Friday, June 24, 2011


Last Saturday I spent the afternoon in Montreal selling my book, Havana Harvest, at the Chapters store on St. Catherine Street. On Sunday I headed for the Indigo store on McGill College Avenue to do the same thing.

I met some amazing people and had a great time.

When I saw the guy with the black Fedora I accosted him and asked where he got the hat. We started a conversation in English and he told me he was from Haifa, Israel. “But where from originally?” I asked. “From Hungary.”

“So why don’t we speak in Hungarian?” I asked in Hungarian.

He cracked up. “We’re everywhere, aren’t we?”

Needless to say, I made a sale.

Then I saw a couple coming toward me, holding hands. “How sweet…” I said and the man laughed. He turned out to be a TV Show producer at the Montreal studios of CTV and I promptly chatted him up.

He kindly volunteered to talk about me to some of the Channel’s production people both here and in Toronto – next day I found that he did.

Merci beaucoup.

Perhaps I’ll realize my dream: to be interviewed on TV by Mitsumi Takahashi and then, perhaps, to be invited onto the week-day Canada AM Show.

The next visit was with a lovely young lady from Mexico who bought a copy of my book for her Dad for Fathers’ Day. Here she is with her Mom and her sister.

My friend Pierro (originally from Rumania) and his lovely wife Debra dropped by to say hello and they brought along Ivan Smith who took all these terrific pictures.

My final sale was to a woman dressed in white. She, too, was there to buy a book for her Dad and he wrote to me next day to say “thank you”.

Guess what. He is also Hungarian.
Pretty cool mix of people overall, wouldn’t you say?

But nothing can beat the picture that shows me having dinner at the Bloody Words literary event in Victoria BC a couple of weeks ago with – I kid you not – a LION-TAMER.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

National Crime Writing Month

On Location with Robert Landori

A Good Memory is a Shortcut to Great Locations
I wrote my very first book on a dare, for a girl-friend whom I had indelicately criticised for reading trash. She had reposted with: “All right smart aleck, if you’re so intelligent why don’t you write me a book that’s better?

Within a year she was reading my first novel.

I hurried to finish the book because I had bet her a dinner that I could perform within twelve months. So I had to look for short-cuts and there was no time for researching “locations”. To solve this problem I delved into my memory banks and chose the venues I knew intimately: Montreal, the Laurentian Mountains, the hospital in which I had worked to earn money as an undergraduate at McGill, the countryside around the English public school I had attended, Georgetown near Washington etc…

I am a lucky man. My work has allowed me to travel far and wide, and to visit enough locations to “situate” at least ten novels.

Galindo’s Turn
(my first novel)
Before he became Robert Lonsdale his name was Bernard Lands.

He lived with his wife, Andrea, in a remote area in the Laurentian Mountains near Montreal. (Picture 1). Islamic terrorists, tipped off by a mole inside the CIA as to his real identity, attempted to assassinate him while he was cross-country skiing, but only managed to wound him.

He was treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital (Picture 2) where the assassins struck again, missed once more, but killed his wife.

Land fled to the Washington area and entered the CIA’s Employee Protection Program where they gave him a new name, a new face and a new identity. He became Robert Lonsdale an obscure analyst with the US Environmental Agency. He bought himself a condo in Georgetown (Picture 3) and started to work for the Agency’s super secret Counter-Terrorism and Counter Narcotics Division (Picture 5).

It took him a year to identify the mole who had betrayed him and whom he then hunted down and neutralized at Frensham Ponds in Surrey, England (Picture 4).

Robert Landori went to school in England, France, Switzerland and Hungary; of necessity he learned eight languages in the process. He completed his education at McGill University in Montreal, became a Chartered Accountant then traveled for over twenty years in the Caribbean and South America as an exporter‑importer, business consultant and trustee in bankruptcy.

Charged with espionage in Cuba, he spent sixty-six days in solitary confinement, and was eventually ‘let go’ without explanation. His experiences in prison prompted him to write his fifth book, Havana Harvest (a story about a Cuban general, condemned to death by the Castro regime).

His first book, GALINDO’S TURN, was the result of a challenge, twenty-five years ago, by a girlfriend to “write an intelligent book within a year”.

Shh... "The Agency’s super secret Counter-Terrorism and Counter Narcotics Division"