Saturday, 30 May 2009

Publication Day


Great excitement. My new book, The Girl From Junchow (titled The Concubine's Secret in UK) is published this week in the US by my lovely publisher Berkley - and yes, at long last it IS the sequel to The Russian Concubine. Lydia is back!

As the sequel to an already successful book, The Girl from Junchow carries a weight of expectations on its shoulders. But I think fans will enjoy this complex story, seeing Lydia grow up and mature during the course of this book. The story portrays her attempts to seek out her father in Russia, but she is driven by much more than just the need to be reunited with him. New characters emerge in her life and old characters leave. Is one of them Chang An Lo?

Hah! You'll have to read the book to find out.

I love the cover that Berkley have created. The pastel palette is exquisite. Berkley has used the same model as on the cover of The Russian Concubine, but turned her round to face out - clothed this time! There is a delicate virginal quality to it that captures something that lies at the heart of Lydia herself - however much her wayward spirit drives her on to hunt out the challenges in her path. I'd pick this cover off a shelf myself.

Getting the cover (and title) right is a fine art. Publisher's agonise over it. A cover can make or break a book. It's the first point of contact between the writer and the reader. No time to make a second impression. A fleeting moment to seize the attention and persuade the buyer to pick it up. Then it's over to me, as they browse the first few lines. But don't fret, Lydia is there, waiting for them. I wish her luck.

27 comments:

Erin from Ohio said...

They say don't judge a book by its cover, but like I said it's only natural to.

I like the U.S. one but I like the strong contrasts in the U.K. one, the red and blue with the pale of her skin. I'm a big contrast girl, lol, if you couldn't tell. I also like the U.K. version to the prequel of this book, though I do love the U.S. of The Red Scarf.

But they are all lovely, they did a wonderful job as always.

Tara said...

I just finished The Russian Concumbine, at work no less! I couldn't keep my eyes open last night and had to finish it, so it came with me this morning. As I was done, I had this overwhelming feeling of being let down, thinking to myself, she(Kate) left it very open for a sequel, I hope that she does! So I perused the internet and low and behold, there it is!! I have mine on pre-order through Amazon. Thank you for not ending the story!

Tracy, Melbourne said...

When will the sequel be released in Australia? What title will it go under - the US or the UK?

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Erin,
Glad you agree - they're super covers. But interesting how they differ from country to country. The Netherlands has done me some particularly lovely ones. It's always an exciting moment when each country sends me the first copy of the book and I get to see what image they have created. Will it jump off the shelf? I hope so.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Tara,
It's great to hear that Lydia and Chang had you so engrossed. Living someone else's life for a short while can be very addictive - for writers as well as for readers. I enjoyed meeting up with Lydia again for the sequel, though at times I felt rotten inflicting more suffering on this young girl. But she is a born survivor.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Tracy,
I believe the publication date in Australia is the same as in the UK - 2nd July. It will be called The Concubine's Secret, as in the UK. Hope you enjoy Lydia's journey into Russia. She faces hardships, temptations and as always is a force to be reckoned with. I just love her.

LWolf said...

I bought The Girl From Junchow the day it came out after waiting more than a year. I read it in one day. It was wonderful. Am I being delusional or having a severe case of wishfull thinking to say I felt the ending has left the door open for a third installment?

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi L Wolf,
Thanks for the comments on The Girl From Junchow. You're the first. A fast reader. Endings are always hard because I hate tacking a neat ending on a story that is meant to be close to real life. Life doesn't have neat endings. This ending (without giving anything away to those who haven't yet read it) sort of wrote itself -dictated by the characters. As for a third installment - not on the cards at the moment, but I never say never!

bookinn said...

I am just about done with The Red Scarf and enjoyed it immensely!
I will definitely be reading your other books.
Thanks!
Natalie

sherri from seattle said...

Hooray!! My mom and I are both looking forward to reading, The Girl from Junchow. My local indie bookseller turned me on to The Russian Concubine when I was looking for a book to take on vacation. I was absolutely thrilled by the story and couldn't wait to share it with my mom. We also enjoyed The Red Scarf. You're a fabulous storyteller. Thank you!!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Sherri from Seattle,
I just love Seattle. I had a great time there on my book tour in 2007 and the indie booksellers were something special. And you have the coolest library in the world. I wish you and your mom a good read in The Girl From Junchow.

Anonymous said...

I just finished the sequel and promptly re-read both books! I cannot get enough of Lydia and Chang. I am with LWolf and hope this isn't the last of them :)

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Anonymous 14 June,
Great to hear you enjoyed both books. Over here in UK they will be sold together with a band around them, so that readers have the chance to follow the full story of Lydia and Chang. The book I'm working on now will feature Lydia in a minor role - not as the main character. Intriguing??

Ruth =] said...

I am so excited about this sequel. I loved The Russian Concubine and have read it at LEAST 3 times since buying it.

I'm looking forward to the new book :) xxx

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Ruth,
That is music to an author's ears. Happy reading with the new one. Mmmm, Scotland, science and strawberry milkshakes - a girl after my own heart...

Christy said...

I can't wait to read this book!
I'm so excited, is this book going to be out in Canada? I loved Lydia and Chang, I hope they are still together in this sequel! I read the Russian Concubine in one day after buying it in Hong Kong. Keep up the good work!

Christy said...

Never mind, I just bought it and read it today! It was great, very unexpected, I just hope you will write a short sequel to this one too haha! But the ending was very satisfying as well, so I'm sure readers will enjoy this sequel. Cheers!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Christy,

It's good to hear that you enjoyed Lydia's latest journey and her progression from girl to young woman in The Concubine's Secret/The Girl From Junchow. As for a sequel to the sequel - it's a possibility, as already I am receiving so many emails requesting one. But in the meantime wait for next summer when my new one will be published - it's a prequel! Valentina's story.

Jade said...

I just finished GFJ. I love both GFJ and RC. So I also throw in my vote for another round with Lydia and Chang. However, maybe on the third go around she won't have to experience as much suffering. Maybe she can experience a realistic fairy tale (not a Hollywood Ending). Yeah...I am a romantic and I am pulling hard for Lydia and Chang. Great Job!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Jade,
I'm delighted that you enjoyed TGFJ. I've had comments from some readers who even preferred it to the original, TRC. I do think Lydia has been through enough and if I do decide to revisit her story, I promise I will give her an easier time! She deserves it.

Cátia said...

I absulutly loved the russian concubine, and I can't wait for the sequel to be translated to portuguese. i actualy cried when Lydia abd Chang had to separat

congradiulations, you're an amazing writer, and i am going ti try to buy the rest of your books

Karen said...

Hi Kate

I'm from South Africa and am a member of a book club called Leisure Books. Every quarter we get a catalogue from which to order. A while ago I was paging through my catalogue and my eyes were instantly drawn to this book's exquisite cover. I'd never heard of the author, so I read the overview of the book and thought what the hell sounds pretty intriguing. That was when I bought The Russian Concubine. I finished it in 2 days, couldn't put it down! Next time our book catalogue came in the post, the first thing i looked for was if there were any more books by you. There was and I placed my order for Under A Blood Red Sky that same day. Your books are addictive and I'm now trying to locate The Concubines Secret - hope it's out in SA soon.

Thanks for the great stories. Keep 'em coming!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Catia,
I love to hear from people who enjoy my books in another language. As I don't speak Portuguese, I have to rely on readers like yourself to tell me whether the book works in translation. But my Portuguese publishers are excellent and have obviously done a strong job when translating it. I hope you also enjoy the others when they come out in your country.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Karen,
Thank goodness for your book club catalogues! The Concubine's Secret should be out in SA this week, on July 2nd. I am very excited about the fact that my publisher is sending me out to SA on a book tour April/May next year, so I am very much looking forward to meeting and talking with my readers out there. I don't yet know which cities, but maybe one will be near where you live. Thanks for writing.

Janae said...

I loved The Girl from Junchow. I couldn't put it down. I was so eager to find out if Lydia would again find Chang. I loved learning more about Alexei, Liev, and all of the other characters. I am not sure why, but these books are magical! Thank you for your creativity and books!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Janae,
Sorry I'm late picking up this post. Thank you for your generous words - I can think of no greater praise than the word 'magical' for my writing. I hope you will also enjoy the prequel The Jewel of St Petersburg which will be published this year 2010. Happy New Year to you.

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