I'm writing this at 6:30 PM Eastern Time Thursday in Indianapolis as I rest up from today's activities and get ready for those left to enjoy this evening.
Here's what I did today:
8:30 AM -- Grabbed a venti non-fat latte and a slice of pumpkin loaf from Starbucks which is conveniently placed in the Hyatt Regency Lobby.
9:00 AM -- Attended the Killer Hobbies panel. Cozy mystery writers who base their tales on crafts are fun panelists because they usually have some wonderful stories to tell. I was especially interested in this panel because Beth Groundwater, my roommate, was one of the panelists. The crafty subjects ranged from Beth's gift baskets to Joanna Campbell Slan's scrapbooking, to knitting and crocheting from Sally Goldenbaum and Betty Hechtman, and to the miniatures of Camillie Minichino aka Margaret Grace.
10:30 AM -- Attended the Heroes For Our Times panel, which included moderator Phil Dunlap, Meg Gardiner, Robert Ward, Sally Wright, and (TA DA) one of our Wyoming favorites, Craig Johnson. I'm beginning to think that every mystery writer has a great sense of humor, even when they write serious mysteries. Why do you think that is?
In here I did a few online chores, ate lunch, hovered around the hospitality room until the soft serve ice cream was ready, ate two candy bars, and stopped by my room for Tums. As it turned out, the light in our bathroom was flashing on and off, so I went down to the lobby to ask for a bulb replacement. I found myself standing next to a tall good-looking guy, made eye contact and smiled as I walked up (I'm old but I'm not dead), and realized I was standing inches from Lee Child. My brain froze. What should I say? "Hi?" Or maybe gush, "I love your books." Or should I look around and nonchalantly ask, "Where's Jack?" I, of course, did none of those things. I simply told the desk clerk about the light, then left like a reasonable, normal grown-up. Darn it.
3:00 PM -- I had won a Hot Ticket to attend a small group session with thriller author Joseph Finder, so I found the little boardroom, took one of the last seats available which turned out to be right next to Joe, and participated in a very fun Q&A -- we now know stuff about Joe Finder's books and his writing career that you probably wish you knew.
4:30 PM -- I attended a panel called The Fixers, which was about the thriller protagonists who "fix" things. George Easter was the moderator, and the authors were Bret Battles, Andrew Grant, Mike Lawson, and (TA DA) Lee Child. Another good panel, and again, these guys were funny. And did you know Andrew Grant is Lee Child's brother? Other than the fact that they look a lot alike and both have British accents, how would you know?
Throughout the day I've had chances to sit and chat with mystery fans who don't write. Interestingly enough, we end up talking more about grandkids and where we live and our hobbies than we do about mysteries. This is one of the best parts of mystery conventions.
Okay, so here I am, sending this little report off today so I don't have to write a post at midnight. After I've eaten, I'll attend the Toastmaster Interview with S. J. Rozan at 8:00. And then at 9:00, it's off to Gameworks at the Circle Center Mall (hopefully I'll find that okay since there's a walkway from the hotel to the mall). This is the Thursday Night Extravaganza. All I really know about is the talent show, but I guess there will be lots of other stuff going on as well. Might as well check it out. Just because I have to attend a 7:30 AM event tomorrow morning is no reason to get any rest tonight.
I'll be back again sometime Friday afternoon or evening to let you know how things are going.