A Brand New Novel
Josephine Baker, the early-20th-century African-American dancer, comic, and singer–hugely famous in Paris. Did you know that she was also a spy for the French Resistance during WWII?
In my most recent post, I wrote that I enjoy the Q&A portion of my public appearances. After a truly wonderful January 31, let me amend that remark: I truly love answering questions about “The Jewel of Medina.” Therefore, I was in a state of sheer bliss all afternoon and evening in the charming town of St. Maries, Idaho.
Readers came in a steady stream to the table in The Paperhouse book and office supply store to present copies of “The Jewel of Medina” for me to sign and to chat with me about the book. I met an array of fascinating local people, including Wally, who seems to have done just about every type of work on the planet; Barbara, who is at least as eager as I am to see the sequel published (Fall 2009 in English), Devon, the third-generation owner, with husband Alex, of the shop; Janelle, a stylish dresser in that fabulous sweater as well as a stimulating conversationalist; Brendan, the St. Maries Gazette reporter who did such a fabulous job writing up our advance interview (and who made fast friends with my man, Michael) and so many more.
Although I was in the shop for four hours — minus 35 minutes for lunch at the Grub Box around the corner (go for the tuna salad sandwich on fresh homemade bread) — I never lacked at least one visitor bearing at least one book for me to sign. And then, after a quick trip to the Fort Hemenway B&B for a tour with the inimitable Gigi Bebaux, the best hostess I have ever met bar none, we headed over to the country club/golf course for a meeting of the Paperhouse’s book club. Twenty-plus women and four men — who sat at a separate table but, contrary to my sexist expectations, proved an attentive audience, made up the group. Over appetizer plates from Casa de Oro and assorted beverages, we talked about “The Jewel of Medina” for two solid hours. The questions were thoughtful and the comments were enlightening, and, best of all, we had a lot of laughs together. I loved it so much, I’m especially excited about the sequel now, because they’ve invited me back when that happens to do it again! Although, you can bet that Michael and I will be back in St. Maries sooner than later; we made a lot of friends and we absolutely will be staying with Gigi again, that remarkable storyteller and terrific cook and all around outrageous woman whose chocolate chip cookies, strawberry scones, and tabbouleh scrambled eggs alone would be well worth the 1 hour 15 minute drive.