Only a few days now until THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VEGAS is released in the UK. Thinking about the book is bringing back loads of happy memories from the 3 trips to Sin City that helped me to get a feel for the place (and lose a modest sum at rapid roulette). Strange, in a way. Vegas has always fascinated me - on any rational scale, the city really shouldn't make sense, and it probably shouldn't have thrived in the way that it has. Gaudy, brash, sleazy? It's all of those things, and it's proud of them too. But give me a free holiday that I could take anywhere right now, and I'd head back in a heartbeat. We had so much fun when we were visiting. I had the best meal of my life in the ersatz St Mark's Square in The Venetian. I gritted my teeth through a musical, and ended up enjoying it. I swam outdoors in February - on the roof of a 10 storey building - and could have believed it was mid-summer. I watched the Bellagio fountains way too many times - first from a sidewalk, then later from a hotel room. I stayed in a modern Egyptian pyramid where the walls were so flimsy they shook when our neighbours sneezed. And I loved every minute of it.
That's one of the nice things about the Good Thief series for me. Even though a lot of the action in VEGAS takes place in 3 fictional hotels (the Fifty-Fifty - a 50s themed hotel, Space Station One - er, a space themed hotel, and the Atlantis-Las Vegas - a failing water-park cum hotel-casino) a lot of what Charlie says, sees or does are things I've done too (apart from breaking into a safe, or hiding in a closet while a tubby hooker seduces a drunk conventioneer, or stealing a small fortune in casino chips...)
It'll be interesting to hear what people think of the book, and the way the series is developing, but in the meantime, I'm really pleased to say that the US edition of VEGAS (due out in August) will feature a quote from the wonderful Megan Abbott, who very generously had this to say:
"With a nimble touch and effortless charm, The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas, the latest gem in Chris Ewan's sparkling series, carries us along on an utterly irresistible sin-city caper filled with high-stakes gambling, cunning stagecraft and a dizzying series of twists Ewan pulls off with the skills of a master illusionist."
Meanwhile, in anticipation of the MannSlaughter and Mayhem event taking place in Port Erin in the Isle of Man tomorrow evening, I'll be appearing on local radio station Manx Radio with Allan Guthrie and Stuart MacBride from approx 7.30pm this evening. Tune in if you get a chance...