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!!