It's "launch" season again. Launch season requires two things of the author: the ability to tell the 80-thousand word story in 30 seconds (something I always somehow fail to prepare for) and finding the reader-grabbing excerpts from the current book to trot out at launches, signings and sometimes radio and TV interviews.
My first foray into launch season for Something Fishy was at CBC radio in Charlottetown, PEI. Yes, I was asked for a precis -- that devil comes under various titles -- and to read an excerpt. About one minute.
I was in a technological tangle. I lacked a file of Something Fishy that I could open on my travel laptop. The book was hot off the presses and the first copy I saw was host Karen Mair's. I went leafing frantically through it, and found something I thought would do.
It was okay, but didn't tell as much about the book as a better one would have. The one I'll be using in the future. The one I use here. A chef has come to The Shores and opened up a restaurant devoted to dangerous dining, serving foods that kill. The inaugural dinner is a killer:
The MP was first to go. He hadn’t had a good sleep in days – between here and Ottawa and Washington and Alberta, as he delighted in recounting to people. In fact, he did work hard, and it took its toll now as, first, his eyelids grew heavy. They were well-muscled from attending countless boring meetings, so for some time he was able to pull them open again, and again, until finally, defeated, he let go, and his head dropped down onto his chest. His breathing became heavy.
Next to go, as if falling asleep were catching like yawning, was the mayor of Winterside. Sleep for him was an escape, and he wanted to escape this meal before he had to eat the deadly pufferfish. Danger for dinner wasn’t his cup of tea. He’d stuck to the rice and beans. He and the MP harmonized little puffs of air with rattling snores.
That was the cue for the Minister of Tourism and the CBC reporter. Hardened by endless meetings and little to do the rest of the time, they had managed to ride out the wave of exhaustion that gripped them until finally they succumbed. The Minister’s head dropped forward, as did his comb-over, revealing his baldness and flirting with his food. The CBC reporter would be horrified to find out that she’d fallen asleep with her head tipped sideways, her mouth open, and drool running down one side of her chin. When he saw her, Anton crossed her off his list of potential bedmates. And he decided against Miss Harvest Festival, too, who was too young anyway. Unlike the others, she hadn’t fallen asleep because she had only picked at the food and was taking photos of everyone with her cell phone to post on Facebook.
Luanch season. Precis season. Excerpt season. Maybe when the season's over, I'll get it right.