Nerdfest Finale—Quiz Answers, Nerdy Slide Show, and Giveaway Winners

For the past four days, I’ve been running nerdy anecdotes from crime authors who were generous enough to share their stories and, in some cases, pictures as well. They did it to help me celebrate my third blogoversary today. I profusely thank them and you for reading, promoting, playing along, and coming back for the final blowout. Hope you’ve had as much fun as I have, and that you found some new authors to check out after you read about their amazing feats of nerdiness.

I had a few emails asking if I’d be sharing any tales of my own. I hadn’t planned to, but then I thought perhaps it would only be fair since I asked others to do it. So here goes.

I once had a crush on this guy, and when I was at his house one day, I saw a chess set sitting on the coffee table. I challenged him to a game, thinking I’d impress him because a) I was good, and b) I didn’t know any other girls who played chess so that would make me cool, right? I checkmated him in about five moves but oddly enough, he never asked me out. Lest you think this happened when I was little and didn’t know better, I did this when I was in college.

I’ll give you a moment to digest that. Drink if you need to. Better? OK, let’s get to the answers!

Day One

A. Brett Battles (directed The Hobbitt musical)

B. Elizabeth Duncan (tried to vote for her amateur sleuth forty times)

C. Colin Cotterill (skinhead jock/closet Boy Scout in short pants)

D. Karin Slaughter (Dutch femurs)

E. Brad Parks (Corky St. James theater nerd)

Day Two

A. Meg Gardiner (Jeopardy! winner)

B. Megan Abbott (Annotated Lolita)

C. Sophie Littlefield (HoJo’s waitress doing square roots)

D. Todd Ritter (Disney geek)

E. Gregg Hurwitz (obsessed with clackety keyboards)

Day Three

A. Laura Benedict (broken book bag at bus stop)

B. Eric Beetner (X-Treme model)

C. Sue Grafton (thought barbecue sauce was soup)

D. T. Jefferson Parker (blowing up spiders in jar)

Day Four

A. Duane Swierczynski (wrote his own blurbs)

B. Tess Gerritsen (taught herself hieroglyphs)

C. Jonathan Hayes (DEVO T-shirt and wrestling headgear)

D. Lisa Lutz (wrote letters to Brando)

E. Hilary Davidson (experimented with clothes)

How did you do? Are you surprised at some of the answers? Before I get to the slide show, I have to reveal the two winners of the giveaway. I plugged all the names into and it selected:

  1. Naomi
  2. Lauren

Congratulations! Naomi, your name was picked first so you get first choice from the list. I hope now you’ll stop feeling stabby and won’t file that complaint.

I believe that’s all the business. As a party favor, here’s the “Before They Were Authors” slide show. Enjoy, and I hope you’ll keep the fun going by leaving your own nerdy stories in the comments. To paraphrase Kenny Loggins, everybody cut nerdloose!

[cincopa AEDAPuahm-ZF]



  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Happiest of blogoversaries to you Elyse! Despite getting almost every answer wrong, this was as much fun as I’ve had all year 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing with us all!!

  • Reply
    Holly West
    October 1, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Happy Anniversary! Loved this contest and especially love the slide show. And I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know each other better this year.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Great series of posts, Elyse. Perfect for this celebration. Congrats to you and your winners!

  • Reply
    Eleanor Brown
    October 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Happy blogoversary! This slideshow so made me smile.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Happy blogversary, indeed!! What a fun week too (I was so surprised how many folks pegged me for a Disney fan! Sadly, I couldn’t tell you a Mickey from a Felix …)
    So happy to take part!!

  • Reply
    Sophie Littlefield
    October 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I can’t imagine a greater honor than to be featured on the blogversary, as my true, nerdy self! Thanks darling PCN!

  • Reply
    Laura Benedict
    October 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Dang! I so had Sophie pegged for a Jeopardy winner!
    Elyse, I love your nerdy story. It totally sounds like something I’m always advising my college girl Opera Poodle NOT to do. For her, it used to be feats of strength in high school, lol.
    Thanks so much for letting me be my bad nerdy self, here. Happy Blogversary!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

    You throw the best parties, Elyse! LOVE the slideshow (as usual)! Do you hire out? Such great fun…thanks for letting us share in the celebration. <3

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Are you eating ice cream yet? I will indulge today, only for your blogs eraser, of course! Great contest! Congrats to Naomi and Lauren. Jeez! what is a blog eraser? Auto correct is amusing! BLOGAVERSARY!! Oh, happy day….

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    October 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Erin—I’m so glad you had fun. As I mentioned, your guesses were great because you had all the reasoning behind them. You played with such gusto!

    Holly—Thanks! It’s nice to have seen you more often this year, and that I actually got to talk to you longer than I did at last year’s B’con.

    le0pard13—Thank you for being here to help me celebrate.

    Eleanor—Hi! I’m happy you stopped by and that it made you smile.

    Megan—There were a few guesses for you being obsessed with the clackety keyboards, too! But a handful of astute people did have you pegged correctly. Unlike Gregg Hurwitz, who someone tagged as the waitress. Thanks so much for contributing to this!

    Sophie—I can think of many greater honors that you have won and will win, but you’re incredibly nice to say that. I’m proud to help reveal your true self!

    Laura—Are you surprised Sophie is a math whiz? She’s full of secret talents! That’s funny that Opera Poodle challenged guys to feats of strengths. I used to challenge them to foot races, too. I’m happy you’re a part of my celebration!

    Christine—I do hire out. For chips and ice cream. Maybe Slim Jims. And snickerdoodles!

    Paulette—I woke up with a tub of ice cream in bed with me. No idea how it got there. I was wondering what a blog eraser was! I thought, “Dang, Paulette, this isn’t THAT kind of party!”

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Fun week, PCN!

    Congrats to winners & Happy Blogoversary to you!

    Cool slideshow.

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    October 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I love the slideshow, but Hilary Davidson as a nerd? Nope, she’s faking it. Way too pretty and fashionable to be a nerdster.

    PCN — THANK YOU! I can see that I got many, many wrong answers, thus proving that some of my nerdiness is at long last wearing off. For my prize, I’d like the first three titles on the list, plus the Mark Billingham book. Wheeee, I feel like a wiener! I mean, uh, winner.

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    October 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Happy Blogiversary my nerdy friend. Here’s to many, many more!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    October 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Gee, I did better than I expected on some and terribly on others. Proved to me that I function better with food in my stomach! Congratulations to Naomi and Lauren, and it’s been such fun celebrating with you, Elyse. Happy blogoversary once again. I’ll know I’ve improved as a nerd if I wake up with a tub of ice-cream in my bed.

  • Reply
    Brett Battles
    October 2, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Totally fun!!! Thanks, Elyse, for including me. LOVED reading all the stories and trying to match them to the author (Sophie…totally had you pegged!)

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