Getting here wasn’t fun… I must ooze menace. The customs folks searched my bags when I arrived. I brought ten copies of the latest Diagnosis Murder book to give away… and the customs officer wanted me to pay a duty on them. I argued about how ridiculous that was… will ten books really bring the Canadian book industry to its knees? The officer finally relented and let me through.
I visited the MISSING set, said hello to everybody there, then treated myself to dinner at Harbor 60, a fantastic steak place on the Toronto waterfront. I went back to the hotel, tweaked the writing I did on the plane flight, and went to bed early.
The convention started today (Thursday) and I had a great time. I haven’t attended a single panel, I’ve been too busy saying hello to old friends and making new ones. I caught up with authors Lee Child(who I thanked profusely for his great blurb on my next DM novel),Stephen Booth, Larry Beinhart (who graciously signed my copy of “American Hero”), Lewis Perdue (my old journalism professor and current thorn in the side of Dan Brown), Rhys Bowen, David Corbett, SJ Rozan, Elaine Veits, Lono Waiwaiole, Paul Guyot, Kate Stine (editor of the award-winning Mystery Scene magazine), Jeremiah Healy, Robin Burcell, Denise Hamilton, Barbara Seranella (who was celebrating a new contract with St. Martin’s Press), Rick Copp, Nathan Walpow, and Christoper Rice, among others. I met Zoe Sharp, David Montgomery, Jim Winter, Sarah Weinman, Ken Bruen, Jason Starr, Jeffrey Cohen, and scores of readers, booksellers, and DorothyL members (some of whom are still sore about my fanfic comments!).
I was pleased to discover that NAL gave away copies of my first Diagnosis Murder novel, The Silent Partner, to many of the attendees… and that the book has gone into a second printing! So those of you who have signed first editions now have a collector’s item.
I snuck out around 1 pm, my voice scratchy and hoarse from so much talking, and went back to the hotel, where I spent three hours working on the next Diagnosis Murder novel. I returned to the convention center for drinks with some friends and the opening night reception. Afterwards, a big group of us — Twist Phelan, Joel Goldman, Jan Burke, Jerrilyn Farmer, Harley Jane Kozak, and Dan Hale — went out to dinner at the trendy Bistro 990, where we stayed late into the night trading anecdotes, talking shop, and having a hell of a good time.
It’s 12:30am now… and I’m bushed. Tomorrow it starts again… I’ve got a panel, a reception, lunch with my agent, and a dinner with my publisher… I also hope to squeeze in a little writing.