Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's Dan's fault

I have to apologize for posting so late on this Thursday.  It's not my fault at all.  It's Dan's!

I had planned  - now I am back from three weeks intense research in the Botswana bush - to talk about deep issues such as how Botswana managed to have a black man as its first president (Seretse Khama), who had a white wife; or how his son - educated at the military Sandhurst in England - is now president, and is showing signs of being very authoritarian - for good and bad.

I had also contemplated a blog about my favourite religion - teleological agnosticism.  But realised I probably couldn't do it justice in my current state.

The problem lies in the fact I have just managed to return to the lovely cottage Michael and I are staying at in Marlow, England.  It's just near Henley on the Thames.  Driving back from High Wycombe, where the train from London let us off, was a circuitous adventure, causing us to visit parts heretofore unknown.  It is late - midnight - and  am not as sharp as I would normally like to think myself.  So my planned blogs have slipped by the wayside.

And all because of Dan.

You see, today was quite a day.  First we discovered by accident that we were totally wrong in believing that the UK ebook edition of DEATH OF THE MANTIS was coming out on Monday in the UK.  We were also wrong in believing that the trade paperback of DEATH OF THE MANTIS was going to be released on Monday in the rest of the world other than North America.  To our pleasant surprise, we found out that it was released today.  So we had to celebrate.  And who better with than Dan.

London's Big Eye
Why Dan?

Because we are in London.

And, second, because Michael was going to make a ceremonious presentation of a signed copy of DEATH OF THE MANTIS to Dan because he won Michael's aphorism contest a few weeks ago.

Aphorism winner Dan with contest host Michael
Dan met us at a local pub near Marylebone Station, where Michael, with due ceremony, handed over the coveted prize.  After a pint or two, we adjourned across the road to a wonderful, in-vogue restaurant called Vinoteque or something similar, where we enjoyed remarkably fine food, paired with excellent wines.

And talked about books, publishers, and agents.  And savoured the wines.

And eventually, after several missed turns in the narrow, overgrown lanes of Buckinghamshire, Michael and I returned to my friends' cottage at around midnight.  Which was not a good time to think about teleological agnosticism.

So I have to disappoint you yet again with another missed opportunity for deep discussion.

But that is the way it is.

On the other hand, two articles appeared this week, that chuffed us.  You can read an article on African crime writers that appeared in Publishers Weekly by going to  Also the Big Thrill talked about how we and wonderful South African author Jassy MacKenzie build our books on contemporary social issues.  DEATH OF THE MANTIS deals with the fascinating issues surrounding the Bushmen in Botswana.

Thanks, Dan, for a terrific evening.  Excellent food, delicious wine, and fine company.  How good can it get?

Shtan - Thursday - or maybe Friday morning - very early


  1. Shtan? Shurely shome mishtake? Actually, I do feel a wee bit liverish this morning.

    Excellent evening chaps, and the astraying was entirely led by both of you.

    Good luck with the rest of the tour, the panel at B'con (which I'm gutted to miss out on )and I can't wait to devour the book as greedily as we tackled those bavette steaks!!

  2. Of course it's Dan's fault. Since he can't make it to Bouchercon we get to blame everything on him:).

    We should only hope to have as much fun as you guys did.


  3. Well, I for one am glad to know that Dan won't be a bad influence on us at Bouchercon, and I'm certain that we'll all behave in his absence.

    Awww, come on, Dan. It won't be as much fun without you.

  4. Food, wine and good company everywhere you go. Stan, you are a lucky man! Debbie