As he warned me he would, The Famous Author packed me in his computer case Friday afternoon and drove us to Parsippany. Our mission: Participate in New Jersey's home-grown mystery convention, Deadly Ink.
What's fun about Deadly Ink is the size. It's a small conference, less than 100 people, and half seem to be authors. You don't feel swamped by crowds and cliques. Everybody becomes an acquaintance, if not a friend. TFA says he learns more about the business at this conference than all the others put together, just because he has so much opportunity to chat.
"I found out today, for instance, that the entire publishing industry is owned by James Patterson," TFA said last night. "He controls every book and bookstore."
"Really? All five corporate giants? Every single chain store and independent?"
"Every single one," TFA said. "If they don't sell enough of his books, he closes them."
When I suggest that TFA might have spent too much in the hotel tavern, perhaps spoken to the wrong people, he folds me up and sticks me back in the computer case. The truth hurts, pal.
Jane K. Cleland, the Agatha, Macavity, and David nominated author of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery Series, which include CONSIGNED TO DEATH, DEADLY APPRAISAL, and ANTIQUES TO DIE FOR, is this year's Deadly Ink guest of honor. We know Jane from Mystery Writers of America. She's a peach, and also president of MWA's New York Chapter.
LATE BULLETIN: Go, Jane! Ms. Cleland last night was awarded Deadly Ink's David Sasher prize for Best Mystery of 2007. I hear she's buying the drinks at MWA's next meeting.