Thursday, March 01, 2007

South Carolina Book Festival and touring

I am currently on the road touring for Field of Fire. For that reason I had two weeks of blogs preloaded so I could use them while in hotels in California, Texas or somewhere else in Florida. But I had such a great time at the South Carolina Book Festival that I had to write something about it while it is still fresh in my mind. I know we like to post something controversial but there was no downside to this weekend.

The best thing was meeting up with several other crime fiction writers. Bob Morris, who is touring with me on several spots, Jeff Shelby, some lunatic from N.C. named David Terrinore, Michele Martinez and Naked Author’s own Cornelia Read. What a great time. It felt like Bouchercon only less harried. The lovely Paula Benson is with us in the photo below.

The festival itself is put on by the Humanities Council and they did a wonderful job. Paula Millen is an incredible organizer. Debby and Jim Johnson were responsible for the stupid authors and did a great job making sure I didn’t get lost. Paula Benson, the aforementioned Debby and B.J. Wellborn moderated my panels and did it with grace and courage. The great Mary Harris kept us all in line and has one sweet ride.

Our tour of the S.C. Statehouse by the lovely Paula Benson was first rate. She works for Senator McConnell and has pretty good access after hours. She told us facts, like the stars on the outer walls that mark where Sherman’s artillery hit the building. She told us ghost stories and showed us the earthquake system the building is built upon.

The whole town is fun. Jim Sheehan, Jeff Shelby and I made a jogging tour through downtown and around the University of S.C. (They call it USC but I don’t want to confuse Paul Levine) campus. Sheehan wrote the Mayor of Lexington Avenue and he and his sister Kate are first rate.

I may have some more photos to post but I couldn’t let the opportunity to write about them pass. It is now indelibly marked as my favorite event.

I did have a couple of stops with Bob Morris in Florida.

I was surprised at the Vero Beach by a nice woman named Liz Lytle who Cornelia Read sent to say hello to me.

I leave early Saturday morning for California. I’m at Mysteries to Die For Saturday afternoon and the L.A. Mystery bookstore Tuesday at 7:00pm. Then Wednesday I’m at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale. Thursday I’m at Murder by the Book in Houston. Shelby claims he’s driving over from Dallas to visit. We’ll see.

More to follow.


  1. We're all waiting for you at the Mystery store in Westwood next Tuesday evening.

    When Bob Morris was here last week, he mixed Dark & Stormies for everyone and gave out keychains. What are you gonna do, Officer Born, give away 9 mm bullets? Take DNA samples?

    The store is just a block from the U.C.L.A. campus. In case you didn't know it, U.C.L.A. is the answer the question: "What happens when the smog lifts?"

  2. Wow! Born and Read in the same town. It must have been like...totally awesome. Can't wait for you to roll into LA. Born, Levine, and Smiley in the same town in the same booktore. Be very afraid.

  3. Glad to hear I won't be alone on Tuesday. I am home for 38 hours then I fly out on Saturday.

    See you then.


  4. It was great hanging with you and Bob Morris et al in SC, Mr. Born... Great pic of you with Liz, too. We first met at Book Passage out here, and it's always a lot of fun to see her.

    I've been Googling pictures of the State House all morning for a Saturday post to follow up on yesterday's.

    I still wish they were sending you to NORTHERN California, this time around....

  5. Cornelia, how about jetting down to for the evening. All of us together...the city would never be the same.

  6. Ah, Patty, I so wish, but I think I'd end up knowing all the lyrics to Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" if I tried that, especially so close after my weekend away from the spouse and kids in Fashionable Columbia.