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Sorrow


A poignant story about friendship and love, art and music, and how these ...
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Ask the Author

Created: 12/01/20

Replies: 12

Posted Dec. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2913

Ask the Author

If you would like to ask Tiffanie DeBartolo a question, please post it here and she will respond shortly!

You may also wish to visit her website at https://www.tiffaniedebartolo.com/


Posted Dec. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AlwaysSunny

Join Date: 01/06/20

Posts: 17

Are you a guitar player or aficionado yourself? If not, how did you master the details so well?

Q. I loved this book, and I'm honestly not the type to love a contemporary love story. I'm curious about your knowledge about guitars, in particular. There are a few men in my life who I think would love this book, because they tend to talk about guitars the same way Joe and Cal do. Are you a guitar player or aficionado yourself? If not, how did you master the details so well?


A. Thank you! Prior to writing this book, my knowledge of guitars was pretty limited to knowing the names of a handful of the makes and models that my favorite guitar players play. I researched guitars quite a bit while I was working on SORROW. And I enlisted the aid of two particular people: my friend Kyle Nicolaides, who is one of the greatest guitar players I've ever met, and my brother-in-law, Don, whose guitar collection rivals Cal's. Those two taught me everything I needed to know to bring Joe's passion to life.


Posted Dec. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 132

Why did you decide to tell this story mostly in the voice of Joe, a man?

Well, interestingly enough I originally began the book writing in October's point of view. But I quickly realized that no one was going to like Joe if they couldn't hear his thoughts, see the world through his eyes, and walk in his shoes, so I switched to his POV. As you know, Joe makes some questionable choices in this story, and it felt important to me that his behaviors be understood on a personal level, so that his character might resonate in a more powerful way for readers.


Posted Dec. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
momo

Join Date: 04/03/19

Posts: 49

What were you trying to tell your readers with the 'big things'?

Q. One of the discussion questions is, "There are many big things in the book: a big dog, big trees, a big birdcage, big love, big friendship, and big art concepts" What were you trying to tell your readers?

A. To be honest, I'm never trying to tell readers anything. I want readers to find their own truths in my stories. This "big" theme was something I didn't notice until I'd finished the book. I don't see myself as a teacher when I write, I see myself as someone who is always trying to learn. And in order to learn, I have to ask *big* questions about life. My goal is as a writer to get more in touch with my humanity. To connect. Not to tell. Having said that, the realization that there are so many big things in this story speaks directly to what the story is about: that is: Big living. Being fully present. Listening to your heart. And following your dreams.


Posted Dec. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 603

What's the biggest challenge you encounter when writing?

A. For me, the biggest challenge is the inception of a story. I'm not one of those authors that has a plethora of ideas she wants to work on; I need to be compelled to write; I need to have questions I want answered or feelings and experiences I need to explore. Once that inception happens, I'm usually off to the races. But that original idea takes a long time.


Posted Dec. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 603

How has your writing changed since you wrote your first novel?

When I wrote my first novel I just sat down and started typing, and what came out was what the book ended up being. Very little changed from the first draft to what was published. I am a more meticulous writer now. I really take my time. (0bviously, since there's an almost 15 year gap between my last two novels.) I really focus on every word and comb through the manuscript, making draft after draft until it feels as close to what I want to say as I feel I can get it.


Posted Dec. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 603

Of the books you've written, which is your favorite and why?

SORROW is my favorite. Probably because it's the most recent one, and still feels pretty fresh in my mind and heart. I also think I've grown as a person and as a writer in the last decade, and SORROW reflects that, in my opinion.


Posted Dec. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 603

Now that Sorrow has been released, is there anything about it you'd like to change, in retrospect?

Q. Now that Sorrow has been released, is there anything about it you'd like to change, in retrospect? In what ways is the book different now than when you first envisioned it (i.e., did it turn out like you expected, how did it evolve over the course of its development...)?

A. Well, I don't plot out my books before I write them. In fact I know very little about what's going to happen in the story before I start writing. The bad thing about that is it probably takes me ten times longer to finish a book than someone who outlines before they begin, but it also allows me the fun of discovering the story along the way, and when you write like that you don't have expectations, you don't really envision anything, because you're rooted in the moments you're working on, you know?


Posted Dec. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AntoinetteC

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 26

How do you manage to do it all?

Q. I spent some time looking at your website at https://www.tiffaniedebartolo.com - how do you manage to do it all? You seem so multi-talented-- running, yogi, traveler, poet, artist; plus you run your own company and a charitable organization!

A. Well, first and foremost, I surround myself with talented coworkers so that I don't have to do everything myself. But the truth is, I am tired all the time! Lol. And to be honest, if the pandemic has taught me anything, it's that I often take on too much - it's hard for me to say NO because so many things interest and excite me - but slowing down is a good idea, and I've embraced that part of this crazy year.


Posted Dec. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 122

Are there autobiographical elements in Sorrow?

Q. Is the plot of Sorrow pulled from your own life? For example, are you similar to October? Do you live near the Redwoods? Are you an artist. Have you experienced a love triangle and do you have any empathic gifts?

A. Oh, wow. This question goes deep. As with all of my novels, I feel that even though the details of a story are fictional, there is always some kind of underlying emotional truth - true to my own life - that I'm exploring in my books. That is certainly true of SORROW, though the details are personal, and don't seem pertinent to anyone but me. To answer your specific questions: the plot has not been pulled from my life, apart from the fact that I also live in Mill Valley, about a mile from October's property. And of all the female characters I've ever written, I'm probably the most like October in personality. But I'm not a professional performance artist. Love triangle? I mean who hasn't accidentally found themselves in a love triangle at least once in their life? Ha ha. Empathic gift? I have a little of that. :::-)::


Posted Dec. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrained

Join Date: 12/04/20

Posts: 59

RE: Ask the Author

How did you arrive at "Sorrows" for the title? This is the first book of yours that I have read, and I almost didn't read it because of the title! I can see how "Sorrows" relates to October's art and to the struggles of the relationships, but in these times, the thought of reading something that may be depressing did not create enthusiasm. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and your writing style, and am glad, after all, that I was able to read it for review. I wondered if others might have been dissuaded for the same reason.


Posted Dec. 27, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 249

I am curious about how you decided on October's first name.

I often try on a handful of names for a character before I choose one. October's took a while to figure out. I have a friend with a daughter named October, and I've always loved it as a name. Plus it's also the title of a U2 album. :::-)::

But ultimately I settled on it because it felt right. It's always about what feels right for me.


Posted Dec. 31, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickys

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 59

How did you come across the condition of Mirror Touch Synesthesia? I thought this was made up until I Googled it

HA HA. It is real, indeed. I read an article on a different type of synesthesia years ago, and saved it in my writing file, to possibly research and use in a book at some point, as I found it really intriguing, and something I'd like to study a bit about. When I went back to it and came across other types of synesthesia, Mirror Touch really resonated with me, and I felt an immediate connection to it in relation to October. Once that happened, her character made a lot of sense to me, and I was able to write her more clearly.


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