Had breakfast on Saturday with Ro Cuzon, who's not only one of my favorite writers, but favorite pals. We have similar backgrounds so our conversations are full of shortcuts for things you might have to explain to straights. (BTW, "straights" is what outlaws refer to regular citizens...) He brought me up to date on current New Orleans and I told him stories about the old days there. Great time! The morning before, Jack and I ate breakfast with Patti Abbott and her husband, Phil and that was really cool.
Later, at the bar, I hung out with Mike McCrary who introduced me to Bruce DeSilva, of whom I'm a big fan. All through the convention, I got to schmooze with Kate Laity who always makes me laugh.
I didn't know they attended, but wish I had known that David Hale Smith, Bryon Quartermous and some others were there as I really wanted to meet them.
Got to see and renew friendships with Travis Richardson, Scott Alderberg, Rob Brunet, John Gilstrap, Reavis Worthan, Dana and Corky King, Nik Korpon, Steve Weddle, Mike Dennis, Chris Irvin, Con Lehane, Terrennce and Rita McCauley, Jenny Milchman, Brian Panowich, Peter Rozovsky, Charles Salzberg, Scotty Montgomery and a bunch of others--sorry if I missed naming you!
And, I did it again. Acted like Doofus Fanboy. Saw Joe Finder (I'm a HUGE fan!), and went over and briefly introduced myself. That was it. Didn't do anything memorable like pick his pocket or fart loudly, which I now regret... He'll never remember me now... Wanted to meet in person Bill Crider, Reed Farrel Coleman, Libby Fisher Hellmann, Tom Franklin, and Steve Hamilton (who wrote one of my three all-time favorite books, The Lock Artist.
One night, Jack and I closed down the Holiday Inn bar and while there met a fantastic writer who was just sitting quietly by himself, working on his next book, and now I've got another new friend--Jonathan Moore, who lives in Hawaii and wasn't impressed with the North Carolina weather. Wonder why not?
Met a fellow Texan who grew up close to me in Freeport, Texas in Brazoria--Ricky Bush. Lots of us Texans there! Missed seeing my friend Robert Lewis--bummer!
I got lucky going to the airport, getting to share the shuttle with Jack Bludis, who I've been reading forever. Had a great conversation with him.
Uh-oh... that's not blood on my cheek... might be better if it was... The moderator at Noir at the Bar, Tracy Coppedge, drew a heart in lipstick on me and this is how it ended up...
Toasting Debi Chowdhury at the Marriott bar...
Me and Tracy Coppedge, the MC at Eryk Pruitt's Noir at the Bar.
And, then, I got to come home to my gorgeous wife, Mary! Best part of the trip!
Blue skies, Les