L.A. TIMES Festival of Books Highlights, Part 1

This past weekend was the annual L.A. Times Festival of Books held on the UCLA campus. As usual, the Mystery Bookstore kicked off the festivities with their party Friday night, where authors and fans can schmooze and booze. Normally, I’d rather be thrown out of a speeding car than be subjected to large crowds, but I had a fantastic time because I got to meet some incredible people.

From L.: me, Christine, Jen. Photo by Brett Battles

I have to mention two in particular:  Jen Forbus and Christine, who regularly liven up this site with their insightful, witty comments and have become my cyber pals. They flew in from Ohio and Tennessee, respectively, and are even more spectacular in person. We officially met at the party but I felt like I’d known them for years. They’re the kind of people who make me want to be better.

It would take me 27 days to recap all the fun I had so I’ll just share a few things I found out this weekend (Jen has a more detailed report on the party here). I also put together a slide show here and for even more party photos, click on le0pard13’s post here.

Some tidbits I learned from the party and book festival:

  • Michael Connelly‘s next book, The Reversal, has defense attorney Mickey Haller in a prosecutorial role (Harry Bosch is also in it; the novel comes out this October).
  • Sophie Littlefield is 8′ 5″ in heels and owns it. You also have to stand in line to talk to her at parties because she’s so popular and has every reason to be.
  • Like me, Brett Battles hates it when characters repeatedly address each other by name in conversation.
  • T. Jefferson Parker’s fourth Charlie Hood novel, The Border Lords, is slated for release January 2011.
  • Juliet Blackwell speaks Vietnamese.
  • Reed Farrel Coleman says he writes good sex scenes.
  • Lisa Lutz‘s next book, a standalone, sounds really cool; the writing process she used is interesting (don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about it yet). Putnam’s releasing it next year.
  • According to Connelly, Robert Crais is only on his first station of manhood.
  • Dipping cheese cubes into dip is too much.
  • le0pard13‘s son, little le0pard, is going to be as awesome a man as his dad.
  • Gregg Hurwitz has an impressive eye for fashion accessories.
  • After The Sentry, another Joe Pike adventure (available early next year), Crais will write an Elvis Cole novel.

OK, my bed just called and my exhausted self said, “Coming!” Check out the slide show, featuring photographic evidence of rampant misbehavior, only some of which was mine.



  • Reply
    April 26, 2010 at 8:51 am

    AMAZING photo, ladies!! It sounds like it was an incredible time out in LA and I’m trying to not be overly jealous you all got to hang out!! PCN, love your bulleted learning points. I picture Sophie being a bombshell in real life – thanks for confirming, and I hope you’re already counting down to THE SENTRY!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Didn’t make it there this year. After seeing your picture, I am kicking myself. I had no idea how pretty you were.

    Love the tidbits. Can’t wait for the slideshow including evidence of rampant misbehavior.

  • Reply
    Juliet Blackwell (Julie)
    April 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

    You might be accused of exaggerating just a tad…I speak chuc chuc tieng Viet Nam –very little indeed!!! Such fun to see you there — wish you were going to be in Columbus with us this week for Romantic Times. See you soon, i hope!

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    April 26, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Can’t even put into words how wonderful you are and how much this weekend meant to me. Thank you for making it a day in my Book of Awesome!

    And EIREGO, PCN and Chris are beautiful down the marrow of their bones!

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    April 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    You’re all so beautiful that I can’t even work up enough hatred to go around. Saw that photo of Sophie L. Isn’t she majestic!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    The party really was a fantastic warm-up for the Festival of Book over the weekend. All of the authors there were so darn friendly and generous to those who sought them out. And for everybody reading this comment, Elyse is even more cool in person (if that’s possible). And what she says of Jen and Christine is so true! Thanks, PCN.

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    April 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Novelwhore—I’ve been ready for THE SENTRY since I finished the last word in THE FIRST RULE. Counting the days is only one thing I’m doing. You don’t want to know the other.

    EIREGO—That’s a hairpiece and I was airbrushed.

    Julie—Chi noi tieng Viet hay lam! Wish I could go to Columbus this week, too. Have fun and cause lots of trouble! See you in June.

    Jen—I made your personal BOOK OF AWESOME? That’s awesome squared!

    Naomi—Majestic is the perfect word to describe Sophie. And what do you mean you can’t work up more hatred for me? Where is the REAL Naomi? You’re a V!

    le0pard13—It’s possible for ANYONE to be cooler than I, but I’ll take your compliment and run like hell before you take it back. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    April 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    It’s beautiful to see you, Christine and Jen together. Look at those smiles ~ talk about lighting up a room, this is more like a bonfire! A double whammy of a wonderful weekend {sorry, just a bit of Batman speak to start my day}, between meeting up together PLUS experiencing the festivities of the festival. Good for you!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      April 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      Someday, I hope to have a picture of you and me in the same hemisphere, hopefully riding scooters in Paris. I call sidecar!

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    April 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    LOL! Don’t you mean B?

    lp13 is right. You are the coolest of the cool. The Craisiest of all Craisies.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      April 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

      Hmm, STILL not hateful enough. You might even be heading towards nice. Whaaat??? Which stresses my point you’re actually a V aka Visitor, an alien who looks human, as seen on the TV show.

      In case you’re not—thank you.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    PCN, I cannot believe my luck finding such fabulous and fun people to call my friends! You said it best, ..the kind of people who make me want to be better. You, Jen, and lp13 were the main reason this weekend was an absolute joy. Thank you!

    Hopefully, it won’t be another year to until we can get together again; like, maybe a trip to San Francisco in 6 months? 😉 I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

    • Reply
      April 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      And, by the by, I think I’m the only one of our group that can carry the schmooze-AND-booze banner. As evidenced in more than a couple of photos that clearly show a wine glass in my hand only. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. 😉

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