Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On the road again...

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.


Joyce said...

Congratulations on the new deal! The book sounds great. It was nice to finally see you again yesterday. I plan to start reading Winter in June today, so if I don't get anything else done, it's all your fault.

Annette said...

Let me add my congratulations on the new book deal, Kathy! Whoo hoo!

It was great seeing you last night at the Festival. It was great seeing EVERYONE, but I didn't get to talk to anyone for long enough. So many people to chat with, so little time.

By the way, the Festival will be the topic of my blog here tomorrow complete with pictures, so y'all come back now, ya hear?

Jennie Bentley said...

Congratulations on the new deal; that sounds great. And please give Tasha a hug for me when you see her: she's one of my dearest friends, and I haven't seen her since she moved to Chicago last year.

Wilfred Bereswill said...


WHAT JENNIE SAID! Except I haven't known Tasha as long as she has.

Road trips can be fun and tiring all at the same time. Sounds like you had a good one.

Kristine said...

Congratulations on the new book deal! GREAT news.

Sorry I missed everyone at the Festival.

Jennie Bentley said...

I can't resist... I don't have anything to say, but the word verification I'm looking at is "retry," and I can't not do it!

Author Chris said...

And may I add -- you're better than Bruce Willis, with whom I also did improv many, many moons ago!