Wednesday, March 12, 2008


It's all over! Bar the shouting.

After nearly twenty events, the US tour of 2008 is over. Sure, I have some stock signings in New York city, but tonight, in Minneapolis, was the final speaking event.

Feeling like hell, and making sure I didn't share the pleasures of my particular virus, sheer adrenaline carried me through what was the best attended event I've had to date at Once Upon a Crime.

It's odd. This was the bookstore where I made my first US appearance back in 2005. Now it was the final venue of 2008. So it had a sense of coming full circle.

The Minneapolis Alliance Francaise, who were supposed to be participating in the event, were conspicuous by their absence. The local organiser also failed to show, pleading illness. The same tactical illness, perhaps, which had led her to be so conspicuously absent throughout the whole process of organisation.

However, store owner, Pat Frovarp, had done her usual sterling job of whipping up interest, and also had huge piles of books for me to sign. She really is a pro, and a lovely lady to boot.

Carl Brookins, whom we had bumped into at LCC in Denver, showed up to introduce me to the assembled (I think La Patronne must have bunged him a huge amount to say all those nice things about me).

Interesting footnote to the event. Two readers, Sherrie and Anita, had been persuaded to come to the event by Pat, because she knew they were visiting France in the summer.

To everyone's amazement, it turns out that they are staying in a town in south-west France, about 20 minutes away from Gaillac. So they bought "Extraordinary People" and "The Critic", and promised to visit Domaine Sarrabelle when they make the trip at the end of June.

So, Francoise, Fabien, and Laurent (whom I know are following the blog), make sure you look after Sherrie and Anita when they come to taste your wines in June!!

Earlier in the day we visited Uncle Edgar's mystery bookstore to sign some stock. The guys had obviously been reading my blog and knew that I was Typhoid Pete - and so kept a respectful distance.

I'm still streaming. Still feeling crap. But maybe tomorrow will bring an improvement. I have a whole day to rest, with nothing else to do, before a crazy two-part flight to Rochester, New York, via Atlanta,Georgia (whoever invented the hub sytem should be shot!).

Then it's a few days' relaxation at Le Beau Frere's, before the stock signing in NYC, and then home.

Honest to God, I really can't wait. It's been waaaay too long!

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