Friday, December 07, 2012

An Evening of 40 Authors, 2 Publishers, 1 Editor, 1 Agent -- and Dozens of Mystery Lovers

Gala Mystery Night, New England Mobile Book Fair
[all photos by Dave Kanell]

Last night (Thurs. Dec. 6), the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton Highlands, Mass., hosted its first Gala Mystery Night, featuring 40 mystery authors and all the great people who come along with them (publishing teammates, spouses, volunteer photographers, you name it) -- and dozens of people eager to talk about mysteries, meet the authors, and purchase books signed right there in front of them by the hands that wrote them. It was a resounding success, thanks to owner Tom Lyons (read his story here), organizer David Ambler, and all the happy readers and writers on hand. If you've ever attended one of the famous holiday parties held at (now sadly closed) Kate's Mysteries in Cambridge, Mass., you'd recognize this gathering as a direct descendant with some great changes: more space, hourly changes of featured authors, and the largest independent bookstore in New England to explore whenever you need a break from the merry crowd.

I was excited to be there with COLD MIDNIGHT -- I may have brought the only "young adult" mystery, unless you count the books Jennifer McMahon (also of Vermont) is spinning out, which often involve teen characters but aren't usually called YA (these are dark, fierce, wonderful books -- and I'll be talking about her January release in a couple of weeks).

Linda Barnes, James Benn, McMahon, Steve Ulfelder, and Katherine Hall Page all signed their books for us; Dave got a chance to visit with Dave Zeltserman, as well as talking for quite a while with Benn, and briefly with Michael Palmer, Hallie Ephron, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, whose blockbuster thriller THE OTHER WOMAN is doing so well. (See review here!) Dave also enjoyed time with William Landay and William Martin, and caught some great photos of Joan Parker, widow of mystery Grandmaster Robert B. Parker, receiving a special award from the bookstore and giving, in return, a wonderful reading of a letter from her late husband.

BIG NEWS! Ellen Larson, the editor of the new YA imprint of Poisoned Pen Press -- titled, with charm, the Poisoned Pencil -- chatted with a number of authors at the event, and (ta-DAH!) has finished her initial readings of submissions for the imprint, choosing three manuscripts to go forward as an initial publication round. Larson, a seasoned "substantive editor" and writer herself, is looking forward to this next stage of helping authors get their books ready for publication. I can hardly wait to find out whose work she's picked and what the mysteries are! For more about Poisoned Pencil, check out the press announcement here.
Yours truly, with COLD MIDNIGHT

Dave Zeltserman

James Benn

Joan Parker receives award from Tom Lyons

Joan Parker reading letter from her husband Robert B. Parker


Ellen Larson said...

Great summary, Beth! And thanks for the Poisoned Pencil mention. :-)

Clea Simon said...

I was there too (signed 6-7). So sorry we didn't meet!