It really was. My favorite part, as always, is hanging with people I don’t get to see very often, and there was plenty of that, mostly involving food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee or beer with Laurie R. King, Joseph Goodrich, Sharon Potts and Kris Montee, Doug and Eve Allyn, Dan Hale, Reed Farrel Coleman; cocktail parties with at least a glimpse of, and a brief conversation with, a slew of people: among others, Hank Phillippi Ryan, who had just won the Mary Higgins Clark Award and was having trouble actually conversing. I was on a symposium panel with Charlaine Harris, Toni Kelner, and Ben Winters (who went on to win Best Paperback), moderated by the much too competent Dana Cameron. We discussed monsters, quite rationally. The banquet itself went off hitch-free and the food was even good; I sat next to Jim Fusilli, whom I don’t see often enough though he lives in NYC. I saw Henry Chang, and Ed Lin and Ed’s wife Cindy Cheung; they both looked fabulous even though they have a tiny new baby at home. (Maybe they looked fabulous because the baby was at home.) I knew one of this year’s Grandmasters, Margaret Maron, was wonderful in all ways, but I was delighted to find out that Ken Follett, the other one, was a sweet, funny, charming guy. Patricia Smith got the Robert L. Fish Award for debut short story and gave me a shout-out from the podium, which I totally deserved because she never would have written that story without a chain of events that began with me putting my foot in my mouth.
So that’s why you haven’t heard from me in the last couple of days. All that business is now done, however, and here I am again, ready to get back to work work work.