It was my week to hang out with some very Cool Canuck Chicks. First up was Luba Goy, one of our national icons, whose Luba Simply Luba was on at the Berkeley Theatre. Her one-woman show gave us an afternoon of laughs and joy, Luba-style, as La Goy traced her roots from a German work camp, where she was born and where her parents had been incarcerated, all the way across the waves to Canada. Touching and true. And it didn't hurt to tipple a glass or five with Luba and friends afterwards at the Distillery District.
Next I had the great pleasure to hang out with Farzana Doctor, author of Six Meters of Pavement, currently short-listed for a Lambda Award. We got together mid-week at the 40th anniversary party of Dundurn Books in the Arts and Letters Club. The Farz and I yucked it up in front of the camera and, amid all the frippery, managed to carry on some pretty feisty conversations about the Recently Single status we've both acquired. If we both go on to gain a Bit Notorious status as well, it won't bother us one bit.
Finally, my week was complete with a long-awaited visit from Canada's reigning Queen of Crime, Gail Bowen, on tour with hubby and long-time companion (44 years!), Ted, while promoting Kaleidoscope, Gail's thirteenth Joanne Kilbourn mystery from M&S. Always the gallant host, Ted stirred and shook a bucketful of martinis, while Gail and I yacked on (and on) about the current state of Canadian publishing, and then some. Not only is she one of the great mystery authors, she's also a terrific gal to know and hang out with!
This month I signed a contract with Dundurn to publish Pumpkin Eater, the sequel to Lake On The Mountain, my first Dan Sharp mystery. I love working with the folks at Dundurn. They're a great group of dedicated professionals.
I'm also currently a quarter of the way through a third book, The Jade Butterfly, which opens in Tiananmen Square the night of the massacre. Jump forward 20 years, when Dan is challenged to find a woman who disappeared in the fighting, landing him squarely on his own gritty Toronto turf. If you think you know Toronto, follow Dan around for a bit. You don't know Toronto! Even I'm a little shocked by some of the places he ends up.
Although I've been longing to get back to more traditional literary writing, I really enjoy writing in this breezy, jaded voice. Judging from the readers' notes I'm getting, I can tell others like it too. I think of these books as my "dark" mysteries, as opposed to the lighter Bradford Fairfax mysteries where mostly all's well that ends well. There's more to come in that series too, as I've got two more books just waiting to reach the starting gate.
When that happens, you'll be the first to hear about it. After me, of course.