Sunday, 15 June 2008

BookExpo and The Murder Stone

mixed, sunny and stormy, temps 25

What a long, eventful day. A good day, but tiring. Michael had an early breakfast with his son for Father's Day and I had a quite breakfast and made notes on editing the next book. I've tried not to think about it while away, but there are some fairly intricate elements that need fine-tuning and ideas came to me. Thought I shoulodn't ignore that gift. So I nibbled raisin toast, drank coffee and made notes in the hotel.

Then went to BookExpo Canada - had a 10:30 television interview, conducted by Lynn Hamilton, a fantastic Canadian mystery writer. But when I arrived to go up to BEC there was this honking great line. Down the corridor, around the corner, down another corridor. We were practically into Lake Ontario. Quintin Jardine joined me and we spent most of the time complaining until we looked up and realized the line and practically sprinted ahead.

So I made the interview, but barely. Scooted down there by Taryn, of the publishers.

Then back upstairs for a thing called 'Speed Dating' with the authors. Ten of us, including Quintin and Rick Blechta (have you read his books? if not, give them a try - he's brilliant) were given 5 minutes each to tell booksellers etc why they should stock our books.

Wasn't my finest 5 minutes. I hate that question. I honestly don't know why anyone should read them. I know I love reading and writing them - but what to say? It also went against my Canadian rarified I can barely look at a balance sheet (not quite accurate). So I bumbled along and listened, in awe, as the others made sense. Awe and a little annoyance.

Then a 1pm signing at the Crime Writers of Canada booth with the fabulous Phyllis Smallman, whose first book is called Marguerita Nights. she was signing it, and I signed Dead Cold and The Cruellest Month. Huge long lines for our books, and that always feels good.

After 45 minutes we ran out - most frustrating for the people who'd waited in line for, well, 45 minutes.

Then Michael and I scooted downstairs to the hotel restaurant for lunch. Or, miracle, brunch! A buffet. You can't tell me that isn't a marvelous sight. So we fell into the roast beef, and vegetables and salades and seafood and cheeses.

It was disgusting. And that was before the lemon cheesecake and panacotta. Dear Lord.

Then a 3pm signing at the McArthur booth of THE MURDER STONE - book 4 - the summer book in the cycle. I was again paired with Phyllis. Both our lines were huge - and yes, at BEC, size matters.

This is Phyllis's first, but not last, book expo and she's met loads of fans and made lots of new ones. It's great and a real privilege to see a fantastic career begin.

We had 200 Advanced Reading Copies of THE MURDER STONE - those are the proofs. The book itself won't be out until October.

But Michael managed to grab an extra one for us to give away to one of you. But, since as you can imagine, it's quite rare and valuable I'll wait and give it away in the next Newsletter - the July one. So, if you haven't signed up for it, you might consider it. Whoever wins, I'll sign it for you too.

We ran out of the proofs of THE MURDER STONE and had to turn people away...again, that felt awful.

From there we were whisked by car up to the mystery bookstore Sleuth of Baker Street, on Bayview Ave in Toronto, for a special party with Ann Granger, Quintin Jardine, David Gibbons, Phyllis Smallman, James Nichol and me. It was a party/signing.

We were then supposed to go out for dinner, but it'd been a long day, at the very end of a long couple of weeks. Hard to believe just a week ago we were in Bristol at CrimeFest. And Michael and I are a little tired.

So we begged off dinner and came back to the hotel. Got dinner and now we're watching the US Open. Such fun. The day was long, exhausting, but still a dream. What writer doesn't love signing books? And to see THE MURDER STONE as a book for the very first time - heaven. I always get very emotional. My baby, all ready for the world. I hope the world likes it. But either way, it knows it's loved, by it's mother.


Hilary said...

Dear Louise --

So Father's Day was Mother's Day, in a way. Congratulations, Mum, on The Murder Stone.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hilary,

What a beautiful way of putting it! Thank you. I'm very moved by your message.