International bestselling author Paullina Simons has sold over two million copies of her novels in Australia, and her most popular novel, The Bronze Horseman, has been voted as one of the top ten love stories of all time. Now twelve years later, she returns to that familiar landscape with her new novel Children of Liberty - a book destined to thrill Australian readers.
Children of Liberty is set at the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world. Gina Attaviano from Belpasso comes to Boston's Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington, who is searching for his. The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos collide on a course between the old and new, between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and what is bestowed, what is given and what is taken away. Set against the dawning of a new civilisation, the Model T, the birth of unions, the Russian Revolution, the upheaval of nations, and as America races headlong into the future, Gina and Harry's love story will break your heart.
Paullina Simons says 'Gina and Harry fall in love during one of America's defining moments. Just as they seek to discover who they are, America enters a turning point in its own history. On the brink of becoming a world power, it struggles with the modernisation of its industry and workforce, at the same time attempting to expand its global reach with the building of the Panama Canal. This is an exciting time in American history. The mix of a compelling personal narrative set against the backdrop of transformative historical events has always been the subject that's fascinated me, in the books I read and also in my own fiction.'
Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, Russia, in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and went to college on Long Island. She moved to England to attend Essex University before returning to America and graduating from Kansas University. She has lived in Rome, London and Dallas, and now lives in New York with her husband and children. All of her novels have been top ten bestsellers, from Tully to Road to Paradise, and of course, her well-loved trilogy of The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross and The Summer Garden. The Bronze Horseman's title was taken from the tragic poem by Alexander Pushkin, and the novel, which skilfully highlights the ironies of the socialist utopia, was based on the experiences of Paullina's grandmother, who survived in Leningrad through the German Blockade.
Children of Liberty
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Paullina Simons
Question: Tell us about Children of Liberty?
Paullina Simons: Children of Liberty is a love story between a Sicilian immigrant named Gina and Harry a son of a wealthy Boston merchant and it is set at the turn of the century, 115 years ago.
Question: What inspired you to write a prequel to The Bronze Horseman Trilogy, twelve years on?
Paullina Simons: Gina and Harry appeared to me, not as I knew them later but as there young self while I was in the middle of writing a completely different book with completely different characters and I knew I had to put the other book away and write about Gina and Harry.
Surprisingly it wasn't difficult, twelve years on. I had thought I was done with Gina and Harry but it was not difficult at all and clearly it was not done with me!
Question: Did the story, Children of Liberty, come naturally?
Paullina Simons: No, I didn't necessarily find that it came naturally but I did know there was certain things that needed to happen. The research was enormous for the book because there was so much that I did not know and the more that I read about it the more I realised I didn't know. It was quiet a struggle to ensure I had all the historical parts right.
Question: What do you enjoy most about writing romance set during historic events?
Paullina Simons: I enjoy mostly writing about emotional events that are happening between the characters that lead them to their life and inspire their emotional journey; that is very personal and the more personal it is the more interesting it is for me and I hope more interesting for the reader.
Question: Australia is your biggest market, why do you think Aussies love your book so much?
Paullina Simons: Australians are very well read and pay a lot of attention to detail. The word of mouth in Australia has been phenomenal and this may be to do with the fact that Australians live close together and are able to say "I've read this book and I'd like for you to look at it" and it's easy to do that. America is much more diverse but the pockets of interests are similar to Australia. Whilst the readers in the United States are of the same calibre they are sporadic and diverse through the country.
Book signings are my favourite part of my tours as it's fantastic to meet my readers and when they come in they're so engaged and so excited to meet me and they bring all their books to be signed. It's a great pleasure for me.
Question: Can you talk about how you plan and develop a character?
Paullina Simons: For me the characters, like Gina and Harry, appear to me essentially as themselves and I see them very clearly, in my head and when I begin writing the essence of them is already inside me. Every once in a while they surprise me with the things they need to do, with their behaviour and I get to know them much, much better through the course of the writing. When I go back to rewrite the first draft then I may see the inconsistencies and because I've written the whole book I think "oh no, Gina couldn't have done that". Usually during the rewrite I make sure that I get the character completely correct.
Question: What is your writing process?
Paullina Simons: I write the more difficult and emotional scenes by hand and I also write snippets of scenes and sometimes descriptions by hand. For dialogue and things that need to move quickly, I always write on my laptop and I can take that anywhere in my studio as I have three different ways that I could be sitting (chair, table, couch) and I alternate between those.
Thursday November 8th:
12 - 1pm: A&R signing - Post Office Square: 91 Queen St, Brisbane
6pm: Mary Ryan Event - Clovely Estate Cellar Door: 201 Musgrave Rd, Red Hill (07) 3510 5000.
Ticket Price: $110, 3 course dinner and drinks, plus book
Friday November 9th:
6.30pm: Dymocks Evening Event - Presbyterian Ladies College, Theatre: 14 McNeil St Peppermint Grove 08 6460 1125. Ticketing- $15 per ticket, includes Glass of wine
Saturday November 10th:
12pm: Dymocks Garden City: SHOP 33-34, Booragoon
1.30pm: Dymocks Claremont: 24 Bayview Terrace Claremont, WA
3.30pm- 5pm: Dymocks Morely Library Event: Osborne Library- Royal St, Taurt Hill
Monday November 12th:
1.15pm: A&R Signing: Level 6, The Myer Centre Rundle Mall, Myer Centre Food court
7-9pm: Pages and More Event: Brighton Performing Arts Cntr (Brighton Secondary School Campus), 305 Brighton Rd, North Brighton. Tickets: $35- 2 Books, drinks & canapés / $15- Just the ticket
Tuesday November 13th:
10.30am: Dillons Books Event - Norwood Town Hall, Don Pyatt Room, 175 the Parade (please enter via George St)
1pm: Dymocks Adelaide - 135 Rundle Mall
3.00pm: Blackwood Library Event - Blackwood Library, 215 Main Rd, Blackwood
5.30pm - 6pm: DJ's Adelaide Signing - 100 Rundle Mall, Adelaide
Thursday November 15th:
12pm: Big W Eastlands - 171/175 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood
1.30pm: Dymocks Glen Waverly - Shop 173 The Glen Shopping Centre, Cnr Springvale and High Street
7pm: Dymocks Camberwell Cocktail - Ebony Quill Café, "The Well", 793 Burke Rd. Tickets: $12- Dymocks Booklovers/ $15- General admission
Friday November 16th:
12.30pm: Torquay Books Event - Peppers the Sands Resort Torquay, 2 Sands Blvd, Torquay
7pm: Collins Werribee Cocktail Event - Werribee Plaza Library, Cnr Derrimut and Heath Rds.
Sunday November 18th:
12pm: Dymocks Hobart Event - Royal Yacht Club of TAS, Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay
Monday November 19th:
10am - 11.30am: Dymocks Civic signing - Shop DF 18 Canberra Centre
12.30 - 2pm: Dymocks Tuggeranong signing - Shop 111, Level 1 Hyperdome Shopping Cntr, Anketell St, Tuggeranong
3 - 4.30pm: Dymocks Belconnen signing, Westfield Belconnen
6pm: Dymocks Canberra Event - ACT Library, The Woden Library, Corinna St, Phillip ACT