Louise Penny's Blog, page 3

July 10, 2012

sunny, warm, temps 26 C

Beautiful day yesterday.  Exercised.  Cut flowers for the home - phlox, roses, lilies, lavender.  Played with Trudy.

Read the book....an Agatha Christie I can't remember reading.  'Crooked House'.  Christie is still my 'comfort' read.  I thought I'd read them all, then I realized I'd read all the poirots and Marples....but not the others.  So now am going back.  Very easy, very fun.  Very relaxing.

Am trying to disengage from the characters, but have to say, the home is still crowded as Armand, Jean-Guy, Clara, Myrna at al follow me around.  Still, good company.

In fact, as I finish each book, I look back on where the characters, and I, came from. Nine years ago! So I thought, to celebrate writing, THE END, for book 9 - and the paperback publication of A TRICK OF THE LIGHT, and the launch of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY on August 28th - it would be fun to look back at the previous books....I've been thinking about STILL LIFE - where it all began. And I wanted to share with you an excerpt from early in the book:

“Every day for Lucy’s entire dog life Jane had sliced a banana for breakfast and had miraculously dropped one of the perfect disks on to the floor where it sat for an instant before being gobbled up. Every morning Lucy’s prayers were answered, confirming her belief that God was old and clumsy and smelt like roses and lived in the kitchen.”

Actually, as we approach the publication of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, I'll pull a quote, each week from the previous books. Next week - A FATAL GRACE/DEAD COLD. Enjoy!
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Published on July 10, 2012 07:54 • 187 views

July 8, 2012

mainly sunny, warm (but not hot) - 25

Perfect summer day - almost no humidity, and lovely temp...25 is about 75, I think.  Warm, but, as I said, not hot.  And sure not the heat many have suffered the last few days!

And now - my big news -

I finished the first draft of book 9!!!!  God, it feels like I just barely staggered across the finish line - and I think the last couple of chapters are a little ragged....but there and done.  And there will be many more drafts.....but the main work is done.  The characters, the plot, the main structure.

I feel when I've finished the first draft the work on the book is about 75 percent done.  Now I'll take a few weeks off - and start in on the second draft.  That should take a few weeks.  Scary, because of the changes and decisions...and the fear that the first draft really is a pile of piping merde.  But, as always, once I get over the fear everything is easier.  When the second draft is done, then I'm 90 percent there.  Then, with luck, it's a matter of tuning, fine tuning, polishing.

I started this book at the beginning of March - when the snow was flying and the temperature was down to minus 15 C at times.  And I finish in a heatwave - temps above 30 C.

I'm so glad it's finished, and I can ask Monsieur Gamache et al to go about their lives without me for a while.  I need, now, to reconnect with my family and friends - and myself.  I think I'll spend the next day or so staring into space - and sleeping.  Feel like a damp cloth...and I think I look like one too.  A dishrag, with bit of food attached.  Exactly like Jane Austen, when she finished a book.

And on that lovely image, I leave you, to take a bath.  And do some laundry.  And become human again.

thank you for your company through it all.  You really are the best![image error]
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Published on July 08, 2012 13:09 • 200 views

July 6, 2012

Sunny, calm - lovely summer day - 25

Well, I don't think I'l finish the manuscript today...but sooo close.

the problem is - I know the last pages of the book. I know the scene that comes just before that. But I don't quite know, yet, how to get there. I feel like I'm standing on the other side of a stream, looking at where I need to be. Not a raging rapids - just a stream. But...but...how to do it? I can see a few long walks in my day!


Which brings me to the Sacred Places photo contest. In celebration of the August 28th release of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, we're holding a contest, and asking you to post a picture of a place that inspires you, calms you, brings you peace.

One of my sacred places is our home in winter. I thought, with all the terrible heat, this might also be refreshing. Here's a photo.

And, here's the link, for you to post a picture of your sacred place. I just love the ones already there! And - don't forget to vote. You can do that by clicking on your favorite picture. The winner gets a signed, framed, cover for THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY.


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Published on July 06, 2012 04:16 • 195 views

July 3, 2012

sunny, warm, temps 28
Another picture perfect day - though huge rains and thunder storm rolled through yesterday afternoon. Walking Trudy and we got caught in one. But it was just rain, quite refreshing.
Getting closer to finishing the first draft...I find I need to just write something (preferably something good) and then I go back and work on it. Shift, edit, polish. But I need a starting point. Also takes some of the fear away - that ever-present whisper that I need to get it right the first time. I just repeat, It's a process, a process. Progress.
And then I sit in this chair, with a coffee or ginger ale, and breathe. Everything smells so sweet.
I'm so enjoying looking at the photos of your sarcred places. Thank you for those!!! And please, keep them coming - and don't forget to vote!
Have been watching the terrible heat and power outages and fires in the States. What misery. While I sit in the chair, and consider my great good fortune, I also spend time thinking of you - and sending thoughts. Be well.[image error]
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Published on July 03, 2012 05:16 • 114 views

June 29, 2012

sunny, hot, temps 30
Hi there - such a fun day....we're starting a photo contest.
As you might know, THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY is set in a remote monastery, so this got us thinking about sacred places. Churches, perhaps. But really places were you feel at peace. Calm and secure. Blissful even. People talk about the 'Third Place'. There's home. There's work. Then there's the Third Place, where your spirit lives, and thrives.
In anticipation of the launch of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY on August 28th, I'd love to see a picture of your sacred place. We can create a sort of 'sacred and safe community.' I want to start it off by showing you one of mine...this is the view from my office. When I get tired, or discouraged, I step outside onto the verandah, take a deep breath in, a deep breath out, and let the peace wash over me. And I know that all will be well.
If you post a photo of your special place you might win a signed, framable, print of the cover of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY. Here's the link (http://bit.ly/SpiritOfPlacePhoto).
If you follow it, there'll be step-by-step instructions on what to do. We want to make this easy. But - if you have any trouble, just let me know. Enjoy! And thank you for giving so much of yourself.[image error]
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Published on June 29, 2012 09:15 • 90 views

June 26, 2012

rain, cool, temps 19
Wet and cool. Am back home, and loving it. Spent the day at the office - next door. Writing. Ahhh.
Now, we have a treat for many of you who're curious about THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY! As you know, the book won't be coming out until August 28th - but as a huge thank you for all your support, and for spreading the word, we've set up a link for you to read excerpts of the book, as well as from A TRICK OF THE LIGHT, in case you haven't read it yet.
here're the links: https://fbmacmillan.com/smp/LouisePen... https://fbmacmillan.com/smp/LouisePen...
Or, you can go to Facebook. Here are the links for that -
Hope they work! Mostly, I hope you enjoy the excerpts.

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Published on June 26, 2012 11:29 • 147 views

June 20, 2012

clear, sunny, sizzling hot - temps over 30 C today (humidex 45)
Happy first day of summer! Happy solstice!
It's going to be a scorcher...can't believe I'm still in Montreal writing and not home, by the pool and garden. My "quiet place in the bright sunshine". But, soon. Almost there. And great incentive to keep at it.
Minotaur Books has posted the coolest blog! It's by the brilliant David Rotstein, the Art Director of Minotaur Books. On the blog now he talks about how he came up with the design for the cover of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY - all the previous attempts, what they were aiming for. The struggles and the inspiration.
I know so many of you are interested in art and creation of any type - you'll love this! Here's the link - enjoy - and happy Summer...stay cool.
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Published on June 20, 2012 05:13 • 252 views

June 19, 2012

Overcast, hot and humid - temps 30 C

It has been an embarrassment of great news lately.  Good thing I'm not easily embarrassed, or dissuaded from spreading the good news!

THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY has just received precious pre-publication starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist!  Beyond thrilled.  PW called it 'excellent'.  And Booklist says:

An entire mystery novel centering on Gregorian chants (whose curiously hypnotic allure is called the
“beautiful mystery”)? Yes, indeed, and in the hands of the masterful Penny, the topic proves every bit as able to transfix readers as the chants do their listeners. It begins when the choir director of a monastery in a remote corner of Quebec is murdered, his skull bashed in with a rock. Outsiders are not allowed inside the monastery’s walls, where 24 cloistered monks pray, make chocolate, and sing—though a few years earlier, a homemade recording of their chants was released and created a sensation, helped along by the inaccessibility of the artists. Now, with the murder, the doors of the monastery are opened to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, charged with finding a killer among a group of largely silent monks, who, it quickly becomes apparent, are engaged in a civil war over their music, but one “fought with glances and small gestures”—until now, when rocks have been added to the arsenal. P. D. James, of course, has made a career out of taking her sleuth, Adam Dalgliesh, into closed worlds to investigate murders, and while Penny follows that formula, she layers her plots more intricately than does James, this time adding an entire contrapuntal plot concerning Gamache, Beauvoir, their relationship, the secrets each conceals, and the demons each continues to fight. “The deepest passions could appear dispassionate, the face a smooth plain while something mammoth roiled away underneath,” Gamache thinks, expressing not only his frustration with the case but, inadvertently, the coming crisis in his relationship with Beauvoir. Of course, there is always something mammoth roiling away beneath the surface of Penny’s novels—but this time the roiling is set against the serenity of the chanting, producing a melody of uncommon complexity and beauty.

Before I started my publishing career I didn't realize that, in the US, there are four publications of note, that will review a book before it comes out.  They're VERY influential, since they help booksellers and librarians decide on a book - because they can't read them all.  Getting a starred review is never a given, and never, ever taken lightly.  Much celebrating!!  The Beautiful Mystery comes out August 28th.  Yay!

I started today quite nervous - my Quebec publisher, Flammarion Quebec, had organized a big breakfast at this marvlous restaurant called Soupesoup - and invited all the big booksellers and representatives.  A room packed with all the people you really want to meet.  And impress.  she asked me to do a presentation - in French.  It was too late to back out (but don't think I didn't consider it!).  So I spent much of last night, and early this morning, pacing the floor, practicing.  Very stressful.

But it all turned out all right.  I think.  Well, no one died.  or threw food.  As you see, the bar is set pretty low for  my public events.

Hope you're enjoying the day!
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Published on June 19, 2012 12:37 • 99 views

June 15, 2012

sunny, warm, temps 28
A perfect June day!
Now, I suspect you think I'm making all this up, at this stage (and part of me suspects the same thing!) but I heard late yesterday that A TRICK OF THE LIGHT has been nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Crime Novel in the US!
This is an award voted on by members of a fabulous couple of sites - Mystery Readers International and Mystery Readers Journal - and is one of the most coveted prizes. Thank you to everyone who voted for A TRICK OF THE LIGHT.
Here's the complete list of Best Novel nominees -
1222 by Anne Holt, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Scribner)Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (Mulholland Books)The Ridge by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown)A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (Minotaur)The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey (Dutton)Hell & Gone by Duane Swierczynski (Mulholland Books)
Makes a great reading list! Like the Anthony Award, the winner will be announced at Bouchercon, in Cleveland, in early October.
For more nominees - and great reading suggestions - here's a link to the fabulous Janet Rudolph's site, where it was announced:
Congratulations to all the nominees!
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Published on June 15, 2012 05:52 • 172 views

June 14, 2012

Sunny, mild, temps 26
Great news! The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has 'greenlit' the film of STILL LIFE!
As some of you know, the film was optioned a year or so ago....but that's far from a guarantee it will be made....but thanks to a great production company, and script, the CBC has made it one of only three films they're producing this year. The news was announced yesterday at the Banff International TV conference.
Here's the release:
STILL LIFE (Three Pines Productions): Based on the award-winning novels by international best-selling author Louise Penny, comes an event TV movie about murder in a small town. The village of Three Pines, Quebec may seem tranquil, but all is not as it appears. In this psychological thriller that combines Hitchcock with Christie, death comes to this peaceful Eden, and brings with it Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the head of Homicide for the Surete du Quebec. Here he discovers that nature, both human and otherwise, is capable of great beauty, and great cruelty. Beneath the exterior of the pretty little village, dark secrets lie hidden. Behind cheerful smiles, hurtful thoughts swirl. As he digs deeper, Chief Inspector Gamache finds old sins, buried alive. Rancid and stinking. And now, one of those secrets has surfaced, and created a corpse. C.I. Gamache must follow the trail of smiles and lies, of courtesy and cruelty. To the killer.
In a rare starred review, Kirkus Review in the US said, 'If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.' Charming, urbane, intelligent and kind, Armand Gamache has been hailed internationally as a cop like no other.

Next comes the fun part...casting! Excited and nervous about that. Vital to get it right....and we'll do our best, believe me! Especially Gamache. Will let you know all the news as the planning moves forward. I know you're as anxious as I am!
What a thrilling time![image error]
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Published on June 14, 2012 09:04 • 1,073 views

Louise Penny's Blog

Louise Penny
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