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 me...at 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?