Novelist Talia Carner shares her tribulations, pet peeves and passions.
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Copyright (C) Talia Carner
Sunday, July 12, 2015
HOTEL MOSCOW--The Launch
My new novel, HOTEL MOSCOW was released in
June with a great party, in which the ice sculpture was as much of a hit
as the book.
Apriland May newsletters Itouched on my experiences in Russia: I was a
consultant to Fortune 500 companies when, in 1993, I was sent by the U.S.
Information Agency to Russia to teach Russian women the entrepreneurial skills
they needed after the fall of communism. On my second visit, in October, I was
caught in the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Yeltsin, was
chased by the militia, and was threatened with jail.
In the dozen radio talks I’ve given
these past two weeks since the launch of HOTEL MOSCOW, every interviewer was
fascinated by the novel’s backdrop: the terrifying portrait of a nation in
transition from Communism, of a world superpower undergoing a profound and
It is hard
for us to imagine the misery of life under Soviet totalitarian regime. It is
even harder to grasp the nightmare of waking up one day to a world where all
laws have been obliterated. While bewildered Russians struggled to learn new
survival skills in new market economy, the corruption and brutality of the
former Soviet regime was now imitated by thousands of mafia groups. HOTEL
MOSCOW tells it with an inside view. As one reviewer wrote, “HOTEL MOSCOW
taught me lessons about humanity, about what we, as people, are capable of.”
What has not changed?
Photo by Yevgeny Kondako
In the new Russia young people discover new opportunities
and restaurants are now store-front (formerly out of sight in basements or
second floors.) Yet, dozens of industrial cities are as bleak and hopeless as
before. And in beautiful St. Petersburg, the Soviet kommunalka, the communal
apartment, where a family of three may live in a room as small as 5 x10 ft.—and
shares a toilet, bath and kitchen with five to ten other families—is still home
to millions of Russians. The lack of privacy is shown in this unique photo I
was able to obtain. In HOTEL MOSCOW, readers get an inside view of such a life
through Svetlana, one of the Russian characters.
Author at launch
“What does releasing the novel
involve?” people ask me.
It’s exhilarating. But a book does
not break out of the gate without long preparations and continued attention.
The book launch was immediately followed by the release of my essays and blogs.
My piece about identifying with Second-Generation—children of Holocaust
survivors (even though I am not)—garnered a huge readership, as did my essay
about my secular, faithless Jewish identity. Both are issues that the
protagonist of HOTEL MOSCOW, Brooke Fielding, struggles with.
But it is
the early morning commuter radio shows that present me with a physical
challenge: How do I speak without sounding as though I had just woken up? I
wake up 40 minutes earlier and reset my sleepy voice by belting out the ABC
song. I am not up to anything more operatic….
The most exciting part of publishing
a new novel is my many speaking engagements. After years of toiling away at my
keyboard in solitude, now comes the time when I share my passions with others.
I don’t do “readings,” but rather talk about the background issues of the
novel. Please join me in the coming weeks and months at the many events already
scheduled in NY, NJ, CT and MA. (In August I’ll publish the travel schedule to Detroit, Pennsylvania, Boston and others.)
To say that my new novel, HOTEL
MOSCOW was “long awaited” is a cliché that I, a writer, must avoid. But the
thousands of readers who pre-ordered it and the dozens of bloggers that areposting their reviews give me a high that only an entertainer on stage can
The bloggers are joining the chorus
of bestselling suspense authors such as Nelson DeMille who wrote: “A finely
drawn tale of a country emerging from its dark Soviet past into a present
overshadowed by a new kind of terror and lawless corruption…. That will keep
the reader mesmerized…. An insightful post-Cold War thriller.”
P.S. While I encourage you to support your local indiebookstore, and I thank B&N for its loyalty, and Amazon is always a great
online seller, I can’t not share with you that Costco now carries HOTEL MOSCOW
Talia Carner is formerly the publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. The award-winning author of heart-wrenching suspense novels will soon welcome her new novel, HOTEL MOSCOW, (summer 2015, HarperCollins,) that will follow her previous successful novels, JERUSALEM MAIDEN, CHINA DOLL and PUPPET CHILD, all hailed for exposing society’s ills.