We Were the Lucky Ones Blog

9 Down, 1 to Go: Highlights from the Book Tour

It’s been six weeks since the launch of We Were the Lucky Ones—a milestone made all the more monumental by the photos that flooded my inbox in the days that followed—photos of friends with the book in their laps at the beach, on an airplane, at home cozied up on the couch; photos of the U.K. edition spotted at Waterstones in London and at the Edinburgh Airport, and of the U.S....

The Sweetest Valentine

It’s official. “Pub Day” as they call it here in the States, has arrived. We Were the Lucky Ones has landed in bookstores (and on Kindle & Audible) across the U.S. and in the U.K., and might have even landed on your doorstep (as it did mine just a few minutes ago!), if you pre-ordered a copy. While I thought I was ready for this moment—it’s only been nine years...

A Book Tour and a Brand New Author Website

Believe it or not, in less than two weeks, We Were the Lucky Ones will be out for the world to read. To the family and friends who have cheered wholeheartedly (and waited patiently) throughout this near-decade-long journey, and to the teams at The Book Group and at Viking that have offered immeasurable support and guidance along the road to publication – thank you — my story would never be...

We Were the Lucky Ones Picks Up Momentum, at Home and Abroad

The fun began in early October, when Viking organized a media lunch in my honor, inviting literary editors from places like The New York Times Book Review, Publisher’s Weekly, Glamour, Vogue, O, Family Circle, Redbook, and the Jewish Book Council to a private event…

Retracing the Kurc Family Odyssey, Part II: Italy

Last year, Robert and I set off on a weeklong, 685-mile journey through Poland, the Czech Republic, and Austria, following in the footsteps of my relatives, who traveled the same path seventy years before. A few weeks ago, we hopped the pond once again to complete a second leg of my family’s post-war exodus, this time with our four-and-a-half year old son in tow. Our itinerary—470...

Somebody Pinch Me

We Were the Lucky Ones has a launch date—February 14, 2017—yes, Valentine’s Day!  The countdown to publication is finally, officially, on. February may feel eons away (especially as we’ve just dipped our toes into summer), but I’ve come to realize there will be plenty to report between now and then. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with the publicity and...

A New Working Title, With Markus Zusak’s Approval

I never would have guessed that the first person I’d share my new working title with (outside of my immediate family) would be Markus Zusak, author of the (mega)bestselling novel, The Book Thief.  I had the pleasure of meeting Markus yesterday, at a book signing event in Connecticut. The Book Thief, narrated by none other than death itself, tells the story of Liesel Meminger–a...

Take Three: a Revision, a Shoot, and a Reading

It’s hard to believe that over two months have passed since Robert and I set off for Warsaw. Our Eternal Quest, as we dubbed it, left me energized and eager to get back to the book, which is lucky; on returning I received a new round of feedback from my editor, Sarah. I knew this round would be more specific than the last, and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t daunted by the...

We Pitched. We Held Our Breath. Would Anyone Swing?

Earlier this month, my agent deemed my manuscript polished enough to pitch to publishing houses. “I think we’re ready for primetime,” Brettne said. I agreed reluctantly—even after our latest round of revisions, I still felt the pressing need to tinker, to make it better. But it was time, Brettne assured me, to let it go. Brettne pitched The Eternal Ones to over a...

Enter the Agent

The agent search, as any first-time author will tell you, is daunting. It requires an ungodly amount of due diligence, and a hearty dose of self-esteem. Rejections are inevitable; it can take months, years even, for a literary agent to bite. And so, when my editor Jane and I put together an A-list of names to query about my manuscript, I was nervous. “Shouldn’t we start with a...

Sweet Caroline

A dedication to my grandmother, Caroline Courts ~ December 18, 1914 – December 16, 2014

3, 2, 1…Let Go!

On Tuesday, I sent the latest version of The Lucky Ones to Jane Fransson, an editor who’s worked with a host of successful authors, several of whom I’ve read and loved (e.g., Pamela Druckerman, Bringing up Bébé; Sadia Shepard, The Girl from Foreign). Admittedly, I held my email captive in a draft folder for a full day until I finally summoned the courage to set it free. I knew the...

Celebrating Summer…and a Much Anticipated Milestone

Can it be–August already? What a summer it’s been. Mine (in a nutshell) has entailed exploring Nova Scotia’s seaboard with family, cavorting with friends in Charleston, beach-hopping with Wyatt in Rowayton, tackling boatloads of travel writing assignments, and, of course, pushing to complete a second round of edits to my manuscript. In my last post, I introduced you to Dvora, a...

Digging My Way to the Finish Line

Well folks, I’m mid-way through a second round of book edits, and if I squint hard enough, I think I can see the finish line! I’ve tackled my revision process in two phases. In the first I asked myself, from a big-picture perspective, does it flow? With so many characters whose routes span so many countries, continuity is key. Phase One was a beast. I doubled back often, cut scenes...

With the Clock Ticking, Fall is for Fact Checking

Greetings, friends! I’m sure many of you are as reluctant as I am to bid summertime adieu—although I must admit, I’m looking forward to some downtime this fall. Robert, Wyatt and I have been moving nonstop, it seems, hopping between family reunions, horse shows, adventure races and ultrasound appointments. Turns out the reason I’ve been so tired and crabby for the past...

Out (gulp) for the World to Read

When it rains it pours. That’s certainly been the case here in Connecticut, where the past few months have brought weeks of torrential downpour (and I thought we’d left the rain behind in Seattle!), along with—on a much brighter note—several unexpected opportunities to promote The Lucky Ones. Shortly after I completed my piece for the Gordon School, I heard from a friend...

The Gordon School Spotlights The Lucky Ones

A couple of months ago, I received a request for alumni updates from Siobhan Welsh at the Gordon School in Rhode Island, where I attended 1st through 8th grade. When Siobhan heard about my book project, she immediately asked if I would consider coming in to speak with Gordon’s 8th grade class about my family’s story. Every year, Siobhan said, the students read Elie...

Would You Entrust Your Child to a Stranger if it Meant You Could Save Her Life?

Last night I watched a documentary called 50 Children, the Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus (available on HBO until 5/5), about a Philadelphia couple, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who set off in 1939 on a mission to bring 50 Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Austria. The Krauses faced several daunting obstacles along the way—they themselves were Jewish, to start, and the mission...

What’s Your Story?

As a new mom, I’m always on the lookout for tips on parenting. A year and a half ago, when I was still sporting a baby bump, my shelves were piled with the usual prerequisites—Baby 411, The Happiest Baby on the Block, What to Expect: the First Year. Now, as Wyatt approaches his sixteenth month, my husband and I often wonder how our six-pound burrito has morphed into a...

On Valentine’s, a Story of Love Lost, and Found

I’ll never forget the day I got the call. I was at my uncle’s house in Warwick, Rhode Island for dinner. My cell phone rang as we were sitting down to eat. Who did I know with a 919 area code? And then it dawned on me. Eliska’s voice was deep, with a thick accent, her English impeccable. “I was so happy to get your letter,” she said. Her excitement was palpable....

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