Blogger said no more pictures right now, I don't know why. So here's my first report on Thrillerfest:
I didn't have a very good time in Phoenix. Anyone who was there can tell you I spent most of the time sulking in my room, watching movies at $87 a pop, drinking from the mini bar and sobbing uncontrollably.
Why? Well, as Dusty Rhoades called the recent unpleasantness, the only reason my novel was nominated for a Thriller was because of my gender, and as I didn't win, that can only mean my manhood was insufficient to take home the trophy. Apparently, Adam Fawer swings a bigger hammer than I do.
So to speak.
The truth is, I can't remember having a better time, which should tell you a lot about how I spent my 20's, and I was surprised by how little I did care about winning. Don't get me wrong, winning is good. I like winning. I even like winning awards because as anyone who has ever been awarded a shiny geegaw for Employee of the Week can tell you, winning is better than losing. But I was disappointed for about ninety seconds, and then Stephen Blackmoore brought me a drink and all was right again. Congratulations, Adam, and to Will Staeger, Mark Gimenez and especially to Stuart MacBride, your work made being considered for this award a genuine honor. How I ever made it into your company has always seemed a fluke.
And I suspect someone at Thrillerfest had the good sense to realize that me, a microphone and an open bar could not possibly add up to anything good.
I promised myself I'd drop as many names as possible so here goes.
People I was happy to see again, in no particular order:
Fred Rea. Fred's one of the few people I can talk to about the relative merits of the Makarov 9 mm vs the parabellum and he actually gives a damn.
David Montgomery. I like David. I like decent guys. David is a decent guy.
Sandy Balzo. Sandy kicked my ass in the Derringer Awards, making it easier to accept this loss. She's also a beautiful, smart, funny and incredibly generous writer.
Michele Martinez. Speaking of beautiful and talented, Michele is another person it's always good to see, because I know that if I stay on her good side, there's a smaller chance I'll be brought up on federal charges.
Gayle Linds. Gayle probably couldn't pick me out of a lineup, but she taught me a lot about writing a thriller.
Zoe Sharp. There are some women who just ooze class and charm, even when firing off a few belts through a Squad Automatic Weapon.
Joe Finder. Joe has never shooed me away, no matter how annoying I became, and I really did like Company Man.
Joe Konrath. Joe is a wonder, a whirling dynamo of entertainment. I'm a sucker for anyone who makes me laugh, and as some of you know, it's very difficult to make me laugh. Uh-huh.
Dusty Rhoades. I wish he'd stop following me around. People are beginning to talk.
People I wish had been at Thrillerfest:
Stuart MacBride, Ray Banks, Al Guthrie, Duane Swierczynski, Tasha Alexander, Byron Quertermous, Olen Steinhauer, Kevin Wignall, Josh Stallings, and there are more, I'm sure, that I'll think of as I write more.
Embarrassing updates: Oh, how about Jeff Shelby? Damn. And Sandra Ruttan. John Rickards and James Lincoln Warren. I consider John's absence the reason I didn't win.
In my next post, I'll mention all those people I met for the first time. Some I knew from blogs, some people were new to me. All of them made last weekend a great time.
More to come.