Tuesday night finds me in rapt conversation with three other Ladies of Mystery, talking about how we use religion and theology in our crime fiction, and why. The panel will be podcast, and possibly videotaped (yes yes, I know they don’t use tape any more…) but if you’re anywhere in the vicinity, come and join us for a night of library splendor.
I write from the fabulous Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD, where readers devoted to the “traditional mystery”gather to share joys, appreciations, newly discovered passions, and glasses of various beverages. Malice
Domestic chose me as their 2013 Guest of Honor, the Silver Anniversary (25 years!) and an honor it is indeed.
I arrived yesterday by that most civilized form of transport, the train, and was delivered into the arms of friends. After drinks in the bar, dinner was a blast, combining fellow honorees Laura Lippman (she actually has to work–as toastmaster), Aaron Elkins, and Peter Robinson, plus Felix Francis (here both to celebrate his father and in his own right) and a baker’s dozen of the hearts, minds, and strong arms who organize this annual party.
Breakfast this morning with Friends of Laurie Alice, Merrily, Bill, and Meredith was just the beginning. And to show you what you’re missing in a more tangible sense, my excellent publishers donated book bags:
And now if you will pardon me, it’s time to get myself together for an event, this one when I try to come up with sensible replies to the questions of a professional questioner and good friend, Hank Ryan.
(under a previous cover, of course) which they broadcast, sold for a time in the shops, and then it sort of faded into the storied mists. Even I never got a copy of the thing. However, Rumour Reaches Me that the Beeb is dusting it off and giving it another airing. As I remember, it was rather fun, despite some minor flaws with the adaptation. The link is here, let me know if it doesn’t work for you.
And if you listen on Friday, let me know what you think of it.
In case you didn’t open your newsletter (you are signed up for the News, aren’t you?) you may not have seen two Events With Deadlines, both celebrating next week’s National Library Week.
There’s a complete set of five Martinelli hardbacks with your name on it–or rather, with my name on it, for you–if you interest me the most with your words or images or whatever about libraries. Yes, write, draw, photograph, video something on the theme:
If a Martian asked me what a library was, here’s what I would tell him.
Send me your piece before midnight, April 19, to email@example.com.
Event the Second: A rarity.
A one-of-a-kind, literally, book is up for auction on eBay, again until April 19:
A first edition, first state copy of A Grave Talent, once held in the hands, read by the eyes, and housed on the shelf of the fabulous Margaret Maron,
that she gave back to me to use for some Good Work. And here it is, a fundraiser for the California Center for the Book, whose entire purpose is to get people to read. I wrote it, she loved it, and it can not only be yours, it can benefit the world of books and libraries. Please, please up the bid: this is a beautiful book, signed by me and, if you like, Margaret. It is an even more beautiful cause, and I would love to raise a lot of money for the Center. The eBay page is here, I’d be so happy if you spread the word to anyone who might possibly be interested in any of the above.
On May 14, I will sit down with Zoe Ferraris, Sharan Newman, and Julia Spencer-Fleming to talk about Higher Mysteries. You do not want to miss this. It’s the 2013 King Lecture in Santa Cruz, at 7:00 in the main library at 224 Church Street. [Read more…]
Just to give you a head’s up: the spring newsletter is going out tomorrow, with some exciting snippets in it. If you’re not signed up yet, you can do so here.
More to come…
I’m participating in an event Thursday night for: “UnChained, a Canines Teaching Compassion Program that helps change the lives of kids and save the lives of dogs by matching at-risk youth and shelter dogs together.” It’s at one of my favorite bookstores, Capitola BookCafe–details here.
The third event of the recent Pacific Northwest Library Extravaganza was a soirée called Author! Author! at the gorgeous offices of architects Rice/Fergus/Miller in Bremerton. Over the Puget Sound area’s most tasty appetizers, thriller writer Kevin O’Brien and I talked books–
–and writing and drank some beer and talked and answered questions and… well, I may have been a little too distracted by the delicious smells wafting over from the buffet table to pay much attention to what we talked about, but I do know I, for one, had a great time.
This was the inaugural event in what is proposed to be a series of salons with, yes, an Author! and an Author! talking. Also eating and drinking and oh yes, signing books for others who love libraries, and eating and drinking and books. This was a fundraiser for the library, but it was also an example of the kind of thing that libraries can do, bringing writers from afar to talk to readers.
We love libraries.
Thank you, Jaime Forsyth, Jeannie Allen, Chapple Langemark, and all the great people involved with the Kitsap Regional Library, for making me so welcome.
If you’d like to see more pictures, the Facebook album of photos is here.
Okay, what is it with the libraries in Washington state? They are uniformly fabulous, with uniformly fabulous people in charge.
They even have amazing names! Take yesterday: I fly into SeaTac and am met by the coordinator of adult programming for Kitsap County, whose name is Chapple Langemack. We then go to lunch with the manager of one cluster of King County libraries, who glories in the name of Angelina Benedetti. Is that great or what?
These two ladies fed me the kind of lunch you want to take two hours over, but we didn’t, because I had an event. At the only library in the country (the world??) built over a river.
That’s right, the Renton library is built directly over the Cedar River, a gorgeous shallow stream that’s wall-to-wall spawning fish in salmon spawning season. Here’s Chapple and Angie in Angie’s office:
So I did a very nice event and University Books sold a bunch of books, and I said a whole lot of words there, but I can’t tell you what those words were because I kept thinking, “I’m standing over a river!” “You people are sitting over running water!”
And then I did a book event on a ferry.
As part of the 20th anniversary Laurie Loves Libraries extravaganza, I’m packing my bags for a Pacific Northwest Literary storm, due to hit WA tomorrow.
Surely you can make it to one of those?