Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tagging more Mystery Writers

Wow, it’s closing in on my posting day. Someone, please slow down the clock! Like Vicki, I’m on the road this week. Unlike Vicki, I haven’t been hassled by anyone scarier than United flight attendants, and who pays attention to them? Especially if the person in question is grumpy. That’s when headphones come in handy, even if the iPod is turned off.

The L.A. Times Festival of Books is an amazing event. This was my first time, and I’ll make plans to go again. The newspaper reported 156,000 attendees. The UCLA campus was clogged with book-lovers. Strollers, toddlers, teens, meandering adults, thousands upon thousands of readers. Poets, essayists, non-fiction, fiction, you name it. It was great.

Not being a big name, I didn’t have the lines that Mary Higgins Clark, or James Ellroy did, but I sold a lot of books. I think I broadened my readership, though there were actually people who came by because they’d already read one or two of my books. I was amazed, and hugely grateful.

I also had the delightful experience of being sandwiched between Stephen J. Cannell (known for The Rockford Files and other TV shows) and Baron Birtcher, another Hawai‘i mystery/suspense writer, while signing at the Mystery Bookstore booth. (another privilege) Baron has changed publishers and is doing very well, and Steve Cannell had people standing in the hot sun for an hour, most of them holding tall stacks of books. But the really nice part was that Steve and Baron were not only great company, they both bought my book. I bought theirs, too, naturally—but they’re FAMOUS, where as I’m, well, I’m what we call mid-list. But I digress… Steve Cannell shared a quick synopsis of his Three Act Structure lecture with me, which people had bought $100 tickets to hear. The lecture was sold out, too. I’ll share this on a later blog, if you’re interested.

When I left Los Angeles Monday, it was 102 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m now in Boston, where it’s about 40 and lashing rain. I forgot an umbrella, naturally. At least I get to see my college sophomore son, which is balm to a mother’s soul. Then I’m off to NYC Wednesday to give out the short story award for the Edgar’s. You’ll probably know the results to that about the same time I do, but I’ll file a report all the same.

Last but not least, to rise to Charles’s challenge, I saw Denise Hamilton at the LATFB and started her newest, A Prisoner of Memory. I’m tapping Judy Clemens, Karen Huffman, Libby Hellman , Nadja Gassert , and Michael Chapman. Page 123, count down to the 5th sentence, and type the next 3 sentences. Here goes:
“What’s genetic?”
What did Nicolai have to hide?
“You know.”

Hey, this is getting good! Gotta run.


NL Gassert said...

Thanks, Debby. That was fun. I posted "my" three sentences on my blog, I'm curious about the people I tagged. How many will answer?

Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

Hey Nadja,
I don't know, good question. As far as I know, the tag doesn't even specify where the taggee (??) needs to post the three sentences. Still, it's a fun idea.

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