available for sale. I'd read all but one of Barbara Seranella's
"Munch Mancini" series, and had brought her latest one for an
autograph. We'd also read all of the Eve Diamond series by Los
Angeles Times reporter Denise Hamilton and were awaiting her next.
Patricia Guiver was a bit more of a puzzle (no pun intended). The
ever-organized Eva had found me one of Guiver's "Delilah Doolittle"
series books, and assigned it to me as pre-event reading. This
character and author were new to me, but the tale of Delilah, the
original pet detective, was a fun, fast read. (Jim Carrey's Ace
Ventura character came along well after Guiver's books initiated this
We checked out the three authors seated on the stage. I focused on
Barbara Seranella because her life had been so interesting. Barbara's
bio on her book jackets tells of her running away at 14 and joining a hippie commune and some outlaw motorcycle gangs. Her protagonist,
Munch, has had a similar past, and is in recovery from heroin
addiction. And, like the author, Munch becomes an auto mechanic.
I noticed Seranella looking briefly at me and so took a chance to
glance at her, too. I hoped she was remembering the last time I'd
asked her to autograph one of her books for me. It had come at the
end of a personally tough year for me, and I'd told her about it. She
had been supportive and very down-to-earth. (Turns out she didn't
remember that time, so maybe she was merely scanning the crowd to use
aspects of the audience for new characters.)
The organizers of the event began asking the three authors
questions about their mysteries, the characters and, thrilling for
me, how they actually got the books written. The audience also got
the chance to ask questions, so, never shy, I waved my hand.
"This comment is for Denise and Barbara," I said. "I have worked
with Denise's parachute generation (Asian teens sent to America
without their families). I currently deal with types of at-risk teens
described by Barbara. You got each type of teen perfectly." At this,
Hamilton and Seranella nodded and smiled their thanks.