Last Saturday Dale and I had the privilege of attending an author talk with Louise Penny, the creator of the fabulous Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series. The event was hosted by Titcomb’s Bookshop and the Sandwich Public Library and held at Sandwich High School in a sold out auditorium of 1,000 people.
It was stupendous.
Louise Penny is charming and delightful and very funny. She described herself as a sloth, loving to lay about and do nothing, which I find to be pretty amazing considering she has now written 14 best selling books set in the idyllic (well, other than those murders that happen) community of Three Pines. She told stories about her childhood and her desire to be a writer because writers create magic, she told stories about her late husband Michael, and she told stories about her real life friends who inspired different characters in the series. It became very clear to me, while listening to her, that Armand Gamache (rhymes with mashed as in potatoes, by the way) is very much modeled after her husband. And the relationship between Armand and Reine-Marie sure seems to be infused with the love that was shared between Louise and Michael.
I think one of the truly beautiful things she said was about Three Pines, commenting on the fact that even though it’s fictional people want to visit it. Louise Penny said that Three Pines is really a state of being and that whenever we are kind to someone instead of cruel, whenever we reach out and make a connection with someone instead of turning away, whenever we act out of friendship and love, we are actually IN Three Pines.
Amazing, right? I was blown away.