Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Scene of the Crime

mainly sunny, mild, 13

Do you notice how our perception and definition of 'mild' is shifting? In a month 'mild' will be minus 5. Today, though, it's mild at 13. yesterday, when we arrived in QC, it was about 16 and a pastel day. An Impressionist day. Glorious. Soft light, soft, still air. Michael and I checked into the Chateau, into a room looking over the St. Lawrence river and even the statue of Champlain (seen in the BG of the photo a above - I mention this statue in Bury Your Dead) - then went for a walk.

We both commented on how different it is to walk through the old city when it is a gorgeous autumn day than when the wind is howling and nesting in our marrow and it's not at all 'mild' at minus 20. Brrrr.

But yesterday was picture perfect. We strolled and chatted and visited old haunts - like Chez Temporel...which I also mention in Bury Your Dead. Gamache and Emile go there for breakfast. We once again had the table with the three leaf clover scored into it, and a dimple where we rub the tip of our fingers. Hard not to. So inviting. Michael had a bowl of hot chocolate, I had a double strength bowl of cafe au lait. We both had a warm croissant aux amandes. Yummy.

the photo above is me looking slightly impatient (Michael knows this's impatience tinged with the promise of croissant but feet away.) just outside Chez Temporel. It's well off the beaten path, down a small street off rue St-Jean.

From there we returned to the Chateau Frontenac....the other photo above is Michael at the foot of the park leading to the Chateau...and the bar St-Laurent. There we met My Assistant Lise and her husband Del for drinks before dinner. Then we all walked back down, through the old city, past the basillica and the tiny old streets, to rue St-Jean and the restaurant - Les Freres de la Cote. Very relaxed bistro.

Then home to be woken up at 6:50 by a construction crane right outside our room!!! Ugh. I called down and they agreed this might not be the best experience. So now they've moved our room. Not sure where - and don't really long as it's quiet.

The only unfortunate thing is that they're doing major excavation work on the famed Dufferine Terrace that runs the length of the chateau on the river side. Wide and gracious, it's a magnificent place to walk and enjoy the views. But they found the original fortress hidden below the terrasse! Imagine that. So the archeologists are digging. Waited for the low season (and before the grip of winter) to dig...which means, now.

Still, it's fascinating to look down into it and see the stone walls emerging.

Busy day. Have a 10:30 interview with an academic who flew in from Halifax to speak with me for her research into Canadian literature. Then a 12:30 french interview. Then meeting Donna who is arriving from Toronto today, and Lise, at the Literary and Historical Society to go over plans for tonight. Then meeting Jacquie, the host of the CBC Radio show Breakaway....they'll be broadcasting live from the launch from 4 to 6. So we need to go over the scripts and interviews and music etc. Jacquie is doing all the work, but she's kind enough to include me in some of the planning.

Then I hope to have time to scoot back to the chateau to change - otherwise I'll be at the broadcast and launch in jeans and a turtleneck.

The broadcast is from 4 to 6, at the Morrin Centre - the lit and his building in Old Quebec. Everyone is welcome!!! Then the cocktail party to celebrate Bury Your Dead at the place the 'murder' happens. You're all invited to that too....either in person or 'virtually'. I'll blog about it tomorrow.

We're driving back to Montreal tomorrow. Have an interview on CJAD with the fantastic Sharman Yarnell tomorrow between noon and 1pm.

Then sleep for two days before the next event in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Hope to see you tonight - and if not, I'll tell you all about it later!


bgpringle said...

Well, having just finished Bury Your Dead, I know that a trip to Quebec City is needed next summer when we're back in Hatley. Wish I could be at the His & Lit this evening, but will be there in spirit.

Bev Pringle

bgpringle said...

I mean Lit & His!! Must have been a senior moment!!

Larry Marshall said...

It was good to see you tonight, Louise. I do wish the Morrin Centre would get their act together. Their announcement gave no indication that you would be part of the "pre-Halloween" CBC show. Sad that we missed it.

Cheers --- Larry

humble.pie said...

how unbelievably thrilling. Looking back, i don't think it's ever happened in the history of canlit that an anglophone author has written so many novels with a lead character who is a quebec francophone pure laine. You are the first i think. Perhaps that's why it took quebec inc. more than a little while to decide that this was indeed really happening. And now, with the translations, they are roaring their approval.

louise do you remember, when you were blogging from quebec city that february during carnaval, when you were researching Bury your Dead, you wrote that you & michael had gone to a small private conference on champlain. It was a high-level power meeting hosted by a cabinet minister or similar. You blogged about how you felt ever so slightly that you were barging in. But reading the blog at the time, i thought that you were probably the guest of honour, except that you didn't quite know it. I thought that quebec inc. had already recognized you as a true daughter of the terroir (dear american friends: terroir is not a species of puppy.)

so your works have great political as well as literary significance. As Lil says, it gives chills. In time, i think, they will give you the Order of Canada.

on another note, that photo at the top of your home page is breathtaking. The pond after a blue ice storm in winter. A glittering necklace of ice blocks along the shore. That couldn't be your own pond, could it. You didn't take that photo, did you. Surely the photo was staged, photographed by some prize-winning national geographic team doing cover art for a new book on the great north. Tourisme quebec, even doing its utmost to promote winter, would never be able to come up with any picture quite so gorgeous. How well those sparkling winter photographs suit Bury your Dead.

Brenda B. said...

Dear Louise,

We wish we could have been there at the Lit and His this afternoon to applaud you and your wonderful books.

Congratulations and best wishes for many more joyous celebrations!

Brenda B. in Maine

Lani said...

Oh my gosh...I have only today discovered your first book in the Gamache series. Makes me feel guilty for not reading you sooner. I'm only on page 53 but am immersed and a permanent fan. What wonderful characters. I had to go on-line to see if I could find a way to contact you, but the blog is better. Thank you for my future blissful reading!

Donna K said...


You're in for a real treat! I's excited for you.
When I first started reading the first one over a year 1/2 ago, I was so impressed and thrilled that I did something I'd never done, which is to contact the author...

Now I am have all those 'new' books to read.ha

yep, something good is definitely going on there in Three Pines and other places.

oh.....hi Louise

Donna K.

Marni said...

Louise, you deserve everything that is coming your way. I told the writers at my workshop on characters that I wanted to be Louise Penny when I grew up--then I realized I'm already a few years older than you--nuts! Enjoy every minute!!