Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Year End Wrap-Up - Part 2
Those who follow my blog regularly know my favorite work day of every month is the day of the brown bag luncheons, when we get together to discuss books. And, I love my quarterly brown bag luncheons, when I get to share books with library patrons. But, I also love Authors @ The Teague. Thanks to the authors, and, quite often, thanks to Barbara Peters at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, I get to introduce authors to readers. This year, I was lucky enough to host more than twenty authors at the library. What better way to end the year by sharing those authors one more time with all of you? So, here's 2010 Authors @ The Teague - the year in pictures.
We kicked off the year in January with Frederick Ramsay. I love his Ike Schwartz mysteries, set in
Virginia, but he brought Botswana to the Velma Teague Library when he talked about his most recent book, Predators, a mystery set in that country.
I loved Lou Berney's debut caper novel, Gutshot Straight, so it was fun to introduce him to library patrons.
Cara Black is a favorite, and she'll be back at the library on March 10 to discuss her new book. But, in 2010, she talked about Paris, her character, Aimée Leduc, and the 2010 release, Murder in the Palais Royal.
I met Alan Bradley when he was at the Poisoned Pen on his tour for his first mystery, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Barbara Peters was kind enough to invite a couple of us to go out for drinks with them after his appearance there. He remembered that, and mentioned it in the acknowledgements of his second book. I told people he was my birthday present this year, since he appeared at the library on my birthday. Bradley told us all about Flavia de Luce, and his second book, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag.
Alan Bradley with me
We had a full house when Jacqueline Winspear returned for her second visit to the library. The Mapping of Love, the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery, attracted a number of men interested in Winspear's research as well as the book itself.
Peter May with me
Peter May brought us three books when he appeared at the library. He discussed his standalone, Virtually Dead, as well as recent books, Snakehead and Freezeframe. My only disappointment? No kilt.
Jenn McKinley is not only a mystery author, but also a fellow librarian. She's also one of the terrific authors who blogs at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, one of my favorite blogs. In fact, I knew her as a blogger and author there before I knew she worked at a library here in Phoenix. And, how can you resist a mystery about cupcakes? I met her first at the Poisoned Pen. When she appeared at Velma Teague to discuss Sprinkle with Murder, we provided an appropriate treat, cupcakes. Now, I'm looking forward to her new series about a librarian.
I first met Kris Neri when she appeared in 2009 with Desert Sleuths. She's a member of that Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She's also the owner of the Sedona bookstore, The Well Red Coyote. She brought two books, Revenge for Old Times' Sake and High Crimes on the Magical Plane.
Kris Neri and me
Larry Karp returned to Velma Teague to discuss the concluding book in his series about Scott Joplin, The Ragtime Kid. I'm sure he has something in mind for a new mystery, though.
I can't tell you how much fun we had when we hosted Women Who Kill. Debut mystery author Jeanne Matthews joined Juliet Blackwell, Sophie Littlefield, and Zoë Sharp. They were all in town for a Poisoned Pen Conference, so we were lucky to snag them. I'll always be grateful to Zoë Sharp. She was our very first author for Authors @ The Teague. And, she'll be returning with Cara Black and Libby Hellmann in March. (Or maybe you can tell how much fun we had that day.)
Left to right - Authors in back - Zoe Sharp, Jeanne Matthews, Sophie Littllefield, Juliet Blackwell. I'm in front.
When I reviewed Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt for Library Journal, I had never met nor heard of the debut author. Beth's book went on to hit The New York Times' Bestseller List, become the first pick for the Sam's Club book club, and a Costco pick of the month. It's a favorite of book clubs. And, Beth became a friend of mine, a friend who agreed to appear at the library when she came to visit. In our audience that day was a college professor who told Beth she has her students study the book for characterization. It's hard to forget Beth Hoffman's wonderful characters. Beth even brought me a hat she made herself, typical of Savannah garden parties.
Beth Hoffman with me
I never thought I'd get the chance to host bestselling author Lisa Gardner at the library. She was in town on tour for Live to Tell, the fourth D.D. Warren book. It was so nice of Poisoned Pen Bookstore to share her with the west side of the Valley.
Although most of the authors who appear at Velma Teague are mystery authors, I do get the chance to host a few authors. Beth Hoffman was the first one this year, but there were a few others. Carrie Vaughn is the author of the Kitty series, about a DJ who is a werewolf. She discussed fantasy, the latest in that series, Kitty Goes to War, and a fantastic standalone that I loved, Discord's Apple.
Kathy Cano-Murillo is another author who doesn't write mysteries. She's a local author who writes nonfiction, and, now, women's fiction involving crafts. Cano-Murillo had a popular craft column for years in The Arizona Republic as The Crafty Chica. She brought her first novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. Since her second book features Glendale, I hope she comes back when it's released.
Betty Webb always draws readers when she appears. The author of the Lena Jones books also has a series set in a California zoo, a little lighter than the Lena Jones mysteries. The Koala of Death was just as much fun as the first in the series.
I love to bring Camille Kimball to the library. So many of our readers like true crime, and Kimball's two books have been about crimes here in Maricopa County. What She Always Wanted was an interesting book about a wealthy woman who killed her husband.
It's also a treat to bring the Desert Sleuths. The authors, who are members of the Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, discussed and signed their second anthology, How Not to Survive a Vacation. I don't know when I've heard so much laughter from the audience and the panel.
I loved a recent blog post by Ann Littlewood. The author of the zoo mystery, Did Not Survive, posed on her blog with her Authors @ The Teague mug that we present to all of the authors. These zoo mysteries are darker than Betty Webb's, but just as informative about zoos and animals.
P.L. Gaus' Ohio Amish-Country mysteries are being reprinted, beginning with Blood of the Prodigal. He's been studying the Amish in Ohio for over thirty years, and the books are fascinating peeks into the Amish culture. He had wonderful stories to tell about his experiences doing research.
Hilary Davidson isn't a debut author, but The Damage Done was a debut mystery. Hilary writes Frommer guides and travel pieces. But, after reading The Damage Done, and hearing her discussion at the library, I think she'll be better known eventually for her crime novels. I enjoyed my time, and lunch, with this terrific author.
Hilary Davidson and me
Thank you to all of the authors who made Authors @ The Teague a successful series during 2010. I had so much fun, and I hope you enjoyed your appearance at the library.
So, what can you expect in 2011? Watch the sidebar on the blog for planned appearances. At the moment, these authors are scheduled -
Susan Pohlman - Jan. 22 - 2 p.m.
Donis Casey - Feb. 26 - 2 p.m.
Cara Black, Libby Hellmann & Zoe Sharp - March 10 - 2 p.m.
Vicki Delany & R.J. Harlick - March 30 - 2 p.m.
I'm sure we'll be booking more authors. And, I'm hoping we'll fit in the schedules for two authors I met this year. Deborah Coonts and Robert Dugoni should both be in the area when their new books come out, and I've been corresponding with both of them about appearing for Authors @ The Teague. Sneak peek pictures, in hopes they'll know I'd love to host them.
Robert Dugoni and me
So, if you're an author, particularly a mystery author, who will be in the Phoenix area, and want to appear in a small venue, with no promise as to the size of the audience, contact me! I'm at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Keep Authors @ The Teague in mind for your 2011 schedule!
And, thank you, again, to all of the authors who appeared for Authors @ The Teague in 2010. You truly are treasures. Thank you.