Tuesday, January 29, 2008

View from the stage

Remember the awful storms that hit LA over the weekend? They made the national news, with roads closed, flooding, high winds, and record precipitation.

That's when I headed down there from San Francisco with two author friends, Ann Parker (The Silver Rush Mysteries, http://www.annparker.com/)
and Hailey Lind (Art Lovers Mysteries, http://www.haileylind.com/).

Armed with several pounds of chocolate, snacks, and emergency equipment, we piled into Ann's Pilot and drove on through, nearly 450 miles down route 101. All to keep a date with the "Mystery on the Menu" program at the Cerritos Library.

Was it worth it? No question!

The Friends of the Cerritos Library and the Library staff, led by Padmini Prabhakar, outdid themselves, organizing a day of mystery that was attended by 170 readers, some of whom can be seen in the photo (Click to enlarge). Tables were set up for each of 15 authors, with a group of readers to share a catered lunch. Every place setting included an attractive, informative program and a See's candy bar (you can see what impresses me).

From 11 am to 4 pm, attendees heard us on panels, asked questions, received door prizes, and browsed in the outstanding ad hoc bookstore set up by Linda Bivens of Crime Time Books (crimetimebooks@aol.com).

The library itself is an architectural wonder. Ann has a link and a description on her blog site. (www.theladykillers.typepad.com)

Another bonus: Thanks to Linda Bivens, I got to see and sign the first copies of Murder in Miniature.

On several trips to LA, I've found the most welcoming and enthusiastic readers and booksellers. I'm going back for the LA Times Festival of Books in April. Rain or shine.


Kathryn Lilley said...

Sounds like a fantastic event! Last weekend, I was also battling the rains driving back from Las Vegas, where I had fun at a radio interview and a signing at great new bookstore in Henderson called Cheesecake and Crime.

Mindy K said...

What a great turn out! My husband and I were living in Cambridge, England in 2002 when I spotted a book store announcing an evening with 5 "Cozy" mystery writers. The sign said we should pick up our free tickets so I rushed inside. The authors coming were Jill Paton Walsh, Susanna Gregory, Michelle Sring, Marian Babson and Kate Charles. I insisted that we arrive early to get a chair and wondered where all the others were. They had maybe 25 chairs set up and only about ten of us attended. I was amazed at the small turn out, they even had wine and cheese. Anyway the ladies did not seem concerned and we had a wonderful discussion with them. As a long time mystery reader, it was an evening I'll always treasure.

Camille Minichino said...

Thanks for sharing that, Mindy.

For most of us writers, any size group of readers is a wonderful experience. If it's a small group you get to know the readers better; if it's a large group, there's a certain momentum and energy that is great fun.
Wherever writers and readers are gathered ... it's always a treasured time.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Gee, this looks absolutely fabulous. I'm sorry I wasn't there to see it and meet you all. I can understand why you drew so many fans.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was very much worth it to brave the elements, enduring a very long drive at the same time. Funny how being with friends can make it all worth while, and then the plus of a wonderful event, adding even more friends. That's batting 500! xoxoxo

Ann Parker said...

Ah Camille, you are a wizard with words... you've summed the whole event up so nicely! And how could I forget the See's chocolate at each place setting???
-- Ann