Granted, a few days late, but I was in Paris so you can't hold that against me. Or maybe you can, doubly.
Either way, I'm back and hoping everyone had a marvelous Christmas and New Year.
So, Paris. I was there to do research on Hugo Marston #3 (as yet untitled, despite what you may have read on my website!) and it was as inspirational a place as ever.
But. One thing that shocked me was the number of people there who still smoke. And not just the crusty old boys grumbling under their berets about "garcons these days." No, it was so many young people, lighting up and puffing away, people in their 20s and 30s who should know better. A friend who lives there now posited that the French have a "life's full of risks" attitude and that to them dying from smoking is a risk, not a certainty. On verra.
Anyway, moving on. The highlight for me was a tour of the U.S. Embassy. Can't go into details but I met a couple of splendid chaps who gave me the lowdown on the embassy itself, and also the Department of Diplomatic Security, where my man Hugo works. Utterly fascinating and the two gentlemen were very forthcoming. I will tell you that the interior of the embassy isn't nearly as grand as I'd imagined (and described in Hugo #1). As one of the chaps put it, it's a government office so looks like a government office. A few grand spots here and there but overall not the wood-floored, mahogany-paneled luxor you might think.
One important aspect to the visit: neither of my hosts laughed their arses off when I told them some of the things Hugo gets up to in the books.
Probably just being diplomatic. (Geddit?!)
I also paid a visit to Pere Lachaise, the wonderful cemetery where the likes of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are buried. Here I am:
In other news, THE BOOKSELLER seems to be hanging in there. Sales in Austin are good, anyway, as I made the December bestseller list (fiction, paperback) at BookPeople, number six as you can see here.
And the book made another bestseller list, over the holidays. I have no idea how remarkable (or not) it is but I hit the number one spot in the Amazon category for "booksellers and bookselling." Must be quite a few other books in that category, otherwise they wouldn't bother with a category at all, right? Right?? Here's a screen grab, check it out:
That's all for now, just wanted to wish you all the best for 2013. If it's as good as 2012, I for one will be very happy.