If there's a profession less suited for pet-guardianship than travel writer, I haven't heard about it. Lily Moore, my main character in The Damage Done and The Next One to Fall (and the upcoming Evil in All Its Disguises), travels the world, writing about the places she visits for magazines, newspapers and guidebooks. She's never in one place — including her own apartment — for long. If she had a pet, it would be the loneliest critter ever. Even the most solitary cat or sleepiest lizard wants more attention than a travel writer can give.
Like Lily, I don't have a pet. In a way, that's strange for me, because my parents' house, when I was growing up, was filled with an intriguing menagerie of creatures, including (at various times) cats, snakes, frogs, and one particularly squeaky guinea pig. (My brother Christopher still hasn't forgiven me for eating guinea pig when I was in Peru.) I love animals (especially llamas). Most of the people I know in my neighborhood, I've met because I was admiring their dogs. But I know how much love and care pets need, and I'm not at home enough to give a steady supply of either. Even though I'm not a full-time travel writer anymore, I'm on the road as much as ever to attend book festivals and to speak at bookstores and libraries. I keep thinking that one day, I'll be ready to have a pet again, but it hasn't happened yet.
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Speaking of travel, I have a fantastic trip coming up. This month, I head to British Columbia for a crime spree at libraries and bookstores with fellow mystery writers Robin Spano, Deryn Collier, and Ian Hamilton. We're calling it The Crime Tour, and if you'd like to see us in action, here's where we'll be:
Real Vancouver Crime: Sunday, June 17th from 2-5 p.m., W2 Media Cafe
Join Sean Cranbury of Books on the Radio as he hosts The Crime Tour for an afternoon of readings in a funky upstairs space on Vancouver’s Lower East Side. $5 cover. Books will be available for sale on site.
Murder in the Woods: Monday, June 18th from 6:30-8:00 p.m., Squamish Public Library
The Crime Tour travels up the Sunshine Coast for an evening of chatting mystery and writing in the wooded beauty of the Sea-to-Sky highway. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be for sale on site by Armchair Books.
Meet and Greet at Chapters: Tuesday, June 19th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Chapters (Robson & Howe)
Come down to Chapters on Robson & Howe to meet and visit with The Crime Tour authors and get your books signed. Books will be available for sale/signing.
A Mystery Evening to Die For Tuesday June 19th from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Richmond Public Library Brighouse (Main) Branch
Join up with The Crime Tour for a full evening of author readings, a panel discussion on the writing process and a lengthy Q&A. Books will be available for sale on site from Dead Write Books.
Triple Threat: Chicks Who Solve Crime! Thursday June 21 7:00-8:30 p.m., Burnaby Public Library, McGill Branch
Join The Crime Tour chicks for a fun, all-female night of mystery readings and discussion in Burnaby. Books will be available for sale on site from Dead Write Books.