I went, I saw, and I did my level best to conquer.
The thing that always strikes me about New York City is the overwhelming size of the place. It's noisy, it's vast and it seems to move in a state of perpetual fast-forward.
For a humble lad from Sydney-via-Paris, it's all slightly overwhelming. So it was that I fronted up to Idlewild bookstore in Manhattan last Thursday night for the US launch of A Town Like Paris with a hulking great knot in my stomach.
A few glasses of Thompson Estate Chardonnay (note gratuitous plug for friend's delicious Western Australian white wine) managed to take the edge off sufficiently that I was finally able to stand up before the 100-strong crowd, make a short speech and read from the book.
Thank you to everyone who waded through the New York humidity to join the festivities - and thank you, especially, for the lively Q&A session that followed the book reading. Some of you had really done your homework, quoting back at me entire passages from the book. If I looked momentarily taken aback, it was simply because some of you appeared to know my book better than me. Impressive work people.