Friday, 15 October 2010

San Francisco

Sunny, warm, temps 75

Gorgeous day. Here's the view from where I'm sitting right now. The Regency club level of the Hyatt. Magnificent. Had breakfast here at 7:30 with Marjorie. Here's a shot of us. Not, perhaps, the best photo (we sparkle more) - and you can't see the view in that photo.

Had such fun actually sitting with Marjorie - and Michael joined us. I met her for the first time at the event a couple weeks ago at RJ Julia, in Connecticut. But we didn't get a chance to do more than hug and say 'hi'.

What an fascinating person she is. She told us all about her time in the Turkish prison and as the leader of that biker gang...and of course, as a rockette. No, wait. That was someone else. Maybe...

We're here in San FRancisco for Bouchercon - this massive crime fiction convention organized by and for readers....and we lucky writers get to come and meet the readers - and each other. We flew in from Calgary yesterday and went directly to lunch with Andrew Martin - the publisher of minotaur and Matthew Shear the president of St. Martin's. Great restaurant - greek...huge open fireplace, amazing fish. And so fun to see these two people I so admire and like, whose company I honestly enjoy and don't simply endure. or get all nervous. We've known each other for 6 years now, and feel like brothers and sister. It's an interesting relationship. Publishing is still, in many ways, very old fashioned. Still so dependent on personal relationships. And yet we all know it's a business. They'd drop me in a moment if the Gamache books stopped selling (well, not a moment, but eventually, as they should) and I'd leave if I felt I wasn't valued or respected. But that aside, we genuinely like each other. And that means the world to me. I no longer choose to work with people I don't respect and admire.

Did the old hotel shuffle when we got back...trying to find a room we (I) liked. So far no luck - and since we're staying for a week we're considering leaving....any suggestions on great San Francisco hotels - in interesting, fun neighborhoods?

the view from this club level is magnificent, but the rooms are small, and dark....and there's no bedside lamp on my side. I find that so odd in a room that's been newly renovated. And disconcerting. don't people read in bed? Honestly, that's the big thing driving the move. Sounds so trivial - but I so love lying in bed after a long day, and reading.


I can't do that here.

Poor Michael - dragged around again. The hotel tour of SF. I'm joking, actually. We don't spend all that much time trying to find a good room....this is way to magnificent a city to waste too much time doing that. Gives me the shivers.

And congratulations to the winners of the Macavity and Barry awards last night!!!

The macavity for best novel went to Reed Farrell Coleman and Ken Bruen. And the Barry for best novel went to John Hart. The Barry for Novel of the Decade went to Stig Larsson.

And my Lipstick's Chronicles sister - hank Phillippi Ryan won the Macavity for best short story. And the terrific Alan Bradley won for Best First Novel - both the Macavity and the Barry....what a year he's having - and deservedly so!

All so well deserving, everyone who won!

Have a small gathering tonight in the hotel Atrium bar, organized by Marjorie, of readers who might want to meet with me informally. As I say, it's a modest gathering - not everyone knows about it - but if you're here and would like to drop by, feel free. It's between 6 and 7.

Off for more San Francisco fun....will blog tomorrow.


lil Gluckstern said...

Hi Louise,
I'm glad the weather is treating you well, my good vibes are with you, and I wish I could join your informal gathering today, but ill health keeps close to home these days. It is both exciting and saddening to realize how close you all are; I'm not sure I could handle all the richness of seeing all of you anyway. I hope you get a better room, and enjoy San Francisco!

John said...

Great to see a photo of you and Marjorie! I can only be there in spirit this year but will see you in person eventually. Have a great Bouchercon!


whalewatcher said...

Hello Louise,
Haven't been to the blog in a while and suddenly realized there was no October Newsletter.
You may have explained somewhere and I missed it.
Sounds like you are busy traveling and no pressure meant, just curious because I missed reading it.
Hope all is well.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh. thank you, Louise! Yes. I'm still floating.
And blog readers. she'll never tell you--but what fun it is to see Louise and Michael cut a swath through the convention--heads turn as they walk by, the buzz follows them, everyone wants to meet them and chat and tell Louise how much they adore her and the books! What rock stars they are!

And she's so gracious, and gorgeous in dark pink silk and pearls..and they both lookso happy!

Lesa said...


I'm glad Hank added her comments. Wasn't it great that Hank won a Macavity?

I've enjoyed reading about your trip, but it sounds absolutely exhausting! No wonder you're looking for the perfect hotel room!

And, if you read this note before he goes home, give Michael a big hug for me. Love both of you!

A. Wright said...

It was such a pleasure, and I should add, an honor to meet both you and Michael last evening. The small gathering was a delight and I did want to thank both you and Michael for the drink and the conversation, also the impromptu book signing. You were very, gracious to us all.


Maggie said...

If you call the front desk and ask them to send up another bedside lamp, any decent hotel will send someone off to storage to fetch you one. It's a simple request, really. I worked hospitality for years. People ask for all kinds of things. A lamp is an easy request to fill.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all -

It is such fun - and Lil, I think we already know each other in every important way...and one day we'll meet in person.

such a great convention...and talk about heads turning, Hank! My new mantra is: never be photographed next to Hank. Never be photographed next to Hank. Very important practice! she's gorgeous.

But kathy - sorry to hear you didn't get the Oct. Newsletter...there was one! Can you please email me separately and I'll send it on to the fabulous Linda to get straight. Sorry about that....these things sometimes spin off into the ether.

thanks for all your kind words!

jimchatt725 said...

Glad you are having such a great time. My wife and I stayed at a nice airy hotel not far from the Fisherman's Wharf. I think a Holiday Inn but not sure. Had lovely rooms with bedside table lamps a must with my Pam who loves to read in bed as well. There is a great restaurant if you like garlic called the Stinking Rose on Columbus or Columbia Ave. Ask for directions.

Have a great time.