Paullina Simons kindly agreed to do an interview with us and tell us some history about her characters, her thoughts on Henry Cavill and if she thinks he would make a good Alexander in her upcoming film, The Bronze Horseman.
Was there a family story you heard growing up that led you to write the story of Tatiana and Alexander?
No, they sprung forth from my fevered imagination. But the backstories of Leningrad––of war, of starvation, separation, suffering––came from my family and friends who had lived through the worst.
When you started this series, did you know the course it would take or did it evolve naturally as you wrote each book?
In the beginning I thought I was writing only one book, called the Bronze Horseman. It had not been my intention to write additional books until my husband read it and said, are you crazy? You can’t do this, you can’t just finish this story with a brief epilogue. That brief epilogue eventually became another two thousand manuscript pages.
Alexander, the fearless, brave, handsome soldier and Tatiana, the petite, optimistic young woman take us through such a range of emotions. There were times I cried, times I hollered ’YES!" out loud and times my heart physically ached for their suffering. Did you travel through a similar roller-coaster of emotions as you wrote the story of these two lovers? Did you fall in love with Tatiana and Alexander the way so many of us have?
Of course. I bled their love and anguish on every page. No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader is what they say. The cliché is very much true. Now I know them better and more intimately than I know real people in my other (so-called) real life. They still live on, fly on, inside my heart.
As I shared with you, I read this book, because so many of Henry Cavill's fans exclaim that he became their Alexander while they read the book. What do you think of Henry as Alexander?
I think physically Henry Cavill makes for a striking and dramatic Alexander. Can one man be both Superman and Alexander? That’s a question only that man can answer.
We are thrilled that The Bronze Horseman is going to be made into a movie. You've written the script and are getting ready for production. What can you tell us about the progress?
It’s slow. Every scene requires a new revision, and every pair of eyes sees in the script things they like and things that absolutely must be changed. We are navigating through the last of the last revision’s shallow waters. We are still hoping to put it together for release in 2015. We’ll see.
Social media has really changed the way authors can promote their books. How has that changed your own book promotion? Is it helpful to be able to get such immediate feedback from your readers?
As with everything, there are miracles in this new way of reaching fans and there are pitfalls. It’s wonderful to be able to run a new cover by them, or a title, or the latest news about me or my books. But with increased accessibility, there is also a slight diminishment of the mystique, the breaking of that fourth wall, so to speak.
With the increase in interaction with your readers, what's been your favorite fan response to your books?
“This is my favorite book of all time.”
“I never cried so much with a book as I did with yours.”
“I wasn’t a reader before I read one of your novels and now I can’t stop.”
“You’ve ruined me for other books.”
“When is this going to be a movie and don’t you think Henry Cavill is the perfect Alexander?”
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