When American-Russian born author Paullina Simons was writing her much-loved The Bronze Horseman trilogy, she prayed that someone else would feel even half of what she felt when she wrote it. If books sales are any sign, then Paullina’s prayers were answered many times over. But now she’s turned her attention to a new young couple — an American man and an Italian woman — in Boston at the turn of the 20th century.
As a young girl growing up in the USSR during the 1960s, all Paullina Simons wanted was to be a writer. Living in a tiny apartment with her family in Leningrad, Paullina dreamt of being able to make others feel the way that she felt when she read a book that she loved.
“Everyone in Russia wants to be a writer; they don’t know how to be anything else,” says Paullina, talking with me by phone from her home in Long Island, New York. “They drink vodka and they grow up with these dreams of being Fyodor Dostoyevsky.”
In the early 1970s she moved to America, where she struggled to learn a new language and adapt to an unfamiliar culture. All this time Paullina clung to her dream of becoming an author, and in 1994 she published Tully, her first novel that would become an international bestseller. Paullina’s star continued to rise as she racked up numerous bestsellers and thousands of fans worldwide. She is incredibly grateful to those who helped nurture her budding career, which she largely credits to Australia.