March madness (2)

Q: ‘e2’80’9cCousin Robin’e2’80’9d writes–Seeing that photo of you and your husband with the Dalai Lama has me wondering whether you have been influenced by the intrepid explorer, pioneer feminist and theologian – Alexandra David-Neel (1868-1969). This extraordinary woman might have been a role model for Mary Russell. Disguised as a beggar, with a revolver concealed beneath her rags, at the age of 54 she became the first European woman to enter the forbidden holy city of Lhasa in Tibet; this through bandit-ridden forests in the dead of winter. She was a world authority on Tibetan Buddhist tantric rites and was ordinated as the first woman Lama. Lawrence Durrell admired her and she was an accomplished singer who went on to live until she was nearly 101 years old. I do hope Mary Russell enjoys similar longevity!

A: Certainly Russell would benefit from similar press. These days when authors who fudge the facts are pilloried on national television for sport, we forget that it ain’e2’80’99t nothing new. Not that David-Neel didn’e2’80’99t do absolutely everything she claims, I’e2’80’99m not saying that. But it sure didn’e2’80’99t lose anything in the telling.

Q: Maxine in Annapolis asks, Do you ever get to the “right” coast to the Baltimore/DC/Annapolis area? It seems as if you’re more well known on the West Coast, but I keep encouraging my friends to read your books. Thanks for many hours of entertainment.

A: The June tour is in the planning stage now, but I’e2’80’99m afraid it looks like I won’e2’80’99t be very far east yet again. I don’e2’80’99t know why authors get pigeonholed to tour in certain areas, it’e2’80’99s very peculiar. In part it depends simply on whether or not bookstores have put in a request to have me, and if so, whether the proposed event would be solid enough to justify the expense. (Publishers do not make money off tours; they make their calculations on how much bang they get for their buck.)

All I can suggest is, if you have a local store who is salivating madly to have LRK do an event for them, have them talk to their Random House rep or write my publicist, Sharon Propson ( asking to be considered.

Q: Jacqui M askes, Will there ever be a film version of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice?

A: A perennial question. All I can say is, there’e2’80’99s nothing firm in the works at the moment.

Q: Would a person be able to download your next book directly onto an IPOD? Are any of your books available for downloads?

A: The excellent people at Recorded Books tell me that their audio editions of a number of the books are available for download onto I-Pods via the website Let me know if that doesn’e2’80’99t work.

Q: And another technical question, from Marianne McA, about signing up for the newsletter list–Help! It says I’m already on the list – which I thought I was – but I don’t get the newsletters. Can anyone tell me where I’ve gone wrong?

A: My newsletter maven Maggie answers, “Without their email address, it’s very difficult to figure out what’s wrong. There could be a number of reasons:

a) they didn’t sign up or they signed up using an old email address
b) they didn’t confirm their sign-up (ours is a double opt-in system)
c) they have spam blockers

B & C require somewhat lengthy explanations (many variables) if either is the case.

I’e2’80’99d suggest that they try to resubscribe. If they’e2’80’99re already on it, they’ll get a message saying they’re already subscribed. If they are subscribed and didn’t get it, they probably have spam blockers, either personal or on their ISP’s. Absolutely nothing we can do about that.”

You want to check on those things and see how it goes? Maybe I should post the newsletters on the web site as well.

I have forty-three hundred and twelve tasks for the morning, so I’e2’80’99m going to cut this off now and return tomorrow.

Happy Friday.

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  1. Vicki Larson on March 3, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    4312 things to do. Wow. I knew you were really active, but that’s impressive! You and David-Neel. I wish you the happiest and most productive Friday of your life!Isn’t hyperbole fun! You go girl!

  2. Anonymous on March 3, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    This old iris lady always enjoys comments made by Vicki Larson. Vicki, I can no longer do even six impossible things before breakfast, but 4312 sounds like a pleasant after-breakfast list. I have 1500 iris pots to weed, for starters. Wish I could establish a weed-by-mail volunteer list. I’d sign you up.

  3. Chet on March 3, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    ARGH!! Slick the comments that give away the suprises. I just switched from Mary to Kate and something a bloogger (rhymes with Booger) wrote ruined a suprise. Oh well, I guess no one forces me to come here.

  4. Anonymous on March 4, 2006 at 12:43 am

    Will the June tour bring you to the Pacific Northwest? Seattle would be lovely; but Lopez Island, (KEEPING WATCH) would be divine!

  5. Marianne McA on March 5, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you. [And thanks to Maggie also.]

    I’ve resubscribed again, and checked my profile, and it all seems fine – so if I don’t get the newsletter, I’ll blame AOL’s spam controls.
    I clicked and looked at those settings, but I don’t know what I’m looking at, and am scared that if I attempted an adjustment I’d either be swamped with letters from African bankers, or else that I’d never hear from my mother again.

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