Lunch, for me, is the saddest meal. If I’m working, I often ignore hunger signs and start feeling a little hollow in the middle of the afternoon. Eventually, I scoff some leftovers while flicking through the New Yorker and scoot right back to my computer. And yes, I may then drink the coffee that was first poured at 7.30am. I know, I know.
Yesterday was different. Yesterday, Jennifer Herman (Marketing Manager at Random House Canada and a proper take-no-prisoners kind of woman) organized a lunch gathering for me with a bunch of booksellers from Indigo (downtown) and Chapters (the ‘burbs). It was fun, and entirely the opposite of my usual sad vigil. I talked a bit about Spy, but mostly we all talked about: the indignities of buying “petite” trousers that still require hemming; handmade jewelry from Barriefield Village; the joys of the All-Day Breakfast; Paulo Coelho, yea or nay; the new Yann Martel book; self-help books; Portsmouth Villagers, arty or crazy; movie theatres of Kingston Past; people who walk cats as though they’re dogs; people who carry dogs as though they’re babies; whether bookselling is the most dangerous job in the world, on the grounds that your take-home pay might well be zero after you’ve spent the day caressing new books; the retired English teacher who’s taught half of Kingston; what, exactly, a Poker Run is (it involves boats); and dachsunds. These are just the highlights, mind you. And then Jennifer gave out copies of Spy, and I signed them, which still gives me the chills (and penmanship worries).
The booksellers got off light – I was actually pressing for an Ultimate Fighting Championship-style scrap between the two stores. It looked promising, to me: Indigo had more people (including the tallest), but the Chapters folk are ninjas. Ultimately, I forced everyone to pose for this photo:
Good times, booksellers of Kingston. Good times.
This week, I’m thrilled that Kirkus reviewed Spy a second time, this time in their spring supplement: “Debut author Y.S. Lee keeps the story wound tight, lacing it with gingery humor… Sparkling repartee fuels the story, but it’s not so snappy as to undercut Mary’s vulnerability—she’s a saucy, smart heroine it will be a pleasure to meet again.”
And the bloggers – they’ve been busy!
Yuan at GAL Novelty says it’s “an engrossing read, with a lead character you can root for with all your heart”.
The Book Whisperer doesn’t usually read historical mysteries, but concludes that “without a doubt that I am a new follower”. Hurray!
Christina at Reading Extensively calls it “a delightful mystery with a fantastic heroine”.
Mel at He Followed Me Home thinks it has “the perfect ingredients for a fun historical mystery”.
And Miss Kelley “can’t wait to find out what Mary Quinn does next”!
Finally, I did a couple of interviews:
I talked to novelist Cynthia Leitich Smith about research and roadblocks, and finding one’s historical voice.
And Book Lovers Inc interviewed me. Sample: Q. Tell us about your book. A. It contains not a single vampire.
I think that’s accurate.