Monday, 3 December 2007

Yes!

A dismally wet weekend here in the UK was transformed by fantastic news from my editor, Jackie, at Berkley in the States. It had me doing a Gene Kelly tap routine down Torquay High Street - umbrella and puddles included.

The Russian Concubine has hit the New York Times (extended) bestseller list. Admittedly it's not yet in the Top Twenty (a hallowed position to achieve), but still well and truly there at # 34. This is every author's dream. Christmas come early.

I have printed out a copy of it and pinned it to the wall above my computer to urge me ever onwards and upwards. I know that on days when I sit at my desk in front of a blank page and wonder what on earth is going to fill the word-quota today, the sight of The List will keep me going.

The enthusiasm of readers for the book has had a profound impact on me and drives me on to want to fulfil my side of the bargain with my new book - to provide a story that touches the heart, that entertains, yet raises questions and informs. Now I am working on the sequel to The Russian Concubine and I feel pressure to satisfy each and every reader who enjoyed the original. Sometimes that pressure freezes the pen in my hand. But at others it kicks in with such force that the words flow like last weekend's rain. That's a good place to be.

So is # 34 on the New York Times bestseller list.

26 comments:

Ashley said...

I've just your book and I loved it. It was wonderful. It deserves to crack the top 20.

Kate Furnivall said...

Thanks, Ashley. I'm pleased you enjoyed the book. To crack the top 20 on the New York Times list would be great - spread the word!

aeshbaugh said...

I have just finished yor book. I loved it. I could not put it down. I have spent 3 days wondering what lays ahead for Lydia and Chang! You did a great job at getting the readers involved! Good luck with number 2...no pressure!!!

Viskan said...

The first night I started to read your book I had to make myself stop reading after ten chapters because I had to get up in the morning for work.

I just finished the book today on the train and am now anxiously waiting to find out if you will be writing more about Lydia, I would love to know more about Alexei, Liev and Lydia how their journey to Russia will go.

I really love the book and it really is a book that I am recommending to friends, family and coworkers, in fact there is a girl working with me that has asked to borrow my book because I've complimented it.

Thank you for the book! It is a delight to read and I can't wait a full year for your next book!

With best regards.

Sveina - A mad Icelander

viskan@viskan.co.uk

Kate Furnivall said...

Good to hear you loved the book, Aeshbaugh. I'm enjoying getting involved with Lydia again for the next book - but yes, the pressure is building!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hey Viskan, a mad Icelander in Iceland? Fantastic to hear the book is travelling to the land of Egil and Njal and Freyfaxi - sagas I loved. A great ancient tradition of story-telling.

My own story of Lydia, Liev and Alexei will be continuing into a saga of its own. But in the meantime, watch out for my new one - called Under A Blood Red Sky here in the UK but The Red Scarf in the USA - due to be published in 2008.

Good to hear from you.

Nina said...

Hi, I am from Croatia and I have finished the book two days ago and it was briliant!It had everything I like in the book it would make a good movie too...I can wayt to see what would your nex book be like;I hope that it will be interesting,and combined wid wonderful history as the first one had been.p.s.sorry for eny spelling mestakes,I hope there are not many..

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Nina,

I'm delighted to hear that The Russian Concubine is crossing so many borders. Wouldn't it be great as a movie? I'd love that. Who knows, it may happen one day. Thanks for your comments.

Jennifer said...

I bought your book as a Christmas present to myself, and finally got to read it last night. I did not put it down and read every page in one sitting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I can't wait to read more from you (especially more about Lydia and Chang). Good luck with the next book, and I agree with Ashley, it deserves to crack the top 20!

mia said...

I live on mainland Europe and brought your book coming through the ferry terminal in Dover. I couldn't put it down and now have that feeling of loss that happens when you turn the last page of a truly good read. I can't wait for your next book in November 2008.

I truly hope this makes it into the top 20! I would also love to see it turned into a film even though books afer often best in your head, your book would make an action-packed, interesting and moving film.

torabora said...

I just finished your book about four hours ago and I still can not get it out of my head. It was amazing, I even kept going back and rereading my favorite parts just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I had the week off of work and am so glad I did because I would truly be up till 5 am reading it. I'm so glad there is gonna be another one and great job on the first. 8)

Viskan said...

I'll be waiting for your next book. I did pass the book on to a couple of friends in Iceland but I am living in England myself.

With best regards.

Viskan

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Jennifer. To read The Russian Concubine in one sitting is quite a feat - you and Kate Mosse both did it! I'm so pleased it grabbed you by the throat that way.

Happy New Year to you.

Kate Furnivall said...

Yes, Mia, I know what you mean about that sense of loss - like a physical pain in the chest. I felt it myself when I finished writing the book, but now I'm back with Lydia and loving every minute of it. But the pressure is on.

Happy New Year to you.

Kate Furnivall said...

Thanks, torabora, for your generous words. It means a lot to me to hear people are getting so involved.

Happy New Year to you.

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Jessica said...

I just finished your book tonight, wow! Really great, thank you for your wonderful characters and story. I cannot wait till the next one and will be keeping a watchful eye out for it and your new one later this year.

Anonymous said...

I loved you book so much!! I couldn't put it down. I was wondering if there was going to be a second one to follow it?

Robin said...

Received your book for Christmas and found it very hard to put down and get on with the housework. Hope you have a sequel in the planning???
Robin Laws-Herd
Australia

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Jessica,
It's great to hear you enjoyed the book. I somehow missed spotting your comment before now, but hey, better late than never. The new one will be out in June in USA, July in other countries and November in the UK. Enjoy.

Kate Furnivall said...

Well, anonymous, there certainly will be. The sequel will be published in 2009, but before that, an unrelated big epic love story will be out this year, called Under a Blood Red Sky in the UK and The Red Scarf in the USA.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Robin in Australia.
I love it when people add their country to an email, so I know where they're coming from. As I have said above, the sequel with Lydia will be out in 2009. But in the meantime watch out for Under a Blood Red Sky in July this year. Anyway - who needs housework?

Anonymous said...

Having been born in Shanghai, brought up in HK in the 50's and 60's I knew lots of white Russians who fled the motherland. My own mother told stories like yours to me as a child so I recognised more than a thread of truth. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was your phonetic use of chinese. I am bilingual and it just didn't sit well with me. Otherwise, a good read. Thank you and good luck with the next.

Kate Furnivall said...

To Anonymous (15 March) I want to say I can well understand that the phonetic spelling of the Chinese language may be irritating to a Chinese speaker such as yourself. But honestly, there is no alternative. English speakers want a flavour of what these words would sound like - they help to create the world of China in the reader's mind. But glad you enjoyed it otherwise.

Sarah said...

Hi Kate,
I am thrilled to know I can leave you a comment on your book, The Russian Concubine. I'm not much of a reader but with this book, it didn't take me long to finish it. The story was so surreal to me, being a chinese and I can relate to it all, well most. But I tend to agree with 'anonymous(15 March08)' on the chinese phonetics. I can only get the meaning 7 out of 10 times. But it's easily forgiven as I was so engrossed with the story line. I do agree too that Ang Lee should make a movie out of this book. If only he'd come across this book! Well done and totally loved the book!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Sarah,
Good to hear from you and that you enjoyed The Russian Concubine. I find it especially rewarding when someone of Chinese origin like yourself feels the book rings true. That's really important to me. About the phonetics - I can only repeat what I said before. It may be annoying to experts in the language, but it is important for readers who know no Chinese to get a feel of the sounds of the language, and as for accuracy, I'm afraid I'm in the hands of others for that.
But an Ang Lee movie - yesss! I can dream.