Monday, 21 April 2008

Thousand - please, oh, please, say 'thousand'.

mainly sunny, cool, temps 10

Zoomed all over London today, visiting Borders stores mostly. Did Oxford Street, then Fulham then off to North London, and area I'm totally unfamiliar with, and still am. This however won't stop me from talking knowledgeably about it, preferably to someone who has never been to London. In the world of the blind, the one eyed man is King. Normally I'm the one fumbling around in the dark, so it's refreshing to have any nuggets of knowledge.

The rep let me off at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Michael met me for coffee and cakes at the Brompton Quarter restaurant. A kind of odd place. Not sure I'd recommend it and yet we keep going back there. But I did have a wonderful smoothie - mango, banana, yoghurt and honey. But, when asked whether I'd like fizzy or still water, I said still, thinking tap. But they brought bottled. My mistake, I should have been specific. But there's a growing discontent among London consumers that restuarants foist bottled water (expensive at that) on customers. But that you can tell the quality of the restaurant by whether they offer tap water, and even bring it without asking. The Brompton Quarter doesn't. But, I learn.

We're off for dinner tonight with one of our favorite people in the book biz - Peter Newsom, the head of Export sales for Headline and the man responsible for our Around The World tour in the autumn. Need to get him drunk and have him agree to South Africa and India this year. Not sure there's enough wine for that anywhere.

Had the funniest, and very humbling experience the other day. Sherise, my Headline editor, was telling me Peter had called her last week from South Africa to say sales of The Cruellest Month were booming - and had tripled from Still Life. I, of course, was about to put the downpayment on the London flat based on that, when Sherise did managed to mention that the sales of Still Life in South Africa were 250. I waited for the 'thousand'. It didn't come.

'So,' I said to Sherise, 'that means The Cruellest Month in South Africa -'.
'Has sold 750 copies,' she said cheerily.

No London flat. No London fizzy or even bottled water at that rate! Oh well. Room for growth.

Must run - speak tomorrow. Hope this finds you thriving.


Anonymous said...


I am de-lurking to tell you how much I'm enjoying your London adventures. I have read and loved all three of your books--the first one was passed on to me by a friend, and I had the second two pre-ordered on Amazon!

I hope you do get to South Africa and India one day--

Enjoy your London stay! Keep us posted!!


Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Sharon,

How kind of you to come out from the invisibility cloak! Thank you. I must say I love the idea that people are reading the blog and I don't realize it. I wonder if there's any way to know how many 'hits' there are? I must find out one day.

But while I love the idea of people quietly reading I do appreciate your gesture of contacting me. Thank you. And with such kind words!

One day perhaps I'll be blogging from South Africa and India. What fun.

All best Sharon, and I'm glad to make your aquaintance.


Anonymous said...


I don't know where "the second two" (in my comment above) phrase came from! How embarrassing!

The problem with reading a book as soon as it is released is when you are finished you are left with the depressing knowledge that it will be at least a year before the next one comes out. So your blog is a fun way to keep up with the whole process!