Wednesday, 17 March 2010


mainly sunny, lovely day, temps 10

We're in Montreal and it is a picture perfect day. Sunny, mild. Everytime we come to our apartment here, close to Greene Ave in Westmount, we are reminded how much we love it! Montreal and the apartment.

Though had a disconcerting experience last night. At 10:45 we turned the lights off and suddenly heard a piano playing. It went on for a while. This morning I went to speak to the apartment management about it...not really sure if we heard right. The management people weren't in - but I spoke to the doorman who confirmed there's a person two floors up with a piano. Then while we were talking someone else came by and said - Oh, that must be ____________. She used to live above us and moved to your end of the building. Thank God! She plays at all hours and won't stop. Since she moved it's been peaceful.

Yeah - for some.

Now we've got her banging away at all hours.

The doorman suggested we call the cops on her...but I think we might keep that little treat as a last resort. We'll see how it goes. Fortunately we're not here all the time. I can't believe others haven't complained...and perhaps they have. We'll find out from the manager, Donna.

And, speaking of Donnas - I had lunch today with Donna Nopper - my publicist at Hachette Canada, who represents the new publishers in the UK. She flew in for the meeting and we went to the Bistro on the Avenue. Great meeting - very productive.

Also did a taped radio interview with Sharman Yarnell of CJAD.

Did my writing this a section where counting the words isn't very helpful since there's a lot of re-organizing happening. But as chaotic as the manuscript is at the moment I'm feeling very, very good about it. Heading down a fun road. Will see where it goes. I generally know better when I read over the completed first draft and get a sense of pacing and structure.

As you might gather, my process is to way over write, then winnow down.

A piece of great news is that The Brutal Telling has been nominated for the Evergreen Award, by the libray system in Ontario. Here're the details and other nominees...

The 2010 OLA Evergreen™ Award Program Nominees have been finalized!

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Library Association and official Wholesaler, S&B Books, are excited to reveal the short-listed nominated titles for the 2010 Evergreen™ Award Program, which is part of the Forest of Reading™. All nominated titles are available on the Forest of Reading Program page of the OLA website, which you can visit at They are also listed below:

The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny, Publisher: Headline
Burmese Lessons, by Karen Connelly, Publisher: Random House (hardcover), Vintage (paperback May 2010)
Come, Thou Tortoise, by Jessica Grant, Publisher: Knopf (hardcover), Vintage (paperback March 2010)
February, by Lisa Moore, Publisher: Anansi
The Heart Specialist, by Claire Holden Rothman, Publisher: Cormorant
The Mystery of Grace, by Charles de Lint, Publisher: Tor
Old City Hall, by Robert Rotenberg, Publisher: Touchstone
Oonagh, by Mary Tilberg, Publisher: Cormorant
Small Beneath the Sky, by Lorna Crozier, Publisher: Greystone Books
Underground, by June Hutton, Publisher: Cormorant

“We are looking forward to even more participation this year,” stated Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director of the Ontario Library Association. “It is about enjoying reading without any other obligations – aside from voting which the readers love doing.”

The voting for the Evergreen™ Program takes place during Ontario Public Library Week in October and the winner is announced in November. Every year the winner attends the OLA Super Conference in February to receive their Award and meet their fans from across the Province. The Evergreen Award™ program was introduced at Super Conference 2005 for adults of any age. It gives adult library patrons the opportunity to vote for a work of Canadian fiction or non-fiction that they have liked the most.

As you can imagine, I'm over the moon about this! To be chosen out of all the fiction books published in Canada is huge. And I'm thrilled. Soooo - for all of you living in Ontario - get out and vote...often.

We've ordered the pizza. Have rented Precious and The Informant. Not sure which one we'll watch. Probably The Informant since I'm not sure Precious is a gobbling pizza movie.

Back to Sutton tomorrow in time for lunch and meeting the kids at the Sutton Elementary School. But first, before we leave Montreal, we have Tara's ashes to deliver to Bal, Linda and Bethany.

And had some more sad pet news...quite devestating really. The German shepherd upon whom Gamache's Henri was based died. Henry was only six years old and had a short but terminal illness. Poor one. Poor parents.

Tough time for dogs! Tough time for dog owners.

I hope your pet is doing well. Looking forward to getting home and giving Trudy a hug - though I suspect she'd prefer a walk.

Wish me luck at the school! How old are they when they stop biting?


whalewatcher said...

In my experience w/children they stop biting adults around age 3 or to each other, now that
depends so just don't get between any of them. Smile. Good luck.
Congratulations on your nomination.....if I could vote for you I would!
Take care,

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the Evergreen Award nomination. Wish I was there to vote for you, but since I'm not I'll just send plenty of positive thoughts.

It does seem to be a sad time for dogs and their human companions, as well as for some cats and their owners. We do become attached to them as if they were children. :(

Have fun at school.

Shelagh said...

Congratulations on the Evergreen nomination; what a wonderful honor.

I am so sorry to hear about Henry, and will keep his family in my prayers. Such a short life for a beloved animal.
Hugs, Shelagh

Beth said...

I'm adding my congratulations on your Evergreen Award nomination. Just think of the lucky viewers whose first visit to Three Pines is ahead of them!

Please extend my condolences to Henry's family. Each of us who has experienced such a loss can relate to their heartache, and can understand how sweet the companionship is that leads us to accept an inevitable loss.

with love,
in Oregon

Nikki B said...

HI Louise,
Yes, Congrats on the nomination!

Now, as for the musical's what I think you should do:
Find out what she looks like and have breakfast at the table next to hers. Then you and Michael need to chat about the piano you heard blah blah blah..
Followed by conversation of how your next murder takes place. I bet she moves back to the other side of the building! ;-)

Maureen Harrington-Carter said...

Can you stand one more congratulations on being nominated for an Evergreen? If not -too bad- congratulations!

I had an 8-year-old bite me once when I was a substitute teacher looking for a permanent job. That's when I decided to work with graduate students. Hah! I became a resident counselor in a medical school, where the musicians among them, and there were many, seemed to think that quiet hours didn't apply to those who only had the nighttime to play.

I am so sorry about Henry.


Dana said...

Henry will live forever in your books. Thank you for making him real. I bit for a long time, but mostly pencils!

lil Gluckstern said...

Another congratulations on the Evergreen nomination, and how sad about Henry. I'm with Nikki B.-I'd put a scare into the Piano Player, just don't shoot her. (Sorry) The kids are more apt to bite each other, so hope that went well, and it's great that you feel so good about the new book. So how long do we have to wait?

thomas reiser said...

When is the CJAD interview to air?

Diane said...

Congratulations on the Evergreen nomination and good luck at the school today. Children are fun, but as noted, a bit dangerous as well with all those sharp teeth!


DonnaK said...

Oh poor Henry. That is young, even for a dog. We lost Cody Benjamin, our Newfy, last yr. at 4 due to lung cancer. We were shocked and devasted. Closed we have Brody Benjamin who got meningitis and almost died at 10 weeks. Luckily he is a healthy, over the top happy, happy boy adn quite the character. I can't imagine life without a pet.

So happy about your Evergreen nomination. You sure have a nice full life and are giving so much to people. I don't know about kids biting, but I taught high school for 30 yrs. and now sub occassionally...and really, biting isn't so bad..ha

Donna K

Anonymous said...

I ditto all the above, except I'm a cat woman. Overwriting, underwriting, I wonder which is best. If you triple space, you can fill in more words by hand when you edit. I've come to appreciate brevity after reading Louise Erdrich's latest, "Shadow Tag." She says a lot in beautiful, spare language.

My tendency is to use too many adverbs and adjectives because I just love words.


Cece said...

Congratulations on the Evergreen!

I have had two friends also lose their canine family members in the last week, just as spring is coming. I wonder if the winter just took its toll on Henry, Tara, Snoopy and Felicia.

I am dying to hear about the school visit and about the next chapter in The Mystery of the Piano Player.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

I survived! They survived. No biting, not tears. No blood. Thanks to you and your advice.

And thank you SO much for the congratulations about the Evergreen nomination. Such fun.

And thanks for the piano player advice. happily the next night she didn't play. Or perhaps one of the other tenants ...

Oh, and the CJAD interview is supposed to air in about a month...about the time of the Agatha award.