I’ve been missing in action the last few weeks because I went to Paris.
Oh, an International tour for his new novel, “My Grave Is Deep,” you’re probably thinking. A book signing at the base of the Eiffel Tower. A reading at the Louvre.
The only tour I’ve done for “My Grave Is Deep” is around my living room. I have managed to sell several books to my housemate, but she loves me and feels obligated.
I’m not certain she’s actually read the novel, but she does use the books as paperweights, so there’s that.
My mother prefers James Patterson’s books, or at least the books James Patterson puts his name on and others write.
My sister fears she would learn something about her big brother she’d prefer not to know, so she avoids them like a bunny rabbit avoids a hungry raptor.
My son … my son hasn’t read a book since “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” Come to think about it, it was me who read it to him, so …
My cousins have read them. I think. I know one branch of my family bought my first book and passed it around, thus denying me significant royalties.
Anyway, Paris. It was a vacation. On a Viking river cruise. Which I highly recommend by the way. Great food. Great boat. Great staff.
Discovered a few things while I was there.
One, the French don’t hate Americans. They hate everybody.
Two, there’s about a thousand Notre Dame cathedrals throughout France. The fire that consumed Notre Dame in Paris was devastating, but there are plenty of others to look to, including Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, which is bigger and older than its Parisian brother. It took 500 years to build the church in Rouen. Richard the Lionheart is buried there. Or, at least, his heart is. His bones are over there in Anjou and his entrails over there in Chalus, where he died. Who knew?
Three, there’s something very wrong about crowding in to see da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and then turning your back to it so you can take a selfie that shows nothing but your big fat idiot head and a tiny corner of the most FAMOUS FREAKING PAINTING IN THE WORLD!!! What is wrong with you people?
Four, it was good to be the king. Or queen. Or emperor. The house where Napoleon and Josephine lived in wedded bliss until the bliss was gone and they divorced is a city block long, three stories high and has more paintings of Jo and Nap that you can count on your fingers and toes. One room had six portraits of Jo-Jo, none of which were a selfie by the way.
Five, people on a river cruise really don’t like it when you open your coat and pull out a copy of your novel and ask if they’d like to buy it.
Buy it, not read it. Can’t even get my family to do that.