From Russia With Lag

Black-Chalk-RussiaIn early February 2012, I’d been trying (and failing) for years to write something worthy of publication. It was just one day before my 40th birthday, a milepost I had already decided would mark the end of my unsuccessful writing career. I had no idea what I was going to do instead, which was an utterly terrifying feeling. And then, out of the blue ether, came an offer from Russia to publish Black Chalk, which was a shock for two reasons: firstly, no one up to that point had wanted to publish the novel in English; and secondly, my agency hadn’t sent anything to Russia. It’s still something of a unknown how this happened.

Anyway, long story short, nearly four-and-a-half years later this finally arrived in the post and has been received with much gratitude as a token of the day when my writing career was mysteriously saved at the very last minute.

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  11. Anyway, to cut a long tale short, this came in the mail over four and a half years after it was promised, and I am extremely appreciative of it as a memento of the day my literary career was miraculously rescued at the eleventh hour.

  12. Basically, all profitable ideas in Russia got stolen by someone, whether it was an aristocrat in Tsarist times or a commissar under communism or an oligarch today. Ask the Russian ex-pats who are now succeeding in the US, and you’ll get the same answer.

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