You know who I forgot to mention? Phil Spitzer. He is such a nice man! We'd met once before (at Bouchercon-Madison) and he either remembered or very convincingly pretended to ;-) I really enjoyed talking with him.
***You'll note a recurring theme in my blog ... people don't tend to remember meeting me. I apparently wear an invisibility cloak LOL Remind me to tell you about how D. C. Brod and I competed at Bouchercon in Chicago to decide which one of us is more invisible (I won).***
Anyway, Thursday May 1st was the big day. The night of my first-ever Edgar Banquet! But the lead-up was pretty cool too. With no specific plans for the day I strolled out into sunny NYC and decided to visit the library on 5th Avenue. I started up the majestic steps at about ten minutes before ten AM. And guess what? The library doesn't open until eleven. That blew my mind. I can't imagine a library opening that late. Wow.
I knew I wanted to see the library (another first), so I thought I'd waste a little time and shop. Mind you, the stores weren't open yet either. But then I had the most interesting experience. The doors of Lord & Taylor were open, and I stepped inside, joining an assemblage of people who were waiting to be allowed in to shop. A few people up front sat on black director's chairs and the rest just waited while an expertly coiffed, designer-dressed, spry blond woman spoke to the group. The woman, whose name I was later to learn was Faye (Fay?) was energetic and cheerful. I couldn't make out what she was saying -- as I was very near the revolving doors that kept spilling people into our midst ... and these people never stepped far enough inside the doors, resulting in lots of battered shoulders!
But then Faye gestured for the folks in the director's chairs to come to their feet. They did. Over the store's loudspeakers came the National Anthem and we all stood at attention until the song was complete. At that point Faye smiled and invited us all to come shop. Wow. What a cool way to open a store. I was surprised, and moved. Just lovely.
After an hourlong browse of L&T, I headed back to the library. It was worth the wait. Just amazing. I won't go into a long explanation because I can't do it justice. But if you have the opportunity to visit the NY library ... I really encourage you to take it.
Wow... can I just say that again? I had the most wonderful time.
I won't get into who won and who didn't. You can read the list of Edgar nominees and winners elsewhere online. Suffice it to say that there were a couple of categories where my tastes ran differently than the judges'. But that's the nature of it all, isn't it?
The reception before the banquet and the banquet itself were fabulous. I can't even start naming people who were there ... there are just far, far too many amazing names. The true glitterati of the crime fiction world. I was in total awe, and just breathless to be part of it.
Laura Durham, Margery Flax, and the committee who planned this affair deserve every accolade we can bestow. The food was great, the conversation lively, and Al Roker as Master of Ceremonies, a perfect choice. It was my good fortune to sit between Frankie Bailey and Paula Munier. We had Jane Cleland and her husband at our table, as well as good friends Ted Hertel and his wife, Maggie Ley, Sandy Balzo, and Jeremiah Healy. We also had a woman from the press (can't recall her name) - who looked like a very young Ally Sheedy.
I'm out of time here ... darn.