Sunday, November 14, 2010

Muder & Mayhem in Muskego

What a weekend!! This was our first Murder and Mayhem in Muskego and we had a blast. The panels were interesting and it was great to see some of my favorite people again, but it's funny how the best part of these events is always the before and after, and the conversations on the side. After driving 6 hours to get there I was pumped to visit Mystery One Books, only to find a "Closed" sign hanging on the door due to working the meet & greet at Muskego. I was kinda bummed but things bounced back shortly after running into Reed Farrel Coleman, Victor Gischler, Sean Doolittle, Daniel Judson, Jeff Abbott, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Jen Forbus and her friend Judy in the bar at the Iron Horse Hotel. It was great visiting and catching up with old friends and making new ones. Judy & Jen.. sorry about the mix up at breakfast (our apologies), and Judy you can see already I'm terrible with punctuation as well. Ha One of the great things overall was discovering two new writers that I came away excited about, ( BLAKE CROUCH & HENRY PEREZ ). Before I forget, if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee and don't know where to stay, check out the beautiful IRON HORSE HOTEL located in downtown Milwaukee. It is just stunning! My wife and I caught a film on pay for view in our room that was...unforgettable. It's called "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia", a documentary and I first heard about it on a tip from Jed Ayres,(thanks Jed). If you like southern goth & outlandish behavior then this film is for you. If you're a fan of Hank Williams III then you won't want to miss it as well. Saturday got off to a great start with a wonderful breakfast at the hotel with two of my favorite people, Scott Phillips and Reed Farrel Coleman. On the drive out to Muskego, we had an unusual experience when we stopped at a gas station to get directions & use the restroom and the owner tried to charge my wife 24.95 for a map of Muskego (which was free). He also didn't know where the library was ( 2 blocks away from him on the same road by the way) oh & the map did advertise for a 24.95 dollar oil exchange on the it's easy to see how how he got confused. They probably never need to know how to give directions or read a map in the Middle East. That was interesting but the funniest thing that happened over the weekend was the show of effection Christa Faust's dog "BUTCH" had for Tom Schreck's stuffed beagle. I published the clean version (foreplay) at the top of this story, but if you want the rest of the story you gotta contact Christa for her photo. Let's just say Tom may wanna pick up a new version as this one got ravaged pretty good. It was great seeing Sean Chercover and hearing we're very close to seeing his next novel coming out and visiting with Michael Lister,( a great guy by the way ) and hearing that "Double Exposure" is going to be made into a film. That is very good news as "Double Exposure" was my favorite read of 2009. It was great to see Anthony Neil Smith, Chelsea Cain, Victor Gischler and Sean Doolittle again as well. Sean Doolittle needs to be doing audio books, he has a great voice for it and the guy is super smart as well. If there is a funnier writer out there than Victor Gischler, I haven't met him. Scott & Christa did a terrific job on their panel and kept the 50 & over group awake and on their toes. We had a event free trip home but we did enjoy our stop in Kenosha,Wi. at the MARS CHEESE made me homesick for Wisconsin. I found the tollway on 294 interesting, pay the toll, don't pay the toll..your choice, quite interesting, and I missed all that downtown Chicago traffic. Good ending to a great weekend.