Had a lovely time today in spite of a clinging sinus headache and the overhanging revision of Underground. I trotted down to the Seattle Mystery Bookshop–which is one of my favorite haunts–to meet a thriller author I’ve exchanged e-mail with and got to hang out with a threesome of fabulous female mystery writers. (Check out the blog for more details of the delightfulness.)
Originally it was my intention just to pop in and say “hi” to Zoë Sharp, whom I met very fleetingly at Bouchercon and had asked for some info recently–which she graciously gave–but I ended up staying for nearly two hours. She’s quite a remarkable woman–just take a look at her bio–and wonderful in person. We had a lovely time chatting up publishing issues and other silliness and comparing notes on copyediting and the current state of flying on Southwest Air. Alas, no time to talk guns and motorcycles–of which we are both enthusiasts–before I had to run away or suffer the slings and arrows of migraines and exhaustion.
Also signing today was Carola Dunn–author of the Daisy Dalrymple historical mysteries, if you don’t know–who’d been in an very upsetting car accident at Meydenbauer Center just that morning–her car having been attacked by a pipe which hung from the ceiling of the parking garage. In spite of the damage to her car, Carola hopped on a bus and got to the signing in Seattle anyhow. Really remarkable when you consider how awful the bus schedule between Bellevue and Seattle even when one is not shaken up by a near-miss with decapitation by water pipe. Another charmer, even from the depth of a chair and cossetted with tea by the wonderful Fran.
And lurking about in the shop collecting mysteries set in China was mystery author, Meg Chittenden. Don’t let those “sweet little lady” looks deceive you–Meg’s a riot. Between the four of us we ended up talking about the difficulties of writing sex scenes and keeping them relevant to the plot. And it all started with a comment from Meg, followed by one from Zoë about being embarrassed on a convention panel and one thing led to another and before you know it… we had discovered Meg’s dark past…. As a Harlequin romance writer. We also talked boats, sailing, and general getting in trouble.
I’d hoped to stay and catch up to Charlie Huston at 4–since I just read and loved Already Dead–but by the time Zoë and Meg were ready to adjourn for lunch and Carola had trotted off to catch a bus back to Bellevue, my headache was raging, so I begged off inserting myself in the festivities and, with regret, headed back to Ballard. 😦
I learn something new every time I go to someone else’s author event. Today I discovered that even a person who’s just jumped off a delayed plane can be gracious and look great (thank you Zoë), that even a disaster can’t stop some people from being sweet and charming and making their appointments (thank you Carola), and that being a writer doesn’t mean you stop being a fan (how fast do you read, Meg?). And a small dose of charm goes a tremendous distance–and even further when you have good, funny, witty companions. Three lovely ladies and a lovely shop for a lovely afternoon’s respite from the revision. I could wriggle with happiness.