It’s very early days yet in terms of planning, especially as John and I are about as organised as writers tend to be, but even before we’ve officially announced the trip, David Lampe-Wilson of Mystery on Main Street, in Brattleboro, Vermont, has signed us up for a reading event on Monday, October 5. Which is very, very nice indeed.
I don’t want to overstate the significance of the trip, but here’s the truth – if I could somehow go back in time 25 years and tell that spotty, angsty, wannabe writer Declan Burke that he would one day be standing in a Vermont bookstore talking about books and writing, and specifically his own book, which had just been published in the U.S., and particularly in the company of a writer as fine as John McFetridge, then that poor unfortunate 14-year-old would very likely spontaneously combust in a paroxysm of joy. So it’s just as well I can’t.
The point being, and again it’s a cliché, but the forthcoming trip to the States, to promote THE BIG O, is literally a dream come true.
If all of that sounds embarrassingly naïve and gauche, I do apologise. But it would be dishonest to pretend to be cool about all of this. I spent my entire youth, and a goodly portion of my adulthood, striving to be cool, as most people tend to do. But now that I have the opportunity to live out a life-long dream so precious that for years I couldn’t even tell anyone about it? Screw cool.
Anyhoos, the basic itinerary is in place – Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Brattleboro, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore. If you’re a crime fic fan and you’d like to suggest an interesting venue where John and I might find a few sympathetic ears, we’d love to hear from you. If you’re a bookstore owner, ditto. And if you’re neither, but simply want to suggest some interesting book-related diversions off the beaten track, please feel free.
Finally, a word from Mr Frost, aka ‘stories to tell the grandkids’. And, yes, it’s another cliché …
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a road and I ––
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.