The Way Home
I'm sitting in a small cafe in Heathrow airport, trying not to think about how much money I've spent on stupid T-Mobile internet passes over the last few months.
My flight back to New York leaves in just over two hours, and I have to say my trip abroad was an unqualified success. My publisher really pulled out all the stops, and a special thanks go out to Catherine, Belinda and Suzy who accompanied me to Bristol. They were wonderful guides, and I know my UK career is in good hands. I can't thank them enough.
As it stands, my six day tally clocks in at:
--4 airline flights
--2 train rides
--4 different hotels
--Approximately 150 books signed at 6 different stores
CrimeFest was a terrific conference, and my first outside the U.S. Thanks go out to Adrian Muller for inviting me, and for organizing a great event (even more so considering this was the inaugural Crimefest). The panels were interesting and well-attended, and I have a slew of photographs from the trip that will be posted as I catch up some much-needed sleep. I also must give a shout out to Kevin Wignall, fellow "Morality in Crime Fiction" panelist, simply because he mentioned receiving a Google Alert after I posted about reading his (fantastic) novel WHO IS CONRAD HIRST? on my flight back from Dublin. So hopefully Kevin will get another Google Alert from this as well.
Other authors I met in person for the first time included: Jeff Lindsay (who went to Middlebury--boo!), James Twining (who is hopefully over his hay fever), Meg Gardiner (whose husband taught our banquet table the true story of how the internet was created), Simon Kernick, Chris Mooney, Katherine John, Laurie R. King, Allan "Sunshine" Guthrie, Steve Mosby, Yrsa Sigurdardottir (whose last name I mangled during our panel), Michael Morley, John Rickards and Laura Wilson. Thanks to everyone for their incredible hospitality.
Perhaps the most memorable moment from the conference occurred yesterday afternoon following Ian Rankin's interview with Peter Guttridge. After the talk ended I went to the men's room, and right before entering I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if it was just me and Ian Rankin in the bathroom?"
Sure enough I open the door, and who am I alone with in the men's room? None other than Ian Rankin. I thought about it, but decided offering to shake his hand would have been slightly inappropriate.