T.S. Eliot may have characterized April as the cruelest month, but personally, I think he just needed a vacation. Such a pessimist ... without even the excuse of an IRS deadline. ;)
So ... I can't believe spring is already here ... we were just in the throes of winter!
Last time I posted, I was on my way to Los Angeles and Left Coast Crime ... which was a fabulous conference, as it always is, despite a nasty cold I developed a couple of days before the flight.
Speaking of flight, what a thrill it was to ride Angel's Flight and eat at China Cafe (rumored to be Marlowe's old hangout for chop suey) with friends and fabulous writers Keith Raffel and Bill Cameron. And to see Rebecca Cantrell and Rita Lakin win awards (for the Bruce Alexander and Lefty, respectively). And to participate on a Pulp Fiction panel with some great writers, among them Eric Beetner, author of ONE TOO MANY BLOWS TO THE HEAD, who also very generously filmed a candid video interview with me for Spinetingler Magazine. Another video, this one filmed by JohnRay Gutierrez of Kepler's in a film noir style, was also a ton of fun--you can check it out below.
While at LCC, I signed at the venerable Book Soup on the Sunset Strip, had a chance to at least say hi to a lot of friends like the delightful and talented writer Holly West, and all in all, it was the best time I've ever had with a cold. :)
Just a little later in March, I flew to Portland and the Public Library Association Conference. This was quite an event--I loved meeting librarians from all over the country, had a chance to chat with friend Wilda Williams from Library Journal, and generally enjoyed a fabulous time signing copies of CITY OF DRAGONS and giving them away. I only wish we hadn't run out in such a short time!
Same evening I gave a reading and signing at Powell's in Beaverton. If you haven't been to a Powell's, make it an ambition. These giant independent bookstores are monuments to literacy and the great reading public of Portland, and it was an honor to sign there.
Throughout my Portland adventure, I palled around with stellar author and friend Bill Cameron. Bill lives in Portland, and I'm eagerly awaiting his next book, DAY ONE, a hot and riveting thriller from a superb writer. Don't miss it!
On April 1st, I experienced the rare pleasure of reading CITY OF DRAGONS in a Chinatown bar. It was part of Subterranean Noir, a Litquake/City Lights event in which the brilliant Edgar-winning author Domenic Stansberry and I had a chance to showcase our work in the basement of one of Chinatown's most venerable "joints" ... and luckily for us, hardboiled writer Mark Coggins (THE BIG WAKEUP), who is not only a great writer, but a great photographer, was on hand to shoot some film. You can read about it in Mark's blog on The Huffington Post.
I'll be heading back to the City of Angels in a couple of weeks for the LA Times Festival of the Book, where I'll be signing with Mysterious Galaxy and The Mystery Bookstore. A few days later, it's NYC and the Edgars, my first time attending the "Oscars" of the mystery-writing world.
But what I've really been doing--and will be doing for the next couple of months--is writing. I'm deep into the sequel of CITY OF DRAGONS--working title is CITY OF SPIDERS--and am racing toward my deadline and the finish line.
In other news, the audio version of CITY OF DRAGONS is now available, and I was thrilled and delighted to see the hardcover reach #2 on the IMBA Bestsellers list for February--and a heartfelt thank you to all the readers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and friends and colleagues who made that happen! I was also privileged and honored by a recent review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Have a wonderful April--and thanks for reading!