Sunday, April 24, 2005

Festival of Books - Mystery Dawg Edition!

Here is my report from Saturday's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I had a great time and managed not to get sunburned after 8 hours of walking around the UCLA campus. I had a great time meeting up with old friends and making a few new ones. So, without further what ever.....

The only fitting way to start the day is to have a healthy breakfast at the Mystery Bookstore table. As you can see brothers and authors Tod and Lee Goldberg have a tasty snack.

Next I walked over to Bookem' Mystery's tent. I ran into Gary Phillips there, but more later...

Then down to the far end of the walkway. past all the food tents, to San Diego's own Mysterous Galaxy.

I then made my way back after running into Robert Crais, to the Boarder's Tent to speak with hot new novelist Peter Craig (on the right). Grab a copy of Blood Father to see what I'm talking about.

I then meandered across the aile to the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime. Sitting on the right is Paula Woods, then Barbara Seranella and Denise Hamilton is standing.

Denise is in the process of explaining something important, but after not having breakfast, my brain was on awe mood for most of the morning.

This pic speaks for itself. This was home base for most of the day.

Here is Lee Goldberg and Scott Frost who are talking to Harley Kozak

Seat here is Brad Geagly and Tod Goldberg.

At the request of Lee....Tod, Lee and Harley. Yes, Lee, I will send you a copy!

Here is Craig Johnson (THE COLD DISH) and Leslie Klinger (THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES: The Complete Short Stories)

Part 2

Continuing coverage....

Here is Patricia Smiley. I had a great time talking to her about her book.

Here is Naomi Hirahara. The key question.. What are you doing with Mas? Her new book is the Gasa Gasa Girl. High recommended.

Seat with Naomi is the talented Jerrilyn Farmer. Luau of Death is novel #7!

From left to right...Mark Haskel Smith, Tom Nolan and Edward Wright. Tom and I had a great conversation about two of his on Margaret Milnar and the other on Ross McDonald. Yes, Milnar and McDonald were married and great mystery writers. I recommend both of his books.

Here is David Wolstencroft (GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS) and Allan Folsom (THE EXILE) along with Mark Haskell Smith (DELICIOUS)

The prolific Stuart Woods. His new book is TWO-DOLLAR BILL.

LAFOB.. Part 3

My next stop was Dodd Hall to hear the panel called Not the Usual Suspects which was being moderated by Tod Goldberg. The place was packed and...

Here is Tod try to look cool and find his notes (or was it his cell phone) and not get too geeked out by having to sit next to LA Times Mystery Prize winner Kem Nunn.

Rounding out the panel was T. Jefferson Parker (CALIFORNIA GIRL), Roger Simon (DIRECTOR'S CUT) and Markos McPeek Villatoro (MINOS). I was allowed to ask the final question of the panel. This resulted in a verbal slap on the hand as to who was moderating the panel. Gee Tod, it was only a question!

After the panel it was my turn to talk to Mr. Nunn. Finally after missing him three times this year in trying to get my books signed, I got to meet the man. My only hope is that he doesn't take another 5 years to write his next book. Did you know that Pomona Queen was nominated for a Bram Stoker award? I though the book was sort of a mytery novel.

Later in the day I ran to one of my favorite women mystery writers Libby Hellmann. Libby was nice enough to give me a couple of chapters from her new book. Thanks. What a tease, now I have to wonder what happens next.

I then ran into Bill Fitzhugh. We talked about his new book (HIGHWAY 61 RESURFACED), my 5000+ record collection, how he would be glad to take it off my hands and store it for me at his house and how I could have unlimited visiting privileges. He also told me about his new show on XM radio.

Robert Levinson (ASK A DEAD MAN) is totally blown away by.... hell I don't know. That's John Morgan Wilson (MOTH AND FLAME ) sitting calmly. I guess he must be use to Bob.

LAFOB..Part 4

Ok, yes there is more.....

Seated on the right at the Los Angeles Chapter of MWA is Mike Lester. Mike wrote a great book called An Occassional Dream for UglyTown. On Saturday, he handed in the new book to the Ugly Gents for publication early next year. I'm looking forward to this one....

Over at the Book Soup tent I ran into Steve Almond )THE EVIL B.B. CHOW). I loved Candy Freak and bought a signed copy for the collection. Sarah, Steve says HI!
Toni Bentley is to the left.

To Steve's left is Rob Roberge (MORE THAN THEY COULD CHEW). I loved this book and have reread sections of it because it is that good. Rob was impressed too.

Back to Mysterous Galaxy and P. J. Tracy. Yes, the mother/daughter writing team. I can never remember which one is which, so you tell me.

This is the banner sign for the festival, in case you were wondering....

...and a look from the top of the Janss stairs down to the booths below....

LAFOB.. Part 5

Yeah, yeah, yeah.....I still have more.....

At the bottom of the Janss stairs, one of the best small independent mystery publishers...UglyTown

And as you might expect, here are the two geniuses who run UglyTown.. UglyTom (Tom Fassbender) and UglyJim (Jim Pascoe). Jim and I traded barbs regarding his website...Just so you know Jim, I love it!

I trudged back up the stairs for one of my favorites Jim Fusilli (HARD, HARD CITY). We had a chance to catch up and talk bout his new book about the Beach Boys called PET SOUNDS. Jim was amazed at how many people at the festival had this particular book where as in New York only 0.5 people bought the book. Jim, ah could it be, that it's because the Beach Boys are from this area?

Contrary to the rumor, Gregg Hurwitz, big-time san Francisco Giant fan, did not break his arm at Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. The truth is soccer did him in. Gregg, talk to Lee Goldberg on the art of editting while in a cast. Gregg has a new book out in the fall called THE TROUBLE SHOOTER.

While Tod proclaimed that he would be hanging out here, I did. This is the lovely Gaida de Laurentiis of the popular Food Network show EVERYDAY Italian. She is more beautiful in person. Tina was not with me, so I snuck over, bought a book and got this great pic.

Driver/Escort to the writers here in Los Angeles Ken Wilson is getting directions from Jeff Parker.

Festival of Books - The Ending

Yes, this is it. I promise.

I kept running into Gary Phillips all day long. Finally, I found him behind a table at Mysterious Galaxy. Here is Gary's latest book, THE COCAINE CHRONICLES. Gary, Kasey and I got into a long discussion on the lost art of setting type, burning plates, proofing pages by hand and the new technology of publishing .pdf files.

I waited all day to catch up with good friend Scott Phillips. Book 4 is done, and we are now eagerly awaiting the movie of the ICE HARVEST which will be out around November. I was supposed to go to dinner tonight (Sunday) with Scott, Vic Gischler, and Scott Montgomery, but had to beg out at the last minute. Guys email or call me to tell me what I missed. Scott, the next one is on me. Deal?

Over the winter holidays, Scott wrote me and told me I needed to check out this great manuscript that he had read by a new author Theresa Schwegel (seated) called OFFICER DOWN. Theresa told me the ARC is in the mail!

and finally....
It was with extreme excitement that I had the opportunity to share a few minutes with Alexander McCall Smith. (psst, Sarah, he says hi!)

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