Sunday, November 19, 2006

From Hollywood to the New England Crime Bake

Lacrimebake 002As I mentioned in my last post, Donna Andrews and I started in San Diego, with a wonderful event at Mysterious Galaxy.  It was part of their celebration of Sisters in Crime’s twentieth anniversary, and a lot of local SinC’ers were there.  It was great to meet them and to see my friend Mary S. again—thanks for showing us such a great time, guys!  I’m still not sure eating all that Halloween candy was a good idea…blort…but the gummy eyeballs are now among my new favorites.

The next day Donna and I hit the train for Los Angeles.  That was a great way to see the Lacrimebake 006scenery, enjoy the sunshine, and not drive on the freeways.  We were met by our escort, Diana Faust, who did an amazing job of ferrying us to the coolest bookstores (like Book’Em, The Mystery Bookstore, the Westwood Borders, and others).  We also later hit Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks.  What was neat for me, apart from renewing my acquaintance with these folk, was seeing Sugarplums and Scandal out on the shelf for the first time.  When it wasn’t in the Mystery section, it was in Romance!  Yay!  Of course, that could because of the lure of the romance writers in the mix—Kerrelyn Sparks, Cait London, and Suzanne MacPherson —and the other wonderful mystery writers (Lori Avocato and Mary Lacrimebake 012Daheim), but as a writer, I’m delighted to think that I can try new things.

Then, the SinC Goes to Hollywood event began.  For some of the highlights, you should Lacrimebake 020check out the “Hollywood Minute” interview fellow Femme Fatale Toni Kelner and I did on our group blog (click on the link or go to www.femmesfatales.typepad.com  and scroll down a bit).  It was our chance to see behind the scenes of how movies are made, from the pitch to the soundstage.  For me, one of the highlights was seeing a screening of an episode of Dexter, and hearing the producers discuss it.  Not only was the Q&A excellent, but one of the producers, Drew Greenberg was also involved in some of my favorite TV shows:  Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly.  Right, see Toni, Donna, and me at the Writers Guild West. 

Bandnpeabody2006 001I got home just in time to—say it with me—do laundry and repack my suitcase.  I headed out to the New England Crime Bake.  For more details, check out my post to the Femmes Fatales blog (www.femmesfatales.typepad.com  --“Crime Bake Update”).  Things got very exciting on Saturday night when the “Mystery Jeopardy” game took over after dinner.  Exciting, did I say?  Who’d imagine that a roomful of mystery readers and writers, people who spend all day being clever, would get so wound up about a game?  Or was that na├»¿½ve of me?  The competition was fierce, but I’m proud to say that our team, The Spawn of the Maltese Chicken (including Reed F. Coleman, Bill Cooper, Margery Flax, Toni Kelner, Steve Kelner, Karen Olson, Sarah Stewart Taylor, and myself)  took home the stuffed lobster.  No, it wasn’t a gourmet meal, but a stuffed toy.  Lobbie, to those of us in the know.  So you can see it was worth all the screaming, strategy, and tactics.  We’re already in training for next year.

Something disturbing to report:  Miss Lillian, Assassin of the Old West, made an appearance at Crime Bake.  FirLacrimebake 022st seen at Mayhem in the Midlands and Bouchercon Chicago, this deadly operative was seen in the skulking in the bar after “Jeopardy.”  Skilled in several languages and particularly fond of margaritas (and, apparently, bourbon), she should be treated with extreme caution.  Love the boots, Lillian!

And back in the real world…I’m off to Richmond, D.C., and Baltimore in a couple of weeks.  Until I see you there, I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!