Tag Archives: Events

CrimeFest 2012: I’ll be there

I’ve just worked out my schedule for May, and am psyched to say that I’ll be attending CrimeFest in Bristol. If you’re wondering what to do with yourself that weekend, come on down and hang out with me and a whole lot of other great crime writers and suspense fiction fans.

24-27 May 2012
Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
College Green
Bristol BS1 5TA
United Kingdom

Travel recap: Wordpool, Blackpool, Liverpool

I have been to The North.

A ways north, in any case. Last week I appeared at Wordpool, the energetic and thoroughly enjoyable writing festival in Blackpool. Here are a few photos.

Blackpool is a summer beach resort on the Irish Sea. Wordpool takes place in November. So the town was quiet. But the views of the sea were spectacular — silvery, slick and flat, almost like mercury poured out on a sheet of glass. And I grew up near the beach in southern California, so waking up to the sound of waves breaking on the beach really made me feel at home.

Here’s the “Suspense and Secrets” panel: me, moderator Ian Lamond, Zoë Sharp, Jenn Ashworth, and Wordpool maestro Jane Brooks. Our discussion took place at the fabulously refubished Blackpool Central Library.

Blackpool has a history of cabaret and club entertainment. (The Beatles played Blackpool in the early 60s.) The hotel where the Husband and I stayed boasted LIVE ENTERTAINMENT EVERY NIGHT. As it has for at least a hundred years. Photos of performers bedeck the halls.

And the night we stayed there, a trio of slinky young ladies was performing hits from Chicago. They were good. They were hot. The Husband and I couldn’t get through the door to the cabaret, because it was blocked by shopmobility scooters. We were the youngest guests at the hotel by thirty years. And all the other guests were wonderful — cheery, friendly, laughing, having a great time. In fact, everybody in Blackpool was open and welcoming and full of good humor.

We had a great time. Which made the hotel’s idiosyncrasies endearing. Such as the fact that it had no towels. And no phone in the room. And that when we checked in we were handed an instruction sheet that said: “Your key is blue. This means your breakfast time is 7:45 a.m.” (Us and 100 other guests. In the morning we had to line up outside the restaurant and have our keys checked, like we were boarding a Ryanair flight.) And that the hotel turned off the heat and hot water overnight. When they turned the boilers on again at 5:30 a.m., the walls and ceiling and floors crackled and groaned and shrieked. It was marvelous. Like being in The Shining.

The Husband said, “You’d think a hotel that includes the word ‘Grand’ in its advertising would be…” I said, “What, grand?” I pointed at the hotel’s notice board. Tacked front and center was a poster advertising a rival hotel up the road. That should have been our first clue. But in the end all was well. The Husband got to experience time travel to the 1950s.

I must also thank David Riley, better known around this blog as Gnomefinger, who encouraged Wordpool to invite me to speak, and helped promote the event. It was great to meet him at last.

And on the way home we finally made the pilgrimage. The one Paul has wanted to make since he was a kid and first heard the opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night.” We went to Liverpool.

We spent several hours following the Beatles trail. I posted a Penny Lane photo a couple of days ago (and the barbershop is still there on the corner — its motto is “Above us only hair.” Really.) Above is Paul at Strawberry Fields.

Here’s the street where George Harrison grew up. His house is in the row on the right. It was extremely basic: two up, two down — and no indoor plumbing.

The day finished with a descent into the Cavern.

And that’s the last place I saw the Husband. He wended his way down, and down, the stairs — the club is about three floors below ground. What happened then I can’t be sure of. But I think he was raptured.

Quite a day in the life.

Yes, I’ve been to Liverpool

More photos and a recap of my expedition to the North soon.

Today: Guildford Book Festival

It’s Crime Day. At the Guildford Book Festival, I mean.

I’m on at 5:15 p.m. The event is “An American Accent.” I’ll be talking thrillers with Felix Riley. Our host for the event is the charming and witty Simon Brett.

So come on down to Guildford and hear me talk in my funny American accent. When you’re done, you can wander the medieval streets of the city, or even head over to the cathedral. This cathedral. The one where they filmed The Omen.

What could be more fun?

This Saturday: Guildford Book Festival

Saturday afternoon I’ll be at the Guildford Book Festival. October 22 is Crime Day at the festival (“8 hours of hot plots and cold-blooded murder”). I’m doing “An American Accent” with fellow crime writer Felix Riley. The event will be hosted by the charming and witty Simon Brett.

Guildford Book Festival
An American Accent: Meg Gardiner and Felix Riley
Saturday 22 October
The Electric Theatre 5.15pm

Tonight: Crime in the Court

This evening I’ll be at Crime in the Court, described as an informal gathering for crime fans to meet crime writers. Which makes it one of my favorite types of gatherings. It’s sponsored by the wonderful guys at Goldsboro Books, and let’s hope the weather stays good on this summer solstice, because it would be great to do my gathering outside in the extraordinarily charming surroundings of Cecil Court.

The event’s officially sold out, but I hope I’ll see some of you there. And if you want to beg or plead or offer to dance like a druid at Stonehenge for the chance at a ticket, here’s the information you need:

Crime in the Court

6.30-8.30 p.m.
Goldsboro Books, 23-25 Cecil Court

U.S. book tour for The Nightmare Thief

Here’s news — for me and my travel schedule, if nothing else — this July I’m going on an American book tour to launch my new Jo Beckett/Evan Delaney novel, The Nightmare Thief. Here are confirmed events:

Thursday, July 21st
Murder by the Book – 6:30 p.m.
2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 524-8597

Friday, July 22nd
Mystery People (Book People) – 7 p.m.
603 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX
(512) 472-5050

Sunday, July 24th
The Poisoned Pen — 2 p.m.
4014 North Goldwater Blvd # 101
Scottsdale, AZ
+1 480-947-2974

Tuesday, July 26th
The BookMark Shoppe – 7 p.m.
8415 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 833-5115

Wednesday, July 27th
Mystery Lovers Bookshop – 6:00 p.m.
514 Allegheny River Boulevard
Oakmont, PA
(412) 828-4877

These are amazing independent bookstores, and I’m genuinely excited that I’ll have the chance to visit them all. Anybody who’s within two states: Please come along. Books! Talk! I’ll buy you a beer!

And before you ask: My publisher sets up all my events, in conjunction with bookstores. Where I go depends on that. I’d love to come to your town — honest — but if it’s not on the list this time, you’ll have to wait. (So Chicagoans, please don’t throw pizza at me. I’ll get there.)

I hope to see some of you this summer.

“Writers are troublemakers. It’s our job to give readers heartburn.”

Sleuthfest is this weekend. As I’m lucky enough to be one of the guests of honor, the organizers interviewed me about my writing and my career.

Q: CHINA LAKE has non-stop action. What’s your process? Do you outline or use any format? Since it was your debut book, what did you learn by writing it that you now use regularly?

A: Nonstop action – glad it seems so. The characters actually go to a museum and play soccer on the beach in between being chased by violent religious fanatics. So if the action feels nonstop, I’ll fist-pump that the plot succeeds in maintaining suspense.

Read the rest — about Jesse Blackburn, Evan Delaney and Jo Beckett, religious extremism, children in suspense novels, and how I met Stephen King — at the link:

Questions and answers with Guest of Honor Meg Gardiner.

Sleuthfest: a preliminary schedule

Sleuthfest 2011 is now only a couple of weeks away: March 3-6. I’m excited that the conference has invited me to be one of its guests of honor along with Dennis Lehane and S.J. Rozan.

I’m the official Guest of Honor on Friday, March 4. And the conference organizers have packed my day full. Here’s a preliminary schedule:

9:00-9:50 a.m. Panel: The Plot Thickens: Plotting — the backbone of every mystery — with James Benn, James O. Born, Nancy Cohen and Moderator Neil Plakcy (current MWA-FL Chapter President).

10:00-10:50 a.m. Panel: Arresting Behavior — a look at how cops work and how to cultivate law enforcement sources — with Deborah Cromble, James O. Born, Wallace Stroby and Moderator Cheryl Solimini.

Booksigning immediately following.

12:00-2:00 p.m. – Lunch with Meg Gardiner in the Grand Ballroom. Keynote Speech and Q & A.

Short booksigning immediately following lunch.

2:15-3:05 p.m. Panel: Series, Standalone or Both: Pros and cons of what direction to take your writing — with Paul Levine, James Grippando, Elaine Viets and Moderator Linda Hengerer.

Booksigning immediately following.

4:45-5:15 p.m. A book discussion by the pool of China Lake.

All I can say is: I get to spend the day hanging out with writers, talking about crime fiction nonstop, and ending with a book discussion by the pool — how did I get so lucky?

And I’ll be around the rest of the weekend. Saturday afternoon I’m on the “Bookbroads” panel with P.J. Parrish, Karen Kendall, Oline Codgill, and Heather Graham, moderated by Randy Rawls.

Check out the link above to see who else will be there, to find out about panels and parties, and to sign up. Let me repeat: book discussion by the pool. On the beach in southern Florida.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks, Denver

Last night’s event at Tattered Cover was a blast. And I was especially happy that a good crowd came out because the wind chill was about minus 33 F. When I got to the book store, the staff was friendly and upbeat, but clearly anxious about whether I’d be speaking to anybody but them — they mentioned several times that Norman Mailer had come to speak during a snowstorm, and not a single person showed up.

So when I got to the speaking area and saw somebody already waiting, I shot my fists into the air and blurted, “Take that, Norman Mailer — my audience is infinity times bigger than yours.” Fortunately, my hubris went unpunished. The place gradually filled up with parkas and hats. Some people came in wearing ski pants. It felt a bit like the scene in The Thing where everybody at the Antarctic base comes to the cafeteria for the meeting. But without the screaming, flailing, or monsters erupting. Good times.

And before you ask: The crowd didn’t turn up just because the Husband promised to buy beers for anybody who came. A bunch of us did go to an Irish pub afterward, but most folks hadn’t heard about that offer until they got to the book store.

So: thanks again to everybody who braved the weather to talk books.

And now I’m headed to the airport — not to fly out, but to pick up. Got one kid coming from San Francisco and another from London via Washington, D.C. Fingers crossed, they’re going to escape Blizzardpalooza.

I hope everybody else who’s covered by North America’s crazy storm stays warm and safe.

Tonight: Tattered Cover Book Store

Tonight I’m speaking at Denver’s wonderful Tattered Cover Book Store. Yes, it’s minus 7 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver. So what? That’s a mere minus 22 Celsius!

Hope to see some of you there. 7:30 p.m. Afterward, the Husband is buying beers. Come on down.

Today: Vroman’s Bookstore

Today I’m speaking at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. I’ll be talking about The Liar’s Lullaby. And there will be lunch. Yes, lunch. It’s at 1 p.m.

If you’re in the area I’d love to see you.

This week: “Life of a Crime Writer” talk

Friday evening I’m giving a talk: “Life of a Crime Writer.” It’s a benefit for Sam Beare Hospice. If you’d like to discover the truth about being a crime writer, to have a glass of wine and a bowl of soup along with some good conversation, and to contribute to a worthy cause, here’s what you need to know:

Life of a Crime Writer
Friday 21 January 2011
7:30 for 8 p.m.
Christ the Prince of Peace Church
Portmore Way
Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8JD

Upcoming events: Southern California, Denver, Florida

My schedule for the next couple of months is shaping up. Here are some events I’ll be doing in Pasadena, Denver, and southern Florida. If anybody wants to get together and talk books, here’s where you’ll find me:

Vroman’s Bookstore: “Literaries who Lunch”
January 30, 2011, 1 p.m.
Lunch, talk, and booksigning
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101
Tel: 626-449-5320

Tattered Cover Book Store: Discussion & Signing
February 1, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
Tel: 303-322-7727

March 3-6, 2011
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Guest of Honor on Friday, March 4

So if you’d like to have lunch, grill me about The Liar’s Lullaby (or about anything else) or sign up for the fabulous writers’ conference that is Sleuthfest, come on down.