it must be San Diego, San Francisco, Tucson, Portland...Chicago
Sorry I've been away, but for good reason.
San Diego Writer's Conference
I presented the keynote for what turned out to be a fantastic conference. Lots of classes on the craft and some talented writers. While I wanted the weather to be 80 degrees, I had to settle for mid-sixties the last week of January. I'll take it.
San Francisco Writer's Conference
I was set to do a half-day workshop when the great storm hit the East Coast. I was at the airport when Kathy Atrium, she being the Thrillerfest guru, to advise that my fellow panelists were trapped in New York and instead they wanted a repeat of the Thrillerfest workshop on editing. Having my materials with me, I agreed. Then I learned that Don Maass, uber-agent and teacher was one of the stranded and it was looking like his all-day workshop would need to be cancelled. Having taught all-day and two-day workshops I volunteered. Next thing I knew Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen were on the phone asking, "Really?" I love to teach and was grateful for the opportunity. And what a great class - sharp students and terrific questions.
But no time for the weary because...
Tucson Festival of Books
I've been to several book festivals around the country, and all I can say is "Wow Tucson!" Could it get any better? When my driver picked me up from the airport he advised that he had one other writer to bring to the hotel as well. "Do you know Elmore Leonard?" Needless to say, that was a thrill of a lifetime meeting the master of the Western and crime novel. Got signed books to add to a growing collection. And just when I thought the weekend couldn't get any better, it did. The hospitality was amazing and the sessions were outstanding. I was on a panel with my buddy Phil Margolin and then met Thomas Perry for a second panel, two of the best in the business. That night we all dined together with Bill and Brenda Viner, the hosts of the entire festival. Don't know where they get their stamina, but thanks for a great evening and meal.
So now I'm back, meeting with homicide detectives, defense attorneys and other experts for the David Sloane book to follow Bodily Harm - to be released in May. But I'll have to write much of it on the road. I'm off to Portland for a Friends of Mystery event with Phil and then to Chicago for the annual two-day SEAK conference. I'm on my feet 16 hours over two days teaching and it remains one of the best weekends of the year for me. That old adage about learning more from the students rings true and any chance to hang out with John Hough Jr and talk writing is better than any text book on the craft.
Did I mention the tour doesn't start until May?