....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:43 Emily Barker
4:43
Emily Barker: 
....and when I started wondering why he was trying to help her, I realized that both of these figures had stories to tell. So I started writing!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:43 Emily Barker
4:44
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
Would you time travel if you could? If so would you go back in time or forward?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:44 Andrea
4:45
Emily Barker: 
I would go back, definitely....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:45 Emily Barker
4:45
Emily Barker: 
...since we time travel forward every day as it is! it would be fascinating to see what the past was really like....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:45 Emily Barker
4:46
Emily Barker: 
...however, I don't think I'd want to stay there.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:46 Emily Barker
4:46
Nora - EarlyWord: 
A couple of comments...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:46 Nora - EarlyWord
4:46
[Comment From BethMills2BethMills2: ] 
Have to say I found Hirizjahkinis' Kavareen a particularly fascinating part of the story
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:46 BethMills2
4:46
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
I enjoyed how Nora would occasionally 'write' letters to her friend Maggie. Fun to read her thoughts on what was happening and a great way for the readers to catch up on the passage of time from her point of view.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:46 Lucy
4:47
Emily Barker: 
BethMills2, yes, I want to know more about the Kavareen myself. Am looking forward to learning more in book 2.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:47 Emily Barker
4:47
[Comment From DominiqueDominique: ] 
I loved the book, and wondered if there is going to be a sequel? The end begs for it, I think...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:47 Dominique
4:47
Emily Barker: 
Absolutely. Nora has more magic to learn, and she also needs to learn more about how to use it....
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:47 Emily Barker
4:48
Emily Barker: 
..which will be a major theme in the next book. Ilissa and Raclin are still out there. . . .
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:48 Emily Barker
4:48
Emily Barker: 
...as well as other magical characters we haven't met yet.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:48 Emily Barker
4:48
Nora - EarlyWord: 
The book is coming out soon. One of our participants asked in advance if you will be touring in NJ (where both of you live).
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:48 Nora - EarlyWord
4:49
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Now I'm jumping up and down in my chair at the thought of a sequel !!! 🙂
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:49 Lucy
4:49
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
BethMills2 - I like Kavareen too. So much restrained power in one individual
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:49 Lucy
4:50
Emily Barker: 
Yes, I will be reading at Clinton Book Shop in Clinton, NJ on August 24. Also will likely be reading in Jersey City in September. Hope to see you at one of those events!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:50 Emily Barker
4:50
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Andrea asks if you would try your hand at any other genre.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:50 Nora - EarlyWord
4:50
[Comment From DominiqueDominique: ] 
you just made my day with the news of a sequel!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:50 Dominique
4:50
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
So if # 2 is coming soon, are you working on #3?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:50 Andrea
4:51
Nora - EarlyWord: 
We're winding down -- I know you'll love this comment...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:51 Nora - EarlyWord
4:51
[Comment From BethMills2BethMills2: ] 
I'm a long time lover of fantasy; this book has gone onto my list of keepers--books you read more than once.Am thrilled there will be more!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:51 BethMills2
4:51
Emily Barker: 
Excellent question, Andrea. I'm not sure about other genres. I tried writing a mystery once--I love mysteries, too--but it was really terrible. Fantasy is exciting to write because anything can happen...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:51 Emily Barker
4:52
Emily Barker: 
...and that keeps me writing.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:52 Emily Barker
4:52
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Touring anywhere in the Midwest? St. Louis area by any chance?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:52 Lucy
4:52
Emily Barker: 
Andrea, I'm about halfway through #2...and yes, I think there will likely be #3, but not for a while.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:52 Emily Barker
4:53
Emily Barker: 
Beth, what a great compliment, thank you!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:53 Emily Barker
4:53
Emily Barker: 
Lucy, funny you should say that. My mother keeps asking me to try to set up a reading in St. Louis, where she is originally from. Can you recommend a bookstore?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:53 Emily Barker
4:54
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
I say stick with fantasy. You've got yourself an audience and followers after this wonderful book.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:54 Andrea
4:54
Emily Barker: 
By the way, so thrilling to hear you all say you can't wait for #2. That's a huge inspiration.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:54 Emily Barker
4:54
[Comment From Sue DSue D: ] 
I can!! Pair up with the library or Main Steet Books in Old St Charles!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:54 Sue D
4:55
Emily Barker: 
Fantastic, thanks! My mother will be really happy.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:55 Emily Barker
4:55
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Just a few more minutes ... any last comments or questions?
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:55 Nora - EarlyWord
4:55
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Mainstreet Books, an independent bookstore in St. Charles County (where my library district is located).
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:55 Lucy
4:55
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Sue D - I knew you'd say the same thing as me - Mainstreet Books.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:55 Lucy
4:56
Emily Barker: 
Great to know, thanks!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:56 Emily Barker
4:56
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Emily -- thanks for a taking the time to talk to us; good luck with the launch.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:56 Nora - EarlyWord
4:56
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
Thank you Emily for taking the time to share your thoughts with us today and for giving us a great book to recommend to our friends and readers
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:56 Andrea
4:57
Emily Barker: 
Thanks for everyone for being here. It's been a real pleasure to chat with you all...
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:57 Emily Barker
4:57
Emily Barker: 
...and I am over the moon that you have enjoyed my book.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:57 Emily Barker
4:57
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
THANK YOU Emily for a great chat session and for a marvelous read! Can hardly wait for the sequel. THANKS to Nora too!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:57 Lucy
4:57
[Comment From AnneAnne: ] 
Thanks much and I am so glad to hear there will be a book 2 and more. 🙂
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:57 Anne
4:58
Emily Barker: 
Oh, I can't say goodbye to Nora and Aruendiel yet!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:58 Emily Barker
4:58
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Thanks to all of you for joining this conversation. Remember that the chat will be posted in the archives -- recommend it to your colleagues.
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:58 Nora - EarlyWord
4:59
Nora - EarlyWord: 
Unfortunately, you will be saying goodbye to this Nora in the next few minutes.
Thanks for using that name!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:59 Nora - EarlyWord
4:59
[Comment From LucyLucy: ] 
Will definitely recommend the Chat along with the book! Thanks for making the Chat session available for this purpose! 🙂
Wednesday July 24, 2013 4:59 Lucy
5:00
Emily Barker: 
Thanks so much, Nora R., for making this possible! Again, everyone, this was a lot of fun!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 5:00 Emily Barker
5:00
Nora - EarlyWord: 
OK, everyone, -- it's hard to say goodbye, but we need to let Emily go!
Wednesday July 24, 2013 5:00 Nora - EarlyWord