By Russel D McLean
First time I went to the states I was 12. My memories are a hazy blur, if I'm honest, but more than a few images stick in my mind. Food mostly. My first proper buffet experience, Denny's breakfasts (hey, I was tweleve and breakfast here is like, a bowl of cereal), tacos the size of my head and so many other delights.
Since then I've been back several times... once during an unsuccesful application to NYU (I was going to my PhD there and foolishly decided Bristol uni offered a better course) and again for Bouchercons in Chicago, Madison and then Baltimore. I've been to NYC twice now, and still love the city, because it lived up to everything I imagined and then some. Something in the air excites me about the place. Its the people, too. I've made so many friends over the course of these trips, and one of the reasons I love going back is to see them and also to see who else I can bump into. Also, I dig the US indy bookstores, and maybe it says something that after the Madison Bouchercon I was followed home by seven large boxes of books that came via the mail.
"So, Russel," I hear you say, "What is the rambling of your love for the US leading us to?"
Oh, you're well ahead of me, you terrible smart people. Yes, I'm just wrapping things up now, but I am proud to announce a small US tour prior to what will be a wonderful event in San Francisco, this year's Bouchercon.
Its only a few dates, but I'd like to thank all the stores who have been willing to let me invade their premises. So if you're in the US and find yourself in need of coming to see a beardy Scotsman, then check out these locales:
7 October, I'll be kicking things off with the lovely folks at Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis. I've never been to Minneapolis before, but let me tell you this: I'm looking forward to it. Come along and hear me ramble at 7pm.
On October 8, I'll be heading out early to make a beeline for Texas where in the evening, I'll be appearing at Houston's wonderful Murder by the Book. Again, I've never been to Houston, but they tell me its fairly hot out that way. This means I will not be wearing my big leather jacket.
A few days rest (I'll be seeing some friends at this point, more than likely) means I'll be in Scottsdale, Arizona for an event at The Poisoned Pen on 11 October. This last gig thanks to a wonderful reader I met at this year's Harrogate who pleaded the case for my appearance at the store.
Well, then its San Fran, baby, where it'll be a blowout for Bouchercon, baby. Although I'll be very nervous about going in any cars through the city just in case this happens:
So if you find yourself at any of these places on any of these dates, do come along and say hello. I'll look forward to seeing you! And do keep an eye on my other blog just in case some other dates appear (or I can give you info on places where I'll be simply leaving behind signed stock)