Human Remains in Montreal (Librairie Bertrand & CBC Radio’s Homerun). Coming soon to Ottawa!
When I write, and when I’m in the ER, I’m always taking risks.
In the ER, it’s obvious. Anyone could crash at any time. But I’m surrounded by a good team.
When I’m writing, it’s more private. Most of the time, no one sees me succeed or fail.
Except at a book launch.
“The average book launch has two people, and one of them is a friend of the author,” said Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Kobo director.
In Montreal, I was.afraid I wouldn’t have two.
I graduated from Montreal over a decade ago. I don’t have that many friends left in the city, and most of them are doctors with families. “I’m on call.” “I can’t go out in the evening.” “Who are you, again?” (Okay, not quite.)
Librairie Bertrand is this gorgeous bookstore in old Montreal. They have a garden in the back. Horses clip by on cobblestone streets. I had the best chicken sandwich of my life around the corner. But would anyone come to my launch?
I’ve learned two things about launches: bring as many people as possible–bribe them if you have to–and make sure your hosts are happy. If it’s a bookstore, people must buy books.
So my stress wasn’t just for me, it was for Librarie Bertrand.
When I walked in, ten minutes early, Ian Shaw, the head of Deux Voiliers Publishing, was waiting for me.
Then artists Jessica Sarrazin and Jason de Graaf walked in; he had to go to his gallery in Montreal that week, so they coordinated with my launch. “We didn’t tell you in case we couldn’t come.”
Author Su J. Sokol opened the door, fresh off her super-successful Blue Met Panel (sold out. Not even standing room). Better grab her book, Cycling to Asylum!
And another author, Day’s Lee, a multi-talented writer of not only YA and children’s books, but also plays and films–check out my interview here or her own website. A powerhouse of a writer and a good person. Check her out!
Dr. Ted Wein stepped through the door. I was shocked. I haven’t seen him since he teased me about my pregnancy belly with my son Max. Since then he has set up a comprehensive Stroke Prevention Unit at MUHC, the first of its kind in Canada, which is tragically being closed.
Next, Dr. Chryssi Paraskevopoulos managed to come despite an onslaught of “red phones.” (They call you on a special red phone when then big cases come in.) I haven’t seen her since I graduated!
Fun fact: both these doctors were incorporated into St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hope Sze’s Montreal hospital, under different names. If you know them, see if you can spot them in Code Blues.
Maria Davila, a member of the Glengarry Book Club, dashed in after a hard day’s work.
Dr. Rob Adams of Alexandria made it as well! By this point, during the ebb and flow, someone asked, “How many people are doctors?”
“Half,” I realized aloud. “Hey, why don’t the civilians pretend to be human remains, and the doctors can resuscitate them?”
Most attendees were puzzled, but they’d met me before and were aware of my general insanity. I ushered them into place. Don’t they look lovely? The bookstore staff was laughing away.
Last, but certainly not least, Sophia Petritsis showed up and was the most enthusiastic corpse of all!
Plus, we ran into Dr. Ed Hargassner on the way out.
Altogether, that was pretty awesome!
And … CBC Radio’s Homerun featured Human Remains!
I’m very excited about this. Richard King, the CBC Homerun reviewer-author, called Human Remains “a great medical mystery. Wonderful characters and plot.” He was so impressed that he gave a copy to a physician friend. Hooray!
Want some Human Remains? I’ll be in Ottawa chairing the Emerging Crime Panel at Prose in the Park on Saturday, June 10th, at 16:00 (Parkdale).
I will also be signing my books at Louise Penny’s Ottawa International Writers Festival event June 16th. Although of course the focus will be on this New York Times bestseller and lovely human being, she’s graciously allowing the judges and the winners from the Capital Crime Writers Audrey Jessup Writing Contest to share a little of her spotlight.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Human Remains. We love you!