The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

May 19, 2009

I've got friends in LA places.

The LA Times Book Festival came and went without taking note of the many bibliophiles who could only dream of attending. Like many another reader whose heart leaps at the sight of stacks of newly minted books with pristine dust jackets, and like so many who long to see and hear and perhaps even meet these distant author-gods who've created exciting worlds of escape and adventure, I was jaundiced with envy of those who did attend. I read all the blogs and the news articles about the festival. I laughed, I thought, I commented. I played nice, even congratulating those who attended and worded my admiration, I hope, so as not to reveal the lust in my soul. But secretly I salivated. I wanted to sit in the front row and listen to Robert Crais and Don Winslow play verbal badminton. I wanted to stand in line for my turn at an autograph. Mostly I just wanted to be a part of it all, however small.

And now I know, I was.

Michael, he of the excellent blog, Lazy Thoughts From a Boomer, went above and beyond the call of e-friendship. UPS delivered into my hands today a signed copy of Lullaby Town by Robert Crais. Now it would have been a nice enough gesture on Michael's part to - unasked, mind you - buy the book and get it signed and send it to me. But he had to send it twice. The USPS being what it is, the package went back to him and he re-sent it via UPS. So the cost of the book, standing in line for a signature - yes, he did get his own book signed, too, but that's hardly the point, is it? He didn't have to do any of this. Then there was preparing the package and paying postage twice. Who is this nice to distant strangers?

But wait a sec, that isn't all. You see, the book isn't simply signed, 'Robert Crais,' or 'Best wishes, Robert Crais.' The title page reads, 'Corey, hope you enjoy. Don't drown. Robert Crais.'

'Don't drown,' a reference to my blog title, which he can only have known because Michael told him. Took the trouble to tell him. My name, the name of my blog, was at the LA Times Book Festival. In a way, that means I was there. Too cool!

I've long thought Robert Crais is one of the coolest guys on the planet. Michael, I believe you have just edged him out in the cool department. There are good guys, and then there's Michael.

Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses in a toast. I give you The Lazy
Thoughtful Boomer. Huzzah!


  1. Oh Corey, I so wish you could've been there.

    That's truly an extraordinary thing Michael did. Twice. What a friend. I only recently "met" Michael in cyberspace and can already tell he's a stand-up guy.

    Was this the first book you got signed by Robert? I can tell you he will always personalize it in some cool way. In my experience, he's the best at that and should teach a class to other writers about how to come up with witty, personal things to sign. I've met writers who asked me about myself and then proceeded to do the boring "Best wishes," which made me think, "Why bother?" I could've ordered a signed copy through the mail!

  2. Woo hoo! I wondered why you hadn't said anything about it yet. That's funny that it went back to Michael.

    And you've already heard me go on and on about what a wonderful guy he is! We're going to get him out on this side of the country for B'Con in St. Louis...when RC is the special guest...and we'll all meet up together! A blogosphere reunion!! :)

  3. Here's to Michael! Here's to Robert!

  4. That is so awesome! It is warming to know that admit all the bad news and bad people we hear about all of the time, there are good guys out there. What a fun story!

  5. PCN, yes, it's my first signed Crais. A treasure.

  6. I guess being a paid shill of the festival does have its advantages. D'oh! Wasn't supposed to bring that up!Corey is being too kind. He didn't mention that the book would have been in his word weeks sooner, if I hadn't screwed up the address. A cheer back at 'ya, Corey, for many more RC autographed books signed in your presence. Say, I hear he's gonna be mid-western town named after Louis IX?

  7. That's what I hear. 2011, I think?

    Thanks again, Michael, you're a winner (paid shill or not).

  8. Sounds like you had a great time... I've only read one Crais novel-The Watchman-but it was superb to say the least.