On the Road with Hilary Davidson

Award-winning author Hilary Davidson‘s second crime novel, The Next One to Fall, was released on Valentine’s Day to ecstatic reviews, such as the one from Publishers Weekly, which said, “Davidson’s exciting follow-up to her debut, 2010’s The Damage Done, takes travel journalist Lily Moore, who’s still reeling from her sister’s death in The Damage Done, to Peru…The rich history and geography of Peru add depth to an engrossing mystery that constantly keeps the reader guessing.” The book also received glowing notices from Jen’s Book Thoughts, The Maine Suspect, and Book Reviews by Elizabeth White, among many other publications.

Hilary has begun her World Domination Tour to promote it, and since she’s also a travel writer, I thought I’d ask her to do a travelogue. The idea was for me to text/tweet her at random times, asking her where she is, who she’s with, what she’s doing, etc., and have her take a candid snapshot at that moment to capture her experiences on the road. Not only did Hilary allow me to intrude upon her travels this way, she took the initiative and snapped photos for me even when I couldn’t reach her in pockets with bad cell/Internet reception.

Hilary’s back on the road today, with an event at Book Revue in Long Island, so I thought this would be a good time to present a glimpse of her life on tour. (Note: All times are local to Hilary’s locations.)

Hilary Davidson: When I checked into Houston’s Hotel ZaZa at midnight on Thursday night, there was some confusion. My first room was a themed room, known as the “Hard Times” room; this skull was on the wall. A few minutes after I got there, the front desk called up and said they had to move me; the people at the front desk were deeply upset at the thought of me being stuck in this room. I told them I was a crime writer, but they insisted on moving me to a swanky room with…

HD: George Clooney on the bathroom wall??? I liked the skull better, actually.

Pop Culture Nerd (Friday, Feb. 17, 2:42 p.m.): Hi Hilary, where are you right now?

HD: Grey Houston, pounded by rain. Wondering if anyone will show up at the event tonight!

PCN: I’m betting they’ll show. Everyone showing up wet will just make your signing more fun!

As I predicted, people did come, and Hilary had a surreal moment when she saw herself on Crimespree magazine’s cover for the first time at Murder by the Book.

Next up on Saturday was…

HD: BookPeople in Austin. Um, wow.

Then it’s on to…

HD: Austin’s Broken Spoke on Saturday night after my event, listening to a band called The Derailers.

It’s on to Scottsdale, AZ, but first…

HD: I love Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel—and here he is at the Austin airport!

PCN (Tues., Feb. 21, 3:38 p.m.): Where are you? What are you doing? Where were you last night at 11 p.m.?

HD: Right now I’m working on a Peru slideshow for the Poisoned Pen (yes, for tonight—eeep). Last night at 11? In my room, on phone with Dan! [This is] my suite at Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho.

PCN (Tues., Feb. 21, 9:16 p.m.): Where are you? Anyone you know show up at your signing?

HD (Tues., Feb. 21, 11:02 p.m.): Hey, I’m back! Tonight was AWESOME. Lots of friends turned out: Keith Rawson, Jason Duke, Lesa Holstine, Chantelle Aimee Osman, also my gluten-free friend Liisa Perry. Also huge crowd of strangers. Store had to get more chairs! Afterwards, Liisa & I went for dinner at a restaurant called Citizen Public House (that’s why I didn’t see your message until now). Oh, Rhys Bowen was there tonight, too! Very excited to meet her!

With Patrick, Keith, and Jason

PCN (Weds., Feb. 22, 9:09 a.m.): What are you eating/drinking/reading right now?

HD: Right now I’m packing because I have to check out of the hotel before my event at Lesa Holstine’s library!

PCN (Weds., Feb. 22, 1:22 p.m.): What are you doing to prepare for your appearance? [Her event was starting in about half an hour.]

HC: Hmm. I drove to the library with Lesa (I love her!). Does that count as event prep? Seriously, what do authors do to prep for an event?

PCN: Different things I’ve heard: have a drink, nap, go for a run/to the gym, put clothes on.

HD: Had dinner at the Hotel Valley Ho’s restaurant just before my flight home. “Table for one, please,” is never fun to say, but I had a great meal and the restaurant staff was terrific. Looking forward to going back!

Thank you so much, Hilary, for sharing your travels with us, and letting me bug you along the way. Readers, I hope you all have enjoyed being on the road with her. She’s doing it so she can meet you in person so check out Hilary’s upcoming events and go see her!



  • Reply
    February 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I like! Better hotels than I thought out there. Or perhaps I’m just a NY and L.A. snob? Could be.

    Hilary is a cutie. She looks like she has a lot of fun on the road. Not as familiar with her work as I should be. Will have to check her out.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Hopefully you can catch one of her upcoming events!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    What a fun post, thanks to you both! And as much as I love George, isn’t that a tad creepy? I’ll take the cool skull painting, too. (IRL it would be a completely different answer, however).

    Can’t wait til you hit our neck o’ the woods, H!


    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

      If George isn’t there for real, what’s the point of having him in your room?

      • Reply
        February 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

        Especially in the BATHROOM. Even fake George isn’t going to be hung in my BATHROOM.


  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 8:39 am


    (Oh, no one but you will get this, E, but I’m sure you can hear ME laughing all the way up here. Yes, I am easily amused. But this is why you love me).

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 29, 2012 at 11:23 am

      You just wanted to make it an even 20, did you? Congrats on being this month’s top loudmouth, er, commenter!

      • Reply
        February 29, 2012 at 11:52 am



        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          February 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

          Bored at work?

          • Reply
            February 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

            Small lull.


  • Reply
    Zac C
    February 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Hey, reddit recently discovered this room, did you notice anything particularly strange about it when you first entered?

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