An Uncomfortable Evening

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing (in order pictured below) Barbara Collins, Max Allen Collins, Ed Gorman, and Matthew V. Clemens at Mystery Cat Books.


Hrmm, do I need a disembodied head photo, or is that just a mystery writer thing?

Last night, Mystery Cat was way over capacity, to the point that the room was uncomfortably hot. I arrived twenty minutes before start time, to get the last standing-room space that gave a view of the authors. It was good of them to come out, but I yearned for a more intimate, or at least more comfortable, setting.

I had never seen Ed Gorman or Matthew V. Clemens before. Gorman was witty, fun to listen to, and surprisingly glib about politics. He also gave a few interesting details about his years as a political operative and speechwriter.

Clemens is not a name I’d heard before, but he apparently has written or collaborated on more books than I’ve read, including several with Max Allen Collins and Ed Gorman. He had some very insightful comments about the collaborative process.

I am a huge fan of Max Allen and Barbara Collins, and I always enjoy seeing them. However, every time I go to see them, they are more popular. They talked about their newest collaboration, Antiques Chop, and MAC’s new Nathan Heller book, Ask Not, which follows a conspiracy following the Kennedy Assassination.

 As the authors finished speaking, and the audience turned into long lines, I gave up on the idea of buying a book and getting it signed, let alone a chance to chat with Max and Barbara. Like a callow youth, I fled into the night, sweaty and unsatisfied.

One thought on “An Uncomfortable Evening

  1. D. Moonfire

    I know what you mean. Occasionally I lurk on the edges of my idols, wanting to talk to them but unable to because they are too popular or too busy. Reminds me of the night at ICON last year when I wanted to say hi, but you were talking to Hines. I didn’t want to interupt either, though I do occasionally idolize both of you. 😛

    At GenCon, the signing line is this machine-line press where you get shoved in front of an idol for 30 seconds to blather, and then you are shoved forward. You aren’t encourage to chat or even make an impression on them, if you could with them seeing so many people.

    My favorite “meet the author” was Anton Strout in the middle of a slushy rainstorm. It was just him and five people, drinking wine and chatting about books. I was, unfortunately, an hour late, but I don’t think I will forever that night ever. It was fun just to chat with an idol.


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