Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who knew murder and mayhem could be so fun?

Just got back from a book event in the "Genuine American City" known as Milwaukee and had a hell of a time. It was the third annual Murder and Mayhem in Muskego at the Muskego Public Library.

The weekend kicked off with an author gathering at the Mystery One Bookstore on Friday night. Mystery One is one of those classic independent bookstores run by two fellows, Richard Katz and Dave Biemann, that really know their stuff and are willing to share their knowledge with anyone willing to ask. We all jammed into the cozy confines taking our turns signing books and chatting with readers that came from as far away as California. When we weren't signing, we all gathered in a nice little bar right next door that worked as a very nice bullpen. I think Richard and Dave picked the store locale just for that reason!

Then Saturday we all gathered at the library and Penny Halle's steady hand steered us through a wonderful day of chatting about books and characters and all things mystery. Robert Crais, Laura Lippman, and Greg Rucka were all interviewed and as a newbie author, it's always nice to listen at the feet of these pros. They've fought the fights and have the scars to prove it and I learned a lot from their talks.

It was also good to catch up with a couple other chums, Sean Chercover and Tom Schreck. They write very different types of books both should be on your to-be-read pile. And of course, I'll be adding several new authors to my list as well: Sean Doolittle, Gregg Hurwitz, Carl Brookins - to name just few. I always seem to find new authors to read whenever I go to one of these things.

I also got a chance to meet Jon Jordan and his lovely wife Ruth. Jon and Ruth publish Crimespree Magazine, one of the best magazines out there devoted to mysteries and thrillers. It was fun to chat with Jon about, as Jimmy Buffett sees as the 8th deadly sin, pizza. Ask him about his month long experiment with pizza. I don't know how he can eat another slice....

Thank you Penny, Richard, Dave, Jon, Ruth - hell everyone that attended Murder and Mayhem and making this new author feel so welcome. I'll be seeing you next year!

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