Sunday, April 18, 2010

Collector's item.

Talking of An Embarrassment of Corpses ("my Embarrassment," as I refer to it for short), the book came out toward the end of the year, perfectly timed for Christmas gifts but already past the deadline for Edgar Award consideration -- at least, that's my excuse. On Christmas Day that year, my brother-in-law Tom gave me a suspicious package, which turned out to be a copy of my own book.  And he and his then wife had autographed it for me, complete with their academic qualifications. Ha bloody ha. But at least it was a sale.

I used this book as my general tote-about copy, including the notes and page-turn cheats I needed when I made the audiobook. (And the egregious typos.) But then it occurred to me that if my in-laws were claiming to have written it, what if other people did as well. I started asking my fellow authors at conventions if they'd also claim it as their own and sign it to me. And they did. S. J. Rozan and Dale Fututani Flanagan added their chop. Carole Lea Benjamin added the signature and pawprint of the excellent Dexter. And memorably, Sparkle Hayter gave it a kiss-print. (Lucky book.)

The list of great mystery writers continues with (in no particular order, honestly) Val McDermid, Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, Sujata Massey, Donna Andrews, Jerrilyn Farmer, Janet Lawrence, Barbara Jaye Wilson, Penelope Evans, Tom Savage, Gerald Schiller, Sue Henry, Joyce Christmas, Susan Moody, Polly Whitney, Dean James, Brenda English, Tom Kreisberg, Jackie Girdner, and Nancy Bartholomew. And my particular friends (this time in strict alphabetical order) Rhys Bowen, Meg Chittenden and Kathleen Taylor, who is often spotted around these parts. And now Gene Wilder, since I had the book with me at last week's conference. He's not a mystery novelist, but he did write the screenplay for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother.

(I didn't have it with me for Janet Evanovovich, but she cheerfully wrote that she loved my work when she inscribed a copy of Hot Six for me. Of course, she's never heard of me. Who has?)


  1. Gene Wilder may not have written a mystery novel, but he co-wrote the funniest movie in history, Young Frankenstein*, which counts for a whole lot.

    And I'll bet Janet Evanovich has heard of you-I heard she used to hang quietly around DorothyL back in the day.

    (*yes, yes, yes, Blazing Saddles is funny, but it doesn't hold a candle to YF)

    Speaking of DL- have you outed your blog there yet?

  2. Gene -- or Mr. Wilder as those of us in the know are allowed to call him -- also wrote a couple of made-for-TV mystery movies in which he played the detective.

    I went on DL a few months ago to ask for some title suggestions for the presentations I've been doing recently, but only received two replies, neither in the forum itself. I think it was the same time as Bouchercon, so attention was elsewhere. I don't think I mentioned the blog, but there are several DLers among my friends on facebook, and I've certainly plugged it there.

    Where is Diane Plumley, for that matter? DP, if you're reading this stuff, reveal yourself! (I only have a hit counter -- I don't track who reads this.)

  3. Hey--I found my name on google! And it was you!! What--you can't read my drivel on facebook anymore!! Why not?

    What is the question?

    Not like I'd ever have an answer.
    I don't really go on DL anymore, I get myself into too much trouble, plus it's hard to keep up with so many things you are supposed to keep up with, if you know what I mean about keeping up with stuff.

    People where urging me to write a road trip mystery--slight difficulty--I found I can't write.

    See ya!

  4. I haven't seen you post anything on facebook for months. How's Paul doing? Never mind answering here, I'll find you some other way.

    Hey, sign up as a follower of my blog, dammit.