Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bouchercon - Post 1

It was a terrific flight on Southwest on Wednesday, flying from Nashville to Baltimore, and then on to Raleigh.  The first person I met at the hotel was Hank Phillippi Ryan, who was checking in when I was. I FINALLY met Kaye Wilkinson Barley, who was my wonderful, fun, funny roommate. We were only in our room at the Sheraton for about fifteen minutes when we headed to The Pit BBQ restaurant, meeting up with a whole group including Janet Rudolph, L.J. Roberts (we finally met!), Judy Bobalik and others. Terrific barbecue. Really loved the hush puppies and biscuits, though.


Chantelle Aimee Osman and I weren't able to meet at the airport because of her late flight, but of course I saw her and Brad Parks in the bar (where else?). 

Margaret Maron
Bouchercon is an enormous convention with around 1000 people in attendance. The programs were split between two hotels, the Sheraton and the Marriott, right next to each other. And, I spent almost as much time meeting with friends and authors (some author/friends) as I did attending panels. I think many of us do that. Saying that, I went to more panels on Thursday than any other day. I went to the first event on Thursday morning, Author Speed Dating. It's a terrific way to meet authors and learn about their books, as authors move two at a time from table to table. But, it gets extremely loud with all those authors talking. It's still a fun program. 

After the speed dating program, I headed to New Faces - Best First Novel Nominees. Margaret Maron was a wonderful moderator, reminding the audience that we may be looking at five future stars. In fact, she said she likes to call the program, "Catch a Falling Star." She urged us all to read their books to discover these new authors. These authors were up for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel - Kristi Belcamino for Blessed are the Dead, M.P. Cooley for Ice Shear, Julia Dahl for Invisible City, Allen Eskers for The Life We Bury and Lori Rader-Day for The Black Hour.

Belcamino, Eskens, and Dahl

Maron, Rader-Day, and Cooley

I checked out the book room, and the first person I ran into was Todd Ritter, who also writes under the name Alan Finn. In fact, his first novel under the Finn pseudonym, Things Half in Shadow, was up for the Macavity, the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award.

Todd Ritter/Alan Finn
I wanted to meet Lori Rader-Day who was up for three awards at Bouchercon for her debut mystery, The Black Hour. She is also originally from Indiana, so I was hoping she'd come to the library sometime for an author appearance. Her second book, Little Pretty Things, was released in July. I also had a few minutes to talk with Michael Koryta, who is also from Indiana.

Lori Rader-Day
How could I resist a panel called "STOP! Tell us your favorite crime, mystery & thrillers!"? Fan Guests of Honor Lucinda Surber and Stan Ulrich, creators of my favorite web site, Stop, You're Killing Me!, were the moderators. Panelists were George Easter, Editor/Publisher of Deadly Pleasures; Janet Rudolph, founder of Mystery Readers International and Mystery Lovers Journal; and J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet. And, they passed out a list of favorite mysteries!

I really had a full day of panels, and ended it by serving as timekeeper for the panel, "The Comfort of Mystery in a Random World." Catriona McPherson moderated with panelists Karen McCullough, Kathy Lynn Emerson (who also writes under Kaitlyn Dunnett), Laura DiSilverio and Leslie Budewitz. Any time Catriona moderates, you can count on a fun panel. But, it was incoming Sisters of Crime President Leslie Budewitz who made the statements I appreciated. She said, "Crime fiction is a dream of justice." In discussing the traditional mystery, she said external order must be restored, and the amateur sleuth restores the social order.

Emerson and Budewitz

Very Serious authors - DiSiverior, McCullough and McPherson

I finally caught up with my friend Chantelle Aimee Osman. Along with Brad Parks, we walked over to the St. Martin's/Minotaur party. We spent most of the evening talking with Cara Brookins, Robert Kroese and Con Lehane, all St. Martin's Press authors.

I left Chantelle at the Marriott, and wound up in the atrium of the Sheraton, talking with Kaye, Dru Ann Love, David Magayna, and a few other friends of Kaye's before heading up to the room. And, Kaye is a fantastic roommate. Every night, we stayed up way too late talking as we uploaded our photos to Facebook. It was only last evening that I realized I have no pictures of Kaye. Every time our pictures were taken together, it was on her camera.

Fun first day of Bouchercon. 

22 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Great to see you there!

NoraA said...

I was not able to attend so I told a friend of mine (lives 3 minutes away from me) to please try and have fun for the both of us. I'm going to try very hard to be there next year (Goddess willin' and the creek don't rise).

Kaye Barley said...

Best. Bouchercon. Ever. With the best roommate ever! It was very odd and no fun to go to bed my last night in Raleigh with no Lesa to giggle with. I only thought I loved you to pieces before we finally met, Lesa. But now I know it to be true. To the moon and back, my friend.

Aubrey Hamilton said...

Great description of a wonderfully executed conference! Always good to see you, Lesa!

Lesa said...

It was so nice to finally meet you, Bill!

Lesa said...

I'm looking at going as well, Nora. I'm already signed up for Left Coast Crime, so we'll see if it works out.

Lesa said...

To the moon and back, Kaye! You're right. I knew I was going to like you, but didn't know how special you'd be in person. And, I miss you!

Lesa said...

More to come, Aubrey. Terrific convention, wasn't it? It ran very smoothly.

Kristi Belcamino said...

Nice round up! It was a pleasure to meet you!

Nancy said...

I love reading about your experiences at Bouchercon and I'm thinking the best thing about the conference is the friendships, old and newly minted.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kristi. It was great to meet you, including at the airport a couple times. (smile)

Lesa said...

Nancy, That is so true. It's fun to go to panels, but it's even better to meet up with friends, old and new. If it hadn't been so much fun, I wouldn't already be registered for Bouchercon in New Orleans.

Reine said...

It sounds like so much fun!

Lori Rader-Day said...

Great to meet you, Lesa!

My Recent Favorite Books said...

Sounds like alot of fun!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

It was great seeing you there!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We ate at The Pit too, with several friends. Great hush puppies indeed. In fact, seeing friends was the #1 reason we wanted to go and we weren't disappointed.

Next year in New Orleans!


Jeff M.

Lesa said...

Reine, It was fun. Lori, I hope we can host you someday at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. Congratulations on your Anthony win!

Lesa said...

I'm glad we ran into each other, Nancy. It was good to see you.

Lesa said...

Yes! Next year in New Orleans, Jeff! Now, there I want to find a place with good beignets.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

The classic Cafe du Monde (opened in 1862) is a must visit for the atmosphere alone, and the beignets are always fresh.

Jeff M.

Lesa said...

I should probably start a list, Jeff. Thank you!