Gorgito’s Ice Rink was runner up in Writing Magazine’s 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards.
Two small boys grieving for lost sisters — torn between family and other loves. Can keeping a new promise make up for breaking an old one?
When Gorgito Tabatadze sees his sister run off with a soldier, he is bereft. When she disappears into Stalin’s Gulag system, he is devastated. He promises their mother on her death-bed he will find the missing girl and bring her home; but it is to prove an impossible quest.
Forty years later, Gorgito, now a successful businessman in post-Soviet Russia, watches another young boy lose his sister to a love stronger than family. When a talented Russian skater gets the chance to train in America, Gorgito promises her grief-stricken brother he will build an ice-rink in Nikolevsky, their home town, to bring her home again.
With the help of a British engineer, who has fled to Russia to escape her own heartache, and hindered by the local Mayor who has his own reasons for wanting the project to fail, can Gorgito overcome bureaucracy, corruption, economic melt-down and the harsh Russian climate in his quest to build the ice-rink and bring a lost sister home? And will he finally forgive himself for breaking the promise to his mother?
A story of love, loss and broken promises. Gorgito’s story, told through the eyes of the people whose lives he touched.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m very much a lark, especially in the spring and summer months when the mornings are lighter. If the weather is good, I cross the garden to write in my office/writing room, overlooking my flowers and the stream. If it’s cold or wet, or in the darker months, I perch at the end of the dining table with the fire on full blast.
Once I get to lunchtime, my creative juices tend to have dried up, so I do admin and marketing in the afternoons; or settle down in the sunshine with a book.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. I like to a bit of planning first, if it’s a short story or an article, so will often do a couple of mind-maps in my notebook or on the flip-chart. If I’m working on a novel, I jut check my spreadsheet to see what comes next and then get on with writing it.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
I tend to drink far less liquid than I should, apart from a pot of tea with breakfast. But if there is fresh mint in the garden, I will often make a pot in the afternoon and drink it from a blue and white Chinese cup.
I try to avoid snacking during the day, but if I get peckish, a handful of trail mix usually fits the bill.
– What is your favourite book?
That’s an impossible question to answer. If you are asking about my own books, then it has to be Gorgito’s Ice Rink; my debut novel and the birthday book at the moment.
But talking about other people’s books, I read between 50 and 100 every year, and have been doing so for nearly sixty years. That’s an awful lot of books to choose from. My current favourite is The Testaments by Margaret Attwood, but I suspect that will change next week when I move on to the next in my ever-growing To Be Read list.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I’m about move from thrillers to cosy murder mysteries which is a different sub-genre, with a totally different tone. But one of these days, I would love to have a go at fantasy. I read lots in that genre, but have never been brave enough to have a go myself so far.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I certainly base some of my stories on real incidents, so from that point of view, I guess the answer is yes. And I tend to put a certain amount of experiences into some of my main protagonists. In early drafts of Gorgito’s Ice Rink, I was so scared people would think it was autobiographical, that poor Emma wasn’t allowed to have any fun at all, and certainly didn’t have any relationships. It was my husband who finally said to me: it’s called fiction for a reason!
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Pretty much, yes. And if my bag is too small for my main notebook, I will pop a tiny one in – just in case. My office is littered with part-used notebooks that I keep meaning to collate – one of these days!
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Horror. I’m a real scaredy-cat. I don’t read it; I don’t watch it; and I certainly wouldn’t ever try to write it.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
The first two books I published were collections of short stories written with a friend. It was an interesting experience; and our friendship survived. But it’s not something I’d want to repeat. I’m too much of a control freak to share with anyone else.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Been there, done that, got several tee-shirts as a result! I spent more than thirty years travelling around the world as a technical consultant, specialising in developing countries. I visited Russia and the Former Soviet Union countries more than 100 times; I travelled extensively in Africa and the Middle East; and when I was in corporate life, I also travelled in North and South America. These days, I do my research via the internet or the library. Travelling is far less comfortable these days than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. The commute across the garden to my office is quite far enough for me.
Thank you, Elizabeth Ducie and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
When Elizabeth Ducie had been working in the international pharmaceutical industry for nearly thirty years, she decided she’d like to take a break from technical writing—text books, articles and training modules—and write for fun instead. She started by writing travel pieces, but soon discovered she was happier, and more successful, writing fiction. In 2012, she gave up the day job, and started writing full-time. She has published four novels, three collections of short stories and a series of manuals on business skills for writers.
Social Media Links
My website page: http://elizabethducieauthor.co.uk/book/gorgitos-ice-rink/
Kindle universal link: https://geni.us/3OHR
Until 14th October, Gorgito’s Ice Rink is only 99 p/c in all territories.