The Bronze Horseman film update

November 20, 2013

Hello readers,

I know you have all been asking me for updates on any news with the film. I have a little I can tell you about the screenplay. Over the summer I did what I thought was an impossible task: I cut a 220 page script to 150 pages, to make our Bronze Horseman movie 2.5 hours long. I managed to do this while leaving most of the things I love about the story in it.

And then the best thing happened after the producer and director read the new version. They both said, that was good, but you’ve cut too much. Have any words been sweeter to a writer? We now need you to put stuff back, they said, and to write a new scene here and a new scene there, and reinsert this joke and this line and this character. Well, if you insist, I said.

So that’s what I’m doing now. Once I’m done, the plan is to go into pre-pre-production in December and into pre-production in March. Dare we hope, production by summertime?

A Little Bit About Bellagrand

October 31, 2013

My friends and readers,

My head peeks out briefly out of the water of my writing life. I take this welcome respite to tell you about a few things.

I can’t wait for you to read Bellagrand. It is a heartbreaker, at the very least, the breaker of this writer’s heart. I love my heroine Gina, a passionate, strong, good woman, who wants nothing more than to love and to be loved. The book is about all the things that stand in her way. In this story, you will also meet Alexander, and you will witness the love that had made him and in the end that saved him, the love that offered him, years hence, the possibility of a new life. It was all borne out of Bellagrand, out of the lifelong love affair between Gina and Harry, Alexander’s mother and father.

Bellagrand will be published in print in Australia and New Zealand in early December, just in time for Christmas—and in e-book. The print edition for the United States and Britain will hit the stores in February/March.

I’m not going to Australia and New Zealand on tour this year—surely, you’ve seen enough of me?––but perhaps I can come back next fall. It’s the highlight of my year, talking to you great people face to face.

As far as Six Days In Leningrad, thank you all, who have bought and read the e-book edition. We are working to publish the print edition for Father’s Day 2014, and it will come complete with many photographs of my life-changing trip to Leningrad in 1998.

Until next time, keep reading, keep writing, keep coming back.

Coming Soon: Bellagrand

October 23, 2013

Hello readers,

The second part of Children of Liberty is coming out on December 5th. Gina and Harry have a lot ahead of them, and I hope you’ll feel for their joys and griefs as much as I did while writing about them. Here’s the cover — isn’t it lovely? Here’s a link to it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

My Polish Tour Information

April 26, 2013

Hi Polish fans! I’m going on a mini-tour in Poland, and you will find the dates, times, and locations in the banner below. I’m already looking forward to seeing Long Market in Gdansk and so much more.

The Bronze Horseman Film News

March 12, 2013

My devoted readers and friends,

I’m thrilled to tell you that our mutual dream of seeing The Bronze Horseman on the big screen is one step closer to reality.

ITA Productions, a British company, has optioned the rights to my book. The producer, Martyn Hall, and the director, Sash Andranikian, love Tatiana and Alexander, and want nothing more than to make it into an emotional visual spectacle of a film. Sash, from a long line of animators and movie-makers, is Russian-American like me. He has read all three TBH books, and tells me that he loves them all. Martyn says The Bronze Horseman is the only book that has made him cry. They are looking to go into pre-production by the end of 2013, and to begin shooting early in 2014. So perhaps by the end of 2014, with a healthy dose of luck, we might have our movie.

We are going to be working from a script I wrote, which is fantastic, though it does mean that I have to rewrite it, which inevitably means I have to cut it. As you all know from my books, brevity is hardly my strong suit. My editing process always results in my books becoming twenty percent longer, not thirty percent shorter, which is what Martyn would like.

The good news is, the producers are promising that I will be on set to revise and add scenes as needed during filming, so at least we are going to have participation and some small measure of control in the creation of this magical thing called The Bronze Horseman, a movie.

I welcome your comments, questions, concerns, and of course, casting suggestions.

No, the film will not be in Russian. (Like the book wasn’t!)

What do you think of Alex Pettyfer as Alexander?

My very best,

“Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Russian”

March 5, 2013

I wrote a little blog post over at USA Today about Children of Liberty, and about two of my favorite movies, Love Story and The Great Gatsby. I wanted to talk about a deep and central part of Children of Liberty, which is, of course, Gina and her experience moving to America.

Read it here.

Children of Liberty book giveaway!

February 15, 2013

Hi everyone,

In honor of Valentine’s Day yesterday, I am having another little giveaway of five signed books, this time for Children of Liberty. Here’s what you do to enter:

Just complete the sentence “[Blank] makes me happy” and tell me why. It could be a person, a place, or, for you readers out there, a book!

Send your entries to the email address

The contest starts today, and closes next Friday. We will announce the winners picked at random the following Monday, February 25th.

And for those of you who don’t end up winning, Children of Liberty goes on-sale in the US on February 26th!

Good luck, and as always, thanks for reading.

Full 2012 Tour Information

October 8, 2012

Hi everyone,

The Children of Liberty Australia/New Zealand tour for October/November has been finalized. Ta da! See the dates and locations below.

New Zealand

Sunday October 28th:
Whitcoulls Sylvia Park
Mt Wellington, Auckland
3 pm

Monday October 29th:

Whitcoulls Queensgate Mall
12:30-1 pm

Whitcoulls on Lambton Quay, Wellington
6 pm

Tuesday October 30th:

Masterton Paper Plus
12:30-1 pm

Palmerston North Library
Palmerston North
6:30 pm
(Tickets $5, from the Library 06 351 4519 or Paper Plus 06 359 4635)

Wednesday October 31st:

Whitcoulls The Plaza, Palmerston North
11-11:30 am

Paper Plus Napier
6 pm

Thursday November 1st:

Whitcoulls Corner
Queen Street, Auckland City
12:30-1 pm

Sydney and Surrounding Areas:
Friday November 2nd:
12 pm
Dymocks Chatswood Event

5 pm
Dymocks Erina Event

Saturday November 3rd:
11am Castle Hill Library Talk

Sunday November 4th:
11:30 Wagga Country Golf Club Literary Lunch

Monday November 5th:
7 pm Norton Cinema Talk

Brisbane and QLD:
Thursday November 8th:
6 pm Clovely Estate Literary Dinner

Friday November 9th:
6:30 pm Presbyterian Ladies College Theatre Evening Event

Saturday November 10th:
3:30 pm Karrinyup Library Talk

Monday November 12th:
7 pm Brighton Performing Arts Centre Event

Tuesday November 13th:
10 am Norwood Town Hall Talk

3 pm Blackwood Library Talk

Thursday November 15th:
6:30 pm Ebony Quill Cafe evening event

Friday November 16th:
12:30 pm Torquay Resort Talk

7 pm Weirrebere Plaza Library Cocktail Night

Sunday November 18th:
11:30 pm Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Talk

Monday November 19th:
6 pm Woden Library Talk

For more information on how to book certain events, please see my Facebook page, which has phone numbers and contact info. Looking forward to seeing you all, and I hope you’re enjoying Children of Liberty.