Friday, April 30, 2010

On the Edgars and being a fangirl

I'm just back from New York City and the glamorous Edgar Award banquet last evening. It was a sequin-studded evening and everyone looked fabulous. Even Lee Child in his Land's End suit. Laura Lippman, the incoming Mystery Writers of America president, and outgoing president Lee Child were the masters of ceremony, and Laura was also stunning in her evening gown and amazingly gracious when she introduced me on stage.

Yes, I was on stage to present the Edgar statue to Mary Downing Hahn, winner of this year's Best Children's Edgar Award for CLOSED FOR THE SEASON. I was the chair of the Best Children's committee last year, and our committee read close to 100 kids' books. They ranged from picture books to chapter books, and one of the finalists was a graphic novel called CREEPY CRAWLY CRIME. Mary was so shocked to have won, but in a good way. After a year dedicated to judging this award, it was really wonderful to meet her and tell her how much we all absolutely loved her book.

For someone who is a book geek, seeing writers like Michael Connelly, SJ Rozan, Lee, Laura, and so many others in one place at one time is just so much fun. Although I admit something here: Michael Connelly intimidates me so much that I can't talk to him. I get tongue-tied around him. I have no idea why, especially since he blurbed DEAD OF THE DAY for me and I actually interviewed him for Romantic Times Magazine a couple years back. On the phone, I was fine with him. But in person, I just don't know why I turn into such a fangirl that I can't even gush. (I did gush with Sara Paretsky at the Shamus Award dinner at Bouchercon in October, and I think she was scared of me after because she sort of avoided least it seemed like it.)

Is there anyone who makes you feel too intimidated to speak to, someone whose work you admire so much but can't even imagine having a conversation with that person like he's, well, a real person?

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have to admit that this is the first time I'm going solo. On a blog, I mean. For the last four and a half years, I've been a part of the First Offenders with Jeff Shelby, Alison Gaylin, Lori Armstrong, and Anthony Neil Smith. We are all writers, and Jeff, Alison, Lori and I met at Bouchercon in Chicago in 2005 and decided we'd start blogging together. We were one of the first group blogs by mystery writers. But all things must come to an end, and we all have many other commitments. So we have decided to close up shop over at First Offenders.

Striking out on my own seemed logical, only because my website lacks a place where I can post breaking news, and without First Offenders, I could wallow in obscurity. Except, of course, for my Facebook page. But not everyone is on Facebook, even though it might seem like it.

So please come back occasionally and see what's here. I can't promise to blog every day—I do have a book to write—but I hope to generate some conversation at times. I hope you'll join in.