I hope this entry makes sense, Dear Reader, for I am lately returned to my home in Arizona following a week-long book tour in Raleigh, North Carolina, with Vicki Delany (writing as Eva Gates for this trip), and her fellow Canadian author Erika Chase, who is known to her friends and relatives as Linda Wiken. The events we did were arranged by the wonderful Molly Weston, editor of the SinC newsletter, author of the Meritorious Mysteries blog, and mystery mavin extraordinaire. Molly chauffeured us around all week and fed us enough Southern food that I don’t think any of the three of us will be needing to do much eating in the near future.
The events were a lot of fun, and spending so much time with my fellow mystery authors was enlightening and very helpful. I always come away with tons of good ideas. Besides, it’s encouraging to hear that other novelists go through the same thing that you do.
But it was tiring. By the eighth event, I had trouble remembering my name, much less my brilliant spiel. The event we had scheduled on the first night was canceled due to snow and bad weather. And though things cleared up enough that we were able to make all our other engagements with no trouble, everywhere we went people hastened to inform us that it NEVER snows like this in NC.
The real trouble came after the events were over. It snowed and iced over on the night before we left, and the roads were hideous. Poor Molly couldn’t get out of her driveway to take us to the airport, so we were happy to call a cab. The driver really knew his stuff, but the main highway was closed so we had to inch the 15 miles to the Raleigh-Durham airport at twenty miles an hour around the back roads. The fifteen minute trip took an hour. No problem because we left the hotel very early in anticipation of this very problem.Linda left for Canada first, and got off with no problem. I was scheduled out an hour later. Ended up leaving five and a half hours later.
My flight had so many delays that I began to wonder if I wanted to get on that particular plane after all. First it was nearly two hours late getting in to Raleigh due to the weather, then the captain had a technician come in because something was wrong with the computer. That took another couple of hours to fix. THEN, U.S. Air’s computer canceled the flight in the middle of boarding (the ground people said they’d never seen anything like it), so half the passengers had to be manually entered into their system before they could board. Finally we were all boarded, bu the plane had to be de-iced. The flight was fine. No gate available when we did arrive, of course, so we sat on the tarmac for about 15 minutes before we could deplane. I only had a 40 minute layover scheduled in the first place, so the airline had already rescheduled me for a later flight out of Charlotte to PHX–twice. Still, later flight number two left 20 minutes before I got to Charlotte. Fortunately, there was still room on the last flight to Phoenix that day. I had a two hour layover in Charlotte, which gave me time to eat something, for which I was grateful.
And if you think my tale of woe is bad, poor Vicki’s flight was canceled altogether and there was no later departure that day for Orlando, where she had another couple of book events scheduled. She ended up staying at the highly overpriced airport motel and doing without supper. Fortunately, she eventually made it to Florida, where I hope she was wined and dined and treated like royalty.
I’ve been home for a couple of days, desperately writing on All Men Fear Me, which is due in April, but the ending keeps getting further away. I think I’m just going to have to kill the guy.
Next up, Tucson Festival of Books, March 14 and 15. Come on down and say hello.