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miss_mesmerized

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin

Dear Natalie,

I have just read your short biography on your web page and there are two questions I'd like to ask:
First, how did your manage to get in the Soviet Union as an American? I always thought this was impossible for the class enemy. But I guess this was a great experience, admittedly I have been dreamig of travelling to St. Petersburg for a long time, but everybody advises me not to do so unless I am fluent in Russian - I am far from that.

My second question comes from something an author told me a couple of days ago. I also have a degree in literature and he thinks that this is the best way NOT to become an author because you are spoilt in a way. How do you think about it?

NatalieStandiford

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
@miss_mesmerized

Hi Miss Mesmerized!
I went to the Soviet Union on a student visa with a group of American students as part of a study-abroad program. It wasn't impossible to get a visa to go the USSR in those days, just very difficult. It was an amazing experience--it inspired my next book, which is called THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE. It's about an American college student who goes to the USSR to study and falls in love with a Russian boy. It will be published in the U.S. next May.

I haven't been back to Russia since everything changed, so I don't know what it's like there now, but I'm sure it's worth going even if your Russian isn't fluent.

As for your second question: There is no single way to become an author. Some writers have degrees in literature, some never went to university at all. It doesn't matter. Every writer's road is different, and you should do what's right for you. I do think that some people get so intimidated when they read great literature that they're afraid to write themselves, because they fear what they write will never live up to the greats. But don't let that stop you. Just write what YOU need to write, and it will find its place.

Federchen

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin

The cover of the U.S. paperback edition of "The Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters" has a more mature impression on me. The German edition of the book from Carlsen Publishing is more playful. Did you have a say about it? Or lay solely with the publisher?

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Ein LovelyBooks-Nutzer

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin

Natalie,
I just wanted to thank you for writing this book! i really liked it and i totally love your way of writing! It's so humorous and amazing, it was just fun to read :D
Now, I still have a little question :D Is there any special scene you liked to write the most? Do you have any favourite characters in the book? How long did it take to write the whole book, from the first idea till the very last sentence?

NatalieStandiford

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
@Ein LovelyBooks-Nutzer

Thank you for the kinds words! It's hard to choose a favorite character. Jane was the most fun to write, but I think I like Norrie the best. I have a soft spot for weird Sassy too though... I had to write the book pretty quickly, since I had a deadline. It took about six months to write the first draft, but after that I did several revisions, of course. I didn't know how the book was going to end until I got there--it was scary!

My favorite scenes to write were the ones where the three girls were together in Norrie's tower room talking, fighting, and being sisters.

NatalieStandiford

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
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@Hikari

It's supposed to be a little unclear, but Robbie saw Shea somewhere and asked her to give Norrie a message from him. Shea texted Norrie to give her the message, but Claire (an overprotective, snobby, and maybe jealous friend) sent something insulting to Shea from Norrie's phone. So Shea thought Norrie was insulting her and refused to give her the message from Robbie. When Norrie didn't get in touch with Robbie, he thought she didn't want to speak to him. And Shea might have told him that, too, to get back at Norrie for insulting her (or so she thinks).

After their trip to NY, Robbie and Norrie are more together than ever and very happy. She's "like a bride just back from her honeymoon" in the English edition.

Thanks for your question!

NatalieStandiford

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
@bookgirl

I've never done this before, bookgirl! We have a book lovers' web site in the US called Goodreads that is very similar to this. I'm a member of Goodreads but I've never done a forum like this on it.

LaLecture

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
@NatalieStandiford

Thanks for these answers, I had the same questions ;)

LaLecture

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
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@NatalieStandiford

I wanted to aks the same question. Is there really a family like the Sullivans with a grandma like Almighty ;)? And is their standing really so important for them that they don't really care about what their children think?
I've got the impression, that the story sometimes is a bit ironic, like a parody of rich, old families :D

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standiford245

vor 5 Jahren

Fragen an die Autorin
standiford245
@LaLecture

I don't know of any family exactly like the Sullivans, and I do think there's something old-fashioned about Almighty's concern with appearances. But then, she's old. You're right, I mean the story to be a little bit parodic, and also to show how the dependence on money can infantilize people.

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