Before Noir City starts tomorrow and I immerse myself in amour fou, sweaty obsession and rain-darkened streets, I have to indulge in something on the opposite end of the spectrum … purely joyful and purely heart-warming.

So what am I talking about … a Capra movie? The end of The Christmas Carol? An episode of The Waltons?

Thankfully–at least regarding The Waltons–no. I’m talking about the amazing generosity and support that exists in the crime writing community. It’s not the first time I’ve encountered it, but for the last two days I’ve been privileged to be dramatically reminded of it.

Here’s the story: my first book–NOX DORMIENDA–was nominated for the Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award. And it’s in the company of writers I deeply admire and friends I deeply care about–Rhys Bowen, Tasha Alexander, Laurie King. I am stunned, honored and humbled.

Since the announcement yesterday, I’ve spent a lot of time responding with thanks to the well-wishes and voices of encouragement and support that have poured in … and again, I shake my head in wonder at the sheer niceness of this industry. At talks, the audience always laughs whenever I mention that crime writers are the most wonderful–and just plain nicest– people in the world. But it’s true. Criminal minds, warm hearts. 🙂

To top off all this, the generosity of friends and family is what is allowing me to say “aloha” to Hawaii … to actually go to Left Coast Crime, which just two weeks ago was beyond my reach.

I’ve started to do my research, and just discovered “aloha” also means love.

Somehow, that’s fitting.