Annus Mirabilis

December 31st, 2011

Okay, 2011 wasn’t a “miraculous” year, as the title implies, but it was a year of surprises.

And on the Tim/books front, they were frequently positive. I often felt as pleasantly surprised as that plastic baby up there, although nowhere near as cute.

Some of the nicer surprises of the year:

The Cerritos Public Library “Mystery on the Menu” lunch on January 11.  Who knew how much I’d enjoy a lunch and panel discussion with a roomful of fine writers, including Bob Fate, Brett Battles, John Lescroart, Shilpa Argawal, Gary Phillips, and Jeri Westerson?  And I had no idea that the Library would be not only state-of-the-art, but ridiculously beautiful, with creativity and the sheer joy of reading in every corner.  A great start to the year.

The move to Soho Crime:  After HarperCollins said adieu to Poke (they actually said it in English), my agent, Bob Mecoy, found a new home for him, Rose, Miaow, and all the denizens of my through-the-looking-glass Bangkok: Soho Crime.  Soho is independently owned and tightly focused, with the objective being simply to publish the best books they can.  They’ve got the upcoming Poke, THE FEAR ARTIST, and I have to say that my editor, Juliet Grames, went over the manuscript with a microscope.  I’ve never been line-edited to such an extent, but the book that’s emerging as I work through her notes is better and leaner.

The Edgars:  Biggest surprise of the year was QUEEN being nominated for an Edgar.  Second-biggest surprise of the year was Munyin agreeing to go to New York with me for the banquet.  A great time was had by all.

The Macavity:  Another nomination, another great evening, another light suitcase going home.

Bouchercon:  The. Best. Fan. Event. Ever.  Great panels, great people, lots of new friends.  And I loved St. Louis, which was a surprise for this bicoastal geography snob.

The Fort Braggathon:  The time Mun and I spent in Fort Bragg was a delight from start to finish, thanks to Ruth Sparks and all the welcoming people of Fort Bragg and Mendocino.  I felt like a celebrity — not a big, world-famous celebrity, but a comfortable kind of celebrity, like maybe someone whose only TV series was canceled after three weeks but still gets invited to county fairs.  Felt great.

Writing:  A good year.  I wrote and published the second Junior Bender book, LITTLE ELVISES, and it got a great reaction.  And, although it nearly put an end to me, I finished THE FEAR ARTIST, so by August of this year there will be five Poke Rafferty thrillers in various formats.

The Special Projects:  It was a thrill and a surprise to learn that the two fund-raising ebooks I participated in were both successful.  SHAKEN raised (and is still raising) money for the 2011 Japan Relief Fund, and BANGKOK NOIR is doing the same for Father Joe Maier’s Mercy Centre, which houses, feeds, and educates Bangkok’s neediest kids.

So I don’t know.  Maybe it was a miraculous year, after all.

12 Responses to “Annus Mirabilis”

  1. EverettK Says:

    And then there was the miraculous reunion of The Pleasure Fair…

    And then writing at LEAST one and a half OTHER books that never got to see the light of day (The Growing Younger Man and Pulped)… but remember, nothing is ever truly lost or wasted!

    How can one year in one man’s life be so full?

    Here’s [glass raised high] to an even better year for you in 2012, Tim!!!

  2. munyin Says:

    And you forgot to mention the good news that all the Poke books are now available as audio books at Definitely a surprise development. Big congrats to that too.

  3. Malc Says:

    Let 2012 be even better ! Health and happiness to all …

  4. Tom Logan Says:

    . . . and a gazillion fans who travel with you, albeit vicariously, through your toils and tribulations, waiting, waiting, waiting, for the next book. Thank you for enriching my life and Happy New Year, Tim.

  5. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    It was a very good year. May 2012 bring us more pleasure and riches for you through your writings. Yes, they like you, and so do we.

  6. Jane DeBano Says:

    I met you at Bouchercon in St. Louis and loved the panel discussion with other authors from the blog. I’ve read 3 of the Poke thrillers and loved them – just downloaded the first for my Kindle. Can’t wait for the next book. Thanks for many happy hours of reading.

  7. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, everybody —

    I took New Year’s Day off, so I’m late getting back to you. It was indeed a good year (for us, at least), and having people like you all participating in my life helped to make it that way.

    Jane, thank you so much for reminding me of our meeting at B’con. Wasn’t it a great convention? And I’m thrilled you like the Poke books. (Leighton gets a lot of the credit for that panel, by the way.)

    Lil, you’re one of the blessings of online life, and please keep chiming in during the new year.

    Tom, that’s about as nice a thing as anyone could say. The new book is coming, albeit slowly, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint you. (August is the release month.)

    Munyin, I did indeed forget it, and it was on the list of surprises you gave me when I said I didn’t know what to write about 2011. There, now everyone knows — this whole blog was Mun’s idea.

    Everett, thanks to you for help throughout the year. You’re right — neither book will ultimately be wasted. Both either are or will be revised and put out.

    Hope y’all have a great 2012.

  8. sharai Says:

    Yes, what a great year for you!

    Just looked up the audio books and see they are read by Victor Bevine. I’m getting them all for my library. What is the process for books being picked up for audio and how does the reader get picked?

  9. John Lindquist Says:

    I still have all of the old Pogo comic books from my very early youth, and I swear Walt Kelly was channeling Dickens – especially in the early to mid-1950s.

    At the end of one particular story, everyone did the usual gathering around the table of goodies, thankful to see all their friends alive and well after so many pages of mental and physical stress. And just when you expect “God bless us, everyone” to come at the very end, little Alabaster (the baby alligator) pipes up with “Let’s all room together next semester.”

    Happy new year, not-so-tiny Tim and all the gang. 😉

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Sharai — the publisher,, picks the reader. They chose Victor and sent me some things he’d read, which I liked, and then he called me and we talked for a while, and I liked both him and his voice.

    Hi, John — Pogo was the best. (And Calvin and Hobbs, too.) A very Pogo new year to you, too, and thanks for showing up so often. It’s always a treat to see you here.

  11. Malc Says:

    Calvin & Hobbes ??!! NOW we’re talking ! My limited edition box-set of every issue takes pride of place on my shelf 😉

  12. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Calvin and Hobbes was my father’s last great enthusiasm. He’d loved Pogo and the early Peanuts, but Calvin and Hobbes just put him away. We gave him every book as it came out, and he went through them until they fell apart.

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