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?).
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.
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.