What a trip, in every sense. Six days of sunshine and seventies is as close to heaven as a Seattleite is likely to get, especially this spring.
San Marino was a blast. Muffy Hunt, the chairwoman of the One Book/One City Committee gave me a eye-popper tour of the Huntington Library and Museum, and then I enjoyed a nice, relaxed lasagna dinner with the Friends of the Crowell Public Library, the librarians, and Phil Cannon, a ragtime guitarist who'd provided the entertainment for a concert the week before. Here I am in the picture to the left, with Ann Dallavalle, the Crowell Librarian(far right), Muffy (next to Ann), and other members of the OB/OC Committee.
Then it was time for my presentation on Brun Campbell, the real and fictional Ragtime Kid. Ann had my talk up and ready on the library's computer, no fuss, no muss, no glitches. Nobody booed, so I figure I was ahead in the game. I signed a bunch of books, courtesy of Book'Em, the excellent independent mystery bookshop in South Pasadena.
Next came the LA Times Festival of Books, where I signed copies of my ragtime trilogy in the Mystery Ink and Sisters in Crime-LA booths. At the SinC-LA booth, I happened to be sitting next to Barbara Reed, a novelist-pianist who writes mysteries set in the world of music publishing, so we had a lot to talk about when we weren't scribbling our names onto title pages of books. Here's a picture of me, telling Sister Jane DiLucchio about my trilogy.
Now, as Gene Autry used to say, I'm back in Seattle again. Back to work. My galleys for A PERILOUS CONCEPTION are waiting. Once I've gone through them, it'll be time to get serious about starting the next book.
And meanwhile, there's unfinished business with Brun Campbell, a Venetian with a colorful history. Venice, a city with a colorful history (and present) ought to pay this guy some attention. How about an exhibit in the Venice Historical Society? Ragtime concerts? A Brun Campbell Ragtime Festival? Wouldn't it be something to walk up to 711 Venice Boulevard, where Brun barbered for some 25 years, and see a statue of a young white boy and his black piano teacher, sitting side-by-side at a keyboard?