Thursday, March 11, 2021

From Sea to Shining Sea, by Catriona

 Business: How have you changed the way you promote and support your work, and generally go about the business of being an author, since “Lockdown Life” began a year ago?

Cathy, yesterday, was counting Lockdown Life in units of time since she's been handed a boarding pass. For me it's baths. We haven't really got a bath here at home - except for one of those titchy ones with a solid screen all the way across (they're the only thing in America that's not bigger). So whenever I'm in a hotel, I try to get a room with a bath and plan at least one luxurious, tea and biscuits plus a good book, prunifying soak. 

Not this last year though, as one of the foremost "hard work but someone's got to do it" bits of the writing business got booted. No Sleuthfest, no Edgars, no Malice,  no Bloody Scotland, no Bouchercon . . . just a shower I've got to clean myself. Mind you, no magnifying mirror. Silver linings.

Instead, like everyone else I've gone online. And although I miss the hugs (and the baths), there's a huge upside. It's so easy to say yes when all you need to do is get the time right, make sure your top half is camera-ready, and don't leave pages of manuscript face-up in the background. 

Oh and navigate the four time zones. Otherwise you can be looking like this at the start time:

And after a frantic ten minutes, you might do a headline interview looking like this:

(Much more organised interviewer, Kellye Garrett, included for comparison.)

Mind you, when I do have time to get ready I can sometimes end up looking like this:

Guess whether I ever had etiquette and deportment training. Go on. Guess.

That aside, the good thing about Zooming instead of flying is that I didn't hesitate before saying a big "yes, please" to San Diego Sisters in Crime for this coming Saturday. Sign up here


Or even Freddy the Flamingo's Noir@theBar in Florida a week on Friday. Sign up here

Next month is even better. On Saturday 1oth April, I'll be at Greenville Library, South Carolina in the morning (pacific morning, SC lunchtime, 4 time zones, it's earlier here, I can do this) giving a talk I'm calling Plenty Deadly: Sisters, Dames and Girl Detectives. Sign up here

And yet that same Saturday, a bit later, I'll be in Albuquerque at the Left Coast Crime Unconvention Lefty Awards, where The Turning Tide is up for best historical. 

The next week, on Saturday 17th April, it's not too early a start to get to Chicago for 9.30am central (7.30 am pacific, right?) for Murder and Mayhem

Then a hop, skip and a jump back to Florida at lunchtime to talk to the local MWA chapter about killing your inner critic and keeping your story alive (much better than the other way round, if you ask me).

Finally in April, to Texas, Houston, and Murder by the Book, on the 23rd, where Kris Calvin (friend, fellow writer, weekly cinema pal in the before- and after-times, and hugely entertaining speaker) is launching her brand-new series debut ALL THAT FALL. Event details here.

Don't mistake this determined cheerfulness to look on the bright side for an actual preference, though. When we get back to budgetary considerations, red-eyes, roller-bags, chatty seatmates and ride-sharing apps, I'll be thrilled to bits. Like almost everyone else.