Sergei Kourdakov, a former KGB agent and Soviet naval intelligence officer, defected from the USSR at the age of twenty. A year later we met at my Federal Government office in Washington DC. We were watched and followed. “Even you could be spy,” Sergei whispered. My book, A Rose for Sergei, is the true story of our time together.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Sergei Kourdakov | The Americans

When the award winning drama series, The Americans, aired on television in 2013, I couldn’t watch it.  I even blogged about it in my October 14, 2014 post.  After six years I caved in.  To understand my change of heart I’ll go back to the beginning.

No, there wasn’t anything wrong with my TV when The Americans series started.  It was the fact that I knew the story line was about two Soviet KGB spies posing as an American married couple living in the suburbs of Washington DC.  That was why I didn’t want to watch it.  The show was way too close to home.  And not because the fictional Russian couple in the series lived in a home in Falls Church, Virginia—a few miles from where I used to live.

The Americans show was too close for comfort because of my own true story about dating Soviet KGB defector, Sergei Kourdakov.  I was also in the middle of writing a book about Sergei when the show came out.  And honestly, I was pretty sure there would be scenes in The Americans that I really didn’t want to know about.

The show ended in 2018 and I held fast to my plan.  Not going there, I told myself so many times.  You can probably see where this is heading…so fast forward to the part where I recently caved in and ended up watching the entire series.  All 75 episodes.

The reason for my change of heart?  Whenever I talked publicly about my book, A Rose for Sergei, people commented that it sounded like something out of The Americans.  Then they wanted to know what I thought of the show.  I didn’t have an answer, but I now understand what they were talking about.  Yes, it is an amazing show, and it definitely holds your attention.

After watching The Americans I had a few sleepless nights, and there were some scenes where my heart raced.  Sergei Kourdakov often told me we were being watched and followed.  Sergei spotted it, but now I understand how I wouldn’t notice that.  The Russians/KGB were good at their tradecraft.

I tried to encourage my sister, Karen, to watch The Americans…even just a few episodes.  She had met Sergei and I thought she would find the show interesting.  Her answer, “I’m not going to watch that show, it’s too scary.”

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sergei Kourdakov: A Rose for Sergei: This Is No Ordinary Story!

One of my goals in writing a book about Sergei Kourdakov was to correct the misinformation about him.  On second thought, I’ll change that to, “my only goal.”  I was determined to write A Rose for Sergei, even though writing a book about anything was the furthest thing from my mind.  That’s why I was truly surprised when I received the following email:

“We are excited to announce that the book ‘A Rose for Sergei’ has won the Silver / 2nd Place award in the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Best of Backlist* category! (*Not newly published.)

Comments from the Feathered Quill Book Awards Judges:

“Doing a simple search on Sergei Kourdakov produces plenty of information on his escape from the KGB, conversion to Christianity ... but the author, K. Kidd, knew him not only personally but romantically.  This is no ordinary story!”

“This is one of those stories that if it wasn’t true, it would make for great fiction.”

“Kudos ... for sharing the human side of one man who was determined, against incredible odds, to change for the better.”

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