Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favorite Book-ish Moments of '09

by Sophie

Favorites of 2009

Favorites lists can seem so arbitrary. No one can possibly read every book or see every movie that comes out in a year, so what you get is one person's subjective take on a subset of a whole.

That said, I'm going to be quite arbitrary myself and give you my list of favorite 2009 book-world moments that had nothing to do with my book - and one that did.

1. Let me kick off with meeting Graham Brown. And not just because, starting next week, he will be sharing the Wednesday spot here at Criminal Minds. Meeting Graham was part of a larger production in which I met a handful of my agent's mystery clients and we formed a sort of...what? What would you call it, exactly? It's not really a club, it's more like the mob scenes on SpongeBob where the BikiniBottom citizens are unified with a single purpose, at first, and then all hell breaks loose. And it's not very exclusive, either. We went around hoovering up random people at Thrillerfest and again at Bouchercon just because...well, Boyd's at the same agency, even if he has a different agent; and then there were the people whose bar couch we wanted to steal, plus that guy I thought I'd met before but it turned out I hadn't, and we made Julie and Brad hang out with us, and I saw Becky in Starbucks and - well, you get the idea.

I can't be sure, but I think this is how decades-long friendships get their start.

Jamie Freveletti, Graham Brown, me, and Boyd Morrison at Bouchercon

2. Meeting librarians. I'll admit it, I've been a carmudgeonly patron of the local library ever since it was taken over by middle schoolers during the hours I like to visit, but while touring and attending conferences I bumped into quite a few librarians who put their hearts and souls into their work. Nothing compares to being around people who care so much about books and reading.

3. Attending a Young Adult book event in San Francisco that was attended by dozens of scary-smart teenage readers. These girls (all girls at the event I was at) were well-read, savvy, insightful, opinionated, and unafraid to share their thoughts on what makes a book work for them. It took me about two seconds to figure out that I should shut my mouth and listen if I ever wanted to have anything to say to this audience.

4. Meeting R. L. Stine. I mean, c'mon!!! Who would've ever thought it! Oh and plus, he said "hi, I'm Bob!" I mean, freakin' "bob"!!!

5. Walking into the lobby of a real, honest, gen-u-ine New York publisher. Breathing the same air that the editors breathe. Um. Wow.

6. Potato chip chicken and macaroni and cheese at Grub in L.A. with two friends I never would have met if we weren't all book people.

Oh, I could go on and on and on, but the kids want fed, the dog wants taken out, and I still need to pack for my trip, so I'll close with the one book moment I loved best - when a pair of ladies of a certain age (that age being not less than sixty) approached me at a signing to tell me they adored A BAD DAY FOR SORRY's theme. Naturally I had to ask them which theme that might be, and guess what, it was "how ladies over fifty ought to have all the sex they can!"

Okay that's it for me, Over and out until 2010!!


Jen Forbus said...

Sophie, you brighten any room you walk into. You know how to make people feel like they belong, so it doesn't make any difference if you share the same agent, editor, publicist or simply share the same Earth as everyone and that's good enough for you. How totally cool.

I love that I've had the chance to read your work, meet you, hang out - and I can't wait to do it all again!

Happy New Year!

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh jen, you gave me a case of the sniffles! and not just because I'm deathly ill!!! if this damn thing takes me out, please have what you said put on my tombstone. xo

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Hey all..Sophie, you're amazing. Next time, invite me for potato chip chicken. That sounds swooningly wonderful..
Happiest of new years! And wow--talk about NEW...

Jamie Freveletti said...

Hey Sophie: Glad you got the idea for the Poelle "Crew" photo. Have a great New Year!

Kelli Stanley said...

Sophie, darlin', feel better soon!!! I hate the thought of you being sick!!
from one of the loveliest people I know. :)

Happy New Year, toots--it'll be even better in 2010!!



Boyd Morrison said...

Let's all hang out again at Left Coast Crime! I love going to conferences for just that reason.

le0pard13 said...

Great post and list, Sophie. Happy New Year.

Joshua Corin said...

"Hi, Bob."

Is it just me who thought of the old Bob Newhart show?

Fantastic post, Sophie. I loved the passion you put behind your experiences.

Shane Gericke said...

If y'all are the mob scene in SpongeBob, does that make Agent Barbara Mr. Krabs? Just askin' ...

Terrific story, Sophie. Your success this year is so well-earned.Plus, you brought Graham on board, and he will class up this joint something fierce. Welcome aboard, Graham!

And isn't Bob cool? He's kinda shy in real life, which is why you don't see him wearing lampshades at book parties, but he's scary smart and very funny to converse with. And a great writer. Naturally, I hate him for all eternity :-)

Shane Gericke said...

Jen, what you said. It's magnifique and true.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Wow! Great list, Sophie! Nicely put!

Way to not follow the rules, not answer the right question, and do a splendid job!