Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Fitting Tribute

James O. Born

Last week I attended the Edgar events in New York. Among the wonderful experiences that defined the week was meeting more of the great people at TOR who got me very fired up about my novel coming out next month. They fed me like I was destined for sacrifice and later disseminated to hungry people in Canada.

I was squired around town by my wonderful agent, Meg Ruley. A working writer could ask no more out of life than an agent like Meg. Not only is she a great date to the various parties, a tireless promoter of her authors, an incredibly insightful source into the murky world of publishing, but she also has great input on novels. She made my week.

It was great to see so many friends while in New York.

But to me, one of the nicest moments occurred at the Edgar ceremony Thursday night. It was not Lee Child’s entertaining stint as master of ceremony (Although I’d vote to make him the permanent MC). It was not seeing Chuck Box win the Best Novel Edgar (although he’s a good guy and good writer). It was James Lee Burke’s Grandmaster Edgar.

It started with a quick photo montage showing Mr. Burke as a child and young man. Then his daughter, Alafair Burke (Who for journalistic integrity I must admit is a friend of mine) gave the introduction that any father would dream of. Funny, touching and direct, Ms Burke showed the grace and class every father sees in his daughter. Then Mr. Burke said a few touching words in his soft southern accent and accepted the award.

I’ve read a dozen James Lee Burke novels and I’m the father of a daughter. That combination made those few minutes the best of a great week.


  1. James Lee Burke makes me cry. I savor every word he writes like drops of water on a thirsty tongue. I am so jealous, Jim, that you had that great experience.

  2. James Lee Burke's novels always make me homesick. No one captures the look, and feel, and soul of that part of Louisiana better.

  3. A lovely post, Jim. I have never met (eek - or read) Mr. Burke, but I know Alafair (we have the same editor) and she is a lot of fun. It must have been a really great evening.

  4. james O. Born5/07/2009 9:09 AM

    The photo was the peak of the evening.

  5. You're a good Dad and someday -- many years from now -- she will speak as you are awarded Grand Master status...and also inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame. (Bobby Bowden, age 123, will also speak).

  6. But in this photo, neither of you have your shirt open. I thought from last week's post that was your new modus operandi when having your picture taken.