A blog by crime author Mike Craven has inspired me. He writes of his hilarious adventure attending a banquet honoring those short-listed for a crime-writing book award in London. I too am waiting with bated breath to discover whether my novel MOTHER TONGUE will make the short list for the American Library in Paris Book Award for 2015. The news will be released in July. Although the prize is $5000 and a trip to Paris in October to collect it, there is also a chance that runners up will be asked to do readings at the Library.
So here’s the dilemma. Do I sell one of more of my grandchildren to pay my way should I not win but be invited to do that reading on my own dime? After all, I was invited to submit by the award’s administrator who thought my novel fit right into their rubric of a book written in English about France or the French-American connection. I’ll even admit for a fraction of a second the truth that Corsica is merely a department of France, even though my entire novel is chock full of Corsican separatists who are trying to prove that that particular truth isn’t so by blowing up the Hôtel de Ville in Bordeaux, assassinating each other, and romancing, then terrorizing an American child advocate attorney who is desperately trying to find her missing Liberation (Paris’ radical newspaper) colleague and his young son.
Do they serve wine in libraries, or more properly bibliothèques, in France? Perhaps not…it is an American library. Would a chance to visit my favorite Paris haunts make the expenditures worth it? Would I find consolation sitting under the turquoise awning of Les Deax Magots in the company of the ghosts of Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Ernest Hemingway? Only time will tell.