Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Left-Coast Levine Strikes Out in NYC

By Paul

I can't compete with Cornelia ("World's Greater Blogger") Read's minute-by-minute account of the Edgar Awards. She goes to more parties than I do, and her memory is far better than mine.

I used the trip east to see my agent and editor and hold a family reunion of sorts. My son Mike, a sportscaster in Michigan, flew to New York. My daughter Wendy, an author and P.R. executive, works in the city. Along with Wendy's husband (another Mike), we caught Liev Schreiber's molten-hot performance in "Talk Radio."

My mother, who recently turned 90, called from Ft. Lauderdale and said, "Since you're in the neighborhood, are you coming to see me?"

Well, who could say no? I caught a flight from Newark to Miami and spent a few days with Mom, instead of the Los Angeles Times Book Festival.

>At the Edgars, I caught up with old pals Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, who roasted Stephen King, this year's Grand Master.


As for the awards banquet, well the chocolate desserts were fine. My friend Naomi Hirahara took home the statue for best paperback original for "The Snakeskin Shamisen," while I took home the flower arrangement. I very much admire Naomi's work. Only yesterday, I read her short story "Number 19," in the newly published "Los Angeles Noir." It's a quirky tale set in a Koreatown massage parlor. (I recommend it highly to Jim Born, who's an old hand where massage parlors are concerned). Here's a shot of the irrepressible (and partially dressed) Lisa Scottoline congratulating Naomi while I grind my teeth somewhere off-camera.


Okay, so "The Deep Blue Alibi" didn't win an Edgar. But it's also nominated for a "Thriller Award" by the International Thriller Writers, Inc. The four-day Thrillerfest extravaganza is another New York event, this one in July.

My competition there includes "An Unquiet Grave," written by my old Florida friend Kris Montee, who writes with her sister Kelly as "P.J. Parrish." Here I am with Kris before the Edgar winners are announced. Notice I am still smiling.

Unlike Naomi, Kris and Kelly have not challenged me to a mud-wrestling match, but if they do, I will recruit Jim Born, who is trained in the martial arts, as we know from last week's training photos in which he seemed to be wearing a gigantic rubber jockstrap.

I could be wrong, and if I am, someone will correct me, but I think "The Deep Blue Alibi" is the only book in any category to be nominated for both an Edgar and a Thriller.

I leave you now with one final image: Kris Montee's shoes at the Edgars Banquet. If you ask me, she deserves a Thriller Award on this ground alone.



  1. OK, I'm not just saying this, but you look too young to have offspring who are sportscasters and PR executives (i had to read it twice). Are they simply 12-year-olds with very good work ethics? Or are you breaking child labor laws? And congratulations on having a good time - I keep telling people this whole awards thing is not about winning or losing, which is neither here nor there. It's all about having a really banner day - and from those pics, Our Polly, looks like you had a blast. And congratulations on the double nomination - that's great!

  2. Ah Jacqueline,
    It's clean living (and low light) that keeps me young.

    My daughter is 36; my son is 26; and my GRANDCHILDREN are 6 (Jonah) and 4 (Lexi).

    Agree with you about the awards. The best part of all these shindigs is the chance to meet other writers. We live such solitary lives...except for Jim Born, who runs with a very fast crowd...that the socializing becomes our lifeline.

  3. Paul,
    You are now a member of the Florida Flying L's (Florida authors who have lost the Edgar: Barbara Parker, me, Bob Morris). We hold meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at the Red Lobster on State Road 84 near the turnpike. Free pinot grigio and butterflied shrimp until 5 p.m!) We'd like to invite you to be our next guest speaker.

    I was rooting for you, man. But probably won't be in NYC. :) See you there!

    Oh, p.s. Those skull shoes are on the feet of Barbara Parker. She was definitely not in Kansas anymore.

  4. Re: The Shoes

    Now you know why I'm no longer a newspaper reporter:

    1. I can't hold my liquor; and

    2. I never get the facts straight.

  5. Awesome that your mom is 90 and doing well, Paul. Glad to hear it. My dad's 87 this month. I tell him I've won 5 or 6 Edgars. He doesn't check. Try it sometime. It might get you a free dessert.

  6. Jim,
    True story. On the Monday following the Edgars, I get into an elevator with my mother in her building in Florida, and a little old man I've never met (approximate age 92) looks at me and rasps: "If I had a vote, you'd have won the Edgar."

    My Mom tells me he's a retired songwriter and, thanks to her, has been forced to follow my career.

  7. Paul, that is the best elevator story EVER! It was great to see you in NYC--you were the most dapper guy there, IMHO.

  8. Paul,
    You represented us so well that I'll let the massage parlor comment slide.

    Your mom was only 19 when she had you? Wow, it was a different time.


  9. Paulie, you looked smashing in your tux and if Naomi wasn't such a good friend of NakedAuthors and such a wonderful writer and human being, I'd say you were robbed. On to Thrillerfest...