For What It's Worth

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Part two 'Marked up excerpts from Willow by Julia Hoban"

I hope your enjoying this look into "the behind the scenes" of Willow.  (to read part 1 go HERE) Here are a few more excerpts (in italics) followed by Julia's notes (in italics bold).

Here Julia explains why she felt particular phrase was important to the story.

Excerpt: "But maybe her earlier tears have no implications beyond their immediate and obvious meaning. She was affected by her mother's letter to the housekeeper, by the small reminder that once her welfare was paramount in someone else's world, and for whatever reason, she was able to process that feeling without the alchemy of cutting." (pg 304 hardcover)

Julia: My editor and I debated whether the word alchemy made sense here, but ultimately we both felt that it perfectly expresses what cutting has meant to Willow. It IS an alchemical process. Just as alchemy turns lead into gold, cutting turns emotional pain into pysical pain.

This is a very powerful scene - Willow watching her brother David cry, knowing that in some way she has caused this pain for him. She's watching from the stairs and David cannot see her. Below is an excerpt, followed by Julia's explanation on why she chose third person to tell Willow's story.

Excerpt: "It occurs to her that finally, there is someting that she can do for her brother................"
"She can sit and watch him, bear witness to his pain. She can force herself to sit through this, live htrough every sob with him, without resorting to the one thing that has protected her from feeling such pain herself" (pg 254 hardcover)

Julia: And here is another example of why I believe the novel had to be in 3rd person. Go back and put that section in the first person. It's quite a bit different isn't it? This scene is supposed to show how much Willow loves her brother, how she would do anythign for him. it is quite a selfless act, but put it in the first person, and it becomes horribly self centered and self congratulatory.

A sweet and pivotal moment between Guy and Willow that shows just how great he is.

Excerpt: "I want a book," Willow blurts out finally. She supposes that this answer makes as much sense as any other. "Bullfinch's Mythology. I want my father's copy.'
Guy nods slowly, as if this makes perfect sense. He doesn't say, as someone else might, that she can walk into almost any bookstore and buy a copy, he doesn't say that he knows that she already owns a copy, that he's seen her wit it any number of times, or that he can lend her his own. Instead her just turns and says: "Okay then, looks like I'm the one who's going to have to find a car to borrow." (pg 272 hardcover)

Julia: This gets to me - this total and complete acceptance. he's going to help her, no questions asked. And by the way, in case you were wondering, going home is the fateful decision.

Okay - One more and this is basically Julia's description of what the book is about and she says it much more eloquently than I ever could.

Julia: On the face of it Willow is a story about grief, and the ways in which people process grief. But it is really a story about the redemptive power of love. It is about the love of books, the love of family, and a very special love that develops betwen Willow and Guy, a love that allows our heroine to start her journey toawrds healing.

So that's it! I hope you enjoyed the "directors" cut of Willow. It is such a beautiful story and I'm so lucky to have been able to read what went into the writing of this book. I would also like to thank Julia Hoban who not only made the winning of this book an amazing experience but has also turned out to be a fantastic person and friend! Also, thank you to Lauren and Chelsea who run the auctions. You both do an amazing job!

If you enjoyed reading the mark up's please check out  Leave A Mark Auctions and bookmark it now so your ready when the auctions start up again in August! They offer books from a variety of genres and the winning bids have been as low as $20 so there's a chance for everyone win! You get to own a one of a kind item that will have special meaning to you.

For a chance to win Willow click HERE

Willow     Buy the book: Willow


  1. I think it's great you've posted these!! It's always fun to get a marked up book. And thank you so much (again!!!) for posting about the auctions. :)


  2. This was really fun to read! I didn't know you could get books like this.
    I will book mark LAM and check out Willow - it looks like a very good book.

  3. Thanks for posting these!! They are so insightful and will really add to the reading experience of the book.

  4. Carrie - It is a really cool thing to have - I hope you check out the auctions in August...soooo much fun!
    Glad you liked it.........if you read Vintage Veronica let me know - those mark ups were a lot of fun!


  5. Wow again! Just reading through that brings the book back to me. I really wish I owned a copy as I think this is one I would reread quite often. I got mine from the library though :(
    Thanks for sharing these with us!