Monday, August 16, 2010

A Desert Sleuths Thank You

Author Bryan Gruley said I wouldn't mention my award, but I owe the Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime such a debt of gratitude that the thank you notes I'm sending won't be enough. So, this is a giant thank you to them, arriving before the mail.

On Saturday, the Desert Sleuths held their annual Write Now! Conference. It was a wonderful event, filled with authors and writing tips. Later this week, I hope to have all of that summarized. It's a great deal of material, and may take a couple blogs. And, it couldn't have been held at a nicer venue, the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix.

They invited me as a guest. And, it was such an honor since I was their first Fan Guest of Honor. They presented me with a certificate that says, "In recognition of her contribution to the writing community, the Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime is proud to announce that Lesa Holstine is the Guest of Honor at Write Now! 2010. This award includes a one-year dues-free chapter membership." Thank you! And, then they presented me with the most beautiful engraved bookmark, eight inches long, that says, "Lesa Holstine. Guest of Honor. Write Now 2010."

Thank you to President Roni Olson, and Event Chairman Chantelle Osman. They, along with the other members of Desert Sleuths, treated me like gold on Saturday. And, another big thank you to Judy Starbuck. If I hadn't met Judy at Poisoned Pen Bookstore quite a while ago, none of this would have happened.

So, until the blog is posted, here are picture highlights of the day. (Unfortunately, I have no picture of author Sheila Lowe, who had to leave early. But, I'm sure she'd rather I showed her book anyways.) Sheila kicked off the conference, discussing handwriting analysis.

Robin Burcell was our speaker before the book signing break. More on Robin on the later posts, but she's an author, an FBI-trained forensic officer, and a retired police officer. And, she finished the night at the Poisoned Pen with a presentation as well.
Robin Burcell
Following lunch, I received my award from President Roni Olson, who introduced me to the audience.  Then, we had the funniest keynote presentation I've ever heard from author James O. Born.  My summary later this week will not do justice to Jim's humor.   It was too visual, and you really had to see it as well as hear him.  Jim is a Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  He's an author of crime novels under his own name, and under James O'Neal, he writes futuristic crime novels.

Fan Guest of Honor Lesa Holstine & Keynote Speaker James O. Born
The last speaker of the day was Barbara Peters, owner of Poisoned Pen Bookstore and editor-in-chief of Poisoned Pen Press discussing the history of crime novels, and where they're going.  She also brought along Bryan Gruley, author of Starvation Lake and The Hanging Tree.

Many of us ended up at the Poisoned Pen afterward to hear Peters interview Gruley, Born and Burcell.

Jim Born and Bryan Gruley
But, before we left, the Desert Sleuths launched their new anthology, How Not to Survive a Vacation, a collection of crime short stories.   It will be available soon in area bookstores, and I'll be hosting them on September 25 at 2 p.m. for Authors @ The Teague.

So, thank you, to all of the members of Desert Sleuths for the honor of being your first Fan Guest of Honor.   I want to thank you so much for making this a special event for me.   It was a wonderful day, and I'm looking forward to next year's conference!  Thank you.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What a fun day! And you absolutely deserve the honor. :) Great pictures!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Elizabeth. It was a fun day. And, thanks for the note about the pictures, because my camera wasn't working right for the last couple events at the Poisoned Pen and the library, so I've been very frustrated with the pictures.

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the award, well deserved.

Thoughts in Progress

Lesa said...

Thank you, Mason. It was a wonderful honor.

James O. Born said...

I was in no way trying to be funny.

You've shattered my confidence and I'm not sure I'll speak in public again.

Besides, who wants to follow "The Guest of Honor"? The only person everyone in the room loves.

Had a great time and was proud to be there when you recieved your well-deserved reward.

Jim B.

Lesa said...


You weren't supposed to be reading this today anyways. It's not Thursday.

And, you think Chantelle invited you to be keynote speaker to give us a dry speech about police techniques? Huh! You were there to keep everyone awake after lunch.

Thank you. I had a great time. And, I can mention spending Friday night with you as well as all day Saturday, because I left before the last three women on Friday night.

I won't miss another one of your "performances" if we're at a conference together.

Thanks, Jim. It was fun.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, what an adventure. Congrats on the award and the cool bookmark. I think it would be interesting to meet all the people with such extensive backgrounds. I've always been interest in forensics and handwriting analysis.
Clarissa Draper from Listen To The Voices

Lesa said...

It was a terrific day, Clarissa. Thank you! Forensics, handwriting analysis, the future of books, and, of course, the techniques for dealing with a suspect on the street. Fortunately, I wasn't Jim Born's guinea pig for handcuffs.

Man of la Books said...

Congradulations, it sounded like a wonderful day. I'm looking forward to read about the rest of it.


Chantelle Osman said...

It was truly our pleasure to have you there! No one could have been more deserving - the work you do, the support you give authors and readers. . . We really could have gone on about you all day :) We are all so honored to count you as a member - though truly, you have been since day one.

I'm glad you thought Jim's presentation was good - I dozed off a little during his so I'm eager to see the recap later in the week ;)


Lesa said...

It was a wonderful day, Man of la Books. I enjoyed the entire day.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Chantelle. It's wonderful to have found all of you. Thank you for presenting me with a membership. I'll try to live up to the membership of a fan, a reader, and a librarian. In fact, I brought the copy of the new book to the library today. It's the one I purchased, and I'm donating it for the collection.

See, I knew if Jim tried to do a serious presentation that people would fall asleep! He needs to work on livening it up a little. ;)

Sheila Lowe said...

It was a pleasure to meet you in person. Of course, I should have asked for your handwriting! (it's not too late...)

Lesa said...

It was a pleasure to meet you, too, Sheila. Oh, that's OK. You did Barbara Peters'. But, thanks for mentioning it!

Robin Burcell said...

Count me in as one who had a great time at the conference. It was a wonderful event.

Very glad to see you honored, Lesa.

kathy d. said...

Congratulations on the honors! And great about the bookmark.

It is all so well deserved.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Robin! It was a terrific event, wasn't it? And, it was so nice to finally meet you! Loved sitting in the back row with you at the Poisoned Pen while you picked on Jim.

Lesa said...

Hi kathy,

Thank you! It's a beautiful bookmark. And, it was a great day.

Kris said...

COngrats! You deserve the award!

The bookmark sounds wonderful, I hope you'll post a picture in a future blog post.

Lesa said...


I'm having problems with the picture. I had planned to do it, but the bookmark is so shiny that when I get close enough to get a good picture, it reflects the camera!

I haven't been able to get a good shot of it that actually shows the bookmark instead of the reflection.

Thank you!

Kay said...

Lesa, I'm so excited for you. What a fun event! Sounds like a lot of fun and absolutely no one is more deserving!

Looking forward to seeing what other events you've been to lately. I'll be home on Thurday. The vacation has been amazing and we've had a wonderful time.

We'll likely be back to Phoenix next winter though, hopefully.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kay! It was a terrific event. I enjoyed all of it. The summary will be up the next couple days. Tonight, I'm going to PP to see Michael Capuzzo, author of The Murder Room. I haven't had a lot of time to get into it, but I love it.

I'm so glad you had a great vacation. Where did you go? You'll have to tell us about it on your blog when you get back.

I hope you get back to Phoenix, and I have the chance to see you again!