Last Thursday evening I participating in "Dying to Meet You" at the Texas Library Association's annual conference in San Antonio. Sixteen mystery authors participated in the event, which was based on the speed-dating concept. Nine (there may have been more, I never actually counted) librarians sat at each table eating while the authors visited with them. Approximately every fifteen minutes, the authors would change tables and talk with a new group of librarians.
I spent one to two minutes introducing myself, talking about three of my books (the most recent, the best-reviewed, and one--not a mystery--that was suitable for young readers). Then the librarians peppered me with questions--from the common ("Where do you get your ideas?") to the personal ("How many times have you been married?") to the off-the-wall.
There was time to visit with five or six tables (it's all a blur, now) and I had a rip-roaring good time!
Before the event, the authors had the opportunity to eat dinner together and I had the chance to talk with a number of writers I knew from previous events we'd attended together--Lillian Stewart Carl, Cindy Daniel, Julie Wray Herman, Susan McBride, and Chris Rogers--met John Foxjohn, who I'd only crossed paths with on-line, and nodded at a few other authors that I didn't have a chance to talk to.
I also met James Reasoner when we both arrived about half an hour early. We sat in the hallway of the Menger and had a great conversation about writing. I tried to get him to tell me the secret of being a prolific novelist, but he never did show me the secret handshake. Maybe next time.