by Kathy Miller Haines
So I’ve been spending the past few weeks piggy backing book events on other trips I had to take. I’m not a good traveler, but the husband came with me for some of my journeys (adding music related tasks to our schedule to make it useful for both of us), which makes life much, much more pleasant (he’s an awesome co-traveler, especially when his wife manages to leave directions for everywhere they're supposed to drive to on the airplane).
Our first stop, Minneapolis and the awesome Once Upon a Crime. I can’t say enough about owners Pat and Gary, or their charming shop in one of the coolest neighborhoods I’ve been in for a while (if you go, make time for breakfast at the French Meadow, which we found it by accident because of a wrong turn directed by moi). Pat and Gary literally know every customer by name and have made it a point not to have a computer in their store so they know their inventory like the back of their hand. Plus they welcome dogs (like many great independent mystery stores). I also got to finally meet the lovely Harley Jane Kozak who I kept missing in Pittsburgh, but who was popping by to sign stock on the same day I was there.
Next stop: New York for a panel for the Edgar's week symposium on how former and current actors have taken theatrical techniques (such as improvisational comedy) and turned them into mystery writing tools. I’m still shaking that I got a chance to participate in this awesome panel, with the remarkable Chris Grabenstein, Cordelia Frances Biddle and Julia Pomeroy, the highlight of which was doing an improv demonstration with Chris. Afterwards, I ran around the city, meeting up with all those amazing folks who make Rosie possible and ending the day with a much too quick dinner with my best friend.
Last night was perhaps my favorite event of all, and not just because it was here, a mere fifteen minutes from my house: The Festival of Mystery. If you haven’t been to Mary Alice and Richard’s amazing marathon of writers before, it’s worth the trip. Every year there’s someone new that I’m dying to meet (or watch from afar because I’m too nervous to introduce myself). This year’s fantastic event was no exception.
This weekend, I’m spending Mother’s day in Michigan, where I’ll be on a special panel at Aunt Agatha’s in Ann Arbor (boy, am I pumping up the alliteration or what?) with Tasha Alexander and Carrie Bebris. The last time I was in Ann Arbor was for the Kerrytown Book Festival, but somehow I managed to skip actually going to Aunt Agatha’s because…well…I’m a moron.
And then, I’m done. Which is fortunate, because in addition to launching Winter in June next month, I need a little downtime to celebrate this good news (from yesterday’s Publisher’s Lunch):
Kathryn Miller Haines's HOMEFRONT, featuring a 15 year-old whose mother has died and father has returned from the war an injured and different man; now not only does she have to deal with a new school and a whole new life, she must also figure out a way to help her father's fledgling detective agency, to Nancy Mercado at Roaring Brook Press, in a two-book deal, for publication in early 2011.