Monday, 30 June 2008

First Week

It is great to know that The Red Scarf is receiving good reader-response in its first week on sale. To hear from one reader that it leapt out at her in Toronto airport and from another that she is starting a book club with it keeps my nerves from jangling.

The Red Scarf is a complicated and convoluted tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of 1933 Russia. It's a vivid and intense moment in history that is unfamiliar to most readers. I want people out there to get involved, to be discussing the book's ideas, to be gripped by the story, arguing over the rights and wrongs of the moral questions posed within it. And, above all, to fall in love with the characters. But isn't that what every author wants?

My intention in writing The Red Scarf was to lead my readers into a different, difficult and demanding world to see how ordinary people react under pressure. And I would like to think some of the images will linger in a reader's mind, prompting further thought, further questions. I hope so.

But the strange thing is that here I am, watching over this book's first steps, worrying and fretting over it, when at the same time I am deeply engrossed in writing the next one, a sequel to The Russian Concubine. All authors suffer this. A kind of mental tug-of-war. Pulled in two directions. One book on the bookstore shelves demanding attention with interviews and the whole PR circus, while another totally different story is clamouring for space and thought-time in one's head. Is this what it's like having twins?

But hey, who ever said novel-writing was a walk in the park? I'm fascinated by the process that builds a story in a person's head and love to know what effect it has on others. That's why it's so satisfying to receive feedback from readers. So keep it coming.

19 comments:

adirgeforher said...

Looking forward to the sequel! Here's hoping An Lo and Lydia live happily ever after :P

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi adirgeforher,
The sequel is well on its way - I can see the end in sight. Happy ever after? An author can never be absolutely certain how a story will go until the final word is written, so no promises.

Paula & Jim said...

I loved The Russian Concubine and spotted The Red Scarf and picked it up immediately. I feel like I am walking right beside Sofia. I am savouring each page!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hello paula&jim,

Thanks for your support. Sofia's journey is a tough one but she learns what the bonds of friendship really mean. I hope you enjoy travelling her road.

Anonymous said...

Kate, your book is amazing... I can't put it down and I can spend hours every day telling my husband how well you can place me in a moment... I am in awe at your description of scenes and emotions... I tell him I can't believe how well you explain the details that being in the moment would have missed... like a crease of a forehead implying doubt... beautifully written and I look forward to picking up all of your books... my only fear is that any other author would be a dissappointment.. !!... thank you so much...

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Anonymous 22 July,
It's good to know you enjoyed the book. To have such heartfelt response is what every author wants to hear - so thanks for the comments. (I hope your poor husband didn't throw my book out the window!)

Anonymous said...

I have just finished "The Russian Concubine". It was my choice for our book group, so I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else thought. I loved it and am very excited to hear that you are writing a sequel. Do you know when it will be available in the UK>

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Anonymous 26 July,

Great to know you're spreading the word through your book group. To know that Lydia and Chang et al are being talked about and argued over is extremely rewarding. Enjoy the session! The sequel will be out in the UK in June 2009 - but in the meantime, my next book UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY will be in the shops in the UK in November this year.

zoe furnivall said...

i have just bought your books and am looking forward to reading them. it's good to see other furnivall's out there. congratulations on your success :-)

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Zoe,
Great to hear from a fellow Furnivall - there aren't so many of us around with the double 'l'. I hope you enjoy the books.

seveneleven89 said...

Hi.I just know about your books,firstly because my sister just bought The Russian Concubine,while on the same day,I spotted The Red Scarf.Reading the synopsis,I fell in love with it although I never read any of your books.I love love story set during wartime,don't know why..But still didn't hve the time to buy it,when I do,I'll perhaps tell u what I think about the novel.It must be great!

Anonymous said...

As soon as I put finished reading The Russian Concubine, I read your blog and sighed with relief when I discovered that there would be a sequel.
I rushed out and purchased The Red Scarf, and hey, it lends itself to a sequel. I coaxed my husband into reading The Red Scarf as he is into history. He loved it, too.
I can hardly wait until this summer to buy the sequel to The Russian Concubine.
Loving Your Books in Arizona

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