Postcard from Paris

Bonjour La Ville-Lumière! And Paris truly is the city of lights. Thanks to my French editor Deborah and her kind husband, we got a driving tour of Paris at night. The Eiffel Tower sparkling into the heavens. Notre Dame, the Seine, Champs-Élysées, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, skyscrapers and lush parks — all aglow in the city. It was a truly magical evening.

And my amazement has continued. The Louvre, Versailles, corner cafes, the cinema museum, pain au chocolate, street markets, bookstores, designer clothing stores … we have traveled by automobile, metro, train, and foot and still have only seen a tiny portion of all this city has to offer.

But as a writer, I found the most unexpected, delightful surprise when I walked into the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore, an English language literary haven on Paris’ left bank. There among the stacks of books for sale was The Snow Child!

During the Festival America here in France, fellow American novelist Hector Tobar expressed it so well — with the long, celebrated history of literature here in France, it is truly an honor to be published here.

Merci beaucoup to the French translator Isabelle Chapman, the many people with the publisher Fleuve Noir and the French readers, bloggers and journalists who have welcomed The Snow Child to France.

A votre santé!



Das Schneemädchen

Hallo Leser,

Sadly my world travels are not carrying me to Germany. So for now I will have to content myself with the knowledge that at least Faina gets to visit. The Snow Child, otherwise known as Das Schneemädchen, appears in bookstores there today. I hope German readers enjoy my story.

Vielen Dank!




Postcard from Vincennes


Bonjour mes amis! We have arrived in Vincennes, France, on the outskirts of Paris. During the next few days, I’ll be participating in the Festival America, including several panels and workshops. But for now, I’ve been taking in the sights, sounds … and delicious food … of France.

I just had a lovely lunch with Deborah and Alexandra with my French publisher, Fleuve Noir. Fortunately they both speak English beautifully, so we were able to talk about, well, books!

Earlier today, my family and I visited nearby Vincennes Castle, where I took the postcard photo.  What a fascinating history! It was built in the 1300s and has housed monarchs such as Charles V and prisoners such as the Marquis de Sade.

Last night, Grace and I ate our first escargot. I’m sure all that butter and garlic didn’t hurt, but we thought they were “très délicieux!”




Postcard from London

Here we are under the ferocious gaze of a Trafalgar lion! Our first day in London, and we’ve already had a marvelous time — a lovely brunch with publishing friends including a photo shoot at Platform 9 3/4 (for fellow Potter fans out there), a double-decker bus ride to Trafalgar Square, shopping on Regent Street, and afternoon tea at the National Gallery.

Tomorrow promises to be equally exciting — breakfast with independent booksellers, an 11 a.m. book signing at Waterstones Worcester, and a 7 p.m. signing, with cocktails and live music, at Waterstones Kensington. Hope to see some of you along the way.



Postcard from Auckland, New Zealand

Greetings from the lush shores of New Zealand! I have just one complaint — my visit here is much too short. When I told the gentleman at customs that I would be here less than two days, he looked at me as if I were crazy.

And you would have to be crazy to leave these brilliantly blue skies, gentle ocean breezes, charming people, and delicious sauvignon blancs. But I only have 36 hours, so I’m making the best of it.

Yesterday I met the Michael King Book Group at a local cafe and we talked about bookshops and novels and book clubs. Then we walked across the street to the Takapuna Library where Helen Woodhouse graciously introduced me to readers. I shared some stories from my life as a writer in Alaska, and they recommended some New Zealand novels that I am anxious to read.

Later I met people from Hachette, my publisher here and in the UK, for dinner at a lovely restaurant. We ate and laughed and talked books and laughed some more. I realized these kiwis would fit in perfectly at our neighborhood parties in Alaska. My cheeks still hurt from all the laughter.

Today I am talking with New Zealand media, including National Radio, local newspapers, and Stuff website. This afternoon: I get to visit a bookstore. Then, before the day is done, I hop on a plane for London.



Postcard from the Sunshine Coast

Hello from beautiful Australia! My family and I have had a few days of relaxing along the Sunshine Coast. Sam tried surfing for the first time, and I think found it less frightening than driving from the opposite side of the car, on the opposite side of the road, through roundabouts that go the opposite direction.

We’ve had some lovely moments — spotting a wild koala in a tree and collecting seashells along the beach. We faced giant spiders and hungry ibis birds, and we walked through heavily scented eucalyptus trees.

Along the way, we received some exciting news–   The Snow Child in paperback has debuted at #10 on the UK bestseller list.

But in the midst of all this, we also had some sad news. We learned that a longtime friend in our hometown passed away from cancer. She was one of the most outgoing, kind, upbeat people I have known, and anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting Wendy will surely miss her. She leaves behind a young family. I send out my deepest condolences to the many people who loved her.




Postcard from Brisbane

Hello from the beautiful capital of Queensland! I just finished my first panel of the Brisbane Writers Festival — “We Need to Talk About America” with the articulate David Vann and John de Graaf. After great questions from chair Libby Burke and a lively discussion, we darted downstairs to meet readers and sign copies of our books. Up next for me at the festival: “A Little Bit of Magic” with Joanne Harris, Kate Forsyth and Katherine Lyall-Watson, and “Bookselling’s Bright Future” with Fiona Stager, Janet Kieseker, and Chris Flynn, who I already know from Melbourne is a fabulous discussion leader.

Somewhere along the way, I might sneak in a visit with some kangaroos and koalas, too.



Postcard from Sydney

Greetings from sunshiny, sparkling, awe-inspiring Sydney. Met wonderful booksellers, ate some delicious food, walked along a beautiful beach. The zoo, the aquarium, the ferry rides — all of it has been fabulous, especially because I’ve been able to share it with my family. Up next? Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. More from there.