Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fest of the West, Part I

I will be The Rap Sheet’s man in the City of Angels for the next few days, covering the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. After stopping by the L.A. Times building downtown to pick up a press credential, I fought my way through the city’s infamous traffic to the Westwood district to attend the pre-festival event: the Mystery Bookstore’s party, which was also being hosted by the Mystery Writers of America.

Authors from all the crime-fiction food groups were there to be seen and chatted up. There was techno-savvy, podcasting wizard Seth Hardwood (whose hard-boiled gem, Jack Wakes Up, launches in May) along with wise guy Lee Goldberg, whose “Mr. Monk” novels document the further adventures of television’s obsessive-compulsive detective. Elsewhere I found San Francisco historical mystery writer Kelli Stanley, who knocked the ancients silly with her “Roman Noir” debut, Nox Dormienda (which she reports will soon be translated into Italian) and old-school master Mary Higgins Clark, who joined these festivities along with her sometime writing partner and daughter Dianne.

The bookshop was jammed with people, and store co-managers Bobby McCue and Linda Brown had their hands full selling books, refilling glasses, and herding the various authors. One wordsmith Brown did not seem to mind herding was SoCal’s debonair and talented T. Jefferson Parker. She made a special point of asking me to send her a copy of my picture of them together.

Well, that’s all for now. Check in here later for the news from Saturday, the first day of this two-day festival.

The King of, Seth Harwood

Blogger, TV authority, and Monk man Lee Goldberg

Historical novelist and blogger-film fan Kelli Stanley

“Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark

Bookstore manager Linda Brown with author T. Jefferson Parker

READ MORE:L.A. Festival of Books at UCLA Gets Off to a Cool Start,” by Mary Forgione (Los Angeles Times); “The Mystery Bookstore in L.A.,” by Jen Forbus (Jen’s Book Thoughts).

1 comment:

The Mystery Bookstore said...

No woman in her right mind would mind herding Jeff Parker. But I also don't mind herding the lovely Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol Higgins Clark; and I delight in meeting newcomers like the very tall Seth Harwood (the top of his head is in most of my pix from the party. Thanks for joining us, Mark -- it's always wonderful to see you!

Linda Brown
Asst. Manager, The Mystery Bookstore Los Angeles