Happy Launch Day!

Gratuitous Dog Picture

Regular readers of this blog (both of them) are familiar with my distaste for Facebook. However, as a sop to Cerberus I knew I had to have a page to promote my book, North of the Tension Line. My editor and publicist at Beaufort Books, lovely people that they are, having heard of my misadventures, assigned an intern to set up a page for me.

Interns, of course, are college students–mostly English majors–hoping to gain experience so that they may beat the odds and find a job in their field after graduation. So, when they were asked to enter my birthdate on Facebook, they cleverly put in today’s date–the official launch date of NOTTL, and the most likely year for an adult to have been born–which is, obviously, 1993.

I woke up this morning to three different birthday greetings, all from people who know perfectly well how old I am, and who, therefore, were rather smirking in tone.

So, yes. Today is the birthday of North of the Tension Line, now officially out in the world. So please go purchase a copy. (Gratuitous cover shot to follow.)

Novel poster

For my part, I will alter my daughter’s suggestion of the traditional 21st birthday shot of tequila and celebrate instead with some nice champagne.

Although I may wait until after noon.

(Photo of Moses and me by Manning Photography)

An Unprepossessing Beginning

Today was one of those days. Generally, I try to remind myself that all my problems are lucky people problems. But sometimes you have to allow yourself a tiny bit of self pity.

So, I arrived at the office, dressed for the long day of back-to-back meetings. Since I usually start early, I eat my breakfast at my desk. I am fortunate to have a beautiful office in an historic building, with oriental carpet, oil paintings, and a brass chandelier. But underneath my desk, in a concession to practicality, is one of those plastic sheets that allow your office chair to roll on carpet. I should note that for once in my life I was wearing (relatively) sensible shoes, a pair of low-heeled black sandals, but with, as it turns out, very slippery soles. I was carrying my bowl of yogurt and blueberries in one hand, and my cafe au lait in the other, and had just stepped behind my desk when my foot slid from under me. In what seemed like slow motion, I went down, my hands went up, and a cascade of yogurt, blueberries, and cafe au lait went up into the air in a spectacular arcing curve, landing, with rather remarkable accuracy, on my head. My Italian designer suit jacket sleeves were soaked through with coffee, my hair was clinging to my forehead,  and there were blueberries kind of mushed into the part of the oriental carpet that wasn’t covered by the plastic sheet thing. The receptionist called from downstairs to ask if we had knocked over a file cabinet. “No,” I said. “That was me.” My colleague from across the hall tried to be helpful by laughing and bringing paper towels. After going through a massive stack of paper towels, in a triumph of optimism over yogurt, I went to one of my female colleagues (assuming that the males would be of little use in this case, since they would have only laughed) and asked her if I were presentable enough. She paused for a moment as she looked me over. “I think you need to change.”

I went home to start again and missed my first meeting.

I suppose, in some respects, it was the highlight of the day.