A Sea of Librarians

I am at the annual American Librarian Association conference in Washington, D.C. as a guest of the publisher of my large-print edition, Center Point Press (which is based coincidentally in my home state of Maine). I signed copies of the book yesterday and will be back at the booth between 1 and 3 pm today. If you are in town and coming to the conference, I hope you'll visit me.

Yesterday, I arrived at the convention center just as the gates were opening, and I don't know how to say this, but I was just overwhelmed by the sheer number of librarians present. Because libraries are some of my favorite places in the world, I have found this conference a reassuring place to be, although I worry about the future of community libraries in an increasingly digital world. But there is a vibrance here and a feeling of good fellowship that is bracing.

I also had what I think was my first official celebrity moment. A woman in line saw my name badge and exclaimed, "The Poacher's Son!" It turns out she is a huge fan of the book. And yes, that experience, of being recognized and praised by a stranger, was as cool as it sounds.

I (Really) Love a Mystery

Good things came in four for me this week. Michael F. Hennessey, who writes the "I Love a Mystery" newsletter reviewed The Poacher's Son and has this to say:

Debut novels often show weaknesses in characterization, in dialogue, in plotting. But Paul Doiron has written a seamless thriller in The Poacher's Son... This is a debut novel that never takes a wrong turn.

Pre-Sell Tour Day #3

I'm on my way back to Maine this morning and it feels like I've been gone a week although it's only been three days. But flying hundreds of miles each morning can play tricks on your internal gyroscope.

Last night's event was a dinner at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, and my companions were a delightful mix of booksellers and librarians. Their excitement and interest in my novel was exhilerating. I felt myself to be among friends. Again I signed some galleys and realized I need to come up with an assortment of inscriptions for all occasions. It's no picnic to be witty on demand.

When I returned to the Marriott, I checked my email and received a surprise. A Google Alert popped up referring me to a story on the Huffington Post on the state of contemporary crime fiction and I was mentioned favorably.

The publication date of The Poacher's Son might still be a ways off, but every day this author thing becomes more real.

So I'm going home to Maine for five nights and then it's off to the book-loving Pacific Northwest.

To be continued...