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Monday, May 5th 2008 : "Paris in the Springtime"
I've been writing for more than twenty years, most of the time without much success. There was a gap when the books weren't available in paperback in the UK for instance. RAVEN BLACK made a huge difference. The Duncan Lawrie Dagger helped of course, but I think serious reviews in the broadsheets were even more important and I'm still grateful to those reviewers. I might not be in the bestseller list now, but I can make a reasonable living from my writing and I'm widely translated overseas.
Because it's been a long time coming I can't take any of this for granted. I LOVE seeing the translated copies on the shelves in my kitchen. So when Francoise, my wonderful French editor from Belfond, invited me to Paris to help promote DES VERITEES CACHEES (Hidden Depths) by talking to journalists, of course I agreed. My French publisher paying for me to go to Paris! How exciting was that!
It didn't matter that I was only there for one night and it rained continually. I felt like a star. There was a driver to meet me at the airport. I tried to be cool and sophisticated, but couldn't keep it up when we drove across the Place de la Concorde, saw the Eiffel Tower in the distance, crossed the Seine. There was a lovely little hotel, with a log fire and a walled garden, close to the Luxembourg Gardens. And the chance to talk about books to people who'd read DES VERITEES CACHEES and had interesting things to say about it. More serious journalists.
That evening I went out for dinner with Marie-Jeanne my publicist and Claire Breton my translator. I was already well-disposed to Claire because she'd decided she wanted to visit Shetland before completing the translation of RAVEN BLACK. We had a great meal and I left the restaurant with two new friends.
Next weekend I'm off to Shetland for a week - maybe not quite as glamorous as Paris but it'll be great fun. And Claire will be there too.
Posted by Ann at 10:09 AM GMT