Friday, October 22, 2021



Last week I picked up Thomas Kies's book, Shadow Hill, when I was in Barnes and Noble. I was delighted to see it prominently displayed on a table with the country's most prestigious fiction writers. I was heading to North Carolina to visit my daughter and I knew Thomas lived in that state.

Her family had rented a vacation house in Beaufort and when I arrived and cracked open the book, I realized from the flap copy he was the president of the Chamber of Commerce of the county where we would be staying. The very same county! And the very same town!

I emailed him immediately and much to my delight, he invited me to lunch. Naturally, our conversation focused on publishing and also how fortunate we were to be included in Type M For Murder. Type M is one of the oldest running blogs--since 2006. Our outstanding blogmaster, Rick Blechta is responsible for it's longevity. He gives a new meaning to "faithful to the task."

Thomas and I are with the same publishing house, Poisoned Pen Press, which was purchased by Sourcebooks several years ago. It was fun to recall the lessons we had to learn about writing, and how fortunate we were to have skilled editors to teach us how to improve our books. 

Oh the lessons I've had to learn! The humiliation I've endured. My third most embarrassing moment involved Barbara Peters. I have the world's second worst sense of direction. I was so thrilled when I was to appear at the bookstore for an interview. The other author was Michael Bowen. When I arrived and parked my car, I headed up the street in the wrong direction. Arizona was in the midst of an ungodly heat wave. 

I walked forever before I realized my mistake, nearly had a heat stroke, did an about-face, arrived sweaty, red-faced, with my lovely outfit limp and wilted. I was barely on time and went swanning in like one of those vain persons who make a dramatic late entrance. My hopes of making a good first impression on this poised sophisticated lady lessened to striving to sit upright on the stool. I settled for recalling my own name and hoped my blood pressure would return to normal. 

Nope! I'm not going to tell you who has the worst sense of direction because she's another author and I haven't asked her permission. But I will say she was at the wheel while her husband and family were asleep when returning from a Western Writers Convention. She was headed toward their home in Amarillo, Texas and ended up in Spearfish, South Dakota. Boy, was her husband startled when he woke up.


1 comment:

Thomas Kies said...

Charlotte, what a nice surprise that you were in my neck of the woods. It was wonderful to meet you and talk books and publishing. I hope you and your family come back to vacation again!! Tom