Louise Penny's Blog, page 4

June 11, 2012

mainly sunny, hot, temps 30

Heading into another gorgeous day - made all the sunnier by waking up to the news (first emailed to me by my friend Kaye Barley of Meanderings and Muses - then a deluge of wonderful messages) that A TRICK OF THE LIGHT has been nominated for the Anthony Award in the US.  (not, sadly, to be confused with the Tony Awards....though I have hopes...)


This is one of the most prestigious crime writing awards in the world. VERY excited. Here's the complete list of nominees for Best Novel, and Best first (always love to celebrate the new writers - very exciting for them)

2012 ANTHONY AWARD NOMINATIONS

BEST NOVEL
The End of Everything - Megan Abbott [Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown]
Hurt Machine - Reed Farrel Coleman [Tyrus]
The Drop - Michael Connelly [Little, Brown]
A Trick of the Light - Louise Penny [Minotaur]
One Was a Soldier - Julia Spencer-Fleming [Thomas Dunne/Minotaur]

BEST FIRST NOVEL
Learning to Swim - Sara J. Henry [Crown]
Nazareth Child - Darrell James [Midnight Ink]
All Cry Chaos - Leonard Rosen [The Permanent Press]
Who Do, Voodoo? - Rochelle Staab [Berkley Prime Crime]
The Informationist - Taylor Stevens [Crown]
Purgatory Chasm - Steve Ulfelder [Thomas Dunne/Minotaur]
Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson [HarperCollins]

Congratulations, everyone. And a special 'shout out' to my good friend Julia Spencer-Fleming for her fabulous book ONE WAS A SOLDIER. And to Reed Farrel Coleman - a wonderful writer, and great guy.  Wish Deborah Crombie's amazing book, NO MARK UPON HER was on the list. Deserves to be, in my opinion. As does GM Maillet's book. But huge congratulations to those who made the Anthony list!

I know A TRICK OF THE LIGHT is there only because many of you voted for it.  Thank you - deeply and sincerely.  I cannot begin to tell you what your support means to me.

The award will be decided, and given out, at Bouchercon, the crime fiction fest, in October.  It's in Cleveland this year.  If you love crime fiction, and can get to it, many of the top writers in the world will be there, and you'll get to meet them, mingle with them, see them on panels.  It's thrilling.
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Published on June 11, 2012 05:50 • 98 views

June 9, 2012


sunny, mild, temps 20
Perfect day, after more torrential rains last night - with hail!
Wanted to show you our lupins. The bench was a gift to Michael from me a few years ago - for his birthday. There's a plaque on it with his name, and birthday, and the inscription, 'Surprised by Joy'.
And how could we not be?
Life continues busy - took publicity shots with Gary the other day. always fun with him. He relaxes me - such an old and good friend. Cheryl, his wife, is one of my best friends. Had breakfast with her on Friday morning.
I'm back in to Montreal, leaving Michael out here with Trudy....I really find myself so distracted here...perhaps too much beauty. But I want to totally focus on the end of this book....another push. (It really is beginning to sound a bit like childbirth - )
So exciting to know we're getting closer and closer to the Aug 28th launch of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY! They're still working on the tour schedule....but as soon as I know it, I'll tell you.
Hope you're enjoying your Sunday.
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Published on June 09, 2012 09:51 • 116 views

June 6, 2012

mainly sunny, mild, temps 20

Lovely walk again yesterday....back to Victoria Ave.  I try to stroll, not march - but I think I'm a marching/mumbling type of person.  I will make a great neighbourhood crank one day...soon.  Meandering around humming Eminem songs and talking to myself about what needs to happen next.  Occasionally having arguments with invisible people.  It's nice to have an aspiration.  Happily, I have the wardrobe for it already.

Getting closer to "the end" of the book.

I feel as though, with this manuscript, I've turned the final corner. The end is still a distance away, but now in sight. But, as those of you who've been through this with me with previous books know, the end is fluid. Always seems to be moving away. I'll think one more day should do it - but after a day, it remains just out of reach. I'm not one day away, I know that - but perhaps two weeks.

My goal is to be finished this first draft by the end of June. I'm very goal-oriented. Doesn't mean i hit the goal, but I find it helps give me direction - something to aim for. Discipline and purpose - two things I've found helpful in writing books. Perhaps because I'm so innately lazy. I work ferociously hard, so that I can do nothing.  have more time more meandering and mumbling.

Hope you're enjoying your day!
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Published on June 06, 2012 11:10 • 65 views

June 4, 2012

cloudy, showers, cold temps 15
VERY cold...thinking of taking a hot shower just to warm up. Am in Montreal, trying to get some quiet time to move the first draft ahead. It's going very well, but I find I'm much happier, more relaxed and the writing goes better if every now and then I remove myself and concentrate simply on the book.
had a lovely walk yesterday - over to Victoria Ave in Westmount. Picked up some things for dinner and a couple of DVDs.
Today, staying in to write.
In the June newsletter I sent out, I used a quote at the top. Indeed, each newsletter has a quote I've found. This one was slightly different in that I didn't know who said it, but I have it taped to the top of my laptop.
It's from a newspaper article I read while in England. I liked the headline, so I cut it out, but didn't make note of the attribution. The quote is:
The rule now is, be humble and play to your strengths.
Thanks to some keen detectives among the readership of the newsletter, I now know who said it. It comes from an article in The Independent, about the Icelandic Banking system. And its collapse. The quote came from Birna Einarsdottir, a female bank exec put in to replace the man who'd made the mess. I mention their sexes because it's a point made in the article. Thank you everyone who sent the link. I thought you might also be interested. Here's a fuller quote:
Birna Einarsdottir, one of the bank CEOs appointed to displace the male immediately after the crash of 2008, said that the big lesson Icelanders had learnt in emerging out of recession into growth had been "to stick to what we know; not to get too clever". "Who said Icelanders were the best bankers in the world? Where did that come from? So the rule now is, be humble, know your limitations and play to your strengths. And instead of thinking you know everything, ask questions; seek help." Which is what women do, not men.
And here's a link to the full article:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wor...
Hope it works. In the meantime, the quote continues to inspire me.
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Published on June 04, 2012 09:58 • 112 views

May 31, 2012

mostly cloudy, cool, temps 19

cold front moved in....had the fireplace on today.  Tried to write, but was really too distracted.


Well, we made the very difficult decision that it wasn't really working with Teddy.

Oh, dear.

The woman who found him said, when she dropped him off last week, that if it didn't work out she'd love him back. that she was giving him to us because she promised....but in the meantime both she and her husband had fallen for him. Apparently she cried most of the way home. When I contacted her this morning with our decision, she said she'd come right over this afternoon.

Have to admit, while I believed it was the right decision, it was so painful and difficult. There were all sorts of factors, of course, which I won't go into. But I spent much of this morning and early afternoon lying beside him, cuddling. And quite a few tears. But when she arrived, Teddy was almost hysterical with happiness. I felt a weight lift from my heart and I could see this was where he belonged. With her - and with other dogs he could play with.

Still sad, but we have concluded Trudy is a one dog family puppy. And so are we. And God Bless Teddy, for coming and staying with us, giving us such joy - then going back to his real home. Leaving us wiser.

Thank you for all your kindness and support. It's been a difficult day. But a good one.

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Published on May 31, 2012 14:25 • 90 views

May 29, 2012


clouding over, more storms on the way, muggy, 25
Huge thunder storms passed by here this morning. I actually quite like storms....used to love sitting in the screen porch and watching them arrive.
Trudy doesn't seem worried, but the rescue dog we have, Teddy (for Teddy Bear) seemed pretty upset. Teddy, as you can see, is a large golden mixed with, yes, bear we think. But such a lovely temperment. A friend, Rhianna's grandmother found him abandoned and took him in, but didn't think they could keep him. We have him as an experiment, to see how Trudy does. I'll tell you, I've lost my heart to the big guy....but Trudy remains unconvinced. Michael is pretty happy either way. But in the meantime, he's wonderful.
Off to the vet for the once over and shots. Then a summer groom tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes. Jeez, another thunder storm has just rolled in. Listening to Supertramp, Crime of the Century....ages since I last heard it. Still love it!
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Published on May 29, 2012 10:43 • 127 views

May 27, 2012

clouding over, mild, temps 20

Drove home from the village last night with the top of the beetle down.  always such a pleasure.  But was getting chilly.  This morning was nice, but by early afternoon some clouds moved in - and now I'm thinking a sweater would be good.  Will get the blue one, also flapping away on the clothesline in that photo.  So comfortable.

Well, I ended up tossing out much of what I did yesterday - but for me, that's progress.  I always need to have words on the page, a starting point.  Then I know if it's the right direction or not.  Getting rid of them is never a step back, but a step toward getting it right.  Replaced them with other words...fingers crossed I got it right-er.  eh.

The first iris is out, others will probably pop before the end of the day.  Writing on the screen porch.  Lovely.

Cucumber sandwich for lunch.  Now it's summer!

It's Memorial long weekend in the States - hope you're enjoying it.  If the weather holds we'll put a couple of burgers on the barbeque for dinner tonight.  We eat them with those thin President's Choice buns that look like a shaved puck, open faced, and figure it's the healthy choice.  Ahhh, delusions.  And burgers.  A great combo.

Speak soon.
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Published on May 27, 2012 11:35 • 67 views

May 26, 2012

sunny, warming up, temps 25

There were severe storm warnings out for Montreal and surrounding area last night - including tornado watches!  About 11pm a huge storm blew through here.  had to close the windows.  But I hear not much, if any, damage was done.

Awoke early today - breakfast with Michael on the screen porch - blackflies out in force! Pond walk was particularly bloody.

Have finished with that difficult chapter - but keep re-reading it...mostly because I'm so relieved and pleased. One of my favorite chapters now. I think I also re-read it because I'm nervous about moving on. Easier to edit and smooth and re-read than to forge ahead. Ahhh - the mind. But forge ahead I will.

In fact, have just started the next chapter...I find action a pretty reliable antidote to fear.

 Here's a photo of the laundry on the line yesterday, including my flannel writing top. as comfy as it looks! And, if you can see it, the single sock found in the bottom of the hamper. We found its mate later in the day. Our composter is that black box off to the right. Compost and laundry. not perhaps an ideal combination, but works for us.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend for those of you who are American.  Hope it's sunny and clear for all your picnics and barbeques and parties.

Back to work-forging ahead. Ho!
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Published on May 26, 2012 07:28 • 75 views

May 25, 2012

mainly sunny, warm, temps 25

A perfect spring day.

We're back from Hovey.  Marc-Andre, who is the head front desk clerk and such a lovely man was saying that when readers of the Gamache book are guests at Hovey they are just wonderful.  In fact, Michael and I were out walking and he caught us up specifically to say, 'Your readers are very special people, I hope you know that.  When they come to Hovey they're always so wonderful.'

I can't tell you how much that meant to me.  Not that your behavior is any of my business - but I have to say, I wasn't at all surprised, but I was gratified.  I could see he meant it.  I suspect the Manoir guests are generally nice people, but I could see that those of you who have discovered it through the books are even more amazing than most.

Thank you for that.  For making a place so meaningful to Michael and me, even more special by bringing your own kind spirits to it.

As well, Franck, the maitre 'd at Hovey was delighted to tell me when he knows guests found the Manoir through my books, he introduces himself as Pierre - the maitre d' at the Manoir Bellechasse, from A RULE AGAINST MURDER/THE MURDER STONE.

I can't tell you how much it means to me that where I live, and places I love, are so supportive of the books and characters.  It would have been easy for people to find fault, or criticize, or be negative - but almost to a person they're kind and supportive and happy for me, and for the area.

And how lucky I am to have you as readers - people so special that Marc-Andre was moved to make sure I know how wonderful you are.

Back home now - peas and radishes coming up in the vegetable garden, where My Assistant Lise and Her Assistant Donna planted them.  Peony buds round and promising.  Roses almost out.  Purple azelea (new to our garden) in full bloom.  Alliums just out.  It's such a fantastic time in the garden.

Sitting at the laptop, about the begin for the day.

Suddenly realized I need another file called 'second draft notes' - issues that have arisen, too late for the first draft.  things I need to put into the manuscript, earlier.  And will have to add in the next draft.  I always think I'll remember them when the time comes, but honestly, by noon they've disappeared.  Lay in bed last night and a piece of dialogue came to me - I wondered if I should write it down... vacillated - but finally roused and wrote it in the notebook by the bed.  Thank heaven because this morning, while making the bed I saw the dialogue and barely remembered writing it, never mind thinking it.  Course, the dialogue in the light of day was just ridiculous - but I live in hope.

Fresh laundry on the clothes line - I can see it from where I'm sitting.  Very relaxing.  Hope you're well.  Speak soon.
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Published on May 25, 2012 06:20 • 70 views

May 23, 2012

overcast, warm, temps 20, slight drizzle

Thunder storm warnings out for yesterday, but nothing materialized.  Still, we thought it best to stay close to our cottage at Hovey.  For safety sake, of course.  Nothing to do with indulgence and laziness.


Dinner last night was very fun with the three journalists - one from Toronto, one from Oregon and one from BC - though the last two run a travel blog for women called WAVE Journey.  They're off today on the Gamache/Three Pines tour of the townships - from the general store in Georgeville, to Danny and Lucy's bookstore in Knowlton...and, of course, the night at Hovey.

Oh, dinner last night.  Michael, and almost everyone else, had lobster bisque then fresh magdellan islands lobster - I had the celeriac salad and halibut....but am eyeing the lobster for tonight.  Halibut was fabulous - but have to admit, their lobster looked wonderful.  I was worried I'd have to struggle with the shells - again, laziness - but it was already shelled.  Will try to take a photo and post it tomorrow.

Did more writing yesterday.  Getting closer and closer to where I want/need this chapter to be.   I hope, when you read this book, that you have no idea which chapter gave me such anxiety.  I'll be successful if it is seamless, and reads as though I simply pounded it out and moved on.

Well, back to work.

Enjoy the day!
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Published on May 23, 2012 10:23 • 96 views

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