A rainy day in New York

Rain was predicted Tuesday, and it was a lovely day. Clearing was predicted Wednesday, and the sky opened. Life as usual.

Wednesday morning I enjoyed the coffee room at the Library Hotel for a leisurely breakfast and perusal of the newspapers–although the tables there are really not big enough for the New York Times, they suit the lesser stature of USA Today just fine. Then I actually got an hour of work done on the new book, 2006’s Martinelli tale, which should make my editor happy, I must remember to tell her that when I see her for breakfast this morning (It’s now about 5:45, I sleep so well in NY.)

Wednesday is the traditional day for the Edgars week seminar, an all day series of talks on a number of writing topics from When Do I Give Up My Day Job? to What the Critics Want. There’s not a whole lot of surprises there for someone like me, who has been in this odd business for, Lord, thirteen years? now, but I like to listen to friends talking on their given topic, and I always learn something.

Best of all, however, I had lunch with SJ Rozan, whom I love as much as I admire, and now share an editor and publishing house as well. She too virtuously worked during the morning, and while we had lunch we caught up on the other’s life, the state of the publishing world, and even brainstormed on a new book neither of us will have the nerve to suggest to our editor, but would knock Dan Brown’s book off the chart if we but had the time. As the song says, “The door’s not shut on my genuis but, I just don’t have the time…”

Later on, SJ interviewed the reigning queen of mysteries, Marcia Muller, who wins the Grand Master award this year. Marcia was one of the three women who started the current movement towards women detectives during the 1980s, with Edwin of the Iron Shoes. (Who were the other two? A prize if you guessed Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton.)

I walked back to the hotel with Katherine Neville and her neuroscientist husband, had an hour to fight with my nonexistant email, and then changed for the evening outing at the terribly posh New York Yacht Club. Half an hour before the thing started, while we were all in our hotel rooms getting dressed, we had a powerful thunderstorm and the streets were suddenly drenched, but fortunately the worst of it was over before I, at any rate, had to set out. Events like this are notable not for the food or drink but for the chance of seeing people you don’t see elsewhere, even at the Edgar pre-dinner cocktail party tonight, because there’s such a crowd at that. I had nice talks with good friends HRF Keating and his wife Sheila Mitchell, Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben (anybody catch Harlan on the CBS morning show yesterday?), and a lot of others (the morning’s fresh coffee hasn’t been set out yet in the 24 hour room here, and I’m waiting for it, can’t you tell?)

Today is another full day, from breakfast with Random House (the whole house, it’s a busy time) and filming some kind of Internet thing I’ll tell you about later, and of course, the Edgars themselves tonight. I was the chair of the Best First committee, so I get to present that award, which is always great fun.

Thanks for listening to the muttering lady, I hope your day will be less hectic than mine.


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  1. Jennifer Ice on April 28, 2005 at 12:57 pm

    Hooray for the Edgars!
    Congratulations on presenting an award! Are you taking any pictures of your adventure? It would be fun to see something of your trip in your next newsletter.

  2. Anonymous on April 28, 2005 at 2:57 pm

    Breath a prayer of thanks that it’s only raining in NYC. Not too many hours drive to your west, in Michigan, it’s snowing once again! GRRRR, and people wonder why we Northern folk get a little stir crazy this time of year.
    Incidentally, I now have an insistant curiosity niggling at the back of my mind about this brainstorming that you and your friend were doing that would knock Dan Brown off the charts. Hmmm, very interesting… Have fun at the Edgars tonight! Christy

  3. riobonito on April 28, 2005 at 3:05 pm

    Nice to hear from you, raining out here in California too, a bonus to me! God’s watering my garden, He does such a nice job too! Looking forward to hearing how this day goes, all the best!

  4. 2maple on April 28, 2005 at 4:14 pm

    Your rain became my rain. All 5-6 inches of it this week!…and it’e2’80’99s still coming down.

    The whole of central Maine is under flood watch (add this, plus snow melt, plus a similar event 2-3 weeks ago before the ground thawed ‘e2’80’93 you get the picture). I watch the rivers, usually well behaved and in their banks, now extending 30-50 feet into the woods, creeping across roads or into whatever else may have been built too close and roiling away in the center. As I was feeding our cows this morning, I was thinking that, while e.e. cummings may have had it right from a child’e2’80’99s view with his ‘e2’80’9cmud-luscious puddles’e2’80’9d, boot-sucking mud is more fitting for sodden barn yard.

    Regarding ‘e2’80’9ceven brainstormed on a new book neither of us will have the nerve to suggest to our editor’e2’80’9d, after marrying Shelock Holmes and dealing with what for many may be uncomfortable sides of human nature’e2’80’a6there’e2’80’99s something you’e2’80’99re hesitant to write about?? I don’e2’80’99t believe it. – Nan

  5. Cindie on April 28, 2005 at 4:58 pm

    Why do I enjoy your mutterings so mcuh? I get treated to a quote from *Flanders and Swann* along with all the other fun stuff.

  6. Rebecca on April 28, 2005 at 9:00 pm

    Less hectic? Not likely. I’m supposedly working at McDonald’s but after three phone calls have still made NO progress on getting on the schedule.

    Er… sorry, that was rather random. Glad you’re having fun! Sometimes I think I would love to be you.

  7. Erin on April 28, 2005 at 9:22 pm

    Hey! I just finished Katherine Neville’s first book. Weird coincidence. Or not so much, as you are, you know, currently attending an event for author’s.

    Please tell me you were being sarcastic about the 5:45am being a good thing. I cringed on your behalf when I read that. But then, my college student mind says that anything before 9am is “early”.

    As with everyone else, I’m quite curious about that new book brainstorm. Frankly, I think all of your books are already way better than Dan Brown’s=) You have so much variety of theme and style while all of his books are the same. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Angels and Deamons, but after that the stories just got repetative and none of them called out for a second read. I’ve read Beekeeper’s Apprentice at least four times.

    By the way, I left a metaphorical puddle of drool on my desk when you described your hotel. That place sounds so cool!

  8. Jamie on April 28, 2005 at 10:48 pm

    rain…snow…just one of the reasons I joined the military, to get out of the NE!! It’s was a sunny day, high of 77 down here in the heart of dixie. 😉 you have fun up there.

  9. Pen on April 29, 2005 at 7:59 am

    I read the word “Martinelli” – hooray! Can’t wait for the next book in this wonderful series. Your info on your trip to the Edgars is so enjoyable – at least for we readers.

  10. FeltHat on April 29, 2005 at 7:59 am

    I love reading your tales of a not quite ordinary trip to NYC.
    I always sleep atrociously when not at home ( & sometimes the insomnia invades at home too)

    & really glad to hear you are working on your Martinelli book – I’m waiting with baited breath here in sunny early morning Bristol UK

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