So close now! I’ve been immersed, submerged, totally enclosed in the world of the next novel (two-thirds written, but no title yet) – and, out in big, wide, ordinary reality, the Paris trip has snuck up on me.

Time to re-orient the mind, because this is going to be so-o-o exciting! My French publisher, Hélium, is flying me over – and anyone in the book business will know how rare that is unless you’re Michael Connelly status. Normally, the publisher looks after all the expenses within a country, but not the airfare for getting there and back. I’m being flown over specifically for the Montreuil Book Fair, which is a huge event for children’s/YA fiction … and I’ll be doing signings, bookshop visits and meeting up with fans outside of the Fair too.

Am I lucky or what? Two weeks in Paris, and an apartment not far from the Place de la République. Aileen will be coming with me, and we’ll have free time for looking around, wining and dining, living the good life. Yay!

I’m specially looking forward to meeting French fans. I seem to have some very committed fans there (and one really committed fan can eventually be worth a hundred, a thousand readers). I’m practicing my French so that I can do readings and give a talk in French. I lived in Paris for three months long, long ago – in the Quartier Latin, selling New York Herald Tribunes to American tourists and distributing flyers for a parfumerie. So my French is really quite good, only it’s deeply buried and needs dragging out into the light.

Here’s the team at Hélium, when we had lunch at a restaurant last time I was in Paris – and earlier, the cover of Le Liberator, which has been getting some great French reviews –

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