Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sigh, sigh, said Pooh

bright sunny skies, cool, temps 55

Storm has passed. Sarah has arrived. Am having a blast in Providence. Went to the New England Independent Booksellers association author cocktail last night. Huge event. All sorts of booksellers there - wine flowing, terrific finger foods. People meandering between booths. And about a dozen invited authors at tables at one end, with a daunting stack of books.

I sat down - Sarah got me some water. And I waited. Trying not to look lonely or pathetic...

And then one person wandered by. I chatted with her, signed a book, chatted, chatted. It's a sort of literary hostage-taking. Can't let her go or I'll be exposed. And then I noticed there were more people lined up behind her. And more. And before long a long line had formed. They were either the Bookseller's Swat Squad (formed to rescue a colleague from a desperate author) - or they genuinely wanted a signed copy of Bury Your Dead.

They wanted the book!!! I released the now quite exhausted bookseller and started signing. Finished more than 2 hours later.

Sigh. I feel I've been holding my breath for a decade. And now, finally, with Bury Your Dead it's safe to exhale.

Went off to another cocktail at a Providence bookstore last night then back to the hotel. Hotel Providence. Odd place. They call it a boutique hotel, and I'm not sure why. Feels like every slightly stuffy old hotel I've ever stayed at. But it's clean and my room had two lovely windows. The phones don't work, though. Can't call out, for some reason. And the concierge, in making a hair appointment for me yesterday, described me as an 'older woman' - so that bit of truth-telling didn't exactly endear me.

I wonder how, and when, that happened? But in my mid-fifties I am definitely 'older'. I guess I just don't feel it.

though, I suppose it could have been worse. She could have described me as an 'older man'. Or said, Ernest Borgnine's on his way over for a blow dry. That would have been hard to recover from!

Off to a book signing in Mystic, CT at about noon....then to Madison, CT and a 7pm event at RJ Julia bookseller tonight.

For those of you in southern vermont, I'll be at the Brattleboro Literary Festival for an event at about 3 tomorrow afternoon. Sarah's driving, thank heaven. And the weather looks great.

Such fun to be traveling around, meeting people. Supporting this book. thank you all for your wonderful words about Bury Your Dead. It means so much.

Michael and I keep in close touch. His son's going to be dropping by this afternoon and staying the night. Michael wrote to say he headed into the village this morning....had to stop to let a family of a dozen wild turkeys cross the road. Described the mist clinging to the hills. And the leaves turning. He stopped at the farmers market - and was apparently attacked by a cranberry/orange loaf, that followed him home. Poor boy.

I miss him. Miss home. But thank heaven this tour has been so successful. I've been on tours that are just so hard - and disheartening. And then, being away from home is torture. This just feels like a quiet ache.

Hope to see you at an event soon!


Anonymous said...

I'll be there tonight - loved the new book - cried at the end. Can't wait to meet you and am sure there will be a huge turnout

Victoria said...

I am so excited to be having lunch with you in Norwich on Monday (along with many others I know). It will be about a two hour drive through the beautiful fall foliage, then lunch, wine and the new book. Yay!


Dana said...

Did Michael tell you about the flooding in Sherbrooke and surrounding areas as the rivers and lakewaters rise? Cottages under water, one woman killed, BU closed, students moved to the gym at BCS, and several roads impassable. It is the worst in several decades.

lil Gluckstern said...

This year's weather has been awfully extreme. Sorry to hear about Sherbrooke. We just worry about about earthquakes, so far. I have the book, and I'm already drawn in to Gamache's world. Louise, what a pleasure you are to read. The quality is so satisfying.

Joni langevoort said...

You look nothing like Ernest Borgnine. I'm halfway through Bury Your Dead; holding my breath in terror for what might happen. I'm so looking forward to seeing you when next you're down DC way!

Anne Church said...

Thank You! Merci! I finished Bury Your Dead early this morning with a lump in my throat, but so much hope, and a deepened love for Quebec city. Thank you for my Dad, who left copies of Agatha Christie on his childrens pillows. He would have said, "Bravo Louise, exhale indeed".

Ruthie from NH said...

Hoping to get myself to Brattleboro tomorrow---with my book for you to sign! I am trying to read slowly so I can savor it.

Marni said...

Dear Louise, I am in your age group and don't feel the least bit 'older' either. And you certainly don't look it, so there!

Tell poor Michael those loaves are known for that kind of attack~

Of course you have a two-hour line up! Who wouldn't want to meet you if they're anywhere near you!! Glad you feel you can exhale. My copy is staring at me, begging me to open it, but I am savoring the moment until I am on the road Monday as my own way to keep homesickness at bay. I'll be traveling with you and Gamache~who could get lonely?

Vincent H. O'Neil said...

So glad you enjoyed Providence and that the NEIBA event went so well -- although you should have slapped that concierge!

Diane said...

Can't envision a long and successful career for the concierge. Age doesn't factor into vitality, talent, joy, compassion, etc. etc. etc.

So hoping to get to see you in Quebec city at the end of the month. Book is on my nightstand. Taking my time, savouring.

mary said...

I enjoyed meeting you in Pittsburgh. If you are as charming, funny, and insightful as you were at Mystery Book Lovers, then you should have many, many fans of your work. My friend, who attended your talk, hadn't read but after hearing you speak is going to read all your books. Thanks again for sharing your time and talent with us.

lil Gluckstern said...

I am writing this Sunday morning. Louise, this book is so powerfully written and really reflects your hard work and talent. Walked every step with Gamache, and felt the cold. I am obviously biased, but this is a beautiful book, filled with sadness and hope, and redemption. How absolutely wonderful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Louise,
I have just discovered you! I know I know... I'm behind the times, but I look at it this way... I'm going to spend all winter with you! i have 6 books lined up!

I wish you could come to Kamloops, British Columbia! We have a large Chapters store here who could host you!

I have fallen in love with Three Pines and Inspectore Gamache!

so happy to have found you!

Joy Conradt said...

Dear Louise -

I received 'Bury Your Dead' from Amazon earlier this week. I have loved each book in the series, but this is the most touching and amazing yet.

I literally could not put the book down, being captivated both by the Champlain mystery (had the privilege of visiting Vieux Quebec last September)... and by the touching stories of young Agent Morin, as well as our irreplaceable Three Pines characters.

Your special genius is the creation of these noble, humble characters, who have become beloved friends. Thank you for them, and for the gift of your stories!


Louise Penny Author said...

Hello all,

I am so deeply touched by your words - by how you bring your hearts to these comments and they are so much more than words on the page. Thank you for opening your lives and feelings to me. I feel so fortunate to 'know' you.

And thank you too for saying such kind things about the book. I am so pleased!