Thursday, 20 October 2011


The summer months flew by in a blur of broken knee, followed by trips to Italy (stunning scenery) and Germany (wonderful wedding), but now I am deep into research for another book - which I am loving. An inside peek for you - it will be set in Egypt.

But that's for the future. The big news at the moment is that my next book, THE WHITE PEARL, will be published in December in large format, and in usual paperback size in February 2012 in the UK and in March 2012 in the US. I am thrilled with the cover which says it all - the sweltering heat of Malaya, a young woman caught up in the danger of enemy airplanes and the passion of a love affair that changes the course of her life forever.

To explore Malaya (yes, I know it's Malaysia now but in 1941 when the book is set, it was called Malaya) was an exciting change after my last three books in Russia. I loved the challenge of learning to understand somewhere completely new to me, a different culture, a different world. I chose Malaya and I chose 1941 because it was a time when this astonishingly beautiful country was poised on the brink of catastrophe and when internal conflicts were preparing to tear the country apart as it tried to throw off the heavy yoke of colonialism.

So what's the story about?

Connie Hadley is my heroine. Warm and passionate but flawed. As the glamorous wife of a plantation owner, her life appears pampered and comfortable. But she is hiding a devastating secret that could destroy her marriage. Her world is blown apart on the day of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour, when the Japanese army also invades Malaya. Connie takes the decision to flee on the family's yacht, The White Pearl, so she sails with her husband and son and a handful of friends in search of safety. But on the yacht, in constant danger, fear strips away good manners and anger causes divisions until .....

Enough, enough! I won't tell more. Don't want to let spoilers slip out.

This is always a difficult time for an author. The new book hangs in limbo, the writing finished, copyediting done, cover and blurb decided on by the publisher - just waiting for launch day. It's a nervy time. Early pre-publication copies have gone out to reviewers. Which magazines and newspapers will pick it up for review or even an article? And my head is still half in Malaya with Connie, but at the same time I am rummaging around with Howard Carter in Tutankhamun's tomb for the next book.

I try to be patient but I am itching to see THE WHITE PEARL on the bookshelves. Not long now.


Amy said...

Hi Kate, I am a huge fan of yours and am so excited for the release of this novel! The cover is beautiful and I can't wait to pick it up, thanks for posting!

Allison Macias said...

I, like Amy, am a huge fan. I fell in love with the cover of The Russian Concubine and the rest is history. While I love your Russian stories, I can't wait to read your book on Egypt! Cheers to you and hope the writing process is smooth and wonderful!

Vicky said...

I'm itching to be able to buy it. I've loved all your previous books and I am sure I will love this one too. :)

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the comment. I have been remiss at keeping up with my blog but when I receive instant comments like yours, it makes me remember how great it is to keep in touch with my readers. So pleased you like the cover too. I am always relieved when my US publisher and my UK publisher agree to use the same cover and title - it saves so much confusion. A lot of publishers won't touch a green cover - meant to be bad luck and therefore unpopular with readers - but I think it looks great.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Allison,
Great to hear from you. Knowing that fans like you are out there makes the tough times - when the writing just won't come and a blank page stares back at me - easier to get through. So thanks. I am very excited about the Egypt book and am off for a research trip out there next month. I can't wait!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Vicky,
I adore your impatience to get your hands on THE WHITE PEARL. It makes me smile with pleasure. I was told some years ago by my agent always to write the title of my book in capital letters because it makes it sound MORE IMPORTANT!! So I'm not shouting, just getting the new title out there. I hope you enjoy it.

Marg said...

Woo-hoo! Can't wait to get my hands on this one, and the cover is gorgeous!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hey Marg,
You're always so enthusiastic - I love it. This one is hot and exotic and edgy in an enticing kind of way. Go for it!

Laura Jacob said...

I am also a huge fan of your books!
I can't wait to read this new novel! I might look for an earlier UK copy instead of waiting for the US publication date!

I wrote you comment as well down on your post on "Why a Prequel?"

Laura :)

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Laura,
Thanks for your previous post - I appreciate the great comments. An author spends probably a year of her/his life living, eating, breathing with the characters from the latest book, so it is sometimes hard to believe they are not real people. How can they be fantasy, when they talk to me inside my head? So it is immensely rewarding to hear that readers like yourself are swept up in the intensity of the story and believe in it as much as I do.
So, yes, Lydia is still chattering in my ear and I fully expect her to demand a reappearance one day soon. A story set in Hong Kong, as a British crown colony in the 1930s, tempts me into action, but first I must fight my way through the sand and heat of Egypt's desert. Scorpions abound!

Richard said...

Hi Kate,
Great cover! I always love the covers of your books. Especially liked the 'Red Scarf'...and this one is up there with the best. Can't wait to read it too! Always a pleasure to pick one of your books up and submerge myself for a couple of weeks in historic love, drama and romance (while trying hard not to get distracted by life, work and grocery shopping).
Good luck with Egypt!

Richard said...

p.s sorry to hear about the broken knee!

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Richard,
Good to hear from you again and thanks for the knee commiserations. All better now. I am off to Egypt for research in two weeks, so my knee is in training for camel-climbing! In The White Pearl much of the story takes place on board a 1930s yacht, but as I am not a sailor I had to beg help from sailing friends who know the difference between a belaying pin and a bobstay. So this time I am making sure I know exactly what it feels like to ride a camel through desert sand or to sink into the heat and history of the ancient tombs. Can't wait. Happy reading.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate,

It's such a big pleasure to be able to drop you a line. I'm a big fan of your incredible works! I've just finished The White Pearl today! I absoluetly loved it!! You have a real talent for enticing the reader the minute he/she picks up one of your delightful books. I've come across your The Jewel of St Petersburg a few months ago. I'm of Russian origin and of course fascinated by the Romanov period. Loved the book and loved the fact that I read the Russian Concubine second as a sequel and not the other way around. I'm still totally captivated by Connie and Maya from The White Peal and really sorry to part with them but then I have your third book in the Russian trilogy, The Girl From Junchow waiting for me right now. I'm just about to open the very first page. Lydia has not been far from my mind...

Looking forward to your beautiful book set in Egypt!

Kind regards,

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