The tradition lives, but before we get to the required pub date reading, a quick link: Tess takes the <a href=” http://americareads.blogspot.com/2008/03/pg-69-laura-lippmans-another-thing-to.html”_blank”> 69 test</a>. (Get your minds out of the gutter!)
ETA: I keep forgetting to mention that I’ve been nominated for the Gumshoe Award for best mystery. You know how everyone says it’s an honor, etc., etc? Well, I always mean it, but this time I really, super-duper mean it: James Lee Burke, John Connolly, Charlie Huston and Arianna Franklin. Burke’s name is the one, in fact, that I keep expecting to see on every shortlist. I’ll add a link when I’m not so rushed.
I’ve been up since 4 a.m., done two signings and, by my calculations, have another 12 hours or so to go until my day is done. All my idea, by the way. I started at 5 a.m. in Brunswick, MD, in Book Crossings, a store that opens every weekday at that hour to provide reading material for the commuters who take the MARC line into D.C. If Terri and Sherrie, the owners (and sisters) are there every day, I can show up once. Then it was onto Spoons, where Kathy Harig of Mystery Loves Company sold books to the customers who now know I wasn’t just pretending when I camped out there with my laptop.
So, if I’m being honest – my pub date isn’t exactly like the one that Anne Lamott describes in BIRD BY BIRD. But – to borrow from the defrocked memoirists of our time – there’s still some emotional truth to it.
“I remember one year my friend Carpenter and I had books out on the same day. We talked about it all summer. We each had modest expectations. I had modest expectations for his book; he had modest expectations for mine . . . Finally the big day arrived and I woke up happy, embarrassed in advance by all the praise and attention that would be forthcoming. I made coffee and practiced digging my toe in the dirt . . . Then I waited for the phone to ring. The phone did not know its part. It sat there silent as death with a head cold. By noon the noise of it not ringing began to wear badly on my nerves. Luckily, though, by noon it was time for the first beer of the day. I sat by the phone like a loyal dog, waiting for it to ring. Finally, finally it rang at four. I picked up the phone and heard Carpenter laughing hysterically, like some serial killer, and then I became hysterical, and eventually we both had to be sedated.”
(c) Anne Lamott
Linda Fairstein has a book out today. I wish I had modest expectations for her, but the best I can do is hope that she doesn’t bloody me too much at the cash register. She’s the original blond goddess, while I am but a humble imitator. Even in my new trenchcoat.