by Annette Dashofy
I love books and I love author events. The Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA puts over 40 authors and their books in one venue for an evening of schmoozing. It doesn’t get any better.
Someday, I hope to be sitting behind one of those tables with my novels piled in front of me. For now, I go to help out anyway I can.
And to schmooze.
Okay, so I bought some books, too. But the joy is seeing old friends from near and far.
In the “near” category is Pittsburgh’s (and Working Stiffs) own Kathryn Miller Haines looking oh so cute.
Other Pittsburgh mystery writers in attendance were Nancy Martin, Kathleen George, Lila Shaara, and Heather Terrell. Working Stiffs Joyce Tremel, Martha Reed, and Paula Matter were all spotted with armloads of books, too.
I didn’t do a very good job of getting photos during the Festival. My job this year was manning the ticket sales with Kathy Sweeney (of The Lipstick Chronicles fame). We had a blast.
Did I mention the bags of books? The first people through the doors receive a free bag of books. Folks began lining up at 1PM in a driving rain. The doors didn’t open until 4PM. It looked like the lines of fans waiting to buy tickets for Bruce Springsteen. Kathy and I agreed it gives us hope for humanity. The bags of books were gone in under nine minutes.
When the Festival finally wound down around 8PM, we adjourned to the annual pizza party back at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop. And I finally managed to snap some pictures.
Okay, rule number one: never take pictures when people are eating.
Our hosts for the event were Richard and Mary Alice, owners of Mystery Lovers. I can’t imagine the workload they deal with putting the Festival together each year.
Here I am with my dear friend John J. Lamb, author of the Teddy Bear Collectors Mystery Series. We share an agent and John was one of the first people I asked to present a workshop at the Pennwriters Conference when I accepted the coordinator job. He accepted without hesitation. So we’ll see more of him next week.
And here I am with my fellow Guppies (Great Un Published. However, it appears that I am the only one in this group without a published novel). Left to right: Sheila Connolly (who also writes as Sarah Atwell), Lorraine Bartlett (who also writes as Lorna Barrett), Meredith Cole, and yours truly.
My final task of the evening was escorting Toni Kelner to the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott (which next weekend will be home to the Pennwriters Conference). I hadn’t met Toni before the Festival, but we had a lovely conversation in the car and I think it’s fair to say I have a new friend in the writing community.
Actually, I think it’s fair to say I have SEVERAL new friends in the writing community.
Thanks, Mary Alice and Richard, for giving readers and writers a chance to mingle.