You know about hunting for Jack Reacher, right? Well, I found him in Orlando recently!
He didn’t seem particularly happy to see me… but that’s alright. I wasn’t there to hunt him anyway. I was in Orlando for SleuthFest 2014. It’s a writer’s conference where mystery authors come together to share advice about crafting stories.
But for me, the most important part of SleuthFest was that I was able to connect with friends I don’t see often. We connect through social media regularly, but some of them I’m lucky if I can see once a year.
For example, I met up with my friend Christine Kling. You may own our Double Feature Florida Is Murder. What an inspiration Chris is! She’s perhaps the bravest woman I know. Chris has always been a world traveler, sailor, writer, and a mom. These days, she no longer lives aboard her sailboat in Florida. Now, she’s living on a much larger boat with a new love and sailing the globe once again. How cool is that?! (If you’re living a life that already seems like something out of a book, how convenient is it to also have the skill of being a gifted writer so you can share your experiences?!) You can keep up with Chris’s nomadic adventures if you follow her blog. Who knows when I’ll see Chris again? But last week, it was great to reconnect with my friend Chris Kling, the nomad.
Another friend I found at SleuthFest? Ace Atkins! A really funny guy, and a hard worker. (And he has a cool name, right?!) Ace and I used to be neighbors. He was once a newspaper reporter. Now he’s living in Oxford, Mississippi, working as a full-time novelist. Ace was chosen by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue writing the adventures of Boston’s iconic private eye, Spenser. Needless to say, he’s a very busy man, so it was a treat to see him.
It was good to have a long chat with my friend Tallahassee judge Terry Lewis, author of three great legal thrillers. Also fun catching up and talking reading with Don Bruns, Shannon Esposito, Libby Hellmann, and Fred “the gun guy” Rea. And so many others I hadn’t seen in way too long. As much fun as connecting in cyberspace is, meeting in person is better, don’t you think?
How do you stay in touch with your friends? Do you live close enough to meet regularly, or does it take an annual organized event to reconnect? I’d love to hear some of your stories of friendship.
As always, thanks for staying in touch, and thanks for being my friend.