Louise Penny country

This week we’re in Montreal, Quebec – in Louise Penny country.IMG_0966

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We are staying in the Old Port of Montreal, which I understand is the original town. The streets are narrow and the buildings are only four or five storeys high, like in European cities.

 

Spring hasn’t arrived in Canada yet. The trees, apart from the evergreen firs, are still in their winter state of bare sticks. There is still snow near the summit of Mont Real.

It’s a far cry from New York City. There’s hardly anybody on the streets. Maybe that’s because you can also walk around sections of downtown without going outside.

Montreal is an easy place to walk around, and there are plenty of good restaurants in the Old Port part of town and lots of places to eat downtown.

I haven’t spotted Inspector Gamache walking about town but, then again, I haven’t seen any other policemen walking about town either. Something else very different to New York City, where you can’t go outside in Manhattan without seeing someone in a NYPD uniform.

Perhaps that tells us something about Canada.


IMG_0156Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, and Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic. He has also published colouring books and journals under the Sharing the Journey banner.

How do you survive a long flight?

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OpenClipArt.Org

When you live in Australia, flying anywhere is a long flight. Take my recent trip to New York, for example. It started with a two hour flight from Adelaide to Sydney. By the time I arrived in New York, strangely on the same day I left Adelaide, I had spent another nineteen hours in the sky, inside a metal tube with several hundred other people. Fortunately, they let us out to stretch our legs and chat with the Border Protection people in Los Angeles, before the final four and a half hour flight to the Big Apple.

It’s a long time to be sitting in the one chair, especially if, like me, you travel in ‘cattle class’. So how do you fill in those hours?

On this last trip I basically did four things. I read The Long Way Home by Louise Penny ( I like the way she tells her stories); I listened to relaxation and meditation music (I use noise cancelling headphones ,otherwise all you hear is aeroplane noise); I snoozed and maybe I got a couple of hours of sleep (who knows? I find it almost impossible to sleep in the upright position); and I got up and walked around to stretch my legs and use the facilities.

What do you do to get through a long flight without going stir crazy?

 

Tribes – which one are you in?

Stylized_MasaiWhen we first started roaming the planet we did it in small groups or tribes. In the traditional sense of the word, a tribe is a related group of people with some sort of kinship or other social bond. Tribes were about belonging, and in many senses they still are. Think football fans, for example. They even get dressed up in their team’s colors to hang out at games together.

Recently, for obvious reasons, I’ve been studying marketing and self-promotion, something authors have to do for themselves these days, and I’ve come across the word tribe used in a different context.

According to the marketing gurus, you need to identity your tribe so that you can tailor your marketing message to the right group of people.

This is an interesting use of the word. No kinship in this context but maybe there is a sense of social bonding. What you are looking for is the group of people who are interested in whatever it is you are marketing or promoting.

I guess the message is that only a small cross-section of the population is going to be interested in whatever you are promoting, so don’t waste your efforts with the ones that aren’t.

So, who is my tribe?

Maybe I should have specialised. I’m writing in three genres or categories:

  • Mystery and detective
  • Non-fiction
  • Body, mind and spirit

Maybe that simply means I have three tribes to connect with.

The Inspector West series, with it’s focus on relationships within the framework of a crime story, will appeal to a particular type of reader. We’re talking about the tribe that likes murder mysteries and intrigue, and seeing how other people deal with those things, and how the detective works toward solving the crime. Maybe the same readers who enjoy books by Louise Penny or Peter James. Definitely not the readers who can’t wait for the next Jack Reacher book.

The Living Alone series has a fairly easily defined tribe: those guys who find themselves somewhat adrift at the end of a long term relationship – but the books in that series, especially Cooking4One, could also appeal to someone leaving home and going it alone for the first time. Or maybe their mothers.

As a reader of this blog, there is a fair chance you belong to the body, mind and spirit tribe that is looking for inspiration or encouragement to continue the journey of personal growth and discovery. Sharing the Journey is coming for you.

There is one other tribe, according to the gurus, that will love anything and everything I write, and will happily and enthusiastically share it with their friends. That sounds like the tribe every author would love to be surrounded by.

Do you belong to any of these tribes?

Which one?

Do you know someone who would benefit by being a member of any or all of these tribes?

Why not share this with them?

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

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