Carol and I spent a little over three and a half hours having lunch with Barb and Al Collins, Bob Randisi and Marthayn Pelegrimas, and Barbara and John Lutz. The Collins' and Bob and Marthayn are old friends; we'd never met the Lutzes before. Very nice, bright, funny people, which meant they fit right in with all the storytelling and laughs that both the Collins' and Bob amd Marthayn always supply in these quarterly get-togethers.
As I told John I was glad to meet the writer I'd lifted so much from. I've virtually memorized a half dozen of his short stories over the years and taken away some vital lessons about working with the form. His novels, too, all the way back to his first one which we were lucky enough to reprint at Five Star. His current novels with Kensington are NY Times bestsellers.
There was the usual shop talk. Al's new collaboration with Mickey Spillane (an unfinished Spillane manuscript) is sensational, The Big Bang being its name. And there'll be another Quarry, one of my all-time favorite series. Bob talked about movie interest in his Rat Pack series about Vegas in the time of Sinatra; he wants to make the next book about the friendship between Wm Faulkner and A. E. Bezzerides. Severn House is doing the next two. These are among the finest books Bob has ever done.
Great time and looking forward to the next one three months from now.