There's a New Sheriff in Town
I guess you heard. I'm embarrassed to make too much of this, but my story "Amapola" from the excellent anthology PHOENIX NOIR won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Cinderella and I were in NYC for that and for the cool signing/reading/powerpoint debut of MR. MENDOZA'S PAINTBRUSH at Word Brooklyn. Christopher Cardinale and I did a li'l duet, and I read a section as he showed images on the big screen. It was a wonderful, bohemian, night. We met our twitter pal, Joe Wallace. Joe's jumping out of his skin because his novel, DIAMOND RUBY is dropping May 4. Yeah! Get it! Get two! Joe is the ambassador of love and good cheer, and he's also a good writer. Baseball fans and readers of all stripes won't be sorry. A novel that's getting really great reviews already. I'm tellin' ya.

So there we were in the basement with all kinds of Brooklyn cool kids--artistas and muralists and tweeters and bloggers (Aunt Feather from twitter was there). Liz, my beloved publicist and Sarah Murphy from Little, Brown came. We snuck out for drinks afterwards. Making the Brooklyn arty scene in a cool bar with a pit bull under the table.

We like to stay at the Fitzpatrick Hotel at Grand Central. The desk staff are all Irish with lovely Irish accents. And it's right around the corner from Little, Brown. And there's great coffee next door, and a great bar on the other side of the lobby. We went out and met with geoff Shandler and plotted and planned the Hummingbird II and the INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH paperback domination of the world scenarios. Sandwiches in the board room. Free books. Saw our pub-pals in there. Then we were out on the rbicks, lookjing for a nice shirt for me to wear to the Edgars. The shirt-god led us to Kenneth Cole, where the young man behind the counter knew exactly the shirt for me. I heard him telling C he was marrying his boyfriend. "You're getting married?" I asked. "He better put a ring on this!" he quipped.

We walked in joy and romance all over the place, then staggered up to our room for a nap and a chill before the banquet (at the Grand Cetral Grand Hyatt, also around the corner). OK, so I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay in bed and make believe the whole thing wasn't happening. But I got on my suit, and C got all dolled up in uncomfortable shoes, and we limped to the Hyatt to face our fates.

Well, yes, there we were. Lost in the big crowd of famous and powerful peeps who all knew each other but didn't know us. I was like: "Holy shit! There goes C.J. Box!" C: "Oh?" Me: "OMG! There's Lee Child!" C: "Do tell." It was time for the group photo of short story nominees. One of the judges whispered to me, "Do you have a speech prepared?" I laughed. "I'm not going to win it," I said. She said, "Get a speech ready." OH OH.

We sat at the Akashic Books table with Johnny Temple, our rock star publisher. No, seriously--a rock star. He was in the band Girls Against Boys. You saw him on MTV.

I was tweaking: There's Alafair Burke! There goes Laura Lippman! That's John Hart! There's Lee Child again!

And hey--I won.

I gave Alafair a shout-out. later, she told us her phone lit up right away, and she cried, "That's right! Say my name, bitch!"

AS we left, a tall guy in a pink shirt called, "How'd it feel to crush Dennis Lehane?" Johnny Temple said, "You know who that was? Harlan Coben!"


The next day was a hang-out day. Romance and stunned WTF Just Happened day. We walked more miles. Walked to Times Sq. Watched them film--egad--The Smurfs at Bryant Park. Back to the Fitz for drinks and gossip w/ Liz and Eve, her assistant. Then Ken Wheaton, novelis and my ol' homeboy from Louisiana came over. Oh, it made getting up Saturday hard to do.

Dragged home and got a call--Shawn Phillips is on a massive North American tour and asked to aprk his tour bus at our house. Yo, I am nothing if not rock'n'roll, ahem, so I said sure. And this 50' behemoth pulled up and SP laid siege and sleeps out there like a mad uncle and is making pasta sauce in our kitchen right now.

Tomorrow, I have my gig with Dave Eggers in Chi.

Did I mention I cannot believe this stuff happens to me?

See you Wed. for the Cinco de Mayo aprty at the bookstore in Glen Ellyn.

Oh, and don't hate me because I'm beautiful--Galveston TX just chose Beautiful North as their all-city read. See y'all down there around Mardi Gras.

Wish U were here...

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