Saturday, 9 February 2008

cuirass - perhaps not what it sounds like

Sun struggling through thin clouds, snow in forecast, high minus 8

The paperback for A FATAL GRACE has just come out in the States! This is incredibly exciting since the hardcover is important and leads the way, but the big market 'penetration' is with the paperback, since more people are likely to pick it up. Fans buy the hardcover (like you, I hope!) but non-fans might take a chance and buy the less expensive paperback, and find the series. So please, if you live in the US or know people there, perhaps you could mention the paperback for A FATAL GRACE, which is the second book, and is known as DEAD COLD in the Commonwealth.

Thank you! Really, a thrilling day.

Hilary, a reader, left a comment on yesterday's blog and I wanted to 'broadcast' it. She wrote to tell us about a site she'd found called It's a word game. I went to it before mentioning it here. You choose a definition for a word, from a multiple choice, and if you get it right 20 grains of rice will be donated to the UN World Food Programme. I think Hilary said she'd played yesterday and got up to 5,000 grains. I just played and got to about 500. Was stumped by the definition of 'cuirass'. I got it wrong. Never heard of the word. Never heard of lots of the words. It's very humbling. But also, as Hilary says, addictive. Great fun - and for a great cause. And seems to be legit.

Thanks Hilary.

Just back from a flying visit to Quebec City. Wonderful time. I really do forget how magical that city is! I almost embarrassed myself in the cab yesterday morning by weeping I was so overcome by its beauty. It was snowing slightly, large, gentle flakes, snow piled up on the roads from pervious falls. Narrow streets with old stone homes and restuarants and cafe's, tin roofs and garrets and tiny parks. Glorious. I lived in QC for two years, but still need reminding.

The next book, after the one I'm currently writing (11,500 words!) will be partly set in Quebec City during Winter Carnival - which is on now. Michael and I will rent an apartment in the old walled city for 3 weeks at this time next year and research and write. Can hardly wait.

I was there to do a segment on the CBC National Radio show, Sounds Like Canada. It went out live yesterday morning from the magnificent Chateau Frontenac, hosted by Shelagh Rogers, who is as brilliant as she is warm and lovely. Made each and every person feel welcome and relaxed - and it was a fabulous show. Mostly organized and researched by our great friend Susan McKenzie - so we're really proud of her!

Susan, Michael and I went out for dinner in the old city Thursday night. Susan came by our hotel room, which she'd arranged for, and was staggered to see we were given a HUGE corner suite! Ha. The rest of the dinner we teased her about the tiny, dark, back room she'd been allocated by the CBC. Actually, she had a suite too, though not quite as magnificent as ours. Susan explained it was given to us by the hotel, not the CBC, and only because we were so old. Everyone else in the hotel were kids, there for Carnivale.

She also gave us the most amazing gift. A Li Bien ball Christmas decoration she'd found at Pier 1 in Montreal. If you've read A FATAL GRACE/DEAD COLD you'll know how amazing it is to find one of these. It's become a new treasure for us. Susan is an old treasure. Very, very old.

But WOW, was it cold Thursday. Bitter, bitter wind. It has been a while since I was outside and it felt like someone was taking a potato peeler to my face. The wind was right in our faces. Then, coming home, it was in our faces again! A kind of reverse miracle. Whichever way we turned, there was the wind, full blast. Literally takes your breath away.

Must run. I always plan to write a short blog then end up blabbing on. We're in Montreal, heading home this morning. Be well and we'll talk soon.


Dee said...

Had to be out yesterday morning, but made sure I could hear your interview, and sat in a parking lot listening to your and Shelagh's delighful conversation. Glad I did not miss it. I have never been to Quebec City, but you made it live for me.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Dee,

How wonderful of you to listen, and to let me know. Whenever I do a show I'm nver sure if anyone was listening, or heard. so thank you.

Oddly, I met a gorgeous woman from Vermont named Dee there. She and her husband were celebrating her birthday and she won a set of DEAD COLD and THE CRUELLEST MONTH.

Dee's clearly a terrific name.

All best,

Louise (a closet dee)