by Leigh Perry / Toni L. P. Kelner
I confess that I'm still in a daze from my whirlwind trip last week. I took a train down to New York City on Tuesday for Edgar week activities. After the Edgar banquet on Thursday night, I got up Friday morning to fly to DC to go to Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD. Then I flew home again Sunday night. I hugged people, took meetings galore, had gala meals with some amazing folks, and attended two awards banquets. May have picked up a book or two, as well. Unfortunately, I also regained the nasty cold/allergy contagion I thought I'd recovered from before starting my trip.
So while I've got a dozen blog posts worth of memories, I'm too wiped to write 'em. Fortunately, Charlaine and Hank have already talked a little about our adventures at Malice Domestic, so I'm settling for a few words about the Edgar Banquet. I'll post more pictures and stories in a couple of weeks. If the freaking cold goes away by then!
In case you don't know, the Edgar Awards are presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America. I've been a proud MWA member for many years, and this year had the opportunity to chair the committee Best Critical/Biographical Work. The nominees were Martin Edwards for The Golden Age of Murder, Frederick Forsyth for The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue, Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan for Meanwhile There Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald, Matthew Parker for Golden Eye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica, and Nathan Ward for The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett. These are all terrific books, both erudite and entertaining, and I was honored to present the Edgar to Martin Edwards.
Being the committee chair meant I had first shot at actually presenting the award. That's why I went to New York, applied considerably more makeup than I normally wear, and put on my glad rags. Well, to be honest, it wasn't presenting the Edgar per se. It was for a chance to touch an Edgar personally. So while I was waiting to present to Martin Edward, I confess to rubbing Edgar's head affectionately. (Martin, if you dust for prints, don't be surprised.)
The MWA filmed the award presentations, so here's a video of me on the big stage in front of some of the best mystery writers in the business. (And that woman at table 6 who kept talking throughout my bit.) I didn't have a mic drop moment, but then again, I didn't fall off the stage or drop the Edgar statuette. I count that as a win.
The judges for the Edgars are kept confidential until after the awards are presented, but now that it is public, I'd like to take a moment to thank my terrific crew. I could not have asked for a nicer, more professional group of folks to work with: Robin Burcell, Ellen Crosby, David Morrell, and Duane Swierczynski. I've known Robin and Ellen for years, and got a chance to chat with Duane at the Edgar banquet (he was nominated for Best Novel for his awesome book Canary), and would love to meet David in person some day.