You want more pictures? Check out Mike MacLean's place here. In particular is the Mount Rushmore of Miscreants.
Pat Mullan, Dusty Rhoades, Stephen Blackmoore, Kim Mizar-Stem and some unknown drunk were a rolling source of sodden laughter, cheap jokes and rude noises. It's amazing none of us were cuffed, particularly since there were so many representatives of law enforcement in attendance (including the lovely Ms. Martinez, a former Federal prosecutor, and Mr. Born, a former cop who could make the bad guys die laughing).
I met so many people, if I don't mention you, it's because I don't want to encourage you to contact me.
Or, more likely, it's because I massacred so many brain cells that it's a wonder I remember my own name.
Here we go.
Steve Berry - moderator of the panel Dusty called Best. Panel. Ever. Sex in Thrillers with Booze, featuring:
John Lescroat - He writes, plays guitar, sings and serves up a fine Screaming Orgasm with the help of...
M.J. Rose - A woman who not only knows her way around an Orgasm but offered them up to strange men at the conference. God bless her. Her accomplice was...
Barry Eisler - Writer of the Rain series and brave blogger at Heart of the Matter. It was a treat to meet him in person, although he called me rational which shows he may be a good writer, but he's a lousy judge of character.
David Liss - He said such nice things about my book. Right out of the blue, too. Most people expect payment.
Keith Kahla - Editor at St. Martins who carried this message from Peter Wolverton, my editor: There comes a time you have to stop the research and write the book. Point taken.
Mary Elizabeth Hart - Beautiful owner of Mystery Galaxy Bookstore, the only bookseller who thought to stock my book. She sold out the second day. I love you, Mary Elizabeth.
Tess Gerritsen - She took the time to encourage me, diagnosing my second-bookitis as a common affliction, one only cured by writing. Thank you, Tess.
Christopher Rice - We talked briefly after the dinner and he was a thoroughly charming, and tall, young man.
M. Diane Vogt - She helped organize the conference and what a great job they did. I've only been to a few of these, but this was the best. Maybe because they liked my book.
Sarah Weinman - The Divine Ms. Weinman, as she's called by those of us who make her blog a daily must-read. I missed her at Bouchercon last year, so I was eagerly looking forward to meeting her in Phoenix. Why? Because I'm a fan. I like her fiction and wonder when the hell she's going to tackle a novel. Sarah? We're waiting.
And then there's one guy whose turd-like demeanor made the brilliance of those around him shine all the brighter. A foil of sorts.
I've been to three of these conferences and there's always one guy who epitomizes rude, self-congratulatory, smug and condescending behavior, and almost always toward his betters, because this guy is not a writer, this guy is a reviewer. There are reviewers I like. David Montgomery is one. But this guy is a lamprey on the body of publishing. In one short encounter (although it seemed much longer) this guy managed to insult me, my book (although he hadn't read it), first novels, St. Martins and the human race in general, merely by drawing breath and wasting precious oxygen. His name is Larry Gandle.
I know, I shouldn't piss off a reviewer, but fuck him. He was an obnoxious ass. His presence made me appreciate even more the generosity, warmth, charm, humor and self-effacing grace of the other people at the conference. I couldn't escape this loathsome toad's company fast enough.
Later, I'll write about the panels and the people who were particularly memorable. Stay tuned.