The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

Christy Hale tagged me to be the next stop on The Next Big Thing Blog Tour, a sort of chain letter for authors. Would be fun to see where this started and how many authors have participated, as well as how many more authors we will meet along the way.

BOOK-COVER-HIGH-RES-LarasGiftWhat is the working title of your next book?

Lara’s Gift (Knopf, 2013)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea behind Lara’s Gift didn’t come from one idea, but from a combination of three events that led to a lot of questions, some answers, and many what ifs. The first event was when I lived in Moscow, Russia and was gifted a borzoi puppy. The second was when Bonnie Dalzell gave me a book called Observation on Borzoi about the travels of a wealthy American in search for the perfect borzoi and found some from the Woronzova and Perchino kennels in Russia and brought some back for his breeding program. The final event was when I made the connection between the Woronzova kennel established by Count Vorontsov and his great, great, great nephew, Alexander Woronzoff-Dashkoff, professor of Russian at Smith College where I learned Russian. The questions Professor Woronzoff couldn’t answer stirred the what ifs that planted the seed for the story idea behind Lara’s Gift.

What genre does Lara’s Gift fall under?

Middle grade historical fiction

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Lara:                Sophia Ann Robb

Lara’s papa:    George Clooney

Lara’s mom:    Meryl Streep

Alexander:       Logan Lerman

Zar:                 Zar

Annmarie O'Brien

The author with her borzoi, Zar and Zola, by Turner Photography

One sentence synopsis of Lara’s Gift:

Set in Imperial Russia, Lara’s Gift is a Lassie-meets-Dr.Zhivago story about the friendship between a girl and her dog and how they each save each other and by doing so reach their prophetic destinies.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of Lara’s Gift?

The first draft took two years.

What other books would you compare Lara’s Gift to within your genre?

None to my knowledge.

Dasha, Moscow, Russia

Dasha, Moscow, Russia

Who or what inspired you to write Lara’s Gift?

Dasha, my first borzoi puppy and all borzoi past and present.

What else about the book might pique reader interest?

Lara’s Gift is set in a world that no longer exists today. It will make you cry and laugh and it is my hope that it will leave readers with a sense of hope to trust in themselves and good things will follow.


I am tagging Sue LaNeve, my very good friend and fellow S3Q2 from Vermont College of Fine Arts and the author of Spanky.





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