Saturday, May 20, 2006

Atlas Shrugged at BookExpo America

Dinner with the Gang

We pick up our coverage of BEA with a Big Earth Publishing dinner I attended on Friday evening with Big Earth staff and authors. From left to right, the five gentlemen in the foreground in the picture below are: David Oskin, President of Big Earth, Ben LeRoy, Publisher of Bleak House Books, a Big Earth imprint, Reed Farrel Coleman, Bleak House Books author, Steve Brewer, Intrigue Press author and yours truly, showing off my bald spot. Reed is telling us a great story about research he did into the pornography industry for an upcoming book. I would repeat it, but I suspect we are going to find a variant in Reed's book and I don't want to ruin it for you!

No Chuck Yeager

The next morning before hitting the show, I dragged my wife to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Here I am getting strapped into a flight simulator with full pitch, roll and yaw capabilities. I managed to crash into a hillside while flying inverted at Mach 2. I definitely don't have the "Right Stuff."

Fun at The Booth

I stopped in again at the Big Earth booth to say hello to the crew ... and did a Carol Merrill number in front of the poster for Candy from Strangers. Turns out that's very appropriate because Carol is from Wisconsin, just like Bleak House (and Big Earth).

Here's a shot of fellow author Steve Brewer in front of the cool cover for his great new book.

Here are Ben and I showing off our black formal wear.

And here is my editor, Alison Janssen, carrying all of Big Earth Publishing on her shoulders, which might lead some to make a bad pun about Atlas Shrugged. But I would never do that.

That's One Addiction I've Avoided

My private eye protagonist, August Riordan, makes a little joke about being hooked on phonics around about chapter 4 of Candy from Strangers, so I had to snap a picture of this podium when I saw it in a booth in the children's section of the tradeshow.

Just a Taste

Given the outright hostility Google's Book Search project has engendered amongst publishers and authors, you have to give them credit just for having the guts to show up at the industry's largest tradeshow. The tag line reads, "Just a taste." Isn't that what Eve said to Adam?

Gallery of Poorly Executed Author Photos

I had a signing in the autograph hall late in the afternoon, so I decided to go early and see if I could spot some of the big names who were signing before me. Some eye of the Newt:

And a particularly fuzzy and dark photo of Joyce Carol Oats (because the large crowd waiting to see her kept me well out of effective striking range):

John Connelly waiting in line to see Laura Lippman--and suffering greatly from my inability to correct red eye.

The aforementioned Laura:

And probably my best shot of the bunch, a goateed Dennis Lehane hamming it up a little. The caption could be, "How ya like me now?"

Signing Time

Here's the long line of people waiting for me to sign at 4:30.

I wish--they are waiting to see Dennis.

But we did have a good stream of folks coming by to get signed advanced readers' copies of Candy from Strangers. I was gratified to see Bobby McCue, the manager of the Mystery Bookstore, Mary Riley from Book'em Mysteries, mystery reviewer, blogger and writer David J. Montgomery and a gentleman from Baltimore's Mystery Loves Company whose name I didn't get.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by!


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