Sunday, February 17, 2008


It might seem like a bit of a jump from twelve to sixteen, but actually I think I was miscalculating (it's the sun and all those Margaritas). It was La Patronne (who else?) who pointed out that since we left on February 1st, the blog day should correspond to the date.

Hmmmm. She's not known as Miss 167 for nothing.

So here we are on Saturday, February 16th - Day Sixteen - and I have just completed my first formal event.

It was at Thousand Oaks, a small, prosperous community nestled among the hills just north of Los Angeles. The bookstore was Mysteries to Die For, run by Heidi and Deanne. There was a good turn-out on a beautiful morning. I had just driven the two hours north from Newport Beach on half empty freeways, and guzzled a caramel macchiato at Starbucks.

I was a little nervous, since this was my first talk of the 2008 tour - discussing the second and third books, respectively, of the Enzo Files and China Thrillers series. I never like to prepare too much, because then I get locked into a battle with my memory for a form of words I might have written down earlier.

So I had simply sketched in a broad shape in my mind the night before, making a few notes on my (now working) new computer, at the end of a long day of too many Margaritas and too much wine. And, as always, I found myself talking about things I hadn't planned to - like my first research trip to an oil rig in the north sea during a Force Ten storm, and a drunken dog with a bag over its head.

If you want to know more, you'll have to come along to one of my events. By the end of the tour the talk will have been honed to a fine art, and will trip off my tongue without a second thought. But there's always something a little exciting about the first one - like the first performance of a new play. A little rough around the edges, but crackling with creative tension.

On the drive back, I could barely keep my eyes open. The sun was blazing through the windscreen, the freeways were choked, and we sat in long tailbacks. It was a huge relief to get home - where awaited a delicious surprise.

The six sample cases of Sarrabelle wines had arrived, delivered by FedEx to Susie's door. All the brave efforts of Fran├žoise at the winery, and the determination of Fabien and Laurent - the winemakers - to make their wines available for my California tastings had paid off.

I also received a mail from Peter Weygandt, the American importer, to tell me that the rest of the wine would be available for shipping from his US warehouse from February 28th.

Woo hoo! Success!!

All that remains now is to taste and drink, and introduce both readers and wine lovers to the delights of Gaillac wines. As well, hopefully, as selling a few books along the way

We made a good start today. Keeping fingers crossed now that all will go well with the rest of the tour.


[Susie and La Patronne herald the arrival of the wine (note Karl Rove preparing his world famous guacamole in BG)]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:) great to read it's all on track with the wine arriving, hic glug glug up, don't go over sampling Xiong :)