Thursday, 13 March 2008

Keep Them Coming

Though the weather outside has turned stormy, at last a period of calm has descended in my house. Which is exactly what I need. So far, this year has been full of distractions and diversions, all productive and necessary, but not particularly helpful towards the book I am currently working on.

So now I've slipped back into a comfortable writing rut and hope to stay entrenched in it for the next few months. It's important for writers to become totally immersed in the world they are creating if the final construct is to ring true, so as I write historical fiction, I eat, drink, sleep and read nothing but the time and place I am writing about.

I continue to research while I write, frequently discovering new facts that trigger an idea for a scene or an unexpected plotline. That is part of what makes the whole process fun - like discovering about the Krokodil, the Russian Communist propaganda aircraft in the 1930s that was painted to look like a crocodile. I used it, of course. As if I could pass up on such a great image!

You just never know what you will stumble across or what is coming at you next. This element of surprise helps keep the writer - and hopefully, the reader - engaged in the story and adds to the sense of adventure that lies at the heart of books.

So while the rain beats down outside, the wind battering my magnolia and threatening to tear my roof off, I remain calmly oblivious because I'm far too busy struggling through the snows of northern Russia right now.

But I do want to mention, even as I sink deeper into my writing-cocoon, how much I value the responses of readers - in comments here on my blog or in email contact. So thanks, guys, keep them coming


buttrbeez said...

omg, i just finished The Russian Concubine and i had to check out your site for possible info on a sequel. i read back in your blogs a bit and i am SO excited to know there will be one (as of now hehe)! i read so much that i've started doing my own little book review on my myspace page and i gave this book a very glowing one at that. i'll be looking for your next novel. good luck with everything!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hey buttrbeez,

That is so cool. A glowing review on myspace is a great way to spread the word about The Russian Concubine. Thanks.

stephanie said...

Stumbled upon your book at B&N, picked it up, read the first page, and was hooked. I puchased the book and could not put it down until I finished it. I recommended it to my mom, who is also an avid reader and loved it as much as I did.
As soon as I finished your book, I got on the B&N website to see if you had any other published works and was excited to see that another was on the way. Can't wait to get my hands on it. In the meantime, any favorite authors yo have that I can look into while I wait for June to come along?

Sally said...

I go into Target every once in a while to pick up books. I think they have a very good selection. I grabbed "The Russian Concubine" when I saw the beautiful picture on the front and read the first page. I finished it last night. I am here looking to see if there are more coming and am so happy that there are. I don't know if I can wait until November, though. I may have to read some trashy things while I wait. :) Keep on scribbling.

Arielle Langhorne said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful entertainment, for taking me in the street of China... I felt the cold in Lydia's attic.. I just loved it, and forced myself to savour the book, and read it in a couple of sittings, rather than one, knowing that I would be left with emptiness, as soon as I would reach the last page.
I'm delighted you're working on a sequel, and will buy all your previous books, until that one comes out.
Again, many thanks, it is such a treat to read a beautiful story well told, with such effort to depict the historical setting.
Don't stop, stay in front of your computer please, you have fans counting on you!
Arielle in Pensacola, Fl

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Stephanie,
Good to hear you enjoyed 'The Russian Concubine' - and your mom. My favourite authors? I have so many of them, that's tough. But if it's historical fiction you enjoy, Phillippa Gregory's latest 'The Boleyn Inheritance' is a great study of the three women in Henry VIII's life. One of my all-time favourites is Audrey Niffenegger's 'The Time Traveler's Wife' and also, for something more offbeat, Neil Gaiman's brilliant 'American Gods'.

Kate Furnivall said...

Sally, I agree with you. I also think the cover of 'The Russian Concubine' is beautiful - my publisher Berkley did a fantastic job on it. I've just posted last weekend the cover of my new book 'The Red Scarf' on my website News. Check it out. It's wonderfully atmospheric. By the way, if you shopped in Target, you must be in the States, so you'll be able to buy it in June.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Arielle,
The historical setting and details of my books are something I really enjoy getting right. I spend a long time on research and enjoy every moment of it, creating in my head the vivid reality of the world I am depicting. The next one is Russia 1933, which was a difficult but fascinating period in that great country's history.
I see you're in Florida. As I woke to snow on Easter morning over here in the UK, I envy you!

Michelle said...

Like others who have commented here, I just finished The Russian Concubine and rushed to my computer to see if there is a sequel. I am so relieved to hear that one is in the making!
I could not put this book down, I read it in just a couple of sittings. I tried to only allow myself a chapter or two at a time, so I could savour the read longer, but I had no willpower and tore through it page by page.
Your characters touched my soul, and your words had me there on the streets of Junchow right beside them.
I look forward to reading The Red Scarf, and cannot wait to have the sequel to The Russian Concubine!

Kate Furnivall said...

Thanks for the generous comments, Michelle. It is always rewarding for authors to hear that the characters they create become as real and vivid in the reader's head as they are in their own. I live and breathe with my characters every second of the day - and much of the night! It's what it's all about, this writing obsession.

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Megan said...

WOW! Being the very first book I have ever bought you have me in love with reading! All the characters were so alive and vivid that I would think of them throughout the day thinking it was part of my own life! I just finished The Russian Concubine last night and have come, like all the others, to see what else is on your list of literary works, as I can't wait to purchase yet another of your books!
Thank you soooo much for giving me the joy of becoming one with a book and falling in love with reading!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Megan,
How fabulous that The Russian Concubine is the first book you've ever bought. What an honour. I'm so pleased you have fallen in love with reading which is also my passion. It will be your companion for life. Enjoy it - and my next book! Great to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the middle of reading the Russian Concubine, I can't put it down. It is quite possibly one of the most captivating reads ever! I wake up excited in the morning about getting on the train to work so I can read the book, I get off the train and walk to my office reading it and then at lunch time it comes out again. It's even had me on wikipedia looking up china history! Simply outstanding. Thanks Kate.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Anonymous 4 Nov,
That is so great to hear. It's what any author wants - that kind of involvement with the characters. Thanks for your comment.