It's Friday! And not just any ordinary Friday, it's the Friday before Bouchercon! Those of you who are attending, I hope you'll plan to attend one (or both) of the panels I'm moderating. The first is on Friday at 9:00am. Yes, I know that's kind of early, but it'll be worth it. This one is the Old Friends, New Friends panel. I'll be interrogating...I mean talking with Chris Grabenstein, Jeff Cohen, Parnell Hall, Mary Jane Maffini and Libby Fischer Hellmann. This panel will be in the Gold Room.
The second panel is also at 9:00am. This time on Saturday and it's called Mystery Made in the Midwest. This panel includes Michael Harvey, Sharon Fiffer, Linda Rohrbough, Carla Buckley and John Rector. And this one is in the Whitehall Room.
And while I'm pluggin' the panels, I also want to plug the xuni.com panel...that's not actually what it's called, but it's moderated by Maddee James (Ms. xuni.com herself) and includes xuni authors: Jan Burke, Marcia Clark, Julia Heaberlin, Carter Wilson and Jim Conway. It will be at 11:30 on Friday in the Gold Room.
O.k. that's my last plea for attendees. Those who aren't coming to Cleveland for Bouchercon, I'll have plenty of pictures (and hopefully video) and recap to share. I'll try to do some posts during Bouchercon, but it'll all depend on how crazy things are. I'll definitely work to at least post some pics to the Facebook page! I'm also going to work on securing some exclusive loot for contest prizes both here and on the FB page, so watch for that.
Attendees, also note that the Bouchercon coordinators added a list of places to dine and places that will give Bcon attendees discounts. That's here, so be sure to take a look at that.
I announced on the Facebook page earlier this week about my other completely amazing news. I was keeping mum on it until it was officially announced. I'm still even a little superstitious talking about it, but....Murder and Mayhem in Muskego has announced it, so, I will be interviewing Robert Crais at this year's conference! That is, of course, if I'm not hyperventilating. ;-) I'm just kidding. I'm super excited and hope that if you can come out, you will. My friend Larry, who reads the blog regularly, will be there to support me--and keep a paper bag handy. Looking forward to seeing you Larry!
I also wanted to point out that if you scroll down all the way to the bottom of the blog where my little Shelf Awareness widget dohickey is, the present contest is to win a five pack of mysteries. Don't ask me what they are, I have no idea, I just noticed that my widget had changed and that's what it changed to. So go forth, enter to win!
I think that's all the yakkin' I have to do this week. Please, please, please, if you're going to be at Bouchercon, jump in front of my face and say "hi" at some time during the weekend. I truly love to see the faces on the other end who read the blog. It makes my heart swell.
Now on to the important stuff! Will Lavender! I discovered Will when his most recent book, DOMINANCE, came out last summer--wow did he knock my socks off. So, I jumped in front of HIS face at Bouchercon last year to meet him. I stole my friend Lesa's saying, "authors are my rock stars." And that's STILL the way I feel when I meet them. Will's very nice--and smart--and funny (as you'll soon see), so if you have the chance to meet him be sure to say "hi."
I am thrilled to be featuring him today and to share a little about him with you. I'll let him take it away!
1. The TV show I absolutely can’t miss is: Right now I’m into Breaking Bad. I like the interplay between characters and the way every character is steeped in this shadowy, not-quite-evil/not-quite-good grayness. It reminds me a lot of David Simon’s The Wire, but I actually enjoy BB more simply because it’s a little more stylized, a little more fever dream-ish.
2. If I could sit next to anyone (not related to me) on a cross-country flight, it would be: If I’m allowed to rip open the space-time continuum, I’d love to sit next to the philosopher Rene Descartes. One reason is that my new novel features him, and I think he could help me with some plot points. But another reason is that Descartes was an interesting dude: mathematician, father of the enlightenment, writer of a secret journal, and quite possibly a Satanist. I’m pretty sure he would get the best of me on an intellectual level, but I’d blow his mind when we got to the airport and I introduced him to Panera Bread.
3. Happiness is: They say everybody’s happy when Mama’s happy, and this is the case in the Lavender house. I love it when my wife is happy, when I’m making her happy, when everything seems to be in its proper order and we’re relaxed enough to actually enjoy our kids. The world moves way too fast (at this moment we have a son in football, a daughter in Girl Scouts, and a dad who loves to watch football and eat Girl Scout cookies), and sometimes a person yearns for the still, the boring, the just-sitting-here-doing-nothing. I’m most happy when I can enjoy those moments with my wife.
4. The fictional character that most reflects my personality is: I’ve always loved Bunk from The Wire. A lot of people dig Omar, some people are crazy about McNulty, but I was a Bunk man. Bunk had an easygoing, almost detached personality—and then he didn’t. I was always entertained by his moments of furious intensity, but I especially loved it when he was just being Bunk, shrugging at the world, easing his partner McNulty back from another ledge. Let it be said that Bunk is one of the greatest TV characters ever written; I only wish the show would’ve featured him more.
And for his bucket list...
At the absolute top of the bucket list right now is...well, I’ll just put it into four words: Maine. Fall. A sailboat. I’ve been on a nautical kick recently, and I’ve had this bizarre, fetishistic urge to get out on a boat wearing a Ralph Lauren windbreaker and hugging a shaggy dog while the water splashes up on my face. The ideal place and time to do this is obviously in the northeast, when the leaves are just turning. And then after my boat expedition I’d of course retire to my lakeside cabin and write my novel. I feel like I could morph right into Stephen King if some rich benefactor would only pay for me to live in Maine for a season.
I have to tell you, right now this is vying for my favorite Five on Friday so far. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as me. I have a feeling Will would keep Decartes in stitches during that cross country flight.
Will is going to be at Bouchercon and if you'd like to experience his intelligent wit in person, he'll be on the "Avoid the Unbelievable" panel at 1:30 on Saturday. And if you're interested in trying out his book DOMINANCE, it just came out in paperback. It was one of my favorite reads of 2011. (Not to mention the hardcover jacket is one of my favorite covers of all time - gorgeous!)
Have a super, fabulous weekend everyone, and HAPPY READING!