Tuesday, March 13, 2007
These photos are courtesy of my old college pal, Acey Harper, photog extraordinaire, who now lives in the Bay Area. Sadly, there are no shots of Acey, but he did show up at Ed Kaufman's fine "M is for Mystery" to document the event.
I arrived early just so I could go eat sushi with Ed. Then we rolled aside the book racks, set up chairs, poured some drinks and welcomed a crowd that included the Jordan Family, my cousin Hank Harper, and, as always, some folks from the local Gator Club and Parrothead chapter. Then Acey and I went out afterwards for Mexican. So let's see, it was sushi, then rum, then chili rellenos... pass the Alka Seltzer, please.
The great thing about visiting Murder on the Book in Houston is:
1. David Thompson is an awesome host and always turns out a good crowd.
2. Some of my pals from the local Gator Club and Parrothead chapter show up.
3. Goode BBQ is just down the street and afterwards I can pig out on the sampler: brisket, ribs, bbq duck. With Shiner Bock beer, of course.
Please note the nice lady with the walker on the front row. I apologize because I wrote her name down on a notepad and now I can't find it. But she had her daughter drive her the 50 miles from her home outside of Houston so she could drink Dark 'n Stormies with me. That's her holding the empty Goslings bottle. Cheers, baby...
The great thing about a blog is its immediacy. I can post here in real time and keep a constant account of where I am and what I'm doing.
But screw immediacy. Here it is March 13 and I was in Chicago on, let's see, Feb. 18. In between it has been pretty much non-stop. I've been getting up way early in the morning to work on the next book -- due June 1 -- and then hitting the next town and visiting bookstores. This will continue through the end of April. It's been going great so far. I've met some wonderful people, had some memorable times. But this is the first chance I've had to sit down and put things in order. I've got a couple of days until the next book-related events kick in (March 14 at the Winter Park Historical Society; March 15 at the Leesburg Public Library Dinner; March 17 at the Lake County Reading Festival in Leesburg; March 18 at Circle Books in Sarasota.) So I figured I might as well try to settle accounts, blogwise, and see if I can't actually bring this baby back to almost present time.
What will follow is a whole bunch of postings that trace the Dark 'n Stormy Tour from Chicago up until last weekend's swing through Atlantic Beach. Wham bam, thank you m'am...
I lucked out in Chicago thanks to the ever-hospitable Joe Konrath (his new book, DIRTY MARTINI, comes out this summer), who picked me up at the hotel and drove me all over the place. We had a nice gathering at the Book Cellar, along with Julia Buckley, Jimmie Gordon, Henry Perez and my lovely niece Whitney (she's the blonde, front left), then proceeded to stop at several Chicago bookstores where I did The Konrath (ran in and signed books) while Joe and Henry circled the block.
After a very meaningful stop at a bar called Sheffields (meaningful, in the sense that I paid $10 for a bottle of beer, Goose Island Bourbon County, that Joe insisted was the best beer ever made, and he might be right), we wound up at a German restaurant, eating sausages and drinking more beer from large glass boots. No, the photo isn't really sideways. Joe and Henry were on the floor.
The last thing I remember, I was on stage performing a medley of tunes with the band. In German. You had to be there...