Saturday, 27 October 2007

Publication in UK

Finally Publication week for The Russian Concubine is here in the UK. I am ecstatic. It satisfies something very fundamental in me to have my book published in my own country.

I can't wait to be wandering down the High Street into the bookstores or pushing a trolley round the supermarkets and have The Russian Concubine jump out at me. I think the cover is beautiful - thank you, Sphere and Berkley.

Will I rush in and rearrange the displays to feature mine more prominently? I might. I know it happens! And can you blame an author, after all that blood, tantrums and tears?

Sphere have been fantastic about keeping me posted about sell-in to retailers and which magazines and newspapers will be doing reviews. (That kind of update really helps the nerves.) So far it's looking good, with the major supermarkets taking it, as well as the major booksellers. I shall definitely be rushing into the bookshop at Paddington Station when I travel up to London this week and scouring its shelves, like a mother lion seeking out her cub. I might seriously have to restrain myself from thrusting it into shoppers' hands.

Reviews. The dreaded word. That's the next hurdle to leap. I shall be reading them from behind a cushion and with a glass of Pinot in hand, like my son used to watch Dr Who - without the Pinot of course!

But there are already exciting glimmers of hope. Marie Claire has named it Book of the Month in December and WHSmith Travel has chosen it for ROTW (that's Read of the Week) this week.

What a Publication Day present that is!


Anonymous said...

I finished your novel and couldn't bear to read another book as I didn't want the taste of it to leave... I did what I have never done before in reading, I started to read it again! My husband couldn't believe it- but I felt such a connection to the characters and felt like I wasn't ready to let them go. A fantastic novel! Congratulations!

I finished reading MM Kaye's autobiography- three volumes to get her into her mid-twenties. You might find it interesting for your research as she lived in pre-communist China as well as India. She was in China when the communist revolution was just beginning. Her description of the city they lived in really reminded me of the Russian Concubine's Junchow!

While I am still basking in the glow of Chang and Lydia both making through the harrowing ordeals at the end of the book, I would love to know your process in starting the sequel!! What is your decision process- how do you decide where it starts up again and where it will go? I am assuming that you are researching pre and post-communist Russia and China.

I won't hurry you on your journey, but I can't wait for the next book- maybe think of a sequel after that...

Things I loved about the book were the historical descriptions- the character development- Lydia being a strong independent female character (stronger than any I have had the pleasure of meeting in the past)- and all of the loose ends braiding their way into the end neatly.

Thank you for a great double read!!

Kate Furnivall said...

Thanks for your generous words. The book means a lot to me and I am touched when it reverberates with others too.

As for how I set about the sequel, well I am discovering as I go along. From the moment I finished The Russian Concubine I knew what the opening scene would be in the continuation of Lydia's story. But quite where it would go from there, I had little idea other than that she would be searching for her father.

In the meantime I have written another unrelated book (entitled The Red Scarf (USA)/Under A Blood Red Sky (UK) to be published in 2008), so I have now returned to Lydia with fresh eyes and an open mind.

I had no problem deciding where to pick up the story, but I am still discovering how to fill in sufficient back-story for new readers, without boring those already familiar with the events of The Russian Concubine. I drip them in but don't dwell on them.

I plot it like a brand new book and the exciting part is introducing the new characters, because that produces a totally different dynamic. The hard part is ensuring the tone and 'voice' of the book is the same.

But being reuntied with Lydia is well worth all the effort!

Anonymous said...

This is definitely one of those books that will remain forever as a true classic. The plot, the drama, the emotion, the romance, the tragedy and the cliffhangers reminiscent of yesteryear authorship.

Tolstoy, Pasternak and Dostoevsky all rolled in to one - but better.

Virginia Woolf stated that Dostoevsky's novels are ' .... composed purely and wholly of the stuff of the soul. Against our wills we are drawn in, whirled round, blinded, suffocated, and at the same time filled with a giddy rapture. Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading.'

The Russian Concubine embodies this statement in all its glory.

A truly inspiring tale that grips all readers to the point where nothing else exists in the world until, unfortuantely, the last word is read of the book.

Thankyou for the wonderful journey into the world of power, privilege and social status around the world.

My family and friends cannot wait for your next novel - and most importantly - the sequel to this novel.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate,
your novel is undoubtedly a talented work. Every page is engaging, and one just can not stop reading till the last page. You know how to handle characters and keep tension, and all that stuff. But there is one large but: the quality of your research into Russian-related elements is below any standards. I was really surprised to find out that your mother was a White Russian, because the number of inaccuracies - not historical I mean, but, let's say, cultural - is unacceptable. Nonetheless, the book is really good!

Anonymous said...

Now, one of the previous bloggers...Tolstoy, Pasternak and Dostoevsky all rolled into one but even better? I'd dare say it is an insult.

khmerbird said...

i just bought your book, starting to read now, i like your writing style, it's sweet nice and easy to understand. i will make an review after i finished. I like your books.
i also make a post here in my blog,

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