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

January 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.

Discussion Question

January 7, 2012

Posted over on Facebook, too,

Yuriy Handler 1936-2011

February 3, 2011

In the Yankee Hats, the Lucky 15

January 29, 2011

Here are the following ten names who will get a signed copy of Tatiana’s Table:   SARAH MEADOWS from New Jersey ROSALIND BRONKHORST, South Africa ASHLEY ADKINS, US (?) PEGGY BAILEY,US JACOB EVANS, US ANNIE CHANTALE VILLARREAL CHIU, Mexico SONJA POPKO, Germany YAEL APEL-SOFER, Israel HICRET SANCAK,  Turkey JENNIFER MCCULLOUGH





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:

JENNIFER SEXSON, US 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) LISA HUSSAINOV, New York KRISTIN VETERE,  US   I will be publishing the winners’ recipes on my Facebook page and here in the next few days.

Of Chocolate Hedgehogs and Grasshopper Pies

January 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 Mexico 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…

Hello Again

January 26, 2011

Dear Friends, I think it’s time to update our blog with a brighter entry, don’t you think, because judging by the last three this space almost reads like a Death Blog. I only write when someone dies.  I feel this somewhat defeats the whole purpose of happily communicating with readers. This is better. I hope you enjoy my new website, it’s easy to navigate, is pleasing to the eye, and you can load it quickly on your mobile device like the glorious iPhone. Check out some of our new content, my Summer Garden video, and slideshows of my past tours. Perhaps some of you in Australia and New Zealand will spot yourselves! We’ve got more tour slideshows coming, one from 2007 and one from 2009. And we’ll also be uploading photos from my trip across the U.S or “Road to Paradise” and photos of Summit, New Jersey and the Australian outback for “A Song in the Daylight.” I’m thrilled to continue my longstanding partnership with HarperCollins for the next five novels.One of the things we’ve worked on to accommodate my readers is an enhanced publishing schedule that will ensure a Paullina book once a year.  And not just in Australia, New Zealand, and England, but globally, including the United States.  I know I’ve written elsewhere about the subject matter for the next book, indicating its lovelorn roots and its Bostonian/Ukrainian setting during the Great Depression and the Stalin purges.And believe me, that’s coming, and not in small doses either.  But first, you are going to get a different book for your (I hope) enjoyment. I think it’s so delicious it requires its own (imminent) post. Regarding news of Bronze Horseman film adaptation: I’m not being cagey, but we’re at the cusp of either moving forward or going in a different direction. I’m going to know more in the next few days.I know you’ve all been super (im)patient(!), please bear with me. No one would love a beautiful epic Tania and Shura film more than me. Signing off for now, more very soon.

From the Archives…

January 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.” Ouch.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.

TBH Film Update

January 15, 2011

Dear Friends, And now for some news about the film option of The Bronze Horseman.  Things have not worked out quite as I hoped, but that’s only because I can’t see the future and don’t know what’s still ahead.   At the moment, though, the 18-month option with Andy Tennant’s production company has unfortunately come to an end. After months of no activity at all, we tried to extend the option at deadline time (plus 30 days grace), but we could not resolve the most important issue, and that is whose script to use, mine or Ross’s. I strongly felt and continue to feel that Ross’s vision for the story and adaptation of the book were diametrically opposed to my own. So reluctantly we parted ways, and the rights to the book have reverted back to me.  The difference between 2009 and now is that now I have a finished script.Which means that we can now seek and find someone else who gets the story, loves the characters, and perhaps can put his/her passion behind the project to get the film off the ground, so to speak, and onto the big screen, but this time with my script as a condition of development. I know you are disappointed by this and let down, as you can imagine I am, but don’t be disheartened. Because I remain hopeful and optimistic that great things are just around the corner for our two crazy kids. We have a couple of intriguing prospects we are working on and I will keep you posted as soon as I know something more concrete. In the meantime, you know that Tania and Shura live on inside my heart, especially these days, as I immerse myself in the young doomed life of the two people who once loved each other and who made Alexander.I leave you for now with a photograph of the actual River Kama and one devoted reader’s painting of the Urals and the Lazarevo clearing despite never having seen either, and also below Richard Tucker’s version of Puccini’s E Lucevan Le Stelle, a song I listened to on infinite repeat when I wrote the entire Part I in TBH.