Saturday, 11 October 2008

Louise, the Goddess of Pooped

sunny, warm, temps 75

A glorious day in Baltimore. Just got back from lunch with Bonnie and Joe. They used to run the Black Orchid bookshop in New York City - fabulous place. They closed it almost exactly a year ago - but we've kept in touch. Lovely people. We met at a seafood restaurant at the harbor. I was late - hard to get out of the hotel, so many people to talk to. But finally managed it. What a lovely walk to and around the harbour, though I was hurrying.

Spent 2 hours over lunch - had great seats looking onto the sparking waters. I'd had crab cakes last night at dinner with Rhys Bowen and Lynn. So decided to have the lobster penne for lunch, and we shared an apple pie with cinnamon ice cream. As good as it sounds!

Had breakfast this morning with the St. Martin's Minotaur team, including publicists Hector and Sarah, and the president of the imprint, Andy Martin. The president of the paperback division joined us...Matthew Shearer. We discussed sales (excellent) and strategy.

The Murder Stone (UK/Canadain title for book 4) continued to be the bestseller in the Bouchercon bookroom, which made me happy, but the US publishers less happy since it was the Canadian version everyone was buying. The US doesn't come out until January and will be called A RULE AGAINST MURDER.

Am getting worn out. Yesterday was exhausting - thrilling - but exhausting. Had breakfast with Dan Mayer, who's become a friend but also happens to be the person who buys Crime/Mystery books for all 700 Barnes and Noble stores across the US. We had a riot - both being dog people. After breakfast we went to the B&N at the harbour and signed. Then back in time for lunch with Julia Spencer Fleming, her husband Ross, Robin and Jamie Agnew, of Aunt Agatha's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, and the amazing Jim Huang, one of the organizors of next year's Bouchercon in Indianapolis. Then at 1:30 I met Lee Ann for a coffee. Don't know if you remember, but I had a message from her last month. She lost her son, Thomas, in the Iraq war and wrote to comment on a passage in The Cruelest Month that had moved her. Well we arranged to meet for coffee and she brought an album she and her friends made up after Thomas's death...of him from birth to the very last picture of him. I think you can imagine how that coffee felt, for her, and for me.

She's a lovely woman and she'd signed up for the conference...I'd see her after that every now and then, deep in conversation with her favorite authors, having a great time.

Then had to run to make my panel, with Rhys Bowen and Deborah Crombie. It was called Three Goddesses Talking. No moderator. Just us. This format is extremely unusual. But it worked. Turned out to be a riot. I think it helped that we all have real affection for each other and respect, at least I have that for them, and it seemed to be mutual. It was a genuine honour to be grouped with these two amazing writers. And generous women.

The room was packed...and afterward, in the signing room, the line up for autographs went all around the room. That felt good. As you know, I've sat behind desks when no one wanted my book or my signature. so when this happens I really savor it!

In fact, it was so successful the organizors of next year's Bouchercom have asked Rhys, Deborah and me to do The Three Goddesses at the Indianapolis convention, and we've all agreed. In the meantime we will take mortal form.

By the time the panel and signing was over it was 4:45. At 5:30 I had a party called Authors Without Borders to go to, then at 6pm the Minotaur Party at another hotel. Fabulous party - everyone there. Then Lynn and Rhys and I walked back to our hotel and had a quiet dinner. We all looked like zombies. Met Donna Andrews in the lobby and she looked like she couldn't get out of her chair!

Quiet night tonight, by choice - then head home tomorrow in time for Thanksgiving dinner with Michael, Linda, Bal and Bethany. Big week coming up. We officially launch The Murder Stone.

Right now I just want to curl up and read People Magazine. But, if anyone asks, I'm reading The Economist.

I might not blog tomorrow, but will Monday. Take care of yourselves.


Lesa said...


I'm jealous that everyone is there, but you sound absolutely exhausted. Even your post sounds exhausted.

Take care of yourself! You do have a big week coming up.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Lesa,

I wish you were here too! But good news - I'll be in Phoenix for the US launch of A RULE AGAINST MURDER. January 20th, at Poison Pen (where else!) It would be wonderful to see you there.

Hope you're well.

Kay said...

Get some good rest, Louise. You do sound tired but happy. Bouchercon sounds amazing. Hope I can go one day.

My copy of THE MURDER STONE arrived today. It's next on my list after finishing my book club book, Geraldine Brooks' PEOPLE OF THE BOOK. I'm so excited to get to continue adventures with Gamache.

Take care and I wish you great success with this new book. It is so deserved and couldn't happen to a nicer person.

Lesa said...

January 20 is now marked on my 2009
calendar, Louise! I'll be there if everything works out right. Geez, time goes so fast, it will be here before you know it.

Kay said...

My husband and I have been trying to get to the Phoenix area for a couple of years for a vacation. I'm thinking that the week of January 20th sounds like a great time to come! He can golf and I can shop for mysteries. Yahoo!! I could meet you, Louise, and probably Lesa as well.

Lesa said...

I'm answering before Louise, Kay, but I think it would a perfect time for a Phoenix vacation. I'd love to meet you!

Louise Penny Author said...

DEar Kay - and Lesa,

What fun we'll have! Hope you can make it, Kay.

Patti O said...

Hey, I'm getting in on this party too :)!!! I'm bummed to have missed Bouchercon, but the great thing about the Phoenix area (among many) is that so many authors come here!!! It's so cool!!! Louise, last year you mentioned making sure your trip here wasn't so hurried next time, so try & get St. Martin's to let you stay at least 2 days. Let's all go out!!!

Patti O'Brien

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Patti,

Hi there! Glad you got in on the conversation. And, actually, that would be loads of fun. Maybe we should all meet for dinner before the bookstore event. The blog-belles.

Lesa said...

That sounds fun! I took the day off since it's innauguration day, but I'd be ready to go to dinner. Count me in if we do that!

Kay said...

I'm in for dinner if we could do that. I'll be "on vacation"!