The last few days have been super busy. I've sat in on some interesting panels yesterday - how to keep a mystery series going and another on villains and heroes. Karen Slaughter, very good American author, happened to be on both.
My travelling companions and I took a trip to Chagrin Falls for the afternoon, a 45 minute drive to the outskirts of Cleveland. We had lunch at an inn and then did some shopping at Chico's, mecca to my friends, and wine store (mecca to me). We made it back in time to attend the Anthony awards ceremony - Louise Penny won for best novel so a huge congrats to her. I sat next to a wonderful couple from Florida who'd never been to a Bouchercon before. She's a newly retired English college prof so we had lots to talk about.
Of course, we had to round out the weekend with supper at a Mediterranean restaurant (although I'd stopped eating desserts by then). Nine of us walked to the restaurant district and had the upstairs to ourselves.
So, I'm now in the lobby of my hotel, waiting for Mary Jane and Linda to pick me up in half an hour. It's been a lot of fun being here. I've met some great people and spent a great deal of time discussing books and the industry. For instance, Rick Mofina and I spent Friday afternoon in the hotel bar talking shop. I used to sit beside Rick when we both worked for Health Canada and we had regular 'book talk' sessions. It was fun to catch up.
Star sightings: As I sent off the last blog entry, a woman sat beside me and we discussed logging onto the internet (you have to pay $13 a day to use it in your room but it's free in the lobby) and I asked her about the book she was reading. Mary Jane and Linda happened to walk by and MJ said, "Well if it isn't Brenda Chapman and Sara Paretsky." Sara is author of the VI Warshawski novels and spearheaded the Sisters in Crime organization. While I didn't recognize her, I sat in on the interview with Mary Higgins Clark. I was walking out for dinner and spotted her having a drink - I was very bold and asked if I could take her photo. She graciously agreed and I got a lovely pic that I will post when I get home. Michael Connelly also walked past me in the book room, but I didn't approach him - a regret, I'd have to say.
Time to pack up and head to the main entrance. I'll be home tonight tired and some pounds heavier, but it has been an interesting, fun and overall worthwhile trip to the U.S. Midwest.