Drove home from Mayhem via Des Moines. Lots of warnings and some bad weather around but avoided my 35 Route north. Des Moines is a livable city.
They are also fortunate to have a couple of good independent bookstores, along with the usual roster of mega chains. One where I stopped to chat with a few people and sign some stock is Beaverdale Books, on Beaver Street (naturally). Nice store, nice people good selection of crime fiction. Drop in if you are traveling through.
Mayhem in the Midlands: I haven't been to all of them, just most. This annual affair in Omaha, Nebraska is small, tightly and well organized, and takes place annually in a good hotel in a premier location. This year was smaller than previous, due I suppose, primarily to the escalating price of gas and the general malaise of the economy. Nevertheless, I reacquainted with old friends (not referring to age here) met some new and had numerous excellent conversations.
J.A. Konrath and I had an intense conversation over drinks in some bar, the other evening. Konrath
is intense, loud and sometime manic. He is also bright and insightful. Besides that he is a damn good writer. His Chicago-based police fiction is excellent.
Carol Bly who died recently a frank, straight-forward personality and top-notch writer of poetry and prose died a few months ago. She was a teacher, an ethicist who published widely read collections of essays and poetry over a long productive career. Now HolyCow Press has released her very first novel! It's entitled "Shelter Half," and although the reviewer for the local newspaper doesn't call it a mystery, it certainly has mysterious elements and can properly be see as crime fiction. I can't wait to read it.
There's the buzzer. Back to the bread dough.