“Mishap in Memphis” OR “Joys and Sorrows along the Book Tour Trail.”

I want to apologize profusely to anyone who came to Davis Kidd Bookstore in Memphis last month to see me. I’d spent the day doing local media to promote the event, and apparently, a nice group had arrived at 6pm. Too bad that I had been asked to arrive at 7pm! I was six minutes away in a hotel, yet no one called me. I could have been dead! Anyway, stuff happens, but a big mea culpa.

Still, Memphis is a great town! I walked along the Mississippi River and toured ever-gentrifying downtown with my good friend Andrea Woods who treated me to one of my favorite Southern delicacies, Shrimp and Grits. I stayed at the historic Peabody Hotel, where every day at 5pm, a red carpet unrolls, and the resident ducks promenade from the lobby fountain, where they live by day, to the Duck Penthouse, where they reside at night. It’s really something to see!

A few of the famous Peabody Ducks

I also did a fun interview with Marybeth Conley and Alex Coleman on WREG’s Live at Nine. These folks are so welcoming! (And they actually read the book!) Check out the segment:


IN KANSAS CITY, I had dinner with the Mother/Daughter/Daughter-in-Law Book Club that has been meeting regularly for over twenty years. Dinner was at the home of Bobbee Siemens overlooking the lush golf course of the Kansas City Country Club. We not only had wine and gourmet food, but a rousing discussion of STEALING ATHENA, literary matters, mothering, and all the topics women generally cover when we get together. Vivien Jennings, owner of Rainy Day Books—one of those rare and wonderful independent bookshops where the staff knows its inventory and hand-sells literature—arranged the event, with a reading following at the bookstore for a larger group. On behalf of all authors on tour, I would appeal to booksellers everywhere to consider arranging these sorts of events. They are such a pleasure for the author, and a special treat for the book clubs as well.

Kansas City’s Mother/Daughter/Daughter-in-Law Book Club. Vivien Jennings, owner of Rainy Day books in foreground on right.

From June 12-14th, I’ll be at the HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY 2009 CONFERENCE in Schaumberg, Illinois. At 8:30 AM on Saturday the 13th (8:30 AM! Obviously scheduled by someone who has never met me), I’ll be doing a panel with my good friends C. W. (Christopher) Gortner (THE SECRET LION; THE LAST QUEEN) and Michelle Moran (NEFERTITI; THE HERETIC QUEEN). Both are great historical novelists and spectacular people, and the discussion promises to be lively.

Please also join me in IOWA CITY on June 15th at PRAIRIE LIGHTS BOOKS at 7pm, where I’ll be doing a reading as part of the Summer Writing Festival, an annual event in Iowa City.

In July, I’ll be back in London and once again in search of all things Victorian and Gothic.

‘Til then…