Included in the crowd were many members of Anthony’s family. His partner, Herb, took photos through the evening. We met his mother Johanna who was in from the farm near Prudhomme. His sister, niece and grandniece also made the trip from Melfort.
Anthony and the restaurant staff had arranged free snacks including fruit to dip in the chocolate fountain, small tortillas, chips, guacamole, salsa, rice and beans. Everyone was offered a complimentary drink of either beer or dirty banana.
It was a wonderful, happy, vibrant atmosphere.
Anthony explained Dos Equis sees family and friends headed to
with Russell on this adventure. He read from the book about two friends, Anthony and Jarrod, accompanying Russell’s mother, Kay, on her first airplane flight. Kay does not fare well with airport security having thought the rules Russell carefully explained to her were only guidelines. She sparked so many warning lights she receives a full body pat down. She says she wished the young security officer had just given her a massage. The whole security line is brought to a halt as her carryon bag has a padlock and she cannot find the key. Once removed security is not happy that she was trying to take on to the plane a jar of borscht and a container of perogies. Mexico
The evening proceeded to a question and answer session.
Each book is set partly in
and partly in some distant location. Anthony said he sees the story develop and then puts it in a locale that works with the story. However, he continued that he was not following that path with the next book. During a month of travel in southeast Asia he had especially enjoyed Saskatoon and readers can expect to see the next book involve travel to that country. Vietnam
Anthony was asked how he came up with Russell Quant. He said over a decade ago he was a Chartered Accountant who wanted to become a writer. He was looking to come up with a distinctive character who would stand out in the crowded mystery world. Intending to follow the dictum of writing about what you know he wanted to set Russell in
. He wondered if there was enough crime for a P.I. in a city with less than a dozen murders a year. In the end, he made Russell’s home in Saskatoon . He gave Russell a love of travel and good food. As well Russell is a gay man who grew up in rural Saskatoon . What Anthony actually knew least about was a private investigator. Saskatchewan
On the evolution of the series he said that when he wrote the first book he had in mind plots for 4-5 more in the series. As he finished the last of the original ideas he realized that the characters had become so much a part of him that their voices directed him forward to new stories.
Anthony announced that he has created a new character, Don Saint, who will be featured in a book, When the Saints Go Marching In. Saint, a disaster recovery agent, will travel from
to calamities around the world. Saskatoon
The book signing lineup was so long Sharon and I went for supper next door. When we returned over an hour later the line had dwindled and we visited with Anthony and Herb for a few minutes. Anthony is a warm and witty man with a superb memory. He recalled our older son had written an essay on one of the Russell Quant books for a university English course on mysteries.
If you get a chance to attend an author event with Anthony it will be fun.
I can hardly wait to read the book.