Friday, 16 October 2009


cloudy, rain expected, temps 40

Am in Indianapolis - and back to what seems to be my natural habitat - turtleneck weather. But also see the winter storm in the US Northeast. Wow.

Had huge fun at Murder By the Book in Houston, Wednesday night. Loads of people, great questions...very knowledgeable and passionate about the Gamache books.

BUT - remember from yesterday's post where I describe visiting the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and how great that the american museums are free??? Well, I was describing this at the event and I suddenly saw a sea of people shaking their heads.


'they're not free,' someone called out.


Seems I'd waltzed right by the ticket people and into the museum. Without paying!


Arrived at Bouchercon - the huge crime readers/writers conference - yesterday after a very nice, relaxing flight from Houston.

I'd forgotten have enervating Bouchercon is. Walked into the Hyatt Regency - the conference hotel - and before I'd even registered I was meeting people. And it didn't stop. It's both exhilerating and exhausting...but VERY fun. Have a fabulous hotel room too - floor to ceiling windows looking out over the capital dome. Gorgeous.

Yesterday is a bit of a blur in my mind...I remember snippets of meeting all sorts of people, going to the book dealers room and meeting Lynn and Chris and Mike and Barbara etc, etc...signing a bunch of books. Meeting more people. Feel a bit like being pulled in all directions, but for someone like me, whose worst fear is not fitting in or being excluded, it sure feels wonderful. Like falling into the middle of a huge family.

Then grabbed a salad for lunch about 4pm - and went to the ceremony for the Derringer, Shamus, Macavity and Barry awards. It was packed...and very warm feeling.

And congratulations to the winners...which you might have gathered by now, did not include me. But that really is OK. I never expect to win, and it was really, genuinely lovely to see the joy of the people who did. In my catagories, the fabulous Deborah Crombie won the Macavity for best novel. And in the Barry for best novel, well this is embarrassing but I can't spell his name...a swedish writer. Andur Arn - something. But I'm sure his book is brilliant. Better be - to beat The Cruelest Month!

Congratulations to Andur and Deborah!

We have one more award to go - the very prestigious Anthony (unless I don't win, in which case it will become just another award...((kidding))

At 7pm Sarah Melnyk, from Minotaur Books swept me up and off we ran to the hotel lobby to meet Hector (head of publicity) and Andy Martin - the publisher...and a fabulous limo...hired to take us to the Barnes and Noble in Greenwood, Indiana - about 20 minutes away. We were late, so whizzed along. Arrived just in time for this terrific panel the B&N Greenwood people had organized to coincide with Bouchercon and Mystery Month at Barnes and Noble. Also on the panel were Donna Andrews, Chelsea Cain and William Kent Kruger. It was such fun...and if you were among the many people who came out, then thank you. And brilliantly organized by Laura and the rest of the B&N crew.

It was also the first time I'd seen the huge displays of THE BRUTAL TELLING set up at Barnes and Nobles across the US. As you might know, THE BRUTAL TELLING was voted by B&N employees their latest Main Selection. I was overwhelmed and moved...all these emotions surged up. Gratitude. Astonishment. Up until that moment last night I knew it was happening...I was excited and a little stressed (not knowing if it would fall flat)...but I think a little removed, since I live in Canada. To actually be there and see it - WOW.

Got back to the hotel around 10:30. Ordered a burger and fries and rice pudding - comfort food...called Michael. then turned on the TV and vegged out for an hour. Went to sleep, feeling pooped but very happy. What a life. this is a GREAT job. - Though I suppose you know, it doesn't really feel like a job. work, yes, but not a job.

Busy day today. 10:30 coffee with Sarah, my publicist. 11:30 signing at the Mystery News table at Bouchercon. 12:15 - lunch with Andrew martin - publisher of Minotaur Books, Sally Richardson - publisher of St. Martin's Press, Matthew Shear - publisher of St. Martin's paperbacks. Hope I don't dribble anything. Or say anything terribly stupid.

Have a panel then on 'Ordinary people rising to the occasion' at 3pm. Coffee with the wonderful Anthony Bidulka - a Canadian crime writer from Saskatchewan - at 5pm...then the Minotaur Books cocktail party at 6pm at another hotel...and finally dinner with Lynn Kaczmarek, of Mystery News - at 7:30. Back in the hotel by 10. And glorious sleep.

then it begins all over again tomorrow, with a breakfast meeting with Dan Mayer, the mystery book buyer for Barnes and Noble nationally.

As Linda Ellerbee would say - And so it goes...

Just spoke to Michael again...his sister Carol was having a big operation on her back in London this week. He called with an update...the operation was a success. Phew. Carol is such a nice person.

Hope you're well...hope you're enjoying the book tour and Bouchercon. Carb up! (that's my excuse)

Oh - in all this excitement - did I mention that THE BRUTAL TELLING is STILL on the New York Times bestseller list??? Third week in a row. It's the extended list - number 33...but still there. That's my baby!

Speak to you tomorrow, I hope.


Bev Stephans said...

Dear Louise,

It sounds like you're having a wonderful time. Don't get too exhausted.

The Barnes & Noble display sounds awesome. I'm so happy for you. Hope it sells lots of your books.

Glad to hear about the NY Times list.

Take care,

Jo B. said...

Yes, I must agree with Bev, the Barnes and Noble display looks great. I checked out our local B&N yesterday to buy A Rule Against Murder. I am so far behind with your books, must catch up! Thanks for sharing another chapter of your "fairy tale" life! Always look forward to reading the next installment!

Elaine said...

Hi Louise,

Now that you're in Indianapolis you are probably glad that you brought turtlenecks, a tweed jacket, scarf, and even the fuzzy gloves. I'm in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and I'm sure the weather is similar to what we have here (chilly and rainy).

If you couldn't win the Macavity for best mystery novel, I'm glad that Deborah Crombie received it. Her books are also very well written and such a delight to read. Both of you are at the top of my list of authors.

I look at this as just a lull in the award action for you. With each book you publish being better than the previous one there are probably a lot more awards to be received in the future.

You keep writing and I'll keep reading.

Dana said...

Thanks for taking the time to keep the bloggers included in your activities. And congratulations on the NYT list.
I am trying to read SLOWLY through The Brutal Telling and find myself laughing out loud in some places. What a pleasure it is!

Shelagh Davis said...

Hi Louise, Have to agree with everything Elaine (above) said, and especially "you keep writing and I'll keep reading"! You are a very gracious, class act lady.
Glad to hear Carol is doing well.
Be well, and try and get some rest!
Shelagh D.

lil Gluckstern said...

I am enjoying your traveling blogs, since it is unlikely that I will ever see Houston or Indianapolis, but what a nice reception you are getting-even if you don't win...I have left this drooly ( actually, I'm surprised my keyboard doesn't short out) review on Amazon, joining the other 30 5 star reviewers, and I'm happy about the NYT! Glad about Michael's sister; he certainly has had a full plate, Hasn't he? Are you looking forward to cocooning again? I would love the activity, and then lie back and relish. Take care of yourself,


Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Thank you for your company on tour! And I agree about Deborah Crombie - I am really happy for her...and she deserves it.

Also met a wonderful woman named Merrily who came by to say hi ... and also hi from Marjorie, who sometimes leaves comments on the blog...and indeed knew about the B&N Recommends and managed to keep it quiet when it was a secret. Merrily also brought a gummi gift from Marjorie! Yippee..

Thank you all - and you are GREAT traveling companions!

Looking forward to seeing Michael in TO tomorrow!!

Merrily said...

Hi Louise,
It was such a pleasure to meet you yesterday after admiring your work so much and having heard you speak at last year's Bouchercon. And of course, was pleased to pass on Marjorie's gift! I'm exhausted from having been at this conference as a fan, I can't imagine how worn out the authors must be by the end! Have a good trip home and rest up - Merrily