Things were relaxed at the Book Festival today…perhaps because it was chillier and cloudier than in past years. I signed at the Mystery Book Store with Michael Gruber (yes, that Michael Gruber), who autographed a copy of his new childrens book for my daughter Madison. We had a very pleasant chat and neither one of us discussed ghost-writing. Also at that signing were my friends Paula Woods and Charles Fleming. Afterwards, I chatted with my friends Victor Gischler (who sported a bushy new beard), Scott Phillips, Terrill Lee Lankford, Jan Burke, and a number of other authors, booksellers and mystery fans. I also got the chance to meet Seth Greenland, who has written a highly-acclaimed, dark comic book about TV entitled THE BONES. For obvious reasons, I’m really looking forward to reading it (I’m sending him copies of MY GUN HAS BULLETS and BEYOND THE BEYOND for his amusement).
My brother Tod’s panel on short stories, which featured folks like Aimee Bender and Steve Almond,, was packed with people and was very entertaining…though perhaps not as much as the panel of LA Times Book Review editors past-and-present. I didn’t attend the Steve Wasserman panel, but enjoyed reading The Elegant Variations’ play-by-play. I liked Digby Diehl’s comments, particularly this one on Wasserman’s view that the LATBR is playing to a national audience:
Diehl thought national and international aspirations were "ridiculous … ultimately the L.A. Times failed in San Diego!"
Wasserman also compared the LATBR to a dinner party at his house. What can we learn from this? If you’re invited to dinner at Wasserman’s house, bring plenty of NO DOZE.