MEN OF MYSTERY
On October 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

That time of the year again for the annual Men of Mystery Conference when 50+ male writers in the mystery genre gather annually at the Irvine Marriott along with enthusiastic readers for some fun, a great lunch including the now famous mushroom soup, book-signings.

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There’s also a unique author self-introduction session in which the maestra organizer, the venerable, diminutive and sweet Joan Hansen (don’t mess with her, though) goes around with a mike and gives each author a minute to say something about himself and his book(s). There are always some new authors every year (I was new last year), while others have been attending the event since the inaugural year of 2001. Lee Goldberg (two-time Edgar Award finalist and TV writer/producer of “Monk” and other series) gives among the most entertaining self-intros in which he actually says very little about himself while taking hysterically funny pot shots at some of his author friends in the room.

Guest speakers this year were Gregg Hurwitz with Christopher Rice, who had an onstage serious and funny chat with each other. Their mutual rapport is testament to what good friends they are.

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Both of them are super guys with well-deserved bestsellers. Gregg Hurwitz’s latest thriller, They’re Watching, garnered pages-long praise and enthusiastic reviews right out the starting gate. It really is a terrific novel. Christopher Rice, who had four, yes, I said four New York Times bestsellers by the age of thirty (you’re making me ill, Chris) has a new thriller out called The Moonlit Earth

During the book-signing session, it was hard to catch these two busy guys in between their clamoring fans, but I managed to snag a pic with each of them.

With Gregg Hurwitz.

With Gregg Hurwitz.

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With Chris Rice

The third speaker was Don Winslow, another amazing writer with a trail of bestsellers in his wake and enviable praise from the likes of Janet Maslin, one of the toughest critics around. Don’s latest is Savages. I must add that Don is an incredible speaker, one of those who is able to deliver philosophy, humor, and food for thought in the most entertaining and often hilarious way possible – all without notes in front of him. He wears good ties too.

Sorry, Don - not the best pic. (My digital cam needs an upgrade)

Sorry, Don - not the best pic. (My digital cam needs an upgrade)

Something Don observed in his address is worth echoing: the community of mystery writers cares about its own. We want to support each other whenever possible and are willing to share our experiences and knowledge – not, “let me keep this to myself as long as I can.” Another thing I would say, as I’ve noted elsewhere in an interview, mystery readers are probably the most passionate of all the genres.

More pics:

My inscribed bottle of wine

My inscribed bottle of wine

The hosts of my table

The hosts of my table

With Johanna - a faithful Men of Mystery committee member

With Johanna - a faithful Men of Mystery committee member

With Gary Phillips, one of the most versatile mystery writers around

With Gary Phillips, one of the most versatile mystery writers around

With Dennis Palumbo & James Preston

With Dennis Palumbo & James Preston