Sunday, June 9, 2013

Printers Row Lit Fest 2013

I went to the Printers Row Lit Fest again this year!  I had some issues in the morning and was a good 2 - 2 1/2 hours later than I wanted to be, but I made it.

The first panel I went to was "Female Sleuths: Gillian Royes, Libby Fischer Hellmann and Sharon Fiffer" moderated by Jamie Freveletti.  I have to say I was a little disappointed.  They all seemed perfectly nice, and Sharon Fiffer has a great sense of humor, but it wasn't really about Female Sleuths much at all.  For one thing, Gillian Royes protagonist is a male.  And that would have been fine if they talked more about the sleuths and less about the rest.  But it felt more like tell us about your stories/books.  And some stuff about intolerance themes.  Some stuff about the writing process.

But I missed the "Mystery Writers of America: Writing and Selling a Mystery" with Michael A. Black, Julie Hyzy, Clare O'Donohue and moderated by Lori Rader Day for this.  If I had to go back I would have went to the other panel, even though I'm not a writer and don't intend to be one.

I did purchase the first book in Sharon Fiffer's Jane Wheel book, Killer Stuff.  And I got it autographed and a bookmark and a picture with Sharon (which I will post on Facebook once I've done some editing).  So that was good.

Then I did some wandering and at the Mystery Writers of America station I hear the bulk of a short by Julie Hyzy (read by the author).  I didn't hear the end, though because I had to hurry off for my next panel.

I listened to author of The Devil Wears Prada and Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns Lauren Weisberger in discussion with Chicago Tribune VP/Managing Editor Jane Hirt.  I haven't read these books (though I've seen the movie), but the talk was still interesting.

The last panel I went to was "The Lure of Noir: Bryan Gruley, Brian D’Amato, Alec Nevala-Lee and Libby Fischer Hellmann" moderated by Robert Goldsborough.  Now this panel was entirely about the topic of Noir.  It was a little unreal.  Noir was being approached from all angels - not only literary noir, but films (of course), art, music, and even perfume.  I don't know much about noir, but the authors had this philosophical discussion about what noir is, what you find in noir, etc.  Entertaining and interesting all in one.
This is poor quality and blurry, but it's the best I managed.
In order, from left to right: Alec Nevala-Lee, Brian D'Amato, Bryan Gruley, Libby Fischer Hellmann

After the noir panel I wandered some more and came up by the Mystery Writers of America booth again. Staring me in the face is A Murder at Rosamund's Gate.  I look up at the author, Susanna Calkins, and exclaim, "I just read your book!"  And then proceed to tell her I'm not going to buy it, because I read it already, but could I get her autograph?  She was kind enough to oblige...
I finish by clumsily telling her how I appreciated the detail without the info-dumping.  Smooth, no?

I turn the corner and find Joelle Charbonneau and Nancy J Parra/Nancy J Coco.  First I tell Nancy that I have her book checked out, but I haven't read it yet.  Then I turn to Joelle.  I brought the first book in the Glee Club Mystery series, Murder for Choir, because I new she'd be there for a panel about her YA book, The Testing.  I had missed that panel because it was at the same time as the Lauren Weisberger one, and I thought I had missed my opportunity to see/speak to Joelle as well.  But here she was!  And she was kind enough to sign my book even though I wasn't buying any.

Now I'm in my little Cozy Mystery/Author Celebrity world.  It was wonderful.

I capped the day by catching the end of the El Payo Cuadro Flamenco with Flamenco Dancers from Ensemble Español and musician John Urban performance.  I've not heard of any of them, but it was still enjoyable and a nice end to the day.


  1. What a great experience Jo! It would be so great to see so many great cozy mystery authors in one place :)

    1. I get a little thrill whenever I meet my author "celebrities." And one after the other was definitely great.


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