I've been fortune enough to meet several of my mystery/suspense/thriller writing heroes --
I heard that. So you don't think us old fogies should have or do have heroes, huh? Well, young whipper snapper let me tell you a thing or three: Just because we have lived long enough to be considered experts or leaders or even folks who have outlived everyone else, we still have people we admire and dream of being when we grow up.
Since I love reading mysteries, of course many of my writing heroes are mystery authors. Many of my favorites I'll never be able to meet, either because they're gone or because they live too far away and may never cross my path.
However, through my attending book festivals and conferences and going to local book signings, I've met several whose books are in my book shelves -- now some with autographs.
I attended the Red Dirt Book Festival in 2003, the first one held. The featured speaker was Tony Hillerman. I not only attended all of his sessions, I was able to visit with him outside of the structured events. What a delightful man. His mysteries fascinated me because he wove the suspense into his knowledge of the Navajo culture. He autographed two of his books, but the autograph in his autobiography was personal and touching. I'll miss Tony Hillerman; Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee can be found again in the books that Tony left behind.
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