Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Friday morning I flew to Phoenix, Arizona, for Poisoned Pen's June 2011 Conference (that's the pool of the Arizona Biltmore, site of the conference, above). This was my first visit to Poisoned Pen, a fact for which I was gently chided by Barbara Peters, the famous bookstore's impressive owner. And I can honestly say she's right, I should have made the trek out there long ago, because I had a fantastic time. Both my Friday afternoon panel (with Laurie R King, Peter Lovesey, Lauren Willig, Patricia Wynn, and Dana Stavenow) and Saturday morning's presentation (with Patricia Wynn) were loads of fun; I met lots of enthusiastic readers, aspiring writers, and published authors, and was really, really sorry I had to leave early.
I took my camera, but of course I never used it, except to snap this shot of British author Peter Lovesey singing a hilarious ditty about mystery books to the tune of an old Irish drinking song (yes, I recognized it, Peter). Unfortunately, this is one case where a picture is definitely not worth a thousand words, because the words and delivery were priceless.
Then, Saturday night, I flew back to New Orleans in time to participate in a mystery and thriller panel with S. J. Watson, Erica Spindler, and Cammie McGovern on Sunday morning at the American Library Association Conference. I took along Steve, who is better about remembering to take photos than I am. (Note to self: do NOT drink a giant latte in an attempt to stay awake for an evening flight if you want to go to sleep that night and avoid looking like you've been on a three-week bender the next day.)
I signed books both after the panel and then again Sunday afternoon at the Penguin booth. All told, I signed something like 300 books, which was quite amazing. Yes, Penguin was giving the books away, but the recipients could simply have taken their free books and walked off without waiting in line to meet me, so the entire experience was quite humbling. Thanks to everyone who came; it truly was a pleasure to meet you!