Monday, 11 August 2008

Couch Michael, and his Olympians

mainly sunny, temps 20

Finally, some sun - but thunderstorms in forecast - of course.

Wow, it's nice to be home. But I had a wonderful time on Wolfe Island. Didn't even know there was a Wolfe Island. it's just off the city of Kingston, Ontario. A 20 minute ferry ride takes people and cars there. So calming being on the ferry - lovely trip.

I was there for the Scene of the Crime mystery festival. It's an annual event in which 4 writers are invited - and a fifth writer is a guest of honour. This year it was Joy Fielding. The other writers with me were Jose latour - a Cuban writer of noirs. Linwood Barclay - who's had huge and deserved success with No Time To Say Goodbye. Mary Jane Maffini - whose traditional mysteries have won all sorts of awards, and was the president of the Crime Writers of Canada a few years ago. And me.

Most of us stayed at the Queens Inn, a hotel with a great location near the water in Kingston - but a more dreary place would be hard to find. it was like sleeping in one of those miniscule VIA Rail sleepers, only without the gentle rocking (thank goodness) My feet were practically in the shower. And the doors didn't seem to fit properly so that everytime someone arrived or left there was a great thumping as they slammed the doors closed. My room had a spider, which I decided not to kill, then spent the night wondering where it was.

But Wolfe Island is charming - and the people very welcoming. The event lasted all day - from the 10am meeting and greet over coffee to readings and a panel discussion...and a fascinating interview with Joy Fielding...who is lovely by the way. Very gracious too, and funny.

Speaking of funny, one of the best lines I've heard came from Mary Jane Maffini in our panel discussion when someone in the audience asked, 'Who do you think your readers are.'

Mary Jane answered: 'Intelligent women with colds.'

I thought I'd wet myself laughing. It was perfect. Certainly describes how I view people reading my books. I know men read them - I know you don't need to be sick to pick one up....but they were written with myself in mind - and there's nothing more comforting when you're ill than crawling under the covers with a honeyed tea, cookies and a good mystery. Sometimes I'll lie under a blanket on the sofa in front of the fireplace.

Wonderful. My books are meant to comfort. Either when we're physically sick, or just sick and tired of coping, of stress, or reality. of too many demands and too little thanks. Of a world that can seem cold and cruel. My books are meant to re-assure. That goodness exists.

Intelligent women with colds. perfect.

Got home yesterday and Susan came over for dinner...brought the dinner actually, clever woman. Pizza and home-made peach crisp. Michael and I made a salad and we sat on the screen porch until the rain drove us inside.

Oh - I have a website if you'd like to lookup bed and breakfasts in the North Hatley area...if you're interested in coming to the launch of The Murder Stone.

The website is: and for location, put in North Hatley. We're having the local launch at Brome Lake Books on Friday, October 17th at 5pm. that's in Knowlton. then on Saturday, October 18th we're going to Hovey Manor for afternoon tea and a launch celebration. Tickets are 20 dollars, and cover tea. We decided to do this since Hovey is the inspiration for the Manoir in The Murder Stone. It's also a fantastic place.

We're enjoying the Olympics. I wasn't exciting or even interested before they began, but now I'm addicted. We're watching as much as we can. What Michael called, 'Couching' the Canadian team.

Gary, the electrician and Yves are arriving this afternoon to try to solve the TV mystery.

Wrote this morning. Being away from it for a few days is difficult since we're down to the short strokes now and every clue counts. Quite exciting. But frustrating picking up the pieces.

Must be off to walk dogs. Sun's out.


Elizabeth said...

Next time you're in Kingston and want to spend some money, try the Hochelaga Inn. It's our favourite. My law school class is having its 25th (yikes!) anniversary this fall and we're planning on staying there for the event.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Elizabeth,

thanks for the recommendation! happily my wonderful publishers paid for the hotel so I didn't have to pay for the pleasure. But will check out the Hochelaga Inn next time.