Rhys on Wednesday with good news to report. The first draft of my new Molly book is complete. It's called The Last Illusion and it involves Houdini and a clever illusion (which I then had to explain!) I find illusionists fascinating, don't you? I now know how many of their tricks are done, but there are some that defy explanation. It's easy enough on television to make an elephant disappear because we only see what the camera wants us to. But I have been in theaters and watched a tiger disappear from a suspended cage. I watched an illusionist hypnotize a girl and then float her into mid air and prop her on a broom handle, where she remained, miraculously suspended. This was at a county fair, in broad daylight. No chance for trick lighting or even black curtains.
So when someone suggested that Molly might meet Houdini, I jumped at the challenge. A lot of his stuff was more escape than illusion but he was great at both. I particularly like the illusion in which he chews and swallows needles that have been previous stuck into his face by members of the audience. He then swallows thread, then coughs it up and draws from his mouth the thread with all ten needles threaded on it. He did this in an ordinary room at a gentlemen's club.
So Molly is going to face a real challenge, but what fun!
I'm off to Malice in the morning. By that I mean Malice Domestic, the mystery convention in Washington DC honoring the traditional novel, at which the Agatha Awards are presented. I'm nominated for best novel for Royal Pain, but with a fantastic slate: Anne Perry, Louise Penny, Julia Spencer Flemming and Donna Andrews, so I'm being realistic about my chances. It's interesting that three of the five write serious, multi-layered novels and two of us are nominated for light, funny books. It's great that the genre can honor both sides.
So please send positive vibes in my direction on Saturday! Either way I'll be having fun. It is great to mingle with ones friends and fans. I'm on a panel with the other nominees and then on another panel at which I appear as my character. I'll try to post photos next week!