I am typing this behind the clerks' desk at Seattle Mystery Bookshop, a high command of a place with stacks of mysterious notes, customer addresses, invoices (all paid!), coffee cups, tea cups filled with dry tea bags or writing implements, and I am startled to report there is also intel on ME here. Someone has been attempting to translate the braille from the cover of my first novel. I would warn them against knowing too much but then again those letter openers are more ornate and frequently sharpened than simple mailing needs would indicate. And are those teabags scented with almonds?
There is a cry back and forth in the shop: "Where is The Lord of Death?" He seems to be missing. Though no one is particularly panicked.
Saltines. There are also plastic wrapped Saltines on the desk. I would ask for some but I cannot vouch that they haven't been steamed open and resealed, perhaps by the Lord of Death himself, who seems to have an alibi. He isn't here, obviously.
I am supposed to plug my new novel, Sunnyside, and the atmosphere here is such that I understand there could be untold repercussions if I don't. They aren't watching me right now, so consider this a plea for help: go ahead and look at Sunnyside and see if you want to buy it. Regardless, please do then check on my whereabouts.
Sunnyside is, by the way, about Charlie Chaplin at the end of World War I. It's also about how the birth of modern entertainment, the rise of America as a superpower, the secret link among the media, the movies and the military. And dogs. There are many many dogs in the book, one of them appearing simultaneously with a flamethrower. And --
Uh-oh. One of the clerks has just said "Get rid of 'em."
Whew. They were talking about cardboard boxes. I am safe for another day.
Anyway, if you are in Seattle you should come here and experience the hospitality, the intense knowledge of books, the fear and certain understanding that if they weren't so nice here your body would hardly make a splash if dumped into Puget Sound. Not that they'd do such a thing.
And do check into Sunnyside, if only because you care about my safety.