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September 03, 2010


Karen in Ohio

I'd go into a coma of ecstasy if I met Stephen Fry, Craig Ferguson, or Hugh Laurie, together or separately. Have you read either of Craig Ferguson's books? They're both great, the fictional Between the Bridge and the River, and his autobio, American on Purpose. It's hard to believe he left school at the age of 16.

And I'm in the middle of Hugh Laurie's book, The Gunseller, which I'd never heard of until a week or so ago. Wow. He's such a good writer. He and Stephen Fry have collaborated on a good many wonderful things, too.

Elaine Viets

Michael Connelly. I knew Michael enough to say hello to when I was on the MWA National Board. Michael is as personable as he is talented. He was a speaker at the Mystery Florida Conference in Sarasota in this August. I was a panelist.
I sat in on his panel, but afterward, I couldn't bring myself to say hello. On the otherhand, I gushed to Sue Grafton. I guess the clamming up is less embarrassing, but neither is any fun.


Karen, yes! I'm afraid I'd react over-enthusiastically (think really, hideously inappropriate, like Maggie in "Peter's Friends") if I ran into any of them. Haven't read Craig F's books, but they're on the list; I read GUNSELLER ages ago, when it first came out (big, huge fan of "Blackadder" and devoured anything I could find by the cast).

Elaine, one mumble moment I had was with Roddy Doyle. My husband asked, "what happened to you?" A moment of delayed hysteria was seeing Ming Tsai at Blue Ginger. I sat, completely still, all through dinner, then got to the car and started babbling. Same question from Mr. G. At least we had containment on that one.

P Diane Shaw

This is great, and so true! The first time I was on facebook and saw an author's personal page, and friended them, and they said yes, I was giddy. For DAYS I was astonished that "I" could attempt to directly communicate with someone who wrote a fabulous book. I think I manage to do okay and not seem like a fanatical fan most of the time. Now, months perhaps a year or so after this discovery, I can sometimes even chat with notables whom I greatly admire WITHOUT blubbering and committing foul grammatical errors in the name of fandom. I love Joan Hess, Lisa Scottoline, Sharon McCrumb, Deb Crombie, Dana Stabenow, and many more folks who I actually occasionally now dialogue with (including Toni Kelner, Charlaine Harris, and you!) And I have met other new great writers this way, AND BOUGHT THEIR BOOKS. Yay facebook for that. Now, off to find a booksigning where I can say hello and get that autograph in person! (hope im not a blathering fool, but I think I can handle it.)


Diane, thanks! And I hope you have a great time at the signing. It sounds like you've got it all under control.

(My favorite "foul grammatical error" when too excited for words? "I seen a elk!")


The writer I went tongue-tied with was Ross Thomas, when I met him at conference. He passed away not long after that, so I blew my chance to actually have an actual conversation with someone whose writing I admired. But my tongue just refused to work.

Janet Reid

Colson Whitehead knows I am a burbling idiot. I'm just hoping he doesn't remember.

Mary S.

You were in mumbling distance of Roddy Doyle??!! Woo. I love him.

Karen, I go into comas of ecstasy with all the male writers. Once at a convention, I walked into the elevator and there stood Michael Connelly. He said, "Hi." I hope I smiled. Not sure I responded.

Janet, I'm a burbling idiot around female writers I like. Oy, so embarassing. I can think of one female exception, though it wasn't an author, it was Tina Turner. I felt like a boa constrictor was around my neck. Couldn't say a word.


Kris, sometimes it's just worth seeing the person up close and personal. I 'm glad you have that memory.

Janet, a Very Famous Writer happened to be walking by when I was goofing around with some friends. The good thing is, now he knows me and better, doesn't remember why he knows me.

I was, Mary. Had the BIGGEST stack of books for him to sign. OOOH, Tina Turner? I would have been mind-blown!

Niki Jensen

Okay, I know these authors don't write mysteries, but are rather in the fantasy genre, but when I worked in a bookstore in Cambria, CA, Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliot all walked into my little world and casually asked if their new hardback "The Golden Key" was available, which we didn't have because Cambria's a little tourist trap, and they all had these s**t eating grins on their faces as I babbled about how much I wanted the book, and was not recognizing them and they fessed up to who they were and told me about who scared the crap out of them (as writer's Ray Bradbury, for one) when they met for the first time and gave me tons of promo stuff and I was in shock for a week. And Cambria does have an awesome writer in residence that know, Christopher Moore, who has gotten positive kudos from Charlaine. He is the brother-in-law of a dear friend and an all around quirky cool writer and zany researcher, down to lint fanantic about his books.
And his first book "Practical Demon-Keeping" really takes place in Cambria and the characters are so totally people who live there, if you know who to look for.


Niki, what an amazing experience--and how neat to meet the writers so unexpectedly! I once happened to pick up a book on writing by Ray Bradbury and not until I got home did I find he'd actually signed it...wowsers.

I was trying to figure out why Cambria sounded so familiar: I'm a HUGE fan of Christopher Moore and in the midst of reading BITE ME now. If I'd had it on vacation, he would have been on the list, because LAMB (in particular) just blew my doors off. Lucky you!

Kristina L

So cool to meet people you've admired. I've gotten to meet Dave Barry and Patrick McManus at book signings. I even got a chance, when Dave Barry was taking questions, to ask a question, how can one tell if what one's writing is funny? He gave the answer that you couldn't; that he went with his gut and by the time he finished, he didn't think it was funny anymore.

Of course, at a book signing, you don't get to talk to people (which was great because I didn't get enough time to act too much like a dork), but it did give me a minute or so, while these authors were signing the book I was buying, to gush a little.

Do famous people/authors like a little gush? I know when my manager says something nice about my work, I'm always pleased.

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