Saturday, 17 October 2009

Mystery News Mystery

partly cloudy, crispy, temps 30

I suspect it'll warm up - but for now it's might chilly...though not as cold as some places! I'm still in indianapolis at Bouchercon. I like this city. But mostly I like the people...very friendly. Winnipeg, in Canada, is a little like this. Flat - but way prettier than people who don't live here think - and warm hearts of the residents.

Yesterday was hectic but fun. Breakfast with Sarah - then 30 minutes at the Mystery News table in the book dealer room. Sat with Lynn Kaczmarek and Chris Aldrich - the owners and editors of Mystery News...which does articles on crime writers and mostly this really thoughtful, intelligent reviews of mystery and crime and thirller books. Their final issue is about to come out - they've decided to close the publication after 12 years of doing it themselves, and a number of years it was published by others.

Just too much work - too stressful...sound familiar?? I really respect them for making that difficult decision...and really respect them for 12 years of huge contribution to the crime writers and readers community!

Lynn and I have become good friends and I knew how emotional this decision was...and I didn't know how to thank her for all she'd done for all of us, including me. I thought if I was a quilter I might make them a quilt...or an artist I'd paint a picture. I was feel quite inadequate because I didn't have a craft. Then I realized I do have a craft.

I'm a perhaps you've heard. A foul rumour I can't seem to quash. So I've decided to embrace it. And in this case I decided the only way I could come even close to thanking her for all her support was to write her, and Chris, a story.

So this past summer/fall I wrote a novella, called THE MYSTERY NEWS MYSTERY in which Lynn and Chris wander into Myrna's bookstore and find...guess what??...a body! Of one of their reviewers!

chief Inspector Gamache and his Surete team are called in... mystery and hilarity ensue!

It was such fun to write...seeing Lynn and Chris interviewed by Gamache and Beauvoir. Seeing them walk through the village and having cafe au lait in the bistro.

So I gave that to them yesterday while at their table.

Then off for a great lunch at a place called the Meridian restaurant WAY outside Indianapolis, with Andy and Matthew, of St. Martins and Minotaur. The publisher of St. Martin's - Sally - was supposed to join us but her flight from NY was cancelled and she was re-booked to come to Indianapolis, by flying through Atlanta. Can you imagine???

We all thought she'd just cancel, but she didn't. she got on the flights and arrived in time for the Minotaur Books cocktail last night. People are amazing. And she is just of the most powerful women in publishing in the world and kind and gracious. I find the higher up you go you often find really decent people. Not always true...and I don't know if they get to that stage because while being cut-throat might get you so far, finally it will defeat you. And the decent people go all the way. Or maybe they were cut-throat and competitve, but once at the top they relax and their better tendencies can come out.

Or maybe - they're nice at cocktail parties and social events - but not so nice elsewhere. Hmmm.

But I do know I have yet to meet anyone at St. Martin's Press or Minotaur Books (an imprint of SMP) who hasn't been wonderful.

I won't go blow-by-blow through the day, but it was really fun. The panel is terrific - and to a standing-room-only crowd. had drinks in the hotel bar (I had diet cock, of course) with Anthony Bidulka, Vicki Delany, Robin Harlick - other Canadian writers.

Then cocktail party and dinner. Loads of fun - tiring. And LOTS of hand washing!!! Have to remember. Indeed, there's a huge sign up warning people not to shake hands...but of course we do. But for the first time I carry that disinfectant Purcell stuff. though for the most part I don't worry...just don't want to be completely foolish.

have decided to fly to Toronto tonight, not have a full day of events, and the Anthony awards ceremony late this afternoon, then off to the airport to hop a plane...that gives me tomorrow off. Yay!!!

Speak tomorrow. Be well. Hope you're enjoying Bouchercon in Indianapolis. It is wonderfully organized. Jim Huang of The Mystery Company and his team should be very proud of themselves.


Jeanine said...


You sound like you're having a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing all the fun details with us.

I finished reading THE BRUTAL TELLING a few nights ago and I cried. Both because of the ending and, also, because I had finished the book and now have to wait another year for the next opportunity to spend with my wonderful friends in Three Pines. My husband looked over at me and asked why I was crying and all I could do was blubber something unintelligible to him. Luckily, he understands me very well and loves me anyway.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Jeanine,

Oh, what a lovely reaction to The Brutal Telling. I too cried when I read it. Sounds funny, but I also get caught in the lives of the people, and care about them.

Pierre said...

When and where will we be able to read your novella?
Can't wait.