On the day, not the tour. I got up, drove to WBAL for a live interview. My street is treacherous, but the major streets are all clear. The 2 o’clock signing at Daedalus books is still on.
I wasn’t the only writer with a cancellation this weekend. Mystery Lovers Bookshop had to cancel two events — one with Lisa Scottoline and the other with John Banville. (I discovered this when I called to arrange for autographed copies.) As a writer, I don’t play favorites with bookstores, but MLB is particularly precious to me, so if there’s a book you’re thinking about buying, any book, surf over to their website (www.mysterylovers.com) and pick something up. They’re particularly good in stocking some UK titles that are hard to find here.
I first went to MLB ten years ago this month; in fact, it was the same weekend that Coppin State, seeded 15th, ended up upsetting its first-round opponent, and I ended up staying to write a feature piece about the team’s next game, against Texas. Mary Alice Gorman sought me out after reading “Baltimore Blues,” and told me she would be happy to have me at the store. I’ve been to the store for every single book since then, and even for one short story collection (LIKE A CHARM). So when I go there Apil 1st, it will mark my thirteenth visit to Oakmont.
All the visits have been grand, but I have particularly good memories of a trip I made with Sujata, on a June day in 1998, when we drove up and back in the same day. At the store, we purchased an audiotape of a novella by S.J. Rozan, the perfect length for the trip back. I remember listening to the story, enthalled, as the sun set and shadows began to envelop us on Interstate 70.