I attended the LA Times Book Awards tonight at UCLA and had a grand time (Robert Littell won the Mystery/Thriller prize for, as presenter Mary Higgins Clark put it, "the best book of 205 (sic)"). Denise Hamilton, who didn’t have her ticket, snuck in pretending to be my date. It was amazing to watch Denise effortlessly drift past the eagle-eyed ticket-taker as he scanned my single ticket with a bar-code reader…and then pretend to be so thoroughly engaged in conversation with me that the second line of attendants who were double-checking tickets didn’t catch her, either. No wonder she writes detective novels.
After the ceremony I attended the reception, where I had a chance to catch up with my friends Steve Cannell, Patricia Smiley, Walter Sattherwait, Dick Lochte (and his lovely wife), Tom Nolan, Terrill Lee Lankford (and his supermodel girlfriend Heidi), Jan Valerio (of Barnes & Noble), and Lita Weissman (of Borders), among many others. I also met legendary author James Crumley and made a whole bunch of new friends, including bloggers Mark Sarvas and Laila Lalami. Among the highlights was watching my shameless brother Tod chat up former LA Times Book Review editor Steve Wasserman, a man he regularly trashed on his blog. Tod has chutzpah, I will give him that.
Okay,time for bed. I need to get some rest for the book festival tomorrow!
1 thought on “Book Award Schmoozing”
I am glad you met Crumley. There is no occupant of a bar stool more affable and friendly. We in Livingston are trying to lure him here. He and his lovely Martha Elizabeth drive here periodically from Missoula, to enjoy a few happy hours at the Livingston Bar and Grille, which is just one block from the Murray Hotel, where they stay. The block can be navigated by any reasonably upright pedestrian, which is an important part of this story. No driving is necessary between mattress and watering hole.
The Murray was Sam Peckinpah’s home away from home. Sam occupied a top-floor suite and periodically shot holes in the ceiling. Betty Miller, the owner, promptly billed Peckinpah for repairs, and Peckinpah just as promptly paid the bills.
At any rate, Crumley has had more than enough of Missoula and we are courting him with booze and literary society. He sometimes brings a retinue of European TV people, filming yet another documentary about him. He is better known in France than here, but we hope to remedy that.