The Edgar Awards (named for Edgar Allen Poe, the founding father of the modern mystery story) are given every year by the Mystery Writers of America to, as they say, honor excellence in crime and mystery writing. I attended last year, in support of my Close Personal Friend Cornelia Read, who was nominated for best first novel and totally should have won. And I had such a good time that I thought it would be fun to go again, since I was in town, and bring Lisa, who is herself a mystery fan. I warned her about the quantities of free books, but I don’t think she totally believed me.
The invitation said “dress to kill,” so we did, though by the end of the evening I was wishing that my shoes had not taken the instruction quite so literally. (The fact that I had spent the entire day walking several miles may have contributed. Also, the heels.)
At the dinner, I ended up seated next to a very interesting woman who specializes in auditing publishing contracts to make sure that authors are getting paid all of the money they are owed. Generally, she said, they aren’t, not due to dishonestly on the part of the publishers so much as complicated systems, faulty data management and the fact that the workforce at all of these companies is primarily composed of underpaid English majors. (That last part was just kind of implied.) I took her card, because if I ever do get published I have a feeling that at some point I may be in need of her services.
As far as the awards ceremony itself, it was nice, if a little overlong, and Al Roker did a fine job as emcee. I have a feeling the best novel winner may have been something of an upset, but I’m not sure. Of course, the highlight of the event was after the ceremony, when everyone was leaving and they rolled out the tables of books.
Do I mean tables? Yes, I mean tables, five or six of them, I think, all completely covered in piled of brand-new books (including Cornelia’s latest, which was going fast, of course. I already have it, but I made sure Lisa took a copy.) I was entirely uncouth, filling two bags (thoughtfully provided) like the greedy rube I am. But I mean, come on, right? Free books! Not sure how well this is going to work with Virgin America’s strict luggage weight limit, though.
Afterwards, we followed the party down to the hotel bar, where we settled in for drinks and people-watching, along with a small group of HR professionals, who were clearly not expecting this. You’ve got to hand it to those HR people, they sure can network. I can’t, though, and we were both tired, so after we finished our lemon drops, we took our loot and hauled ourselves the four blocks back to the apartment, where I settled in to do some blogging before going to bed. Which brings us to now.