by Mark Haskell Smith
Ah... the secrets I could reveal! The dirt I could dish! If only I were a gossip columnist like Perez Hilton or Hedda Hopper. Then you'd get a blog! Torrid affairs would be hinted at. Drug abuse revealed. And, if you were really lucky... a photograph of a "nipple slip". I don't have much right now, but it's early days... you'll have to stay tuned.
The Fabulous Book Passage Mystery Writer's Conference kicked off today with speeches, workshops, and a surprisingly tasty dinner. Isreali couscous? Fantastic! The green beans... perfectly cooked. For me it's always great to come to Book Passage and see my friends, writers like Tony Broadbent, Kirk Russell, Cara Black, Cornelia Read, Tim Maleeny and David Corbett. But the real treat is hanging out with the students. Where else could I have dinner with an Irish surfer (I swore I would not reveal her dark secrets), a screenwriter/mental health professional (an oxymoron if there ever was one), a seemingly mild mannered attorney from Reno, and a lovely young woman from somewhere called the "south bay"?
This is what makes the conference so great. The mix and mingle. The give and take, thrust and parry, push and pull (and I'm not talking about what goes on waiting in line for the bathrooms). Writers talking about writing. No question too dumb. It's refreshing. And, honestly, I like the dumb questions. I actually know the answers to those. The conference bigwigs, Jackie Winspear and Sheldon Siegel like to say the conference is "collegial" which is a kinda of fancy way of saying "groovy". And it really is groovy. Like. Totally.
Tomorrow I hope to have some photos up. Maybe not a "nipple slip" (why do I like saying that so much?) but hopefully some kind of reporting.