These name-dropping blog entries from Toronto are beginning to read like my Mom’s old gossip column in the Contra Costa Times…
On Saturday, I woke up ridiculously early to speak at the Sisters in Crime breakfast benefitting Metro Toronto Literacy Project. About forty people turned up to see the Jewish Zombie tell anecdotes about writing book and TV shows. The highlight for me was being introduced by the chairwoman as “The Stimulator.” I’m not quite sure what she meant by that, but I wish my wife thought of me that way.
Sara Paretsky overslept, so I rambled on until she got there. She referred to me twice as “Lee Goldstein” (and once more, for posterity, in the book she signed for me)… but I was still very honored to share the stage with her. My agent Gina Maccoby, Diagnosis Murder superfan Krys, Bouchercon fan guest of honor Gary Warren Niebuhr, and blogger/author/recovering fanfic writer Jim Winter all showed up… which was above-and-beyond the call of duty.
Afterwards, I sat and chatted with Krys for a while, then spent the day yakking with authors and readers. I caught just one panel… “When Hollywood Calls,” which I didn’t enjoy much since there was only one guy who truly knew what he was talking about (writer/producer Michael Braverman) and another, who shall go nameless, who didn’t know anything… and gave advice that was just plain wrong (okay, and damn stupid, too). To avoid suffering a stroke, I finally had to raise my hand and, as politely as I could, correct some of that guy’s misinformation.
I had a very nice lunch with Ingrid Willis, an aspiring writer who won the charity auction to have a character named after her in my next Diagnosis Murder book. She’s just finished writing her first mystery novel and is busily shopping for an agent.
I went back to the hotel and took a nap, then returned for the Anthony Awards, which honored, among others, my good buddy Jeremiah Healy. Among the folks I chatted with before, during, and late into the night after the ceremony were… David Morrell (who I befriended years ago at the Men of Mystery), Leslie Silbert (who I signed with at last year’s Los Angeles Book Festival), Lisa Gardner, Dennis & Gayle Lynds, Bill Crider, Jim Fusilli, James O. Born, Ken Bruen, Robin Burcell (who walked away with another Anthony this year!), Sean Doolittle, Eddie Muller, Michael Collins, Edward Wright, Victor Gischler, Rhys Bowen (who won TWO Anthony’s this weekend!), Denise Hamilton & her husband, Meg Chittenden, Donna Anders, Gregg Hurwitz, Eileen Dreyer, and Danielle Girard.
On the way back to my hotel, two young women crossing the street in front of my car lifted their shirts and flashed their bare breasts at me, proving once again just how friendly Canadians are.