Munyin, me, and Bruce deSilva, about 90 minutes
before Bruce win Best First Novel
There's no point in denying a certain disappointment, even though I never thought I had a chance. The list of Edgar finalists usually has one Huh? book on it, and I figured that I was that book. Still, Huh? candidates do occasionally win, and it's impossible not to hope, even if it's only for the five or ten minutes before they read the nominees' names. I'll admit that my heartbeat sped up a little when they said, "And the Edgar goes to . . ."
I sulked for the rest of the evening, skipping the post-banquet party because I didn't want to walk around smiling while people told me I should have won. I didn't feel particularly gregarious. My wife, who had the exquisite tact not to say anything sympathetic, was all the company I wanted.
And in retrospect, I had a great time. The event was beautifully organized. I got to meet Sara Paretsky and Harlan Coben, and I had the pleasure of telling Steve Hamilton that his book deserved to win about an hour before it actually did. The food was good, my table-mates were in fine form, the people from Soho were wonderful about their new writer not bringing an Edgar along, and Munyin looked sensational.
I wanted to win because of the validation the award represents, but also for a business reason; to credit HarperCollins for all they did to support the series, and to thank Soho for giving Rose and Poke a new home. And I wanted to have a T-shirt made up that said EDGAR WINNER on the front and UNRELIABLE NARRATOR on the back. I suppose I could still do that, actually.
It was fun, it was an honor to be there, Mun and I had a great trip, and both sets of publishers were very sweet. We even had good weather, if you don't count a 38-block walk in the rain.
They can nominate me again any time.