“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.)