Drum Roll Please: My Australia/New Zealand 2012 Tour Schedule

July 18, 2012

Hi everyone (and a particular shout-out to my Aussie/Kiwi fans today),

This fall, I will once again be lucky enough to visit some of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever had the pleasure to go to. For your viewing pleasure, here are the dates I will be in various areas of Australia below. (New Zealand dates are still being finalized. Event locations to come soon.) Clear your calendars now!


Sydney & Surrounds                       November 2-5 2012

Gold Coast                                          November 6-7

Brisbane                                              November 8

Perth                                                     November 9-10

Adelaide                                              November 11-13

Melbourne & Surrounds               November 14-16

Hobart                                                  November 17-18

Canberra                                             November 19


Discussion Question

February 7, 2012

Posted over on Facebook, too, but I thought I’d reach out over here:

Would you rather see The Bronze Horseman series as a TV series (such as what HBO did with Game of Thrones) or as full movies?

Musings on Spencer and Lily

December 9, 2011

A fan over on the Facebook page asks: Why did I decide to return to Spencer in another story, not his own?


Because I felt after Red Leaves that Spencer’s journey was cut off in the middle, was left unresolved. In Red Leaves he made himself a life in Hanover, New Hampshire, only to have that life go up in flames by the end of the story. I really liked him as a character and wanted to revisit his life at some later juncture. There were so many things that happened to him in Red Leaves that I wanted to see how those actions affected his life, and whether he suffered consequences because of them.

The Girl in Times Square didn’t start with Spencer, because it is clearly a book about Lily, but he fit like a perfect piece of the unfinished puzzle into it. When I was imagining Lily’s story and saw that a detective had to come to the diner where she worked to investigate the disappearance of her roommate and best friend, I didn’t see a detective, I saw Spencer.

And whereas Red Leaves is a straightforward mystery, The Girl in Times Square is much more of a drama and a character study, where Spencer’s and Lily’s separate journeys and combined road are more fully explored.

P.S. I’m not done with those two! Or, should I say, they’re not done with me.

Frico, from Cristina from Italy

December 6, 2011

My name in Cristina and i’m a your italian fan.

My favourite recipe is the FRICO.



patatoes: 400 g

Montasio cheese: 200 g





Cut the potatoes into small pieces.

Grate the cheese.

Skip the potatoes with a pinch of salt in a little oil, lower the heat and slowly cook the potatoes, stirring often.

When the potatoes are soft, mash coarsely with a fork and add the grated cheese.

Mix well.

When the frico will take  the form of a cake and will be formed a golden crust, you must turn the frico on the other side.

It’s very good to eat.



This is a special recipe that reminds me of my family and happy moments.

The house smelled of cheese.

This is a recipe that my grandmother taught to my mother. My mom taught to me how to cook this recipe: with love and passion.

My mother is like Tatiana. She loves to cook and loves cooking for her familiy. For her to cook is a form of immense love.


In the Yankee Hats, the Lucky 15

November 29, 2011

Here are the following ten names who will get a signed copy of Tatiana’s Table:





SARAH MEADOWS from New Jersey





Congrats to the above and grateful thanks to everyone for being so generous with their time and family traditions.
As it turns out, TATIANA’S TABLE is harder to get hold of than a cab in the the rain, and we’re fortunate to scrape up ten copies of it. But I also have in my possession the freshly minted special edition of The Bronze Horseman, just out for publication in Australia.

This Christmas edition contains a letter from me, and also a new “deleted” scene between Tatiana and Alexander. I have five of these I’d like to sign and send to the next five names I pull out of the Yankee hats, two from one hat, three from the other. Or should I do three from one, two from the other?

The Bronze Horseman recipients are:

MODI ALYSSA, Madagasgar
CRISTINA, from Italy (I had several “Cristinas” submit recipes, and this one didn’t include her last name, but the recipe was for Frico)


I will be publishing the winners’ recipes on my Facebook page and here in the next few days.

Thank you, and may you have a joyous Christmas season,

Of Chocolate Hedgehogs and Grasshopper Pies

November 29, 2011

Hello, my Culinary Friends,

I have never been more famished. I sit here in my little studio holding on my lap your hundreds of recipes and letters, salivating over your family delights. All I have with me here to eat is an old can of cashews, Greek yogurt with early November’s expiration date, Nespresso coffee capsules, and bags of ice in the freezer. I believe I will go dig up a TV dinner and nuke it for my midnight dinner. Be right back.

OK, I’m back. This has been an illuminating, gratifying, deeply entertaining contest. Because I have received almost as many recipes as there are countries. Some countries were very well represented, such as Italy, and some woefully underrepresented, such as France.

But Malaysia yes
And Vietnam
The Netherlands
And Chile
And Germany Germany Germany
And New Mexico, thrice
Spain and Israel
Turkey and Australia
The Country of Man, which submitted four Man recipes.
And a voice from the great beyond: a woman named Maria Pavlova from St. Petersburg wrote to me with her recipe for Solyanka. My grandmother’s name was Maria Pavlova. She was from St. Petersburg. She made Solyanka all the time.

On my hungry lap I hold instructions for, among others,
empanadas and tapenades
Yorkshire Pud and Bread Pud
and Egyptian Milk Pud
Assam Laksa and Bratwurst
Chocolate Sausage!!!
Pizza (from scratch)
Stuffed cabbage with Moose Meat
Corn and Crawfish Stew
Grandma’s Pie and Almond Pie
And Lemon Meringue Pie
Nut Rolls and Beef Samosas
Casadiellas and Cucoli Fritti
Hot Fudge Cake and Borsht
Chocolate Muffins with Nutella inside; where are you, Nutella-loving Che, are you reading this and drooling?
Oliebollen and Aalsterse Vlai
Corn Souffle and College Drive-in!
Melting Moments and Chocolate Bundt Cake
Oatmeal Bake and Potato Bake
And let’s not forget Fire Crackers.

I wish I had two hundred books to give away.

Thank you all so much for enriching my life with your lives. You’ve given me a great gift, because now I’m going to make your concoctions all December, through New Years. From now on just call me Porky Pig.
I will have to walk through my door sideways.

I have written out your names on strips of paper, rolled them up and placed them in two Yankees baseball caps. I will now go and eat my cooled-down tofu with peas or whatever is waiting for me in the microwave, and pull out ten names and be right back.

Cue waiting music…


From the Archives…

November 22, 2011

Over on the Facebook page, Elaina asked: “Have you ever gotten a rejection letter?”

Elaina, yes, indeed, I have received a few rejection letters in my day — and that’s true for many authors, including Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac. Read this piece for some of those (pretty harsh) rejection letters.

Way back when in 1993, at the time I was shopping Tully around to agents, I received a fairly nice rejection from the first agent I submitted it to. She considered it, but passed, and then I sent it to a second agent. This second agent sent it back (this was before now, when lots of agents just send things back with form letters) with a note saying, basically, “I read through part one, and that was enough for me. I’m passing on it, and before you send it out to any more people, I suggest you might want to take a course and learn how
to write, and then revise your book accordingly and resubmit. Just not to me.”


Happily, all’s well that ends well, since the third agent I sent it to signed up for it and then sold it to St. Martin’s Press, who then put it out into the world and into your hands. I was actually pretty lucky when it comes to the publishing business — nowadays writers have to face dozens, hundreds of rejections before they might see their book published.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Christmas Giveaway!

November 9, 2011

Tatiana's Table

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the outpouring of support on my Facebook page. It’s been a lot of fun to talk to you all about upcoming projects, new developments, and your favorite moments in my — and other! — books.

Speaking of that, it seems a lot of you are finding it extremely difficult to locate a copy of the Bronze Horseman-based cookbook, Tatiana’s Table. I’m sorry about that — I’m not sure why it’s such a limited printing!

But this gave me an idea to do another giveaway — this time for Tatiana’s Table. I have ten copies that I want to give away in time for Christmas, so that you can make as many blinchiki and piroshki and beergaritas and mashed potatoes as your heart desires.

Here are the rules:

Please submit your favorite recipe and why you love it to my gmail account, paullinasimonscontest@gmail.com. It can be anything you love to make regularly, or a recipe you made once that was wonderfully memorable — and hey, maybe I’ll find a few new beloved recipes amidst the lot!

I’ll pick ten winners randomly. Please enter by Friday, November 25th, 2011. I will announce the winners on Monday, November 28th.

Thanks very much for all your feedback and comments, again, and I await your recipes eagerly!