South for the Winter

“Madame Lily Devalier always asked “Where are you?” in a way that insinuated that there were only two places on earth one could be: New Orleans and somewhere ridiculous.” ― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

On Wednesday, I’ll be headed to New Orleans for the first time. Most miraculously, I won’t just be going as a tourist, but as an author. The decidedly wonderful people at Macmillan/Holt are sending me south for the ABA Winter Institute. I’ll get to meet booksellers and other writers! I’ll get to sit at a table and sign books! Me! Signing books! (I have this fear that no one will come to my table and I’ll just be sitting there all alone with a giant stack of ARCs. Then James Patterson will laugh and hit me in the face with a dodgeball.)

I’ve been dreaming of going to New Orleans since I first picked up Interview with a Vampire, lo these many years ago. So I intend to stay for a week after the conference and stuff myself so full of beignets, alcohol, and atmosphere, that I will be incapable of rational thought. When I told my friend Michael I was headed to NOLA, he said, “The city will either embrace you or spit you out. You’ll know pretty quick.”

Well then, laissez les bons temps rouler. And do keep your fingers crossed for me.

“In the spring of 1988, I returned to New Orleans, and as soon as I smelled the air, I knew I was home. It was rich, almost sweet, like the scent of jasmine and roses around our old courtyard. I walked the streets, savoring that long lost perfume.” ― Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire

(And since both of my quotes reference perfume, I’ll leave you with a link to one of my favorite scents, Frédéric Malle’s Le Parfum de Therese. I know there’s jasmine in there, but I swear there’s something peppery, too. Feels right for New Orleans.)

12 Comments

Filed under The Violet Hour, Writing

12 responses to “South for the Winter

  1. Adeeti

    I’m very very jealous, both of your trip to NOLA and all the lucky people who get their hands on ARCs of your book. You’re going to love the city; anyone with as much of a flair for the dramatic as you seem to have (sorryyyy i’m a creepy blog lurker) can’t help but fall for it. All that wrought iron? Lord, I’m getting woozy just thinking about it haha. Hope you enjoy your first author-ly experience, I’m sure it’ll be a massive success (wood knocked on)

  2. You’re so lucky. I’ve always wanted to go ti New Orleans and experience its culture and cuisines. I don’t doubt that you won’t be sitting there alone. Hope you have a good time.

    Take lots of pictures and post them, so I can live vicariously through you🙂

  3. So exciting, Leigh!! You’ll have to tell us all about it (and post lots of pictures!) once you get back😉

  4. First of all, thanks for the cheers and encouragement. Second, I welcome lurkers! I often feel like I’m blogging into the void, so it’s delightful to know there are others out there. *waves* Third, I will post tons of photos though I can’t guarantee they’ll all be in focus😉

  5. Oh! It’s a wonderful city, and you’ll have an amazing time! I have decided I’m going back for my birthday this year. I can’t wait to hear your take on it. A tip: the sweet olive candles from Carnival Candle Company in the French Market are incredible and cheap…I really regret not buying her entire inventory. Have a great time!

  6. Sounds wonderful! I’ve never been either and have wanted to go. Don’t worry about your book signing table. I’m sure Patterson’s fans will be lured over by your beautiful cover art. When it comes time for your signing in either the Seattle or Vancouver area, I’ll be there!

  7. Definitely go to Jackson Square and get beignets there with cafe aul lait if you’re a coffee drinker. Be wary of anyone who says they can tell you “where you got your shoes” because it’s a scam. (You’ve got ’em on your feet in Jackson Square in N’Awlins Loozeanna.) Ride the trolley from end to end, too, if you can.

    If it’s still there, there’s a cafe just outside the French Quarter called Mother’s that is absolutely the best red beans and rice I’ve ever had. We also really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at a place called Ralph & Kacoo’s. Have fun. It’s a wonderful city!

    Congrats on the table and going to the ABA. That’s pretty cool.

  8. Wow, thank you for the amazing recs! Sweet olive candles sound divine and I will definitely try to make my way to Mother’s.

    Kari, I’ll be touring in early June, but we haven’t gotten the cities yet. Fingers crossed for Seattle!

  9. Oh my gosh, Leigh, you will LOVE it there. My dad is from New Orleans so I’ve visited many times, and it is unlike any other place on EARTH (I say, obviously having been to every single place on Earth, yes). Please take lots of photos and let us know how it goes! And enjoy the signing! GIDDY for you!

  10. I totally want to go to New Orleans just to get an ARC of SHADOW & BONE. 🙂

    Hope you’ll have a fantastic time!

  11. It was wonderful to meet you at ABA! Your book is next on my to-read pile, I’m so excited to start it!

  12. Beth

    I hope you’re having/had/will have a wonderful trip!

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