Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Stanford Connection

I attended my 30 year college reunion at Stanford University this past weekend, and one of the events I participated in was the "Alumni Authors Meet and Greet" at the Stanford Bookstore.

I've never had a signing at the bookstore, but after I got set up with a stack of Runoff paperbacks behind a table, I realized that the store had a special connection to my writing career. It was there that I first purchased the novels of Raymond Chandler, whose work inspired me to try my hand at detective fiction.

I had a further epiphany when I registered that the author two down on my left was thriller writer Meg Gardiner--and that she and I graduated in the same class. Meg lives in the UK, but had come across the pond to attend Bouchercon and the reunion. When I checked out her blog, I was surprised to find it filled shots from Indianapolis (as mine is), yet we hadn't run into each other during the entire conference.

I enjoyed meeting the authors to my immediate left and right as well. On my left was children's book author Betsy Franco, whose son James recently co-starred in the film Milk. On my right was Joanne Jacobs, who has written a book titled Our School about a charter school in San Jose.

I also meet and spoke with Stanford alum Suzanne Shaw as she was browsing for books. Suzanne was a former anchor at Bay Area TV station KRON and is currently the editorial director for NBC Bay Area.

All in all, it was a much more impactful event than I expected walking through the door of the bookstore after an already long reunion weekend!


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