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Lithia Park, Ashland, OR

I’m back in my office after a week in Ashland (southwestern Oregon), home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The photo is Lithia Park in the center of town.

Geoffrey Riley got my week off to a great start with a wide-ranging interview on the Jefferson Exchange, a morning show on Jefferson Public Radio, a service of Southern Oregon University. Listen here! He is the sort of interviewer every writer dreams of, so well prepared.

reading-at-bloomsbury-booksAt the Ashland Public Library later that day I talked about the historic Richard II, prelude to an evening performance of Shakespeare’s Richard II. Christopher Liam Moore’s Richard, though at odds with my own impression of the man, was riveting. Here’s a quote from a review in the Ashland Daily Tidings: “Mr. Moore presents a bewildered and snotty little Richard; a spoiled princeling not nearly ready for prime time. Decked out in assorted hilariously inappropriate outfits (a jester-like crown that doesn’t quite fit the head, a pair of pretentious leopard-print shoes) and seated on a leather Chesterfield throne that is a conspicuous nod to the absurdities of the London gentleman’s club, Moore’s Richard is less a king and more a spoiled and isolated product of the grandiose bubble in which he lives. He makes horrible decisions. He rages against his few remaining loyalists. He irritates, alienates, and discreetly obliterates every sympathetic éminence grise within a 200-mile radius.” I agree. What they don’t mention is his sardonic presentation of the tragic monologue at the beginning of V.v. It will be a while before I can read it with the pathos I usually find in it–his biting, scornful tone is still in my head. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

nightingales-book-clubOn Thursday, I spent the afternoon with members of a book club that meets at Nightingales Inn. They had read The Apothecary Rose and many had also caught my Tuesday morning interview, so they didn’t limit their questions to Owen Archer and Lucie Wilton but were very curious about Kate Clifford. Here we are on the porch afterward.

describing-at-bloomsbury-booksNightingales Inn also hosts a literary salon on Thursday evenings, and afterward a group walked me up to Bloomsbury Books for my evening reading  and talk about my new sleuth Kate Clifford, introduced in The Service of the Dead. Ashland is such a wonderfully literary town.

Huge thanks to my friend Sharan Newman for her hospitality and bloomsbury-books-audiencewonderful cooking, as well as not only setting up all the book events, but also scoring tickets to the sold-out Richard II and to The Winter’s Tale in the outdoor theater (magical).

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