Over the past few weeks I’ve realized that plenty of people don’t know that I have officially, one hundred percent moved to Austin. Mainly this happened at CrimeFest in Bristol. And at the Starbucks on the High Street in Cobham, England, where they nodded when I walked through the door, as though I hadn’t been gone for six months. But yes: I am officially a resident of the Lone Star State. I have a Texas driver’s license and say “y’all” without even thinking about it. I can even wear my cowboy boots unironically.
After living for so many years in the UK: Yes, I miss England terribly. Yes, I am fantastically happy to be back in the USA.
Yes, my Oklahoma relatives will have to cope with the fact that I’m living across the Red River in Longhorn country.
Posted in Life
Tagged Austin, Texas
The winter storm that snarled the southern half of the United States has passed through Austin. Here’s a photo of it, as it swept east. That dark slash across the sky extended halfway across North America.
I hope everybody’s digging out.
Here are a few of the beverages available in my corner grocery store in Austin. Black Metal and Witchmaker look especially enticing. Happy Sunday.
Friends from London visited Austin this weekend. The moment they stepped off the plane they began documenting their expedition to central Texas — photographing the giant painted guitars at the airport and the tiny Stetsons for sale to toddlers. The sights on the way into town surprised them.
“That’s the fourth piñata store we’ve passed,” they said.
Then they gasped. They had spotted one of the marvels of the North American continent. In awed tones they said, “IHOP.”
Above you see their reaction when their breakfast arrived.
But culture shock works both ways. Yesterday a local greeted them warmly, asking, “You’re from England?”
Yes, they said.
The Texan said: “I’ve really gotten into Game of Thrones. It’s fascinating to learn about your culture.”
Tomorrow The Shadow Tracer goes on sale in the USA. So for the next little while I’ll be talking about the book, both here and out in the world. I hope you don’t mind. If I don’t talk about the novel, my publisher will chase me down the freeway, firing at me with a potato cannon. I don’t want that to happen. They’re organized and tactically savvy. And they use raw potatoes.
So here’s what’s up for the next 36 hours.
Today, June 26th: I’ll be interviewed on KUT Radio, Austin’s public radio station. Folks in the area can tune their radios to 90.5 FM. Everybody else can listen online: Tune In KUT 90.5.
The interview will air at 4:44 p.m. Central Time. A longer interview will be available online afterwards at KUT.org.
Tomorrow, Thursday June 27th: I’m speaking at Austin’s amazing independent bookstore, Book People. 6th and Lamar, Thursday 7 p.m.
The bookstore’s review of the novel kindly calls The Shadow Tracer “The Summer Action You’ve Been Looking For.”
The pace and action are brilliantly executed with great set pieces, like the final confrontation at an airline graveyard. Gardiner also knows how to weave in humor so you don’t feel pummeled by a story that is so relentless. This could be the only edge of your seat thriller that has an Animal House reference.
This is Meg Gardiner at the top of her game. She gives us an incredibly competent and human heroine in constant danger, peeling the secrets away at a steady pace. DVR your favorite shows and forget about going to the movies. The Shadow Tracer gives us the summer action we crave.
If you’re in the neighborhood, come on down. If you can’t, order the book anyway.
Writers: Keep a camera handy. You never know when you’re going to run across something surprising and delightful — something you will want to remember, because you might use it in a story one day. It might be something you see from your car window as you drive down the street. It might be something that provides local color. It might be an unusual setting you could use. It might give you ideas for an action scene.
Or, as in the photo above, it might depict a miracle.
Yes: in the year 2013, that’s a pay phone.
It’s next to that glorious mosaic depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe. On the wall outside the East 1st Grocery, Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas.
The Shadow Tracer will be published in the US and Canada (yes, Canadians — did you hear that?) on June 27th. Here are the book events on tap for me right now:
The Shadow Tracer US publication launch
June 27, 2013
603 N Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78703
7 p.m. — It’s a book party. Come on down.
Houston: Murder by the Book
The Shadow Tracer: Author Talk
June 28th, 6:30 p.m.
Murder by the Book
2342 Bissonnet Houston, TX 77005
713-524-8597 / 888-424-2842
The Shadow Tracer: Author Talk
July 2nd, 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
6100 North May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Grand Hyatt, New York City
At ThrillerFest I’ll be the panel master for “BOXERS OR BRIEFS? Making Your Attorney Stand Out,” Saturday, July 13 from 9:30 am – 10:20 am. Panelists will be Linda Fairstein, Al Giannini, John Lescroart, John Sheldon, Andy Siegel, and Walter Walker. And if that bunch doesn’t make for a fantastic discussion, nothing will.
I’d love to see you at any of these events.
Because everything rocks in Austin, attorneys should too.
And here are a few legal cases in the news. Maybe one of these people could use a rockin’ lawyer.
8 Charged in $45 million High-Tech Heist. And two of the guys posed for a photo with $40,000 of the cash the authorities say they were laundering.
Florida Man Escapes Police, Is Mauled by Alligator.
And finally, courtesy of the mighty Kitsap Sun: Man angry at neighbors goes on bulldozer rampage in Washington State.