Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Mysterious Affair Of Rose Brier's Birthday...

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!! DO NOT READ THIS POST UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK!!!!

Q: In WR Rose is in the play on her birthday which I read on the BaN page was April 13. But, she is still working on a paper for a class in her first semester, after her birthday, and my understanding of college courses is that they are only 1 semester classes. So, I'm a little confused about that. Also, if Rose's birthday is in April, am I to understand that Rose was in a coma till sometime in the next year?

Q: i'm confused about the timeline of WR, i know her b-day is in the spring but i thought she went into the coma in the fall... am i wrong? please explain :)
confused in nebraska



We do seem to have a conundrum here. How indeed could Rose be in a coma for more than a year when she clearly has a birthday shortly before she goes into the coma and also clearly awakens in the spring?

The solution is ... um... well, I decided to change her birthday.

In 2004, I received the following question about my four main characters:
How old are they and when are their birthdays? - Aubrey, 10/21/04

And I responded:
The Denniston brothers and the Brier sisters are unusual in that they are both a year apart from each other, and consecutively. Thus at the end of Black as Night, Bear is 21, Fish is 20, Blanche is 19, and Rose is 18. If you really want to know their birthdays, they are:
Bear: Jan 31
Fish: Nov 2
Blanche: Feb 22 (president’s day)
Rose: April 13

I admit I pulled the birthdays out of the blue to answer Aubrey's question, without really considering how they would affect the timeline of the story. After all, up until that point, I hadn't ever shown any of them having a birthday.

But when I went to finish Waking Rose this past summer, I decided to pay homage to Tchaichowsky's ballet Sleeping Beauty, whose princess dances at a grand birthday ball with three princes she does not marry, shortly before her enchanted sleep. So I threw a party for Rose, literally, and was quite pleased with how the scene turned out. Only much later did I realize that I had inadvertantly contradicted my answer to Aubrey's question.

So, deciding that everything that was published in book form was canonical, and that everything published on the website was merely apocryphal, as it were, I decided to override what I had written in 2004 and change Rose's birthday to November 2 (I simply switched it with Fish's birthday).

I have yet to figure out if this causes any inconsistences with The Shadow of the Bear (I believe it might) or Black as Night.... but maybe the rest of you can tell you if it does faster than I can? :)

All I can say is, not every writer can boast of having fans who are as sharp, observant, and savvy as I can. Those of you who spotted the error (and so very quickly!) probably deserve to be awarded the Catholic Nancy Drew honorarium. (Shall I make an official award?)

Oh, like any good counterfeiter, I have now covered my tracks by changing the dates on the website to:

Bear: Jan 31
Fish: April 13
Blanche: Feb 22 (president’s day)
Rose: Nov 2

:)

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

teehee, i the person who wrote the second question you put up on the blog, would it surprise you that one entire shelf of my floor to ceiling book shelf is devoted to nancy drew and the hardy boys? yes, ever since i was eleven or ten i've been collecting them, the originals the casefiles and the ones that go into the hundreds i've got a lot of them, that's all i say, in fact this past weekend we had a halloween party and me and 2 friends went as nancy, george and bess. i had to be nancy of course because i have red hair :)

Delaney said...

I believe in Black As Night Fish says "I'll be 20 in November," when Bear tells him that Rose is 18.

Anonymous said...

Cool, I'd love to recive a Catholic Nancy Drew honorarium! :) I love mysteries stories and have been reading them for years! Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Dana Girls, Trixie Belden, and the list goes on!
I just wanted to thank you so very much Ms. Doman, for writing such wonderful books that intice you to pay close attention to all the details.
I can't wait for The Midnight Dancers! Joanna F.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is "Audrey". Aubrey actually. I had been wondering about that slight inconsistency regarding the birthdays. Hope I didn't create too much of a mess by asking about everyone's birthdays:)

regina doman said...

Sorry about the messup, Aubrey! I SHOULD have remembered that!!!

Anonymous said...

hey, i forgot to mention trixie too, i actually like those more than nancy and the hardys cause it seems like they don't stay the same age forever or maybe its because they actually mention other mysteries that have come before :)

Elizabeth said...

Lol- another similarity between my sister and I and Rose and Blanche....my sister's b-day is a week before Rose's, and my birthday is two days before Blanche's. Hurrah! =)

"Lady Rose" said...

Hmmm, I wonder how many "Happy Birthday Rose!"'s will be coming in tommarrow????

Will you post Rachael and her sisters birthdays? And Paul's? Oh, and will anyone ever have a birthday on March 20th, (The first day of spring?)

Happy All Saints Day!

"Lady Rose" said...

Your life is a flower, not quite unfold,
A beautiful story, with pages untold.
With breath-taking adventures, your life will abound,
There are more sorrows, and joys, yet to be found.

On this day, the start of a new year,
I wish you happiness, joy, peace, and cheer.
May the angels and saints, smile on you this day,
And Our dear Lord bless you, in every way.

Happy Birthday Rose!

Anonymous said...

'happy happy birthday, from all of us to you! we wish it was our birthday[s] so we could party too hey!' its from the emporer's new groove :) happy b-day to the awsome-est character so far :)

regina doman said...

On Rose's behalf, thank you! :)

Q: Will you post Rachael and her sisters birthdays? And Paul's? Oh, and will anyone ever have a birthday on March 20th, (The first day of spring?)

I doubt I'll be posting any birthdays unless they figure in the plot, seeing as I've gotten into trouble that way. There is *one* birthday in the Midnight Dancers, but it's not Rachel's, and it's not Paul's.

"Lady Rose" said...

Just thought I'd mention... In Black as Night, Bear tells Fish that Rose turned 18 in April. And on the same page, Fish tells Bear that he will be 20 in November. I don't think you ever mention Bear and Blanche's birthdays, so you are safe there.

God Bless!

Ps. Do I get the award????

Anonymous said...

Is the birthday in the Midnight Dancers the youngest daughter's? I am really looking forward to her character, particularly since we haven't seen a lot of child characters yet and those are always a lot of fun in my humble opinion.

A.H.

P.S. Lady Rose, that was a beutiful birthday rhyme! Did you make that up or did you find it somewhere? Either way, very sweet!

Anonymous said...

There's another 'mysterious affair' I'm wondering about. After 'Black as Night' was published, you were asked who owned the apartment that Bear and Fish lived in during the first two books. You replied that you couldn't answer that until the next book was published. Well, I'm still as mystified as ever - or did you mean that we have to wait for Fish's inerim book to find out?

-GKC lover

"Lady Rose" said...

Yes, I made it up! I really enjoy making up poems for my friends' birthdays. (Any birthday, for that matter. :)
I am glad you liked it!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

i have kind of a silly question... how do you pronounce rose and blanche's last name [previous to their marriages]??? i've heard it pronounced different ways and was just wondering... is it bri-er??? or something else :)

Alyssa said...

Lady Rose- what a gorgeous poem! (can I call it a poem? It was pretty enough!) Did you make it up? If not, who did write it?
Oh, and, Regina, this question's for you: did someone in your family write Bear's poem, the response to "Nothing Gold Can Stay"? I thought I saw in the copyright page that it was written by a somebody Smiedicke? (I know I miss-spelled that; sorry!) I was just wondering if that was one of your realatives or maybe your husband? (I thought I recalled the last name before, and, as your real name isn't posted, always wondered....) Just wondering!
It was a gorgeous poem, by the way.

Delaney said...

People are addressing some of the very things I was thinking of as I read the book a few days ago! :P Like the poem, "Only to Rise." I was going to ask who wrote it when I saw it on the copyright page at the beginning. *facepalm*

My other question was about the part where Blanche is listening to Bear and Fish talking on the prom adventure night. Fish says something like "Do you still think this guy is a figment of my imagination?" (Probably misquoted it - sorry.)

So now I'm confused. Who did break into the Foster's home? I thought Bear and Fish were already acquainted with Mr. Freet at this point.

I also had another question: I cam across a poet named Stephen Foster. Is this just a coincidence, or did you name your character after him?

One last thing: My friend just read The Shadow of the Bear yesterday and she thought it was amazing. I had first told her about the books back in April, so I'm so happy she FINALLY read the first one.

Mae said...

Anonymous,
I had always pronounced Blanche and Rose's last name as bri-er. It was only after listening to the radio drama that I realized it was actually pronounced Breer. I'm glad I know the correct pronunciation but I can't stop myself from using the old one just the same. :)

regina doman said...

The poem "Only to Rise" in response to "Nothing Gold Can Stay" in TSOTB was written by Nathan Schmiedicke, my brother-in-law.

regina doman said...

Q: Do I get the award???? - Lady Rose

A: In the words of Dilbert's boss, I award you this award!

Q: Is the birthday in the Midnight Dancers the youngest daughter's?

A: No. I don't know if an eleven-year-old counts as a 'child character?' To me, they seem older.

Q: There's another 'mysterious affair' I'm wondering about. After 'Black as Night' was published, you were asked who owned the apartment that Bear and Fish lived in during the first two books. You replied that you couldn't answer that until the next book was published. Well, I'm still as mystified as ever. - GKC Lover

A: I believe I can clear that up for you now. As I said in Black as Night, the apartment belonged to Bear and Fish's father.

After their parents separated, the boys shared that apartment with their mother. When Mrs. Denniston died, the ownership of the apartment passed into the hands of Mr. Denniston. However, he didn't change either the decor (though no doubt Elaine wanted to) OR the locks, so the boys could sneak into the apartment occasionally. (Though they only did so in cases of grave emergency - such as on the night of the prom.)

The reason I was so coy about answering this question before Black as Night was published was because at one point during the writing process, the apartment was owned by Elaine (and at one point, it was even owned by Elaine's daughter Jane). Those of you who found and opened the secret door on the Black as Night website know the story of the fourteen different drafts of Black as Night - and you can see how the apartment might have figured in those drafts. For those of you who haven't found that secret door, I think it's still there, waiting to be found!

Good question!


Q: i have kind of a silly question... how do you pronounce rose and blanche's last name?

A: Not a silly question at all. Mae is correct: "Brier" is pronounced "Breer," which I believe is the correct German pronnunciation (the family is German-Irish).


Q: My other question was about the part where Blanche is listening to Bear and Fish talking on the prom adventure night. Fish says something like "Do you still think this guy is a figment of my imagination?" (Probably misquoted it - sorry.)

So now I'm confused. Who did break into the Foster's home? I thought Bear and Fish were already acquainted with Mr. Freet at this point.


A: It was Mr. Freet. The brothers were acquainted with Mr. Freet at the time of the robbery, but they had no idea that he was behind either the robbery or the murder of Fr. Raymond.

I believe that they started investigating the murder with the idea that perhaps a drug gang was involved: but later started thinking (especially because of Fr. Raymond's behavior the night before his murder: see the audio drama for details!) that the murder was the act of one person, whose motivation was not drug money, but the vessels that Fr. Raymond collected and cared for.

The audio drama actually muddles this point: at one point in the audio drama, it is Bear who is convinced that they are searching for one man, a man who is after the vessels. In the book, it's clearly Fish who has this idea. So there are some slight discrepancies still.


Q: I also had another question: I came across a poet named Stephen Foster. Is this just a coincidence, or did you name your character after him?

A: If you mean the American songwriter Stephen Foster, then no, there's no coincidence! :) YOu may be the first person to notice this! (Though in the original book Stephen's name is Stevenson.)

delaney said...

Yes, I did mean him. Songwriter is a more accurate term, now that I think of it, but he's in a book of poetry that I have, so "poet" just automatically locked itself on top of his name. :P

Anonymous said...

In Black as Night, duting the 'sixteen is a state of mind' scene in prison, Bear tells Fish that Rose's bithday was that past April. Also, when Bear says "The mature nineteen-year-old that you are," Fish reacts with, "I'm twenty in November", or words to that effect. Sorry - had to mention that! I know that that ntohing can really be done about it until the next edition, I'll just substitute the names of the months in my mind.

"Lady Rose" said...

Regina, just thought I'd let you know, the secret door isn't there anymore. Please put it back if you can! I was told about the door, so I havn't read the drafts, but I would really like to!

regina doman said...

It's on my "to do list" (or my husband's list...) :)

I think we can fix the date errors in Black as Night fairly soon... one of the perks of print-on-demand.

Anonymous said...

what secret door,was there an alert??? i didn't see one...

regina doman said...

This is an old secret door that I posted years ago - when Black as Night was published, actually...

"Lady Rose" said...

Regina, you said somewhere that you would be fixing the birthdates in Black as Night, when will that version be available???

regina doman said...

Tonight, if it uploads okay!

Anonymous said...

My sisters' birthday is Nov. 2! :))

Anonymous said...

In WR (p. 120), Rose says "I've always been a year younger than you" to Fish. But according to the list above, she is two years younger than him. Is she really one year younger, or are the birthdays and years able to magically change because it's a fairy tale?

Anonymous said...

We fixed this in the latest editions of The Shadow of the Bear and Black as Night a few months ago by making Rose and Blanche "Irish twins". Rose is only about eight months younger than Blanche. Born premature. So when Shadow starts, both Blanche and Rose are 17, but within a month or so, Blanche turns 18.

So now in the lastest edition of Shadow when Fish and Rose are waiting to be let out of Mr. Freet's cellar, Rose says, "I'm seventeen." instead of sixteen.

-- Author's Husband

Annie Marie said...

Yeah! My birhday is April 13th so I share a birhday with Rose(previously) and Fish( my favorite charachter )