When Denis and I arrived at The Poisoned Pen for International Fiction Night, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was the night before Left Coast Crime, and at least sixteen authors were slated to appear. Where were they going to put everybody?
As you can see to the right, The Poisoned Pen staff set up a long line of tables and chairs for the authors, and then there was the Goodie Table filled with several delicious varieties of iced tea and lots of nibbles. Denis and I found a corner to sit down, relax, and watch events unfold.
The authors began to appear well before the 7 PM start time, and I rapidly realized two things: (1) how many of the authors with whom I was on a first name basis, and (2) this was the perfect lead-in to Left Coast Crime. Denis and I had fun chatting with several of the authors, and then it was time to begin.
|L to R: Barbara Peters, Kenneth Wishnia, Melissa Yi, Michael J. Cooper|
It was definitely going to be an informal evening. Host Barbara Peters had all the authors introduce themselves and say a little about their books (and then it would be mingle and chat the rest of the evening). First up were three authors representing Jewish Noir: its editor and contributor Kenneth Wishnia, Melissa Yi, and Michael J. Cooper. Yi and Cooper both have medical backgrounds, and little did I know that the other authors would take this one factoid and run with it.
|A (very) few of the other authors "waiting in the wings."|
And when I mean run with it, I mean these authors had all the earmarks of being track and field stars! When it was Jeffrey Siger's turn to introduce himself, he told us that he "was pre-med before [he] went to the Dark Side" (law). One of the Canadian Contingent, Brenda Chapman, told everyone that she'd "dated a doctor," and Mary Jane Maffini quipped, "I went to the doctor this week!"
Everyone was having fun, and I took a grand total of three notes because sometimes it's all about having fun and not about being a reporter. I did take some photos here and there, so let me share some more with you....
|L to R: Barbara Peters, Lene Kaaberbøl, Agnete Friis|
I was excited to see Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, the writing team responsible for the Nina Borg mysteries. It was their first visit to The Poisoned Pen.
|L to R: Barbara Peters, Vicki Delany|
It's always good to see Vicki Delany (who also writes as Eva Gates). She is the president of the Canadian Crime Writers Association. She and the entire Canadian Contingent left in a raging snowstorm to come down and bask in Phoenix's balmy spring weather.
|L to R: Barbara Peters, Jeffrey Siger|
And if you're wondering what kind of evening we were having, all you have to do is take a look at Barbara's face in the photo above. Jeffrey Siger has that effect on all of us!
|L to R: Vicki Delany, Cathy Ace|
Here you see Vicki with the vice president of the Canadian Crime Writers Association, Cathy Ace (who has a lovely Welsh accent).
|The Canadians are here!|
This is the Canadian Contingent. From left to right: R.J. Harlick, Mary Jane Maffini, Brenda Chapman, Vicki Delany, Cathy Ace, Linda Wiken (AKA Erika Chase), and Barbara Fradkin.
|L to R: R.J. Harlick, Mary Jane Maffini|
I was super excited to meet Mary Jane because she's done some very special things for my blog in years past. She is tiny and exuberant, and she told me, "I'd give you a hug, but I've been sick and I don't want to risk giving you anything!"
|Laurie R. King and Lesa Holstine|
Lo and behold, my zoom lens caught two people lurking in the background: one of my favorite writers, Laurie R. King, and one of my favorite book bloggers, Lesa Holstine!
|L to R: Barbara Peters, Laurie R. King|
The entire evening was wonderful, and I regret that I didn't take more notes and photos so I could introduce you to all the authors who were there.
But... I was in book heaven, chatting away with people I admire, people with whom I've become friends. And I was on Cloud Nine for another reason. I'm an introvert. Have been all my life. I don't like crowds, and I'm shy. The thought of being in the middle of crowds of strangers during Left Coast Crime had made me very apprehensive. But all the people attending The Poisoned Pen's International Fiction Night made me realize that I shouldn't worry at all. Not even one little bit.
So I wasn't going to. Left Coast Crime, here I come!
|My latest Poisoned Pen book haul!|