Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekend Mojo

by Patty

In the big news department

If you read Publishers Weekly or Sarah Weinman’s addictive blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, you will already know that I recently accepted a two-book offer from my former editor at Mysterious Press, Kristen Weber, who is now Senior Editor at NAL, a division of Penguin US.

When Kristen called to let me know that she was leaving Mysterious Press to accept this fabulous new job, I told her that I was happy for her but sad for me. We’d gone through a lot together—two books and the death of our beloved Sara Ann Freed. I’d grown addicted to Kristen’s cheery “This is great news, Patty!!!” emails and especially those supportive exclamation points. Kristen is the best kind of editor: erudite, eloquent, profound, dazzling, and clever, and she was also the unflagging champion of my books at Mysterious Press. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I learned that she wanted to take me to NAL with her. I am touched by her faith in me and look forward to embarking on this exciting new journey. Better still, I won’t have to attend any 12-step meetings for Exclamation Points Anonymous. This is great news!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. I warned Kristen that I was going to post this. Here’s what she said: “I do need to look at my exclamation point use. Although who am I kidding? I love them!!!” Did I say she was hilarious, too?

The Naked and the dead tired

Folks who lament the diminishing number of book buyers should have joined me at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this past weekend where 150,000 bibliophiles beat feet to the UCLA campus to bask in all things literary. FYI, Los Angeles is the largest book-buying market in the country (We Angelenos buy more books than New Yorkers or San Franciscans) and the FOB is the largest community book event in the U.S.

Tish Fogarty (my friend and fellow writer) and I kicked off the weekend on Friday evening at the annual Pre-FOB party at The Mystery Bookstore with Bobby and Linda and a store full of fans and authors.

From there, Tish and I trekked to Royce Hall on the UCLA campus to attend the Book Prizes ceremony, MCed by Dana Gioia who is chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts as well as poet, critic, essayist, editor, and more. Joan Didion was awarded the 2005 Robert Kirsch Award. Prizes were also awarded for best Biography, Current Interest, Fiction, First Fiction, History, Mystery/Thriller, Poetry, Science and Technology, and Young Adult Fiction.

When I consider the amazing number of talented writers who attend this event, it’s difficult not to be star-struck. During the weekend I had the chance to chat with many fellow authors, including Denise Hamilton, Paula Woods, Robert Crais, Stephen Cannell, Louise Ure, Naomi Hirahara, Pari Noskin Taichert, Theresa Schwegel (still on Cloud 9 from her recent Edgar win) and the always hilarious and delightful Goldberg brothers, Lee and Tod. I also met Carolyn See, Aimee Bender, and Diana Gabaldon and discussed genealogy with Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jane Smiley. I've always wanted to meet her, and found that she was everything I imagined her to be: charming, funny, and brilliant. Later that day she bought my book, Cover Yours Assets, and even asked me to autograph it. I've always been in awe of her talent. Now I'm also in awe of her grace and generosity in supporting a newbie like me.

On Sunday I was on a panel called Hip Chicks Packing Heat with the irrepressible and impossibly cool Harley Jane Kozak and Susan Kandel moderated with insight and aplomb by Los Angeles Times writer, Emily Green. I’ve attended the FOB many times, but the 2006 event was a magical experience I will never forget.

Tomorrow: Tuesdays with Paulie.


  1. Congratulations, Patty! I can totally attest to your assessment of Kristen and am more than a teensy bit jealous that you still get to work with her! (And as you can tell, her exclamation points rubbed off on me, too!!)

    And the LA Book Festival sounds like it was a blast. How cool to have Jane Smiley buy your book?

  2. Karen, the FOB is truly an awesome experience. You should think about attending next year. My head is still spinning from all the wonderful events.

  3. Patty, it was great to spend time with you yesterday. Thanks for sheparding me through my first LAT FOB. I'm a believer now: Los Angeles is, in fact, the biggest (and maybe best) book market in the country!


  4. Oh, you've made me miss Kristen even more!!!!!!

    And I'm so jealous you got to hang out with Louise and Harley, too!!!!!!!!

  5. Congrats Patty from London.

    Love Bookseller to the Stars.##xx