Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What Happens At Thrillerfest Stays At... No, Wait

Middle Of The Fucking Desert, AZ

Christ. What a weekend.

Spent it at Thrillerfest in Phoenix hanging out with writers who have a vested interest in all things criminal. Hey, where else do you get to sit in on a virtual autopsy and discuss the finer points of knife fighting and bar brawls? Had a fantastic time and met more people than I can possibly remember. Mostly due to the alcohol.

I'm gonna take a cue from Sarah Weinman (who I finally got a chance to meet and she is even cooler in person than she is online, and that's saying something) here and do this bullet-style, because trying to parse this thing into a blog post is like trying to shove a fat man through an airplane window. My memory's fuzzy on what I had for lunch, don't ask me what the hell I did at 2am. Besides, the cops already have the surveillance tapes.

  • If one more person says to me, "But it's a dry heat," I'm shoving a 2x4 up their ass.
  • "It's an honor just to be nominated."
  • Everybody at this thing was cool. Well, there was that one guy, but we won't talk about him. Yeah, I mean you, mullet boy.
  • The Killer Year crowd is goddamn amazing. Every single last one of them. The t-shirts and hats were great. Buy their novels. For all your friends. Strangers, too. Repeatedly.
  • You still owe me a drink, Toni.
  • "Hey, I'm a fuckin' nominee!"
  • chilfs.com
  • Arizona has drive through liquor stores, which would never work in Los Angeles. How would they get robbed? The guy inside just has to close the little window and wait it out. The black market economy would collapse in a weekend.
  • Sorority girls at national conferences are scarier than clowns at an Oklahoma carnie. No, really.
  • I have things to say about Rhoades and Terrenoire, but an investigation is pending, and I really can't go into details before the deposition. Suffice to say that a weekend spent with these two is like Mayberry: CSI. I hope to god I can do it again soon.
  • "Can I have an A-men?!"
  • If MJ Rose asks you if you want a screaming orgasm... well, handle yourself better than I did.
  • Pat Mullan is one of the nicest Irishmen I've ever met. The fact that I didn't wake up in a gutter with a shiv in my back is testament to how cool a man he is.
  • When I drink, I get VERY LOUD.
  • Kimberly Stem is a cool Texan. I say this because at some point she might wander over here and if she sees that I haven't mentioned her she will threaten me with bodily injury. I take her threats seriously. Texas women scare me.
  • Paul Guyot has one of the loudest Hawaiian shirts I think I've ever seen on a white boy, and is one of the coolest and most enthusiastic people I've ever met.
  • I learned how to pronounce John Leos... Laoscr... Loesc- That John guy with the funky name. I just can't spell it.
  • Elizabeth Krecker has one of the coolest book ideas I've heard in a long time. She will go far because she is incredibly nice and deserves nice things.
  • I think I finally figured out how to pronounce Mindy Tarquini's last name. I'm still having trouble with Angie's however.
  • The Arizona Biltmore is freakin' huge, outrageously expensive and worth every penny.

So, in all, it was a good time.


Elizabeth said...

With eyes that roll around wildly, a voice like a New England hurricane and black hair that stands up straight on end, Stephen is one of the nicest people I met in an ocean of really nice people at Thrillerfest. Weird how people who dream up bone-chilling crimes for a living can be so nice.

BTW, Steve....I've got photos.

Brett Battles said...

You? Loud? Who told you that? They must have been lying!

Seriously, though...great meeting you, always good to have another L.A. guy around!

Toni McGee Causey said...

Hey, I kept TRYING to buy you a drink, but everyone else was buying you a drink. Of course, then they were taping you for blackmail purposes, and at least I didn't do THAT. Very often.

(Be happy to buy you that drink next time. Ignore the camera.)

Great fun meeting you.

David J. Montgomery said...

Did you say expensive?

Eisler and I grabbed a quick breakfast at the cafe. He got a banana, a bran muffin and an OJ. I got a banana, a bagel and a bottle of water.

Cost? $30.

I shit you not.

JT Ellison said...

I was just honored that you shared my glass of water.
Seriously, you were wonderful, and I didn't think you were loud at all. Funny as hell, yes. Loud? Maybe I need to examine my own actions to determine why I didn't find you loud.

JD Rhoades said...

You didn't sound all that loud to me...but it was a loud place, and and I'm not exactly quiet my ownself.

Pleasure meeting you, Brother Stephen, and you're welcome in my church anytime. Hallelujah.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Two margaritas with tips...almost 30 bucks.

Chance to meet all you wonderful people...priceless.

Kim said...

I was "enabling" and trying to get you to be a little bit louder for the benefit of the table behind us....but alas, you were not interested. Seriously, you were not that loud...but quite a bit of fun!

Mike MacLean said...

I'm glad you could make it Stephen. Maybe next time you won't visit my fine state in the middle of summer. To be honest, you guys all lucked out. It was supposed to be 113.

Good luck with the writing.

Trace said...

That's it. I'm going next year. I don't care how or what the consequences are, I'm going!

angie said...

Hell, I still have trouble pronouncing my last name - I have a feeling I'll be writing under a name that's a little easier to cope with.

Yeah, it was great meeting the dude behind the (L.A.) noir. Glad you survived your time in the "dry heat" of the desert & made it back to LaLaLand all right. It was pretty tame heat for Phx, btw - it's usually 110-115 this time of year!

anne frasier said...

stephen, that was funny as hell -- and i'm glad to hear you had such a great time. sounds like thrillerfest was a huge success. however i'm sure it would have been twice the fun if i'd been there. ;)

word verification: fkouck


David Terrenoire said...

But who, Stephen, was the fucking nominee?

Loud, I'll show you loud. Now pass me that vodka tonic.

Annie said...

Those hours spent with you, Noir-man, and with Dusty, Terrenoire, and the Irishman were truly memorable. And I've the pics to prove it. Who knew you ran the best escort service ever? ;-) Seriously, it was great meeting you, Stephen, and you weren't all that drunk .. um, I think.

Annie the voiceless,
& not a Stepford sorority gal...

Kim said...

Annie!! I want to see some of those pics! I got out of there without your e-mail address - we need to chat!

Daniel Hatadi said...

Bloody damn planet-size world we live in! Makes it too hard to get to these thangs.

*shakes fist at Northern hemisphere*

Annie said...

Kim! I have pics and will be loading the new software tomorrow to get these digital pics onto my hard drive. (New camera.. and I'm a bit of a Luddite ;) Email me at chernow2@mindspring.com


Pat Mullan said...


You said:

"The fact that I didn't wake up in a gutter with a shiv in my back is testament to how cool Pat Mullan is"

Why would I do that to a man who, without even asking, brings me a good single malt (...and it looked like a double to me - you're bad! - were you trying to get me to spout more ridiculous blarney...

Listen: it's not me who was real cool! It was you - despite those two southerners (who the hell were they anyway - one kept saying he was a 'fucking nominee' - do you remember?)

Seriously (how the hell can I get serious here?) you're a gentleman and a scholar and it was indeed my privilege to meet you.