On April 1st, I went to the Arizona Book Fair, which was held at the old Carnagie Library in downtown Phoenix. I went simply as an attendee, and not to sell books. I feel slightly guilty about missing an easy opportunity, but as I noted in the last post, I’ve done so many events for The Old Buzzard Had It Coming that I’m just about grinned out for the moment. I feel the need to rest my face muscles for a little while in anticipation of the release of Hornswoggled in September. I’ve been holed up this April, doing nothing but writing, trying to get a little bit ahead before I start planning the Hornswoggled campaign.
But I digress. It was a beautiful day for a book fair this year, and I greatly enjoyed seeing all the other authors and picking up flyers, cards and bookmarks. I didn’t buy anything this time, since I went overboard with the book buying at the Sierra Vista Book Fair a week earlier. My publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, had a table, which was manned by the inimitable Marilyn and the presses’ Head Honcho, Robert Rosenwald. Also in attendance at the time was Arizona writer and Arizona Republic newspaper columnist Jon Talton, whose David Mapstone mysteries (Concrete Desert, Camelback Falls,and Dry Heat) are all set in Phoenix . When I went by to say hello, Robert stood up, grabbed my hand, and said “Congratulations!” I’m always glad to be congratulated, even if I don’t know what for, so I thanked him. However, he could tell by my blank expression that I was not quite with the program, so he told me that he had sent me an e-mail of that morning informing me that Old Buzzard is one of the three finalists in the mystery category for the Benjamin Franklin Award.
The Benjamin Franklin award is given out by the Independent Book Publishers Association, a trade association of independent publishers, and “recognizes excellence in independent publishing.” The award will be given at a gala event at Book Expo America, on May 17, 2006, in Washington DC. The three finalists are:
In a Teapot, by Terence Faherty, Crum Creek Press
The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, by My Humble Self, Poisoned Pen Press
Ruddy Gore, by Kerry Greenwood, Poisoned Pen Press
Robert was thrilled that two Poisoned Pen authors have been nominated this year. A Poisoned Pen Press author has won the Ben Franklin award two years in a row. (Last year’s winner was Relative Danger, by Charles Benoit). My fellow Poisoned Pen nominee this year, Kerry Greenwood, is an Australian with a fairly hilarious sense of humor who has written 17 novels and 2 collections. Ruddy Gore is a Phrynne Fisher mystery set in 1920’s Australian high society.
I’m very happy with this nomination, especially since it’s national and came out of the blue. I still have the feeling that all this is happening to someone else. Of course, if the book wins, I will be glad to take the credit.