An everyday god on the road

As you probably know, I’ve been on the road since last Tuesday, talking about The Murder of Mary Russell in a variety of bookstores, tea shops, and even an opera house.
During that time, I’ve also been listening to the talk about it, in person and on Facebook, and I’m so very happy that you’ve been loving it even more than I. A book tour is a strange thing. Airports are diabolical in their ability to play on the nerves, airline apps that work fine one day turn their backs the next. E-boarding passes vanish. One scuffles onto and off of planes, sometimes on the same day–yesterday I landed in Austin at one, did an event for Book People at two, and got back on a plane at five, leaving my poor brain to wonder…What just happened there?
Even stranger is what it does to the self. Fifty weeks a year, I sit in my study and push words around on paper and screen, muttering snippets of dialogue under my breath, breaking off to make a cup of tea or greet the UPS lady in the driveway. I cook dinner, unload the dishwasher, do the laundry, tell myself I really need to mop the floor. Groceries need buying, packages need mailing at the post office, and grandsons demand complicated structures involving pvc pipe and golf balls on the deck.

Then I come on tour, and I’m a god. Beautiful and intelligent young women stand before me with shaking hands and halting tongues, trying to express how much it means to them that I deign to speak my gracious words in their direction. Lawyers and teachers break into smiles and say that they’ve been taking joy in my work since The Beekeeper’s Apprentice came into their hands twenty years before. People at the end of the line bend to unload a vast stack of clearly read and loved books that have been awaiting my signature since the collection began many years before.

And they leave with The Murder of Mary Russell treasured in both hands, as if I’ve given them a gift rather than made them spend $28 for a few hours’ reading.

And all that? It makes the airport hassles vanish in the past.


  1. Teresra Pitman on April 11, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Your books ARE a gift!

  2. Deborah on April 11, 2016 at 8:35 am

    So glad you feel the tour is worth it. Mostly, though, keep writing your wonderful books!

  3. chris on April 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

    What a lovely (and gracious) post!


  4. Diane on April 11, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Your books are a wonderful escape into another world. I am in awe of you and other writers who create other worlds peopled with fantastic characters and plots. You and other writers deserve the adulation of your readers, many of us living “regular, humdrum” lives. We treasure our books and the adventures on which they take us. I wish for you, and my other favorite writers, longevity and productivity, as well as continue good health.

    • Deanne on April 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Very well put.

  5. Merrily Taylor on April 11, 2016 at 10:04 am

    And sometimes when people first meet you, they shriek like a teenager casting eyes on Johnny Depp. Of course I wouldn’t know that from personal experience…
    Seriously, you are every bit as wonderful as your fans think you are!

    • Sabrina Flynn on April 11, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Gosh… who would EVER do that, Merrily? 😉

  6. Pat Hathaway on April 11, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Sounds amazing. You deserve every minute of it. Enjoy yourself.

  7. Sabrina Flynn on April 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

    The first time I went to one of your book events, when I saw you, I kept staring at your head and thinking… ‘Russell and Holmes live in there!’ The shock has worn off, but it’s always great fun to attend your book events and talk with you. I’m so happy that you share such wonderful characters with the rest of us!

  8. Sally Hutsell on April 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I spent Saturday, a gloriously rainy day in California, devouring The Murder of Mary Russel and ended the day with tears in my eyes at another wonderful story. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent with us.

  9. Carissa on April 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    What a charming post. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you in Denver last Friday and am now eager to start reading your books, although I may start with the Kate Martinelli series since a friend of mine highly recommends it.

  10. Barbara A. Cullom on April 11, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Ms. King, You need household help. Not daily or perhaps weekly, but every 2 weeks or so. If you need to salve your conscience, donate an equal amount to a women’s charity. Teach the grand kids to dust, or at least pick up all books from furniture or floors. Sort kids’ books, adult reading, magazines, reference books. You can put them away in alphabetical order or however you look for them. You need the regular attention of a Ms. Hudson.

    • Helen Martin on April 23, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      I am sure there are a number of us who would cheerfully volunteer on a rotational basis … but you would lose your privacy. Still, there is a definite need there.

  11. Shellie on April 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I finished the novel last night and I am all smiles. Surprises galore–I loved the ending. Thank you so much for this Dickensian thread-weaving, full-circle, completely satisfying experience. Can’t wait to see how you will handle this with your next book, so I hope the dialogue you are whispering at home is for the next Mary Russell novel!!

  12. Andy Scheer on April 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    As one who stood at the end of the line with nine books, I extend my thanks for the time at the Tattered Cover Friday.

  13. Nora on April 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Even with the very best intentions, including yard work and company, I still managed to get through it in only 3 days! Wanted it to last longer, but couldn’t put it down for long! It was wonderful! And just to say, it made it even more interesting to reread Doyle’s “Gloria Scott” just about the same time someone else picks up the book to read it. It really brings the story home. All of your research sure paid off too – felt like I was really there – but very glad it wasn’t in person!! I’m sure the tours are hectic and tiring, but, Laurie, you deserve all the praise you’re getting and more! Keep up the good work and we’ll keep reading!

  14. Carolyn Fetsko on April 12, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    That was a lovely post and well written. You might consider becoming an author

  15. Meredith Taylor on April 14, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Dear Laurie,

    Even after a person recovers from which I term “fan idiocy” (moi?), you and the work remain, brightening our days. A book this good is such a gift.

    Thanks again for hitting the road, and signing all our treasures.

  16. Janis Kiehl Harrison on April 15, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Yes, you need a Ms Hudson or a Mr Higgins (twice weekly?) especially when the writing fit is upon you. I think it would be a reasonable expenditure.

    Just finished Murder of Mary Russell: My word!

  17. Kristin Lazewski on April 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Laurie- I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you being your “hostess” during your visit to Indianapolis and the Christamore House Guild Book and Author luncheon this week. It was a pleasure to “pick your brain” a bit and I hope to hear you speak again someday. Until then, I’ve got many more Russels to read! – Kristin

    • Laurie King on April 19, 2016 at 7:41 am

      Hi Kristin, thanks so much for your time and energies in Indy, what a fabulous event you have there, and thanks for making me a part of it!

  18. Helen Martin on April 23, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Is there any chance you might come to Canada? I know it is complicated but there are quite a number of us up here. Perhaps as part of next year’s Writers and Readers Festival in October. Should the organizers contact your publisher?

    • Laurie King on April 24, 2016 at 6:41 am

      I may be in Toronto for BoucherCon, October 2017.

  19. Julie Hermes on May 1, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I so enjoyed The Murder of Mary Russell, though I most certainly would not enjoy the murder of Mary Russell. I just want to say thank you so much for continuing to give us these stories. You are a treasure.

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