Friday, September 01, 2006

Hit The Road, Jack ....

from Jacqueline

Well, here I am. In Texas. Yesterday was Denver, and the day before, Phoenix. I fly home on Saturday for the weekend, then I’ll be on the road until the end of September, and after that away each weekend until the middle of November. But it’s all worth it, because not only am I meeting people who give up a good evening or afternoon to listen to me, but they represent the very same people who are plunking down the necessary finance in order to buy my just-published fourth novel, MESSENGER OF TRUTH. And in these times of crushed consumer confidence and shrinking amounts of disposable income, that is no small thing. So, thank you, one and all.

And thank you again, because I heard just yesterday that one week after publication, “Messenger” had come in at number 18 on the extended New York Times bestseller list, so I am like a dog with two tails, very happy indeed.

To add to my joy, as you know, I also have the honor of being nominated alongside the great Paul Levine, fellow Nekkid Awfor, for the SCBA Award for Best Mystery 2006. Paul, baby, I won’t be rolling up my sleeves to duke it out, as I am so chuffed to have my book mentioned in the same airspace as yours – congratulations, my old China plate!

Back to the road. It amazes me that, no matter how heartfelt my assurances to my digestive system that I will not eat sugary junk, at some point, at an airport in the wee small hours, I find myself wrangling a bear claw while trying to fish out my boarding pass and drink my tea before I have to chuck it away in order to get on the ‘plane. Where does my resolve go? What happened to that promise to stock up on Luna bars so that this sort of thing wouldn’t happen? I don’t know – but I sure enjoyed my plate of fries last night, just what I needed at the end of a day without time to eat. Actually, it wasn’t all fries, there was a veggie-burger somewhere in there, swamped by extra avocado.

One of the wonderful by-products of all this travel is, interestingly enough, the opportunity for some good, solid reading without interruption. There are the hours at airports and on ‘planes, and then the time spent in hotel rooms. I bring books with me and collect more on the road, and I have to say there’s something deliciously indulgent about this aspect of a book tour. It makes me wish I could have a sabbatical, a period of time without deadlines, without tours, without a list of research needs for the next book, so that I could just read. I met a man at one of my readings last week who does just that. He had just bought every one of my books (on recommendation from a friend, bless his cotton socks), and was telling me that he always has the summer off from his work and now had only a couple of weeks before he was back again. He explained that all he did was read throughout the summer (judging by his tan, he probably read at the beach), and I took the opportunity to reccommend to him the integrity of looking after that job for as long as he could.

Finally, a Sara update: My girl is having a CT scan next week – another step in the process of trying to figure out why the sinus infection is hanging on. Hanging on is actually part of the procedure, in a way – they have to sedate her to put her in a sort of winch and sling affair before giving her a general anesthetic. Then they lift up all 1200lbs of her, and turn her upside down in order to get her head into the scanner at the right angle. Some horse owners stand and watch from a viewing room, but instead I will be in San Francisco at the time, which is probably just as well. I am dreading the whole thing, but know she’s in great hands and it’s all for the best. Now then, all together - fingers and toes crossed until the next instalment.

It's back to the road, with a tune to see us all on our way:

Have a lovely long weekend!


  1. "I am so chuffed to have my book mentioned in the same airspace as yours."

    I had to look up the word "chuffed," as I figured it meant "peeved." Turns out you're "delighted." But the chuff, I assure you, is all mine.

    Good luck with those medical tests.

  2. Hello from Catalina. Isn't wireless Internet the best! Congrats your position on the NYTs list. I think you deserve a few fries for that one.

  3. from Jacqueline

    Oh, Paul, and I thought you'd get stuck on "my old China plate." Yes, chuffed is delighted, very delighted.

    And thank you, Patty - I may well get into the fries again.

  4. Fingers, toes, legs and arms crossed for Sara.

  5. If I'm not mistaken, "my old China plate" is Cockney slang for "mate." It's something Eliza Doolittle's father would have said to a drinking buddy. "And how's me auld China plate, then?"

  6. Congrats on all the good news about lists and nominations and things, and fingers crossed for Sara...


  7. Chuffed china plates all around (would we call that a Chuffing Dish?), and I hope you had/are having a wonderful time in Texas!

  8. Cockney update:not to be a jam roll,but to beg your Osama; You have a bit of a Jaffa ...It's either "me auld plate" [short for Dinner Plate]or "me old china" [short for China Plate]......