Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mysterious Disappearance at Men of Mystery


By Mark W. Danielson


For the past six years, I’ve been privileged to participate in Irvine, California’s, Men of Mystery event. Each year, fifty authors gather to dine with five hundred wonderful mystery fans. The highlight is hearing two famous authors, such as Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Michael Connelly, Vince Flynn, and Martin Cruz Smith, speak about the business of writing. This spectacular event is the brainchild of Raven Award recipient, Joan Hansen, but would not be possible without her many devoted volunteers. Open to the public, it is normally sold out months before its November date. I am fortunate to be attending again this year.
My latest book, Diablo’s Shadow, was released just two months before the 2008 event. The week before, my book received a five star review from Mysterious Reviews, so we made an information sheet to help promote it at Mysterious Galaxy Books’ event book store. My wife and I checked with the book store that morning to make sure our acrylic-covered information sheet was properly displayed with my books. It was, and looked great.
The MOM event began with the authors introducing themselves, followed by a break where its attendees could wander through the book store and chat with the authors. This was followed by lunch and the featured authors’ presentations. At its conclusion, the book store remained open for a brief period before the authors checked out. This is where the mystery began . . .
When we went to gather my display items, our acrylic Diablo’s Shadow information sheet was nowhere to be found. Since the book store had relocated my books from their original location, we thought that perhaps my display sheet may have been at the previous site, but alas, this was not the case. We looked under the tables, but there was nothing there. We scoured the trash bins. Not there, either. Not even in any empty boxes. Nope, the trail was cold. Now, as one might imagine, the competition among authors is fierce, but I can’t imagine any of them sabotaging my display. Then again, we are talking about murderous people who possess unlimited imaginations . . . How about an obsessed fan? Highly unlikely, considering their polished etiquette and the fact I’m hardly a household name. Besides, these attendees are some of the nicest people I’ve met. So, what about the book store folks? Get serious; they had plenty to pack, and my display is of no value to them. The hotel staff? Oh, please. Why would any of them risk their jobs to take a silly information sheet home? And so the mystery lingers . . .
Months have passed since this mysterious disappearance, so I must let it go. But I vow to return next year with a new and more stunning display! Perhaps I’ll taint it with dye so that anyone caught moving it would have purple hands. Or maybe I shall connect it to an electric current . . . Yeah, that would work if I framed it in metal. Okay, I won’t do either of those things. After all, displays are easily replaced. But beware—whoever you are. I will be watching, and if I find you, you may find yourself written into one of my future novels. Ah, a mysterious mind never stops plotting . . .

5 comments:

Theresa de Valence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jean Henry Mead said...

Lol, Mark. I experienced a similar occurrence in Cheyenne. Three of my very costly centennial books disppeared at a 100-author book signing, and were found months later in the backroom heavily scored, which made them unsaleable. The mystery was that no one owned up to it.

Best of luck this year at the Men of Mystery event. (I would take copies of the information sheet this time). :)

Mark W. Danielson said...

Jean, it's sad to know I'm not alone. Unfortunately, it only takes a few people to spoil events. I guess all we can do is keep trying, and not give up our faith in people.

Theresa de Valence said...

Oh Mark, what a mystery! I like the idea of indelible purple dye, but I think you then would need to wander around with a portable fluorescent bulb and a large magnifying glass. (And if THAT doesn't make you stand out from 'the rest'-- I can't imagine what could!)

Sounds like a fun event,
Theresa de Valence
http://www.bstw.com
http://www.ReviewsByTdeV.com

Mark W. Danielson said...

Thanks, Theresa. Men of Mystery is a wonderful event, and I'm very honored to be included among such highly respected authors. Losing an information sheet doesn't take anything away from this significant event. It's great to be among so many mystery fans.